Skirting the Issue - The day Matt Goss followed me

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Dear readers, all my dreams have come true. Following last Friday’s column in which once I expressed by deep and profound love for 80s singer Matt Goss he finally came to his senses and got in touch with me.

Yes, on Monday night, while slightly fevered with the flu I woke and checked e-mails on my phone. And there it was - a Twitter notification. “Matt Goss is now following you”. This was enough for me to nudge the husband awake from his sleep and make my apologies. “You do know that Matt Goss is on the list,” I told him as I sat grinning on the bed. “I’m allowed to leave you for him and you can’t even complain, not even once,” I said. The husband smiled (I believe he thinks he was humouring me, even though I have rarely been more serious about anything in my life, ever) and rolled back over and tried to go back to sleep. That was until my phone beeped to life again and notifying me that Matt Goss had sent me a private message on Twitter.

Finally, I knew, he had realised that no one ever had, or ever would love him as much as I did. Even 25 years after our first encounter (him on Going Live, me in my mammy’s house...) I still remembered his middle name, his favourite colour, his date of birth, his favourite song and his favourite food. I wondered had all those hours of writing “I love Bros” over and over and over again onto A4 sheets of paper which cost a fortune to post to Going Live finally worked? If my sheer dedication to Bros-dom (by still buying their albums even after Craig left and they weren’t as good as they used to be and defending them even when I was 16 and should know better) had finally hit the mark?

My heart soared and I opened the e-mail (although I am duty bound not to reveal the contents of said message to the wider public) and saw that Matt Goss - the very real and true to God Matt Goss was saying hello to me.

Suddenly I was 14 again - and sadly I was a pretty geeky 14 year old. So I did the Twitter equivalent of standing in the middle of a room, jumping up and down and squealing out of me crying in a slightly hysterical teenage fashion. I sent a stuttering response along the lines of “I love you” and have cringed with shame ever since. It seems you see that I’m just no good talking to people who I admire greatly. And I’m downright useless at talking to people I dreamed of marrying when I was 13. (Our first dance would have been to ‘Everything I Do’ by Bryan Adams just so as you know and my imaginary wedding dress was a big, horrendous meringue affair I saw in a magazine).

There is no doubt that if you park me in front of a hero - even if it is a long gone obsession - I become an eejit. The eloquent writer in me dries up to the point that sentences rarely make sense. I become tongue-tied. I overthink everything and wonder if I’ll come across as witty or cheeky, smart or arrogant, caring or lick-arsey. I live in great fear of sounding sycophantic (which I think was definitely the case with the “Love you” tweet to Matt Goss).

And it’s not just Matt Goss who turns me into a bumbling idiot. While Twitter is a brilliant way to connect with friends and people you admire, it can also paralyse you with fear on a regular basis. As a writer, I love connecting with other writers. And Twitter has allowed me to forge friendships or at least acquaintances with people I’ve been reading for years.

But as these people are my heroes I want them to like me. I want them to think “That Claire Allan one is a lovely sort isn’t she? So witty and wise and I’d love to invite her over for tea and scones.” Instead Twitter paralyzes me with such fear that my responses can sometimes be stuttery and smacking of “trying too hard” - and then when trying to explain what I really meant I can then come across as desperate.

While Twitter allows you to listen in and take part in conversations with people you would not normally converse with, it can sometimes make you feel like that awkward mingler at the party, standing on the sidelines, laughing along even though you don’t quite get the joke and trying to think of something witty to say which will garner a response not akin to tumbleweed rolling down an empty street.

It is probably fair to say then than on Twitter, just as in real life declarations to virtual strangers of love and obsession may not go down all that well. It may make you come across as a madzer.

And while my mini-fling with Matt Goss will be something I talk about for years and embellish wildly to friends, family, strangers at bus stops and people who come into the ‘Journal’ on work placement (sorry John), it is probably fair to file it away now under things which make me a feel a bit cringey.

Unless of course he responds to tell me he loves me too - and that he wrote ‘Are You Mine?’ (Bros uber ballad, circa 1989) just for me. In which case, bags will be packed, the husband will be dumped like a wet rag and I’ll be changing my Twitter name to @mrsmattgoss. Why not follow me?