You can see part 1 and part 2 here and here.
One Christmas, many many years ago, when I was around age 11 or 12 I asked for a New Kids On The Block tape. (I'm not going to link to who they are, because if you don't know who they are then turn around and go back to the plant you came from.) Those boys were all the rage then and I was desperate for a tape so I could listen whenever I wanted to without waiting for the radio dj's to tell me it was time to hear The Right Stuff or Tonight or Hangin' Tough. There was no such thing as You Tube and I couldn't record live MTV back then. I must have asked a million times for this tape and my parents had to have known I was desperate for it.
I was so in love with NKOTB. Weren't most of the preteen and teenage girls in love with them? I'm sure I wasn't the only girl who tore out magazine pages and stapled and/or taped them up on my wall and even ceiling*?
I never did get to see them Boys in concert in person, but I remember my parents ordering a Pay Per View of a live concert. I gathered all my little girlfriends and we watched Joey with his smooth moves and Donnie with his baggy jeans tearing up the stage. I still have the VHS tape of that concert sitting with the rest of my ancient VHS tapes.
But back to that requested Christmas gift.
Christmas morning came around and as I opened presents I anxiously waited to get my tape that I'd requested. I knew it had to be in the pile of presents. It just had to be. And it was. I was so elated and couldn't wait to go in my room, shut the door and listen to it.
After we cleaned our wrapping paper mess and wished each other Merry Christmas I went away into my bedroom and popped my BRAND NEW! tape in my tape player. I remember laying in my bed listening to each song. It was like they were singing to me. Especially Joey, he was my favor tie. I could pick out his nasally, young kid voice in each song. I willed myself to cry because I knew that would make me a true fan. One that would stand the test of time. I would always be a loyal fan and I would ask for the NKOTB bed sheets and pillow cases because I was a real fan.
I'm mildly embarrassed to admit that I made myself cry to a NKOTB tape. But I remembered this story just yesterday and I've never ever admitted it to anyone. Much less the entire INTERNET.
You see, my 31st birthday is quickly approaching and one of my oldest friends, Juanita (Hi, Juanita!), brought me an early birthday gift and I bet you can guess what it was. It was the NKOTB greatest hits CD. I nearly fell on the floor laughing when I opened the gift and it reminded me of being a crazy pre teen/teenager who was NKOTB's biggest fan. As I drove home from work yesterday I put my new CD in the CD player and started jammin' to these songs. I made sure that when I pulled up next to someone on the road that I turned it down a tad because I didn't want someone to hear me listening to NKOTB. I guess that's not the measure of a true fan is it?
But I've had fun listening to my CD and being surprised with myself that I remember most of the words and I can still recognize Joey's, sorry Joe's, voice in each song. Even Jackson likes my new CD. He'll be mortified when he gets older to know that he was totally car seat dancing to Hangin' Tough.
* When I moved out of my parent's house at the age of 17 my brother and dad spent hours upon hours peeling tape off the walls and filling in holes from the staples. I hear they cursed me all the while.