Why I love Justin Bieber


Justin Bieber is a 15-year-old pop star. Were he to walk though my kitchen right now, wearing a sign around his neck that reads I AM JUSTIN BIEBER, THE 15-YEAR-OLD POP STAR YOU’RE BLOGGING ABOUT, I still wouldn’t recognize him. Hell, pretty boy teen pop stars come and go like the fierce winter winds—think Ralph Tresvant, think Jordan Knight, think David Cassidy, think Aaron Carter. They arrive, girls scream, they fade, they go broke, they turn to crack, they hold up a liquor store, they wind up giving hand jobs on street corner in St. Louis, they go to rehab, they star in a Behind the Music, they make a comeback album (“I’ve never felt better about music!”), they sell seven copies, they vanish again.

I digress. This morning I read a profile of Justin Bieber in the New York Times. Ninety-eight percent of the piece disgusted me. Bieber is always on his cell phone, his mother believes Jesus has led him to this point (and, literally, asked her church for permission for him to pursue this career), he ignores the girls who scream his way and—worst of all—Justin+Bieber+Justinhe has, literally, a “swagger coach” to pick out his clothing and teach him to act like a pop star.

But then, from deep within this steaming pile of manure, there existed a nugget of gold: [Bieber] brandished his hunter’s cap: “Marshall’s!” he shouted. “Eight dollars!”

And, with that, I am Justin Bieber’s biggest fan.

Can me cheap, call me sad, call me pathetic—but I am a huuuuuge Marshall’s guy. H-u-g-e. Why, just three days ago I took two hours out of my since-ended family vacation to visit the Marshall’s on PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. A whopping $125.43 later, I exited the store with:

• A $6 Miami Dolphins baseball cap. (retail price: $22)

• A $20 purple, thick, long-sleeve shirt (retail price: $50)

• A $20 Perry Ellis blue-and-white dress shirt (retail price: $60—admittedly, it was marked “Last season.” But how does that impact me?)

• A $20 short-sleeve Cuban-styled dress shirt (retail price: $45)

• Two $6 pairs of headphones (retail price for each, $12-$15)

• A $7.99 maroon Florida State T-shirt (retail price: $15—but I’m sorta worried this one will shrink. It was made in Honduras and is 100% cotton)

• A $2.50 wood bird (I’m not sure of the retail price. Whenever I visit my mother in law, I always buy the ugliest household good I can find at Marshall’s and place it somewhere in her house).

• A $20 red Miami Heat workout shirt (retail price: $50)

There were a few other things that are slipping my mind. Point is, Marshall’s truly offers brand names for less. much less. As a kid, as the other parents would take their children to the Gap or Macy’s for back-to-school shopping, Mom would drag my brother and I through Marshall’s, digging beneath mounds of discounted, slightly yellowed clothes like an otter after a nut. David hated the process, but I was intrigued by it. The hunt … the search.

So God bless Justin Bieber. You’re the man.