Mandi Bierly
April 27, 2010 AT 06:59 PM EDT

Image Credit: George Pimentel/WireImageJust reading about how in light of the Justin Bieber-mania in Sydney, which resulted in a canceled performance and minor injuries and fainting, officials at New Zealand’s Auckland Airport have already reportedly decided to add additional security for the 16-year-old’s arrival later this year. Makes sense. Well done. But it also got me wondering: Is being one of the masses to greet a pop star or celebrity (or camping out before a performance) worth it?

I grew up in rural central Pennsylvania — three hours from Philly, three hours Pittsburgh — so I missed out on the opportunity to crowd into the local mall for a performance or stake out a hotel. If my level of excitability today is anything to go on, I’m sure I would have. Especially if it was The Dukes of Hazzard‘s John Schneider, who, according to my mother, was my first concert. (Sadly, I don’t remember it, even though I insisted she take me.) Do these kinds of stories end in heartbreak or triumph?* When was the first time you camped out hoping to meet someone? When was the most recent?

* My friend Sheila has a framed 8 x 10 photo in her home (and a 3 x 5 in her cubicle) of the moment she met Duran Duran’s John Taylor at a signing in 1997, and it’s THE happiest I’ve ever seen her. She was no longer a tween, but she looked it.

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