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Bieber Fever

It seemed to come from out of the blue. No symptoms one day. The next, full-blown fever. It’s infected every member of our household. And it keeps spreading. I’m waiting for the dog to get it.

Bieber Fever.

My 10-year-old and 14-year-old daughters have fallen for 16-year-old singer Justin Bieber.

They’ve downloaded nearly 20 of his songs, which they play the second they get home from school. “Baby,” “One Time” and “Somebody to Love” are on a loop.

I thought Peyton, the 14-year-old, would have been immune to such contagion. This is a girl who prides herself on her hip choices of music. “Mom, you know I really just like rap and alternative music.” Why, then, Justin Bieber? “He’s influenced by Tupac, Usher and Michael Jackson.” Peyton is not one of those girls who squeals; she’s sensible. But while she’s not exactly squealing, she’s made herself an expert on the subject. “Did you know he gets claustrophobic in elevators, just like me.”

Good to know. Of course, I now know even more. Full disclosure. I went with the girls last weekend (Peyton was seeing it for a second time) to see Never Say Never, the 3-D movie about Bieber. And guess what? Here’s another full disclosure: I actually enjoyed the movie. Seriously, Justin was quite likable. Adorable, actually.

I was impressed with his entourage. Unlike other younger super-stars, this kid is surrounded, from what I saw in the movie and read in Vanity Fair, by sensible handlers. I liked that his grandparents still tell him to clean his room when he visits. (Sure, this could have been a stunt for the cameras, but I’ll suspend my disbelief.) I also liked seeing how athletic he was. For a Canadian, he sure is all-American. Nice, too.

But who knows how long Biebermania will last in our household. It could be a 24-hour bug, or it could have mono-like staying power. Last night, I saw a glimpse of how fleeting the fascination might be--at least for a 10-year-old. Katherine saw a picture of his new hairdo online and yelped: “Oh, my God!!! I can’t believe it! WHAT. HAS. HE. DONE!!??”

I heard her plaintive wails and ran downstairs, thinking someone had just skinned a bunny.

“Justin Bieber cut his hair and it looks AWFUL!”

I looked at the picture. Hmmmm. He didn’t look quite as adorable, but he did look more mature. “He doesn’t look as cute,” Peyton announced. “But you know, he’s almost seventeen, so I guess he wanted to look older.”

Katherine disagreed. “His career is ruined.”

About an hour later, Bieber tunes were blaring through our house. And I’m still singing them in my head. “I will never say never...I will fight to forever...”

Help.