The H50 Champ Box proudly presents a fangirl story by @fangirlsage:
What Andrea_Briz did not tell you about her trip to Hawaii was that the true highlight, outside of getting smiled at by Ian Anthony Dale, was getting to meet with a fellow fangirl: me. Live and in person.
With shave ice.
Let’s back up a minute, shall we?
I have never been involved in a fandom before I joined the ranks of those who love Hawaii Five-0.
Well, OK, so I was pretty devoted to Buffy back in the day, but “tweeting” about an episode involved getting on the telephone (remember those?) with a friend and either watching simultaneously or calling right after it ended to gush.
Later, once I discovered that Tom and Lorenzo were recapping Project Runway and analyzing the costumes on Mad Men, I became smitten with the idea that the internets could really enhance my watching of TV.
I was watching Hawaii Five-0 and having , well, feeeelings. I needed people to talk to; there was just too much to look at, talk about and laugh at! Then I found Sardonic (Maha is Preeeteee!). There they were: my people. They were funny, smart and really liked the show. After reading just a few recaps, I aspired to FUCUPhood. As an extrovert, I assumed it would be OK to just start commenting and joking, but as a former high school nerd, old feelings of insecurity crept up.
While the jury is still out on whether I am cool enough to be a proper FUCUP, I barged right in and started watching Hawaii Five-0 with friends: friends from all over the world, friends who love Alex O’Loughlin and who also care about the characters, friends who have rapier wits and, frankly, lots of time on their hands. As much as I have enjoyed these new friends, though, it occurred to me what an odd kind of friendship it is. Why? Some of them I only know by WordPress or Twitter handle. Most of whom I have no idea what they look like, what they do for a living, or how they worship or play. It’s weird, you know? Because of Hawaii Five-0, I know people, and yet don’t really know them.
But then I found out that the Champ Box’s own Andrea_Briz was going to be in Hawaii at the same time my family was going to be there. Oh sh/t! This provided an existential fandom dilemma. Should we meet in person? Should we let Real Life and Fan Life cross over? If I suggest it will I be perceived to be a stalker? Will she want to make her holiday all about H50?
What the hell. I went for it. After some DMs, that led to emails, we discovered that not only would we be on Oahu at the same time, but we would be staying in roughly the same part of the island. Our local beaches were on the same bay, for crying out loud. It was meant to be.
In the spirit of our beloved Show, we decided to meet for shave ice on the North Shore.
Laden with gifts from my hometown, dragging NotMcG and JuniorSage along, I arrived at the shave ice place strangely nervous but pretty excited. (Would we find anything to talk about? Would our families die from embarrassment? Could, by the force of sheer want, make Steve and Danno appear?) And there, in the parking lot was Andrea_Briz and her beautiful family. We talked for a long time about things we loved—Hawaii Five-0, baseball, shopping—right there in the parking lot, before we even ventured to the shave ice counter. And ever after, it was like that. We could always find something to talk about.
We prolonged our time together by walking around Haleiwa, and Andrea and I talked, while the spouses and kids made small talk. After dragging everyone around for a couple of hours, we decided to move to a beach park so we could keep talking, and they could all play. But they didn’t go and play, actually. The teenagers hung around, as if what we were talking about was actually interesting, and the spouses, despite, perhaps, a little annoyance at having to take time from swimming and hiking to talk about TV, actually seemed to get along.
It turns out that Andrea_Briz is thoroughly wonderful. She is generous and smart, earnest and kind. We talked about loving Alex O’Loughlin and loving the show. We talked about Danny—because, you know, I love him—and finding filming locations around Oahu. We discussed blog maintenance and the fact the Twitter is odd, especially when multiple time zones are involved. We also talked about how Show didn’t seem to be quite as great as it used to be and yet not wanting to give up on it because of the community we suddenly found ourselves amidst.
And suddenly we found ourselves able to talk about non H50 topics –gasp!—like education in our respective countries, and raising kids, and baseball, in all its glory. There came a point at which my 3-and-a-half year-old son needed to get bundled in the car and home for dinner, so without even a question, we made plans to meet again.
That dessert date was also wonderful, and again we managed to talk about every subject under sun, including thornier topics like immigration and politics, which we discussed with grace and humor. We even managed to talk a little about her son’s first heartbreak, much to his chagrin, I expect, and through it all, we managed to close the restaurant down. It was only when they started stacking chairs that we realized it might be time for us to go.
This may have been as close to Steve McGarrett as I got, but loving Hawaii Five-0 wasn’t a total bust. (See what I did there?)
I will now always have a place to stay in Brisbane and at least two teenagers think I am kind of cool.
From Andrea_Briz (just butting in here):
Teen 1: “Sage is awesome.”
Teen 2: “I hope Sage didn’t think we were bored. That was a really interesting conversation.”
Oh! And I have a lovely new mate. Thanks, Briz!
A note from Andrea_Briz:
Thanks to fangirlsage for sharing her fangirl story. Thanks also to our mega-tolerant families for indulging us not once, but twice!
So McG and Danno did not magically appear out of the crowd. But we shared an amazing experience and it was very special that it happened in Hawaii. In Hawaii! For me, the barriers of geographic distance and ‘virtual’ friendship don’t seem as great now. Best of all, I had the chance to meet a fair dinkum bonza Sheila, all thanks to Hawaii 50.
PS: Apologies for the fangirl photo quality. We were too busy talking to think about photos 🙂