Sunday, April 27, 2014

This one time I liked... Jennette McCurdy.

In some ways, the internet can, for some people, be considered something of a time capsule. Every time you post a video or picture, write a comment, or even create a username, it's something you can look back on years later and reflect, laugh, and in some cases, cringe pretty hard. If there's one thing that gets a mix of all three of those out of me, it's the time from 2009-2011 when I had a crush on an actress/singer known as Jennette McCurdy.

Now, I've always been known for being very open about my celebrity crushes, but the vast majority of people that know me nowadays know me for my unending fondness towards dance pop superstar Lady Gaga. This is mainly because, well, I've had this crush on her since early 2009, but that doesn't mean nothing else happened in between then and now. For a while, I tried to remain quiet about my past with Jennette, but I think anyone that knows me deserves to hear this bizarre tale in all its "glory". So the following post will be a full and concise history of my involvement with Jennette McCurdy.

By the way, if you don't know who she is, she's mostly known for portraying the character Sam on the Nickelodeon sitcom, iCarly. She reprised this role on the less-successful spin-off series Sam & Cat, and also had a career in country music, producing one self-titled album. Considering this was almost five years ago, I'm naturally a bit hazy on how this all began. What I do remember is that it was Summer of 2009, during one fateful evening in a YouTube Stream with one of my best friends, Quinn. iCarly was in the middle of its second season, and Jennette had made her foray into country music with two singles a few months prior, with an album supposedly coming out in July.

At the time, I was still crushing pretty hard on the Gaga. I almost got to attend The Fame Ball Tour, and Paparazzi was right around the corner. Either he or one of his friends had added a video into the stream. I think it was an iCarly clip. I opened it in a new window and found one of Jennette's videos from her actual channel of her singing a cover of Adele's Right as Rain. I was instantly captivated. This was some love at first sight type shit. I don't even know what made me like her so much because it all happened so fast. There was no denying she looked great (I have a major attraction to fringe bangs, and hers rivaled even Gaga's signature 'do), and she had a great voice. Beyond that, she was very charismatic, modest, and unique among the Nick/Disney girls. I checked out the rest of her videos, and I was pretty love-drunk for the rest of the day. I remember sitting there in this hypnotic state staring intently at this picture of her while listening to the instrumental of Mariah Carey's Touch My Body on repeat.

I read up a few things on her and found out she was only 3 months older than me (which was surprising, looking at her you'd think she was younger) and I figured, while iCarly was already a pretty popular show, people knew it more than they knew her, and somehow by that logic I had a shot with her. I initially didn't tell anyone this aside from Quinn and my other good friend Amanda because I saw them as trustworthy and they wouldn't laugh at me for it. As the Summer went on, I got more and more obsessed with the actress and would talk about her with my friends nonstop. More and more people naturally learned of my plans and naturally joked with me a bit, but they all seemed to find my crush cute or endearing and ultimately supported me on my new "quest".

I had started doing freestyle raps about her and was originally going to record one but never got a camera or anything. I stayed up many a night that Summer private messaging Quinn and a few other people talking about Jennette nonstop and all the stuff we were going to do together and how I was gonna invite all my friends and have double dates and all these other wild dreams. I made a video for her 17th birthday in late June using this really simple website called Animoto in the vein that she might see it one day. As luck would have it, about 10 days later, I got a notification at around 1am that she'd left a comment on it. Needless to say I was fucking ecstatic.

From there on out, we talked quite a bit through YouTube's private message system, and she replied to my comments on most of her other videos and even left a few on my channel. It wasn't anything huge to me, but it was still a big-confidence booster to be conversing with her already after it had been less than a month since I started liking her. It made me truly believe that this could happen. I also bought her a rather expensive ring that I planned to give her. At several points during that Summer, random people on YouTube and RuneScape mistook me for Nathan Kress because we had the same first name.

Keep in mind, I had to keep this whole thing a secret from my family, which was no easy task. I was initially pretty subtle about the whole thing, but as time went on, I pretty much dedicated my whole YouTube channel to her. Sigh. The rest of '09 went pretty much the same way, and she even emailed me wishing me a happy birthday, which was pretty awesome. I met two people, Jake and Jeremy, who also had crushes on her, so we started something of a friendly competition and supported each other quite a bit. Jake wasn't as serious about it as I was, but Jeremy and I would talk about her nearly every day on Yahoo IM from November to March.

I also made two other videos for her using Animoto, and I think she noticed them, but they didn't get very popular. I originally planned to meet her in person during the holiday season of that year, but it proved difficult without telling my parents since I couldn't drive yet and the plans fell through. After the new year, I attempted to set up meeting her in February, but that never happened either. As 2010 went on, she contacted me less and less, but I tried as hard as I could not to let my spirits get down. She sent me a couple of messages on MySpace in Feburary, but that was about it for a while.

Nothing of interest happened for the rest of the first half of 2010 that I can recall, but I started to get really depressed because of all the sudden changes happening in March/April of that year. One of my best friends, Craig, was quitting Xbox Live, another friend, Jack, was acting really strange and not himself and trying to replace me with a new friend, and Jeremy randomly stopped liking Jennette. I made a few more videos for her later that year, including one as an entry to a contest for her 18th birthday, which I didn't win. Anyways, the following Summer, I temporarily moved to my mom's house to take care of my sick cat, and met a girl named Kristen on YouTube.

She was one of the contest winners and she had suggested that I join Twitter. I had heard of the site back in '09 but didn't want to join it because I honestly thought it was a dumb idea. However, she ended up convincing me to join by telling me that Jennette would often send her followers direct messages. Since she hadn't contacted me in a while at the time, I decided to give it a shot. The first few months on Twitter were honestly a lot of fun. It was a very chill and fun environment and I met a lot of cool people. It almost felt like going to a bar to wind down the day and hang out with all the regulars. It gave me a chance to socialize since I wasn't going to public school at the time.

I managed to get Jennette to tweet me a few days after I made my profile, but I still wanted to try to get her to DM (direct message) me. I think it was at this point that I truly started to descend and lose my sanity bit by bit. I had nothing else to do, so all my time on Twitter was spent tweeting Jennette left and right in hopes of getting that message. Month after month went by, and it just wasn't happening, and I was naturally starting to have second thoughts about this whole endeavor. The fact was, I felt that I was in too deep to turn back now. I couldn't talk about anything without someone bringing her into the conversation even when I was trying to avoid it. It was all I was known for. My YouTube channel at this point was plastered with images of her and paragraphs about how much I loved her.

November was the worst of it. Several of my friends were getting DMs from Jennette and publicly bragging about it while I was not. It even happened one time while my friend Allen was over and we were watching Fanboys, and I had to choke back the tears. I had a one-track mind. All I could do was think about getting that DM. I cried almost every day that month because my desperation and repeated failures made me look like some kind of stalker that I'm not, and when I asked my friends for help, they told me to stop bitching and shut the fuck up. I privately messaged my friend Peter telling him I was going to kill myself and probably would've if I didn't have the Assassin's Creed series to cheer me up at the time. The last thing I ever received from Jennette was a generic "Thank you" tweet for something I sent her.

After half a year of zero success with what seemed like a simple goal, I deleted my Twitter account in January and pretty much said fuck everyone on there. For the first few months of 2011, I tried in vein to keep my love for Jennette alive, but it was very clear that I was fighting a losing battle at this point. I was honestly done caring. I really shouldn't have felt any ill will toward Jennette herself. Being fair to her, she was much busier in 2010 than she had been in '09 because she was on tour and doing mostly free concerts, which is a shitton of work.

Regardless, what was once a cute, innocent, fun endeavor had spiraled out into a desperate, sad struggle. I had no idea what type of shit I was getting into when I made my decision back in '09. I found out that she was coming to Texas to do a free concert and decided I'd make one final all-or-nothing effort. As you might've guessed, this never happened either. I tried to get my mom to take me, but I froze up when I tried to ask her. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. My computer died in April of 2011 and I spent six months away from the internet, barring Xbox Live. During this time, I thought hard about everything.

I had gone back to public school a few months prior and met two wonderful girls, Taylor and Isabella. I started listening to the radio more since I couldn't listen to music on my PC and found out Lady Gaga was releasing Born This Way. 97.5 was playing a ton of her old songs, and all the great memories of her flooded back to me instantly. I started dreaming about her more, and after hearing the masterpiece that was The Edge of Glory, I decided I'd been crushing on the right Lady from the start. After almost two years, it was time to put my involvement with Jennette McCurdy behind me, and I was okay with that.

I returned to the internet in September of 2011, broke the news of my decision to everyone (much to their collective shock and awe) and, like a lot of guys are with their exes, I was initially somewhat bitter towards Jennette. I made a new Twitter and trolled a large amount of her fanbase (to be fair, it wasn't to be mean to her, her fanbase is just really easily trolled), and mocked her for taking four years to release her album. It was clear I was spiteful and probably salty about the whole thing. A few months later, I'd put my mean-spiritedness behind me when I met Lydia Winters. No one I know really talks about the whole thing anymore, and I think that's for the best.

As for Jennette, it's clear that she's changed drastically from the girl I fell in love with in '09. Her general appearance has altered quite a bit, as she dresses in a less unique fashion and wears considerably more makeup. She lost most of her interest in music, as she left her record label not long after releasing her only album, and while she still has a great voice and does YouTube covers, they're only of generic, boring mainstream pop songs from artists like One Direction and Miley Cyrus, and don't measure up to the old "mebesinging" videos of yesteryear. She's considerably more vulgar and "edgy" than she used to be and just has an almost completely different personality. It's not like I expected her to be this perfect, wholesome role model all her life, but I think she had her points where she tried too hard to be edgy just for the sake of doing it, like Bob Saget when he was trying to distance himself from Full House. She still acts, but hasn't done anything outside of Nickelodeon and seems like she only wants to be famous on Twitter and Vine these days. It's sad to see her so different than she was, but the recent years haven't been kind to her. Her mother passed away in 2013 and from what she's said on Twitter, Nickelodeon treated her like utter shit, which she didn't deserve. In fact, after a lot of drama with the producers as well as on set, she left the channel for good. I don't follow her very closely at all like I used to, but it seems like she's lost a lot of her old ambition. I don't know, everybody grows up, I guess.

[Edit 1/13/15] So, something I feel the need to mention since making this post. I briefly mentioned her music a few times here. While I was browsing TVTropes, I found a podcast she did with Nerdist. According to what she said on it, she apparently not only has no plans to release any more music, but hated her music career and resents it. I'm honestly not sure what to think of this. On one hand, I think she hated the touring and how her management handled things more so than the actual process of writing and singing music. Apparently, her label forced her to mention it in almost every interview and generally told her what to say in them as well as during concerts. It's pretty stupid how they outright told her to explicitly state that she "grew up listening to country music" when she didn't. On the other hand, hearing this revelation disappoints me even more. It's mesmerizing to look at her old videos circa 2009 where she seemed so genuinely happy to promote her debut album, and how much energy and uniqueness the songs themselves had. I refuse to believe that all of that was just stuff her label was telling her to do/say. Again, I feel like she (at least at one point) blurred the line between trying to move on from her "teen star" phase and being outright fake, but whatever.

All in all, my failed quest for a relationship with Jennette McCurdy is both an old shame of mine and a learning experience that has, at the very least, made me stronger. I still think she's a wonderful actress and singer, and hope she acts in mainstream movies one day and maybe even releases another country album. Until then, I'll always remember this strange experience and direct anyone who asks to this very post. ~

"Sweetie-pie, does this dress make my ass look fat?