Hangin’ Tough

Today, this has nothing to do at all with being a weightloss warrior or runner or anything. Today’s post is a result of last night’s activity that resulted in a subsequent day of couching, writing and iPad surfing and will also result in me crashing to sleep by 8:00 tonight because I was up until 4:AM last night and was on a ‘midnight’ potty trip at 6:30 this morning when Jude woke up. 🙂
Parenthood plus New Kids has me Hangin’ Tough.
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
{this is a direct copy from my family blog}
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Many many moons ago, when I was a young teenager, I was bitten by the boy band bug. It started innocently enough… My friend liked this band called New Kids, but I knew they weren’t for me. I was the kind of girl who ironically listened to Alabama, Neil Diamond, Elvis and Kenny Rogers alongside The Cure, Soft Cell, B-52’s and Pet Shop Boys. But my dirtiest secret was that I harbored a deep love of pop music. I regularly (secretly) listened to Madonna, George Michael, Whitney Houston and anything else they played on KUBE or K-PLUS. Anyhow, my friend, Theresa, played the New Kids for me and I decided that if I HAD to pick one I GUESSED it would be Donnie. I bought the poster. The rest is history.

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A few years ago the New Kids came around on tour. They were with the Backstreet Boys and, really, I wasn’t terribly into seeing them perform together. I was an older fan – 16 while the rest of the audience was 10-13- so BSB was really something I never engaged with. More than that, I had pushed my New Kids phase to the far recesses of my mind where you keep those embarrassing anecdotes that you roll out during those Q&A moments when you need to tell something surprising about yourself. New Kids have been my go-to. Bradley asked me if I wanted to go to the concert. Of course I didn’t. I was over them. Right? Then my cousin Cassie went and I realized my folly. I missed my one chance at seeing ‘The Happy Boys’ (as my dad called them) one more time in my lifetime. I swore that if they returned, I would attend their concert no matter how embarrassing.

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This past weekend my cousin Cassie, again, flew to LA to catch NKOTB, again, and I remembered that promise. I steeled myself, looked deep into my soul and realized a couple of things:
1. I don’t really care if you think NKOTB suck. I think they suck too. But I love THEM.
2. It’s okay for me to like pop music. I love pop music. I hate that I love it, but my brain hooks on stuff like Katy Perry, Wham, Taylor Swift and all of that in the same way it hooks on Iron and Wine, Decemberists, Death Cab and other more adult/contemporary/indie rock. I love them all SO much. They can coexist in my musical vernacular beautifully. (Seriously, you should see some of the odd combinations of music that I run to.)
3. For some unexplainable reason I just really wanted to go. It was IMPORTANT to me.
So I impulsively went online, did a little research, and bought tickets. And I didn’t buy the cheap seats this time. I decided to live my midlife crisis out in style and went to the third tier price point, though a part of me wishes I just did it big and spent the 300 on a front row seat… but I digress. First I tried to solicit a few friends, but there were no takers. I could tell who really wanted to go though. They kept texting me song lyrics and wishing me the best. To all of you who didn’t go-
YOU MISSED OUT!!!!
I’m not kidding.

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It was kind of funny, really, because as soon as I bought the tickets for Gigi and I, I had buyer’s remorse. Then I also went and bought a greatest hits album. Nostalgia had made the music sound a lot better in my head than I remembered. It was pretty bad, and even after the concert I still think a lot of their old crap is still crap. I played it to an unimpressed Gigi who turned out to not be terribly excited about going to the concert…
But…
After Boyz II Men…
After 98 degrees…
It all started with Donnie Wahlberg’s voice telling me that this was our night. That I planned for this. I waited 25 years for it. I worked for it. I earned it- the right to own the night and have the best time.
And he was so smart to say that. It was like an invitation- let’s all pretend, for an evening, that it really is 25 years ago and I’m 16 and they are 20 and we all were screaming and dancing and having the best time.
I’m not kidding when I tell you I almost cried in that moment. I seriously had to get ahold of myself. Then I just slipped into it, easy as that, rose to my feet and started screaming.
They played old stuff, new stuff, I didn’t care. I was so in the moment. My girl and I had our hands up, hollering, clapping, waving. I held her in my arms so she would have a perfect view and we danced and sang and had one of the very best times in my life. Ever.
As it was winding down, I felt tears threaten me again. I didn’t want to let the magic go. I realized that when they eventually end up in Vegas (I think that’s an inevitability at this point) I will totally go see them again.

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Observations from the show:
1. It was really funny to see 98 Degrees shuffling around with their boy and moves with their thinning hairlines and spreading midsections. Adorable in that “My dad wears ‘hip’ Hawaiian shirts” kind of way.
2. I thought a lot about Jon- the New Kid I wrote a typed 108 page story about wherein we got married and started a family. He has severe anxiety about performing and last night he totally just dialed it in. No pelvic thrusts. No major showcased moves. No solos. I was sad to see the former front runner for husband and father of my children so apathetic. He wasn’t awful or anything, it just clearly was not where he wanted to be. I wonder if this will be his last tour. On top of that, he lives as an openly gay man now and I wondered how weird it was to be singing to all of these women about how much he loves them and wants to be with them. Compound that with the ‘girls’ wearing Tshirts and holding signs espousing their love for him… I would feel awkward and the need to explain all the time my status and, that really, they should focus their attentions elsewhere… Perhaps that’s why I’m not a gay man. In a boy band.
3. Sir Mix A Lot came to the show and provided me with the opportunity to explain what ‘Baby Got Back’ means to my daughter as about ten ripe and round women stood onstage shaking their juicy butts.
4. Donnie Wahlberg is a total exhibitionist. I saw his butt crack all night. He showed us his abs a million times. He had his hand down the front of his pants on more than one occasion. He grabbed his crotch over and over. He made out with women in the audience. His pelvic thrusts were the thrustiest and most copious. It was pretty cool.
5. NKOTB done growed up. Donnie wasn’t the only thruster. They all thrusted. Then for good measure they thrusted more. Annnnd, what’s a little more thrusting when there’s already so much pelvic thrust in the room. THRUST! It was the defining move of the night. Except Jon. He did not thrust. He stomped. And while they definitely all look like they’re in their forties now, at least three of them made certain the audience knew they still had abs of steel. Gigi was mortified when I screamed with glee as they tore through their tanks. It was a pleasant moment for me, horrible for her.
6. Joey brought his middle son, Griffin, out onstage to start singing Tonight. It was really cute and was Guinevere’s best moment.
7. The Tacoma Dome is really hot and humid when filled with hundreds of screaming women in their thirties and forties.
8. My daughter is a really fun kid. I’m excited for years of this kind of stuff in the future. We did our hair, got dressed up, went out to eat, danced sang, and had the best time ever for her first concert. I love that kid. It wouldn’t have been the same with anyone else.
9. I fit the concert t-shirt. For the first time my worlds united (enough disposable income + small enough body) presenting a glorious option of spending a ridiculous sum on a cheap tshirt. I love the shirt. 😀
(I’m wearing it right now!!!!!)

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