One of my funniest and at the same time most confusing fangirl moments was at last year’s Fedcon XXI in Düsseldorf when I turned down Nicholas Brendon’s (best known for his role as Xander Harris in Joss Whedon’s iconic series Buffy – The Vampire Slayer) marriage proposal.
Marriage proposal, you ask?
Well, it all started with one of the most embarrassing moments I’ve witnessed (in German we call it „fremdschämen“ – that’s when you’re embarrassed for somebody else’s behavior) ever since I started going to conventions. It was at the Q&A panel of Richard Dean Anderson (RDA) when a female fan asked RDA whether he knew why everyone thought he was so hot. He replied he didn’t, especially since he had gained quite some weight. RDA also mentioned that his back was shot, which made the fan say „I’ll take care of you“, followed by „Will you marry me?“ You could hear a collective moan of embarrassment of the audience…
Now, you’re probably wondering what this story has to do with Nicholas Brendon? Well… On the next day there was his Q&A panel and since in the beginning nobody seemed to have any question, I thought I should ask one to break the silence. Since I couldn’t really come up with a Buffy-related question (shame on me – being such a huge fan of this show!), I asked him whether he saw any difference between American and German/European fans. He did say what we all wanted to hear: that European fans are much more polite and that 80 percent of Americans are like Texans (huge laughs!). As a follow-up question I wanted to ask whether something like the proposal that we had witnessed the day before was „common“ on conventions held in the US. So I started to explain what had happened at RDA’s Q&A, when Nicholas interrupted and asked „So, now YOU want to marry me?“ I shouted „NO!!!!“, after which he complained that I didn’t have to react as if he had asked whether he could „go poo-poo“ on my belly. He pretended to be very upset with my extreme „refusal“… Everyone burst into laughter – and boy, I did, too, but I felt quite embarrassed at the same time! After some more teasing he did somehow answer my question, I just don’t really remember what he said…
That alone was, of course, I quite memorable encounter, but that was only the funny part – the confusing part was still to come.
Later that evening my friends and I were walking through the hotel lobby, heading towards the underground parking, when I saw Nicholas – or Nicky, as he had introduced himself at the Q&A – walk through the lobby a few steps ahead of us, alone! I felt I had to „get closure“ about our little „chat“ at the Q&A and called out his name. He turned around and I approached him and said „Hey, that wasn’t fair earlier!“ It took him a few seconds to realize who I was and what I was talking about and then came towards me and said, „But it was fun, wasn’t it?“ giving me a big hug. As if that wasn’t enough, he spoke into my ear, „I would marry you, though!“ Then he turned and started to walk away, For a second there I was frozen but then I called after him: „You know, if I wasn’t already involved with someone…“ He replied: „Come and find me when you’re not.“
Whoah! To be clear: I hadn’t been as big of a fan of Nicky Brendon as I am, for instance, of Alex O’Loughlin, or, to stay within the Buffyverse, of James Marsters. But to have ANY man tell you they’d marry you, let alone someone you’ve seen on TV for years, does make you a bit weak in the knees… Granted, he surely didn’t mean much by it, but it confused me enough to consequently dream about him (seemingly) all night. I think in my dreams he asked me to come live with him in L.A., which I declined again (silly me!), since I couldn’t imagine to live there (it’s my least favorite American city).
It took me quite a while to stop thinking about him hugging me and saying these words, even though he did seem to ignore me on at least one occasion after this encounter, which – stupidly – sort of hurt me. Don’t get me wrong: of course, thinking about it rationally, I knew he hadn’t been serious, but, emotionally, I felt so close to him after this meeting that I felt hurt because it seemed as if he was avoiding running into me again.
Still, it remains one of my most intense fangirl moments and whenever I see Nicholas Brendon on TV, I feel a little special because I publicly rejected wanting to marry him – and he privately told me he would marry me.