1. Wearing heels.
The first lesson I learned is that no one knows where the hell the ACTUAL entrance to the VMAs is. You know how you see the celebs casually strolling the red carpet and then relaxing inside? That wasn’t me as a guest at the VMAs. I had to park no less than a mile from the venue and walk across barren parking lots with tumbleweeds until I found a group of people who seemed to know where they were going.
2. Following the crowd.
Once I made it through the barren parking lots, I began to follow the large crowd. I was already sweating at this point and seriously wondering why I had thought wearing heels was a good idea. Next thing I knew, I realized we were walking away from the venue. WHERE WERE WE GOING? Was it a secret side entrance with a carpet and air-conditioning awaiting us? Nope. It was the Maroon 5 stage outside, in the sun, in another parking lot.
3. Wearing my hair down.
After realizing the crowd let me astray, I walked approximately 24 miles back across parking lots until I found someone who seemed to ACTUALLY know what was going on. She informed me that I needed to stand in line. I looked at the line and began to silently cry while dreaming of my couch at home. It was at least 300 people deep. In the California sun. On pavement. I slowly made my way to the back. As I walked, my scalp began to shed tears of sweat. The sweat made its way through my curls. My curls became limp and sad.
4. Not bringing food.
Spoiler alert: There’s no buffet inside the VMAs. :( I looked, I searched, I scoured. I was dreaming of ice cream, hors d’oeuvres, maybe a fruit platter. There was nothing. NOTHING. I eventually found some concession stands that sold popcorn and hot dogs, but they cost more than my rent, so I went on to find my seat, hungry, dreaming of In-N-Out.
5. Not preparing myself for the Nicki Minaj acts.
In all fairness, I’m not sure it’s possible to prepare yourself for the vision that is Nicki Minaj, but I damn well should have tried, because by the end of “Anaconda,” I was peeling myself off the floor.
6. Asking the teen next to me who 5SOS is.
UNACCEPTABLE. Cardinal sin. I was no longer worthy of conversation after this. And she made sure I knew it, in between mutilating my eardrums as the band took the stage.
7. Not bringing extra deodorant.
I thought to myself, I applied four coats, I’m golden. But I was wrong. Because after making it inside, three of my four coats were gone with my sweat and overall dignity. And I was about to see Usher in the flesh, and my body was not ready.
8. Using up my phone battery.
I was bored waiting in line, bored waiting for the show to start, and before I knew it, Beyoncé was on stage and my phone was at less than 5%.
9. Asking the workers if there was an outlet somewhere.
Yeah, there is, for the EQUIPMENT needed to run the awards show. Not for me and my phone so that I could record every single moment that Ariana Grande graced us with her presence. I had to ask, though.
10. Trying to get a solid picture.
Taylor Swift is up there SHAKIN’ IT OFF, and I spent half my time during the performance trying to get a solid picture. It proved to be nearly impossible as I finally realized she was performing for the TV audience, not for me, in the audience, hoping to become her new BFF.
11. Asking someone taking a selfie if they want me to take their picture.
They don’t. They want to take a selfie, and I just interrupted their selfie and drew attention to the fact that they were taking one. They slowly shake their head no, and walk away, as to not spend anymore time around the girl who doesn’t understand selfies. I learned my lesson and sat back down to calculate how many minutes until Beyoncé came out on stage.
12. Wearing eye makeup even though I knew Sam Smith was going to be performing.
::cries within 10 seconds::
I had tears streaming down my face, but it’s OK, no one even noticed because they were too busy being enchanted by Sam’s voice. Next time, though, I’ll go easy on the mascara.
13. And not bringing Kleenex even though I knew Beyoncé was the last act.
Biggest rookie mistake of the night. Beyoncé came, saw, and destroyed all of our hearts simultaneously. Tears were shed, feelings were felt, and none of us will ever be the same. I still have not recovered.
- Bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds began freezing large swathes of the U.S. Northeast ❄️