We don't look like Hilary Duff fans. I'm a twentysomething tattooed white guy and my girlfriend Elizabeth, also twenty-something, is an art student specializing in surrealistic pop art. But we are die-hard Hilary Duff fans as in, fanatics. Most of our conversations are either leading to a Hilary reference or slowly drifting away from one. Some couples bicker over money; we debate the merits of Hilary as a blond or as a brunette. Before somebody tells us to grow up, hear us out it's not easy being an adult and a Hilary Duff fan at the same time. (All you adult fans of Harry Potter, I feel for you.)
Being a Duff fan is full of disappointment and broken dreams, tempered with small flashes of joy. We stood in line, amongst preteens and parents, after her two recent rodeo performances, waiting for her to come out and sign autographs. She never appeared. Disappointed, we drowned our sorrows with whiskey and wine over at Poison Girl. I'm sure we were the only ones who drowned their Hilary sorrows drinking in a bar that night; her other fans all went home and downed fruit roll-ups or chocolate milk.
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We have seen every one of her movies on opening day, and each time I was the only one in the theater sporting a beard. Her movies have nonexistent plots and feature at least one outrageous wardrobe montage, but we love them. We own each of her cinematic triumphs, including Material Girls, which for many people is the celluloid equivalent of a hate crime.
Besides every DVD and CD Hilary ever made, Elizabeth is now starting to add small electrical appliances to our collection. A company released a line of kid-friendly electric toothbrushes that transmit music into your skull through your teeth while you brush. Of course, Elizabeth had to buy the Hilary Duff one. And in a horrific turn of events, I now find Hilary on my iPod, sandwiched between my Stooges and Black Sabbath. I also know much more about the recording and production of her new album Dignity than any grown man should.
I have no defense for our mania. Maybe it's the fact that Hilary does the best with what she has, talentwise. Maybe her infectious smile and girl-next-door charm are just too hard to deny. Or maybe it's because she's really damn hot.
Yeah, that's probably it.