In 2004, my sister and I visited our friends Rebecca and Bindy, also sisters, in England. We had a lovely trip, and on our last day, ended up going shopping in Milton Keyes. I had 5 £ left, which would’ve been more hassle to change back into Euros than to spend, so I wandered into Virgin Records. At the time, I was really into Busted, a band which to my 14-year-old ears was so punk and out there. Browsing the „new singles“ section, I found one with four cute boys on the cover, a song with Busted advertised in big letters.  Sold! The following days and weeks, I carried around my walkman (holding it like a delicate cake so the CD wouldn’t skip, natch), listening to those two tracks on repeat endlessly. 

And that is the story of how I fell in love with a band named McFly.

Over the years, as my tastes and preferences have evolved, so has my love for the band. Or more specifically, its members. First, during my (and I’m guessing his) emo phase, I was totally in love with Dougie, the bass player. Then, I fell in love with Danny, one of the singers and guitarists, until he decided to ditch his curly hair. Briefly, I had a crush on Harry, the drummer, when I was into really buff guys. But for the last ten years, my love and adoration has consistently been for the last member of the group: Tom.

I get excited about the littlest things, but mostly, it's food and movies that get me all giddy. My family and friends kindly indulge me and listen to my enthusiastic babblings about Jamie Oliver, Captain America, and why Channing Tatum is an overrated douche canoe who will destroy the role of Gambit forever. But when I tell these stories to people who don't know me very well, I am often met with blank stares, bewilderment, or even disdain. 

For some reason, unless you like what everyone else likes, displaying an acceptable level of excitement, that makes you a geek, a weirdo. But even in that niche, in recent years, this demand for a "geek consensus" has arisen - if you don't think Batman vs. Superman was terrible, Iron Man is the best out of the Avengers, and the new Ghostbusters is either a despicable disgrace or a triumph for feminism (depending on who you're talking to), you're not a "real" fan, not a "real" geek. 

It's frustrating to try to join a fandom as someone who has only seen the new Star Trek movies, or the new Star Wars movie, and really enjoyed it without having seen any of the old stuff. Often times, I feel like I am not allowed to enjoy things that make me happy because I am not qualified or devoted enough. And while "The Age of the Geek" has been proclaimed for a few years now, it still feels like there's a "cool" group within geekdom that has unreachable standards for joining. 

There aren't as many vocal people who say "Hey, if you enjoyed this movie, cool. Let's talk about it, I'm happy this thing that I love has found a new fan.". Instead, it feels more like "Oh, you're a fan of Star Wars? Name three Stormtroopers' grandmothers' maiden names from the The Empire Strikes back in alphabetical order whilst doing a headstand. You can't? I guess you're not a real fan then". Having to hide your enjoyment of something is bad enough, but when you then don't even feel like you fit in with the geeks of the world, the people who are allowed to be deliriously excited about a new movie, it can be really disheartening. 

Tom Fletcher is a very talented man, both as a musician and a writer. He has been with his (now) wife since they were both 15, and together, they have two adorable little boys. He wears fun glasses, has a cheeky grin, and a beautifully soothing voice. 

But the thing I love most about Tom? He is unabashedly, unashamedly geeky. 

Disney? Loves it. So much so that one of his kids is named "Buzz". Star Wars? Really into it. Harry Potter? SO INTO IT. Space? Ghostbusters? Jurassic Park? Check, check, and check! 

Tom's Instagram feed and YouTube videos are a joy to behold because he is just so.damn.enthusiastic about all the things he loves and enjoys. Not only that, he has found a wife & lifepartner who shares his enthusiasm, and together, they are passing that onto their two boys. 

In today's world, Tom's indestructible joy about the things he cares about is something that makes my heart really really happy.

Since 2004, seeing McFly in concert has been on my bucket list. As we've all gotten older, I was afraid that maybe my chance had passed and they wouldn't tour again. This year, they announced a tour scheduled to take place in June, when I wasn't able to take time off. But it seems fate, in the form of a herniated disk, was on my side when Harry injured himself and the tour was postponed. 

Somehow, I didn't put two and two together (drumming is probably not a great idea when one of the discs in your spine isn't where it's supposed to be, huh?), and simply took a few days off in September. I was trying to figure out where to go, idly scrolling through Instagram one evening, when I came across one of Harry's images which mentioned "getting ready for the tour in September". This was followed by the most frantic two minutes of my life where I simultaneously tried to google tour dates, book flights, and buy tickets, all while shaking violently from excitement.

The result? 

On September 12th, I will be going to see McFly in Manchester. 

Just typing that makes me slightly dizzy with happiness. Nevermind that I'm paying way too much for accommodation because that also happens to be the weekend where ManU is playing ManCity (Go Zlatan!). Nevermind that I will be by myself, and that I don't really enjoy large crowds: 

I am going to see my favorite band in the entire world live, and you know what? I couldn't be anymore excited if I tried. And I don't give a damn who knows.