Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Belieber FOMO


Web definitions

Fear of missing out.

I remember as a teenager, I'd be sitting at home with my family feeling really disgruntled and moody. While my parents generally chalked my grumpiness down to 'hormones gone crazy', one particularly grumpy sunny Saturday afternoon my dad, who - as a high school teacher - was particularly insightful when it came to dealing with adolescents, laughingly said,

"Oh shame, you feel like everyone is having more fun than you right now, isn't it?" I scowled at him, annoyed that he was teasing me, but even more annoyed that he was right. Funnily enough, until he'd said that, I hadn't known what the reason was for my misery on these occasions. But he had hit the nail right on the head - I always felt that, no matter where or with whom I was, other people were always having a more fun and exciting time.

It was only when I found myself feeling like this one New Years eve - in the middle of Long Street in Town surrounded by hundreds of people - that I realised I was nuts. Surely my suspicion that somewhere else - other than where I was in the midst of a street party in the heart of town - was the actual place to be, was a sign that my mental health might not be what it should.

But that was then - in my foolish youth. My priorities and values changed over the years - very considerably so. So imagine my surprise this afternoon as I headed into town to pick up the girls from their respective schools, when some of these old feelings and insecurities came rushing back at me. The highway on which I was travelling converged with the adjacent one, resulting in 5 lanes as one enters town. The 3 right lanes were meant for traffic which would turn right - toward the V&A Waterfront, Sea Point and Green Point (where the stadium - and the venue for the Justin Bieber concert is situated). The 2 left lanes were meant for traffic heading straight into town.

Image obtained here
Although I left home early in anticipation of a huge traffic mess, I still found myself crawling along next to the Beliebers. Or that is how my twisted little mind kept taunting me. I became convinced that all these happy (or so they seemed - not that I could really see into their cars in the rain) people heading to the right were heading to the concert to watch the most amazing event ever! Nevermind that I am in no way interested in JB (although his music is quite cool [ yes, I keep up]. Nevermind that my adolescent kids are not even interested in him and that he is pretty much a non-issue in our home. Sitting in the car I felt a flood of old familiar insanity. "Now Zubeida,  it's very unlikely that the Fidelity Guard armoured truck next to you is heading to the concert, " I tried to reason with myself. "And over there in the blue car - those 2 people don't even look very happy - even if they are heading to the concert. And look - it's raining!!!!!!!!!!!!"

But then all I could picture was thousands of exhilarated Beliebers dancing around in the rain - with no cares or concerns - while I stood preparing 5 packed lunches for tomorrow.

So the feeling is all too familiar - that of FOMO - the paranoia back then being brought on by the rollercoaster of adolescent hormones, while this time around it is more likely the result of the dwindling oestrogen associated with the onset of menopause. 

So, along with the thousands of 12 year old girls who did not get tickets, I sit here overwhelmed by my FOMO, dreading tomorrow when the whole of Cape Town will be gushing about how amazing tonight was and how it was the best concert to be held at Green Point Stadium since Michael Jackson (not that there's any comparison, says the die-hard MJ fan in me).

But, seriously, I do hope that all the girls and boys (and my 31 year old sister in law) enjoy the concert. I know I certainly would have.

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