✓ Goal #91) Meet Marilyn Manson

It’s a day I thought would never come.

I’ve been listening to Marilyn Manson’s music for more than half of my life. The influence that’s had is profound. It’s taught me to be open-minded to ideas that are inconsistent with my own and to be tolerant of people who are “different.” Marilyn Manson gave me permission to follow my own path and the courage to be myself, whatever that meant at the moment.

My life has gone through many phases … from goth to glam, prep to punk.

These phases were my path to self-discovery. And if not for the strength I found in Manson’s music, I would’ve buckled to the pressure and harassment of my peers for being different. For wearing spiked collars and black nail polish. White lipstick and holographic shirts…

Or Abercrombie at a Marilyn Manson concert.

His influence wasn’t only in the clothes I wore but also in the way I thought about life. I refused to follow the trends, and I became critical of our society. I wouldn’t allow myself to become another mindless sheep. Listening to Manson’s music pushed me to think for myself and to question authority. And that’s exactly what I did.

It wasn’t always easy and I made a lot of mistakes. But I’m a better person today for having been allowed to explore my individuality. Without the influence of Marilyn Manson, there’s no doubt I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. A little older, my “battles” are different, but I still refuse to follow the herd. I do what I want with my life, not what’s expected (and trust me, the older you get, the more expectations there are.) I no longer dress in spikes or wear lipstick but the attitude remains. I’m me … so fuck off!

One night there was a post on Marilyn Manson’s Facebook page about a book signing in Hollywood. The flights were expensive and I talked myself out of going. As much as I wanted to meet him, it didn’t seem reasonable to fly halfway across the country for a handshake and an autograph.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. If I didn’t go I’d have huge regrets. So I booked a flight to LA for the next morning and packed my backpack.

Holy shit!

I was going to meet Marilyn Manson!

When I got to the bookstore, the line was filled with all types of people … from goths to girls dressed in miniskirts. Some were covered in tattoos, while others had none. There was blue hair, pink hair, grey hair. Platform boots, high heals, high-healed platforms. Despite our differences, we were all united in Marilyn Manson impacting our lives in some way. Listening to other people talk, I heard stories exactly the same as my own.

“If it wasn’t for Manson…”

As the people shuffled in to meet him, it wasn’t the “freak show” I’d expected it to be. People weren’t groveling or trying to attack him. Most people just shook his hand, exchanged a few words and smiled a lot.

You’d think after fifteen years, I’d know exactly what I’d say when I met him. I didn’t have a clue. He’s heard a million times how he’s changed people’s lives and when I was standing in front of him, all I could think to say was “It’s nice to meet you.” He looked at me, smiled, and said “It’s nice to meet you, too.” We shook hands, he signed my book and shook hands again. I had my picture taken with him and I moved on.

After the signing was the premiere of his new video, “Born Villian.” Watching a Marilyn Manson video with Marilyn Manson is an experience that cannot compare to anything, and it’s a night I won’t soon forget.

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