Baltimore County

Commentary: Still star struck after all these years

Some habits are hard to break.

While most of mine are beneficial or out of necessity, such as locking my car doors no matter where I go or carrying my purse pretty much everywhere, others are because I just love it too much.

The consequence of marrying a coffee fiend has been the availability of coffee all day every day (though I only drink about a cup a day). And soda, while I've cut back from my college days, is still an evil, but delicious and refreshing part of life.

My bad habit of becoming star struck easily falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

I know this is common. I've seen the Ed Sullivan clips with girls who are now my mom's age screaming until they faint just at the sight of The Beatles.

The difference between those girls and me is that it's part of my job to remain professional, something that has crossed over into my personal life (another good habit!). I'm also not 14 anymore, despite how I may act at times.

This didn't stop me this past weekend from flipping out when I saw Mary Alice Yeskey, who works at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, with her family at the Hamilton Street Festival.

Mary Alice, who you may know as the spunky, red-headed office manager at the bakery made famous on the Food Network show"Ace of Cakes," is a regular in the neighborhood and frequents one of my favorite establishments in the area.

Basically, it's not really a surprise when someone who lives and works in Baltimore just so happens to go to a popular neighborhood event.

Still, I tensed up, whispered to my husband, "It's Mary Alice!" and refused to approach her.

A mutual friend we were hanging out with said, "You're a reporter. You talk to people all the time. Just introduce yourself."

"I can't! No! You can't make me!" I said as the 14-year-old who still lives inside of me came busting out.

Working at the Baltimore Sun's free paper for several years I actually had a few encounters with the talented and famous.

I somehow finagled my way into getting interviews with Brian Rosenworcel, my favorite drummer of my all-time favorite band Guster, John Linnell, of Brooklyn's finest band They Might Be Giants, and Mountain Goats front man John Darnielle, whom I've admired for close to a decade.

Every single time I struggled to reign in that 14-year-old.

My hands shook while typing my interview with Darnielle until I actually blurted out, "I'm really nervous. I'm a huge fan. This is a huge deal for me."

"Why?" the genius musician asked. "I'm nobody special."

I disagreed, but his humble nature eased my nerves.

I've met Rosenworcel on two separate occasions several years apart after shows and both times I'm fairly certain I hugged him a little too tight and for a little too long.

What can I say? I drip awkwardness.

And here's the part where I make an embarrassing confession and reveal the true reason for this column: I still love the Backstreet Boys. Like, a lot.

Lucky for me, I have a very understanding and accommodating mother who lets me keep my numerous crates of memorabilia in my old closet, so I don't have to find room in my house.

When it was announced that not only was Kevin Richardson re-joining the group after a hiatus, but they would also be releasing a new album next year, I yelped with joy.

Then it was revealed they were recording and living in London for the next several months — the city I will be visiting in September.

Ever since then I've been thinking about what I would do if I met one of the guys I've loved since I was 10. Probably freak out since that's what I've done in the past.

I hope I'm not alone in my admiration for a band that I've listened to for the majority of my life.

If my mom met the Rolling Stones now, would she freak out, too? I'm not so sure.

Maybe that habit of becoming star struck fades with time. It's possible that's just my personality and I'll always want to scream when I see one of my favorite celebrities. I hope it's the former.

I'd hate to scream and faint on the streets of London if I met a Backstreet Boy.

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