Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yesterday, I met my hero...

In the midst of some very, very dark times for the joke of a country that is Ireland, I've decided to blog about something positive that happened in my life - something that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. Because, after all, it is a very good life that I lead. I'm grateful to be working, to have family and friends and a boyfriend around me who love me for who I am, to be healthy, to have a safe and lovely home, to be educated and hold a first class honours degree...there are loads of things I'm probably forgetting too, but for the moment, let me just say that I am happy and feel the need to write about something that reflects that, as opposed to a long, rambling rant about the state of the country. I understand that these are dark times, but feel no need to dwell on them here, because this, for the most part, should be a positive account. And besides, I'll be out of this shithole soon enough anyway!

So! Yesterday was a very, very important day for me. One of my all-time heroes and idols, the incredible Kat von D, was coming to Dublin to sign her brand new book, The Tattoo Chronicles. I'd made plans to go to this signing with two of my friends, both of whom cancelled on me for no good reason at the last minute. Not deterred by this, or by the snow that chose to appear overnight in Dublin, or the vicious hangover I'd woken up with after a night of heavy clubbing and even heavier drinking, I begged the emo to come with me, and after much, much persusasion, he finally agreed. Of course, given the snow, and the state of the so-called transport system in Dublin, it took me forever to arrive at Waterstone's, and I was late. The emo was not impressed, since he'd got into the queue on my behalf a half hour previous to my arrival. Luckily, we had two tickets (only a limited amount were given out for the signing, I think there were about 300 in total).

We stood patiently for the first hour, but nothing happened. People arrived and joined the queue, others gave up to go shopping, some were turned away when the tickets ran out, I made several runs to Starbucks for hot chocolate (and was accosted by a man who thought we were queueing to meet Stephenie Meyer - vomit)...but still, nothing. Apparently Kat von D was arriving soon. Ten minutes, twenty tops. Another hour passed, and nothing happened. By this stage, she was two hours late (we later discovered her flight had been delayed because of the weather) and people were getting really, really pissy. "Maybe the rumours about her being a bitch are true" said the chick in front of us. I assured her that there was no way in hell that was true, and that we weren't going to be turned away without meeting her (thank fuck I was right or I wouldn't have been able to defend her at all anymore).

It was unbearably cold. I had about five layers on and big, knee-high Docs but I felt like I was going to freeze to death. Then, finally, at 4.30PM (a half hour before the signing was due to finish), the queue finally started moving. Then, within another hour, we were inside the cosy, toasty confines of Waterstone's, in a queue that snaked all around the shop and upstairs to where ms. von D was standing patiently, signing book after book, meeting fan after fan.

I didn't get nervous until we were stood on the staircase. And when I stood on tip-toe and spotted her posing with a fan, I nearly passed out. I didn't know what to say or how to act or if I would even be able to walk over to her. I'd waited four hours in the freezing cold and now I wasn't sure I'd even be able to meet her!

See, I've admired Kat von D for years, as a tattoo artist, as a businesswoman, as a woman, as an alt woman...she's one of my heroes. If I could, I'd completely model myself on her. She's entirely self-made and, despite having many, many critics, she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book. I still watch her show religiously, and one day, if I am ever lucky enough to be tattooed by her, I know my life will be made. She stands for everything I admire and aspire to be, and she gives me strength and hope that, one day, my mother won't give a shit that I look like a freak, and that being myself will eventually pay off. She's made me love who I am and fuck all pretences otherwise, because she does.

And then, I was standing a few feet away from her. She signed my book, one employee had my camera, another was holding the book, and there was Kat von D, standing there smiling and so ridiculously, shockingly beautiful in real life, with her arms outstretched to hug me. I couldn't move. The emo shoved me a little (he was getting impatient and he couldn't feel his toes, not to mention that this had monopolised his whole day) and I slowly closed the distance between us. She embraced me in a hug that was warm and friendly, almost like she'd known me for years. Her perfume drifted up into my nostrils. I felt like I was going to faint, I couldn't believe I was still standing upright, and so close to my hero.

"Hi!" she said, smiling hugely at me. "Hi..." I whispered back, clutching my book to my chest, totally in awe and completely unable to look her in the eyes. "I love what you're match the book!" she complimented me, taking a step back to check out my outfit. "Thanks.." I choked, still unable to look up. The emo took his place on the other side of her, I turned my head very slowly toward the camera, she put her arms around both of our shoulders and I tried my best to smile. "I blinked!" I exclaimed as the flash went off. "Do you want to take it again?" she asked good-naturedly. The Waterstone's chick showed me the photo and I shook my head, finally forcing myself to look up at her. She was like a fucking goddess, I couldn't believe she was even looking at me. "It's fine" I whispered, "thank you...". She smiled again, "no probs, see you guys around" and waved as I tried my best to put one foot in front of the other, and slowly make my way back downstairs. It was all over in a flash, but I was in a daze for the rest of the day. I couldn't even believe it'd happened, it was like I was having an out of body experience or I was dreaming or something. Kat von D is the type of person that I never thought, in a million years, that I would get to meet. I've looked at the photo below a thousand times since and I still can't believe that's me she has her arm around.

I probably sound like a fucking lunatic, but this was honestly one of the greatest moments of my life. I will never, ever forget it. And I'm so glad she was so beautiful and sweet and friendly in person, because I was so scared that all of the shit I'd heard about her was true. But now, I couldn't believe even for a moment that it is...

Eep!! I still have goosebumps at the thought of it!

So, that was my happy memory for the next...I dunno, probably ten years or so. I can't imagine getting pissed off about anything stupid ever again, when I got to meet my idol in the flesh... The snow didn't even really bother me today either! Here I am frollicking in it with the emo's adorable little puppy this morning. It was such a lovely walk.

In case it isn't obvious, I am still totally buzzing from yesterday. Oh. My. God.

Song of the day: High Voltage - Eagles Of Death Metal.

Currently reading: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. I didn't think it was worth thirty quid when I bought it, but it's a great book. Full of gorgeous colour photos and lots of really in-depth info about her clients and personal life. Well worth a read.
Currently listening to: Songs that suit the weather, because I think it's too early for Christmas songs. I've had a lot of goth on today, but as it's got later, I've drifted into The Birthday Massacre. Their newest album, Pins and Needles gets even better with every listen.
Currently wearing: The outfit that KAT VON D said she liked!!!!!!!!!! Still can't believe it! I'll probably be mostly in warm clothes and boots while it's snowy, but I'll still have to make an effort to look corporate for work during the week. My winter wardrobe consists of lots of black, big jumpers, chunky, statement accessories, skinny jeans and big Docs or New Rocks.
Currently feasting my eyes on: The Tattoo Chronicles - Kat Von D. Loving it. Still can't believe it's signed. Holy shit I'm lucky...

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