Upon expressing my discontent on my private Facebook about a hotel in Cambridge MA for their treatment of Lady Gaga fans, including myself, earlier today before she launched her charity foundation, I was met with the lovely comment pictured. Aside from the atrocious grammar/punctuation and the fact that this person used to be a good friend, I found myself getting angry about not only the assumption of how I acted today, but how fanatics in general act.
How come because people picture in their minds the activities of a fanatic, they have to automatically paint a negative photo of us? How is it one person’s right to judge the actions of others when they weren’t there and aren’t hurting anyone?
Would you like to know how Wednesday the 29th went down for myself a maybe a little over a dozen of my Lady Gaga fan friends, or “Little Monsters”? We started the day after initial greetings amongst us running into Gaga’s mother Cynthia on the street about a block away from the hotel. Everyone humbly said “hello”, she said thanks for coming out and supporting the charity they were launching, and she was on her way. No one screamed in her face, no one begged her for a photo, no one gave her something and asked her to bring it to Gaga – we enjoyed the moment.
We then decided to go wait on the sidewalk outside of the hotel along the trees in such a manner that we weren’t blocking the sidewalk and so that we were partially blocked from the wind. Shortly afterwards, we were asked nicely to just go across the street to the other sidewalk and we graciously said sure. While there, we were approached by media members from Harvard University to talk about Lady Gaga and her foundation, and they were wonderful. They genuinely cared about our story as fans and also our perspective on what the charity is about. They took photos, asked for our names and said we were the most enjoyable subjects they ever came across.
As a lot of time went on and it began to snow, it looked like Gaga’s convoy was getting ready to head out and she may come out of the hotel, so we moved back over to the sidewalk since other gawkers had accumulated as well. Shortly after, we were met again by someone different who in a more stern manner said “the manager wants you guys not in front of our hotel”, which was a bit more brash than earlier just being asked to go across the street. After a half hour, a friend said he was going to go in to buy us all hot coffee because wet snow was falling faster, but at the door was stopped and told he couldn’t go in. When he asked why because he was intending on purchasing coffee inside, he was told “not if you’re with that group.”
When our friend related this to us, I was so hurt. What had my friends and I done? We were not blocking entrances or sidewalks outside the hotel, we didn’t go in to try and find her room, we were not loud (we as Gaga fans agree that no one wants to be screamed in the face of, so if Gaga came out, we always say to each other “no screaming”), and we certainly weren’t a dirty, disheveled group. As the snow continued to fall, a new crew found us, along with a photographer for the Boston Herald, to interview/photograph us and agreed that we were a very nice group of kids and that they hoped Gaga would come out for us.
Eventually two women from the hotel came over after the news crew was gone and brought over umbrellas with their logo on it for us to keep the snow off us. While this seemed like a nice gesture, though futile because we were soaked from the snow from hours earlier, they made it clear we were to give the umbrellas back “whenever you decide to leave” and they snapped unauthorized photos of us with the umbrellas from across the street for promotional use. To add insult to injury, we found out through one of our fan friends that Gaga was already at the event and that she had left the hotel quite a while ago. The umbrellas had been given to us for their promotional use after Gaga was already gone.
Suffice it to say, other than seeing friends, it was an exhausting, painful, disappointing day and it’s sad when you go looking for sympathy from people you think are your friends to be met with pure cynicism and judgement. If you don’t know someone, whether your friend is a fanatic and you are not, a friend practices a religion you don’t, or your friend is on the opposite side of the political spectrum, don’t make judgements of others. If you have nothing nice to say, follow the golden rule and take the high road. Keeping this in mind will help us all “build a braver, kinder world”.