Two years ago, on this day, one of the greatest things ever happened to me. It seems trivial now, seeing all that I have been through and the person I have become, but I still look back on that day with immense joy. Also, the people I had this experience with may not be a part of my life anymore, but these memories will always be with me. So what exactly happened on November 9, 2012?
I went to One Direction on Ellen.
Alyssa’s (second from the left, in the dark blue) mom works at Warner Brother’s Studios, where Ellen is filmed. After tirelessly attempting to win tickets with me, Alyssa begged her mother to try and get the seven of us into the concert. I got a call the next morning with fantastic news. We were in!
We all had our parents write notes to the office so we could get “off-schedules” to let us off campus at lunch. Seven girls looking cute as buttons leaving school for doctors appointments together wasn’t the most clandestine act, but it worked. We all piled into Alyssa’s mom’s car and drove to the studio. Once in her office, she handed us passes that allowed us to walk around the lot and wristbands to get us into the concert. Dana (next to me) had made a Build-a-Bear and dressed it like Niall, which she is holding in the picture. It had our twitter names written on the back, and she carried it around in the hopes of giving it to her favorite in the band. It was the honorary eighth member of our group.
But where were we supposed to begin? After getting a Twitter update from Niall Horan, who tweeted a picture of the stage, we figured that would be the perfect place to go first. We made our way to the stage, where the five boys were exiting with security. A security guard stopped us before we could get close and asked to see our passes, which we gladly showed him. He said if we were quiet and calm, we could stay, and we were not about to argue. Harry Styles looked over and saw us and waved. We waved back while he whispered something to a guard and gestured to us. The guard shook his head and Harry sadly looked down. Had we just been rejected a chance to meet and possibly take a photo with the beautiful boy? Yes, yes we were. As the boys piled into a black Escalade, they waved goodbye to us. The security guard with us, bless his heart, low key told us where they were going and the fastest way to get there. We thanked him and were on our way.
Once at the studio, we were stopped again by another guard, who was not as accommodating as the first, but let us stand and wait patiently. We stood there for a little while, talking, and she moved closer to the building and other guards. Suddenly, a figure darted out of the side door about fifteen feet from us. It was Andy Samuels, Liam Payne’s best friend. Following him was Louis Tomlinson, who looked at Andy, then saw us, smirked, and ran after him. Finally, Liam burst through the door, looked at us, looked at his friends, looked back at us and put a finger to his lips and smiled, and booked it after Andy and Louis. The seven of us sat there dumbfounded. What on earth did we just witness? As a Liam girl, I nearly peed my pants that he acknowledged us.
After getting over the initial shock, we decided it was time to eat, as we had skipped lunch. We also hoped that Andy, Louis, and Liam were headed for food as well and we could see them again. They were not at the commissary, so we thought we would go get Starbucks and Jamba Juice at the “Central Perk” building. Leaving the commissary, a golf cart with a light pink-haired head was about to pass. It was Lou, One Direction’s stylist. We were ready to wave at her when, lo and behold, Harry was hiding in the back. We said hello as they passed. Harry paused with a thoughtful look and proceeded to say “Hi!” in the highest pitched voice and the biggest smile he could muster. It was the cutest thing in the world. How did we get so lucky in the last ten minutes?
We shook it off, wanting to fill our excited stomachs. Walking toward the Central Perk, also walking there but from the opposite direction, was none other than Harry, Lou, and security. We almost changed course so that he didn’t think we were following him, but this happened by chance, and I was majorly craving a caramel frappuccino. Before we walked in the door, the guard turned around and rudely said “No pictures, no autographs.” All we wanted were drinks! We waved to Harry and said hello, and he said “Hi, how’s it going?” His voice was beautiful. There were two girls that had walked in right behind us and asked for a picture with him. The security guard said no and gave us a dirty look; this angered us because those girls were not a part of our group. Nevertheless, Dana and I got behind Lou in the Starbucks line and admired her hair and clothes, while the rest of the group waited behind Harry for fruit smoothies. Harry accidentally bumped into Alyssa and quickly apologized. She starstruck-ly forgave him. When he left, he made sure to say goodbye to us like the sweetheart that he is.
After that, we wandered aimlessly around the studios, hoping to stumble upon any of the boys again. It didn’t happen, but we weren’t looking, so it was okay. Finally, we went back to Alyssa’s mom’s office to tell her of our adventures and primp for the concert. We were seated in the bleachers at about stage-level. Not too close, but a good spot nonetheless. During the performance, we each waved the bear in the air, and every boy acknowledged us, recognizing the stuffed animal. Niall smiled at us during his solo in “Little Things” and caught himself staring for a few seconds too long. Liam pointed and smiled at us, as well. But the best part of the whole thing was during Harry’s solo in “What Makes You Beautiful.” He stood still and looked intensely at the crowd. On the screen, you could tell he was looking slightly off-center. One by one, we realized he was singing right to us. We started shrieking and cheering to each other, to which he laughed and continued the rest of the song. Harry Styles actually sang to us specifically. It made us all a little light-headed and giddy. Who am I kidding? It made us a lot light-headed and giddy.
After the concert, like many other girls, we rushed for the studio Andy, Louis, and Liam escaped from earlier that day. Unfortunately, we missed Ellen taking pictures with the boys in the telephone booth, but we took one in there anyway. We waited for the boys to come back; they did, but took another entrance. Andy had come outside so we asked for a picture. He said he wasn’t very photogenic, to which Dana replied, “You are so photogenic, Andy, don’t trip.” He then exclaimed, “I’m trippin’!” He was low on time and tried to get us to take a group shot, but two girls not in our group wanted selfies, so we did not get a picture with him. ‘Twas very disappointing. Finally, as the sun was setting, Preston, One Direction’s head of security, came out and told us it was time to go. Dana asked nicely if he could give the bear to Niall. He paused and said he would. I had to babysit that night, so it was time to leave not long after that. We never knew for sure if Niall ever received the bear, though, which was upsetting.
When the episode aired a few days later, we could easily spot ourselves in the crowd, thanks to the bear. That bear was our lucky charm that afternoon.
Overall, the day was utterly unforgettable. I will always remember the amazing memories I made that day, even though I do not speak to those people anymore. November 9th will always be a special day. Two years later, I am a very different person, but I still fangirl over those five British boys. Some things never change. I get a lot of crap for loving them, but I can’t help it! I just love them. And I have loved watching them grow. Because of them, I am a part of something, a fandom that I have the biggest love/hate relationship with, but I refuse to leave. I am forever grateful for these boys–well, now they are men, aren’t they? And I am not a girl anymore, I am a woman. Wow, that sounds weird…
Anyway, that’s a little piece of the History of Ashley for you, a very important piece. It is also appropriate because their next album comes out in just eight days! Eeeep!! I’ll have to make another Target run pretty soon……
Have an absolutely outstanding Sunday!