I seem to have some sort of problem talking to people I reall admire. I know I wrote about seeing Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre in a restaurant in Vancouver this summer, and recently I saw Nomy Lamm (who utterly and for the better changed my way of thinking about fat forever) on a bus, and I never said anything to any of them. Why? I'm afraid of sounding dumb, I guess. In the case of Nomy Lamm, I was particularly afraid of sounding dumb and then having to sit next to her on a bus for 20 more minutes. But seriously, these are people who changed my life. Shouldn't I be able to tell them so without feeling like an ass?
I particularly regret not speaking to Kathleen Hanna. I had several reasons (all figured out later while kicking myself in the car, but also halfway understood while it was happening) for not talking to her and Johanna: fear of sounding dumb, shock and something like fear from them showing up unexpectedly in the same damn restaurant as us, the fact that they had already sat down when we got up to leave, how we would just sound like every other fan they ran into and maybe they get a little tired of hearing the same thing over and over... And I've read some stuff Kathleen Hanna wrote about how she hates being seen as a star with fans, because that's a really weird power relationship, and I felt like I couldn't talk to her without being a fan, without telling her that her music was a huge force in my life, that listening to Le Tigre and Bikini Kill was one of the first political things I ever did. Which I'm sure in retrospect that she'd pobably appreciate, but at the time I was having a hard time reconciling it. So now, when I can't sleep at night, sometimes I lie awake and think (obsess, perhaps) about how damn it, I should have said something to them. How often do your role models, the people who inspire you, walk in while you're waiting for the check? Anna and I both froze a little, and as soon as we left we were both angry about it. I shouldn't still be dwelling, but I think that is probably something I will always regret and that is almost certainly not going to repeat itself.