I’ll be loving them…FOREVER

I know. You are all disappointed in me.

I try to not to have any regret in my life life. I’m typically one hundred percent confident in the decisions I make and stand by them.

But Thursday will be haunting me for a while.

My friend Catherine had an extra ticket to New Kids. And I didn’t go. Because I’m an idiot. But also because I had a commitment. And finally, because I was in an evil haze of whatever sickness had taken hold of my throat, lungs and apparently brain that week. Let the record show that I did price iron lungs on Craigs List, but there is no excuse for me turning her down.

Luckily, Catherine was able to recruit our friend Jill (who is not a TRUE NKOTB fan) and they were sweet enough to recap the event for us. Although it pains me to read these words, I did find myself laughing out loud several times.

We do and will always…love these boys forever.

Uhmm…who wouldn’t? (Thanks for this Erin.)



Picture it: 1989
Getting ready for a New Kids on the Block concert was a big deal for this 14 year old girl. Always in the back of my mind was the possiblity that they would shine a spotlight on me while I sang along to “Please Don’t Go Girl” and Joe would see me and fall madly in love. He’d stop singing because, you know, he’d become breathless upon seeing me. His unusually large bodyguard, Biscuit, would come get me from my seat and I’d be escorted backstage and into a life of marital bliss with Joe. So getting ready for such an event was a big deal. I picked my best pair of acid-washed jean shorts, my favorite Joe t-shirt, and pinned one of my over-sized Joe buttons onto my shirt. I curled half my bangs back and half forward and then teased them to perfection. Half a bottle of hairspray later, and I was ready for the concert . . . after dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, of course. Upon arriving, we stood in line for an hour to get our favorite concert t-shirt (hoping that they hadn’t sold out of mediums), and then we found our seats. The lights went down, the screaming started, my parents put in their earplugs, and we waited for the big moment. One of the New Kids asked “Are you READY??” “YES!!!” we screamed. And when the New Kids came out on the stage, we hugged each other, jumped around, and cried like babies.

Picture it: 2008
Things were a little different this time. As a 33-year-old woman, I knew that there was no possibility that a spotlight would shine on me and reveal Joe’s true love. So getting ready was less stressful. I picked the jeans that actually fit me right now, a long-sleeved t-shirt (purple, because that’s the big color this Fall), and pinned my favorite over-sized Joe button on.

I don’t wear bangs anymore and don’t even own hairspray so I just brushed my hair and headed out. We ate Mexican food instead of Hard Rock Cafe because margaritas were in order for such a big night (didn’t have THOSE when we were 14). And then it was just like old times . . . we arrived at the concert, stood in line for an hour to get our favorite t-shirt (hoping they hadn’t sold out of extra larges), and then we found our seats. The lights went down and the screaming started. One of the New Kids asked “Any ladies out there SINGLE???” and then spotlights started going all over the place. “Holy CRAP,” I thought. “Maybe the freakin’ spotlight WILL shine on me!!!” And when the New Kids came out on the stage, we screamed, hugged each other, jumped around, and, I’m not afraid to admit it . . . cried like babies.

The concert was AWESOME . . . the New Kids still definitely know how to entertain their fans!! I was afraid that they would try to focus on their new music and downplay their past. But they DEFINITELY didn’t do that. They started off with Single which is one of their new songs and then went into such classics as Favorite Girl and Valentine. We heard Please Don’t Girl, The Right Stuff, Tonight, Cover Girl, Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time, Baby I Believe in You, and If You Go Away. They did all their old choreography and got LOTS of cheers when they did their old Right Stuff dance. They played video clips of some their old videos as they sang – that was such a great touch. Joe and Jordan did their songs they did as solo artists and, of course, the group did several of their new songs, all with old-school choreography. Fun times. There were several costume changes, one that included Joe’s old leather jacket with the yellow smiley face on the back. Their last costume change put them all in white and then they sang I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) to end the concert. Of course, we knew they couldn’t be done YET because they hadn’t played Step By Step or Hangin’ Tough. So we screamed and screamed and then they raised up out of the stage and sang Step By Step. It was so freakin’ awesome . . . sorry, I feel like I’m there again! And then the lights went down and we screamed and screamed until they came back out in Boston Celtics jerseys and sang Hangin’ Tough. It was so fun. And I can’t tell you what a cool feeling it was to look around the Toyota Center and see so many 30-something women throwing their arms back and forth and singing along. It really was just like old times.

Of course, there were many differences. They had some female dancers on stage with them (which we did NOT appreciate) and we were, of course, obliged to glare at them and call them names when they danced too close to Joe or Jordan. One of the women was dancing on a piano during their new song Dirty Dancing. She was supposed to be dancing dirty but I think she was actually having a seizure. It was strange and, again, I was forced to call her a name. Danny’s break-dancing was a bit rusty but God bless him for doing it for us. In the stands, we noticed a few differences in ourselves. First, we all had indigestion which I don’t think is something we had to deal with as teenagers. We all burped up our Mexican food while we sang along – our row smelled like a strange combination of fajitas and enchiladas. Another difference is that, at times, I was wishing I had my parents’ earplugs with me – I was wincing like my mom does when the surround sound is too loud at the movie theater. Also, since our last NKOTB concert, my sister Erin has had two kiddos so things were a little different for her, too, because everytime she screamed and jumped, she peed on herself. But that didn’t stop her from letting it all out (literally) and screaming “I’m not okay . . . I’m NOT okay” when Jordan was singing Baby I Believe in You.

It was a fun night for New Kids fans, that’s for sure!! And there was definitely a feeling of solidarity among us all. When we were kids, there was an unspoken animosity among fans who liked the same Kid. If I saw another girl wearing a Joe pin, I had to automatically consider her my sworn enemy. That’s just how it was. This time, however, everyone was laughing together in line and in the stands. People chatted in the t-shirt line about old concerts and our favorite Kids and teased each other about the competition for Jordan or Joe or Donnie’s undying love (not Danny or Jon, though, poor guys . . .). Erin saw someone walking in an old-school t-shirt and she stopped the girl to say “I hate you that you can still wear your old shirts!!” Then the girl laughed and told her it was an old nightgown so we loved her again. Lots of women had pulled out their old-school stuff and other fans really got a kick out of that. It was like we were one big, happy family and we were all just excited to be taking this walk down memory lane together.

So Joe has blown through Houston again without falling in love with me. Oh well, it’s ok. All that matters is that I had a blast and I hope that they come back soon!! And in the meantime, I have GOT to get a hold of the guy who runs the spotlight . . .


Picture it: 1989
I’m in Mrs. Bell’s 8th grade typing class. I was trying my hardest to beat my all time best words per minute score, but couldn’t help being distracted by the girl sitting next to me. Was it necessary to take off ALL her NKOTB buttons and place them like framed photos around her workspace? After all, if it’s big enough to have a photo frame stand built into the design, it’s too freakin’ big. Then she turns to me, “Hi! I’m Catherine!” Being that I’m a nice girl, I take my eyes off the copy I’m feverishly typing to give a quick smile and introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Jill.” Back to typing. Sweet! 64 words per minute!

Picture it: 2008.
I have never cared about the New Kids on the Block. I can sing some of their most popular songs and can even tell you which one is my favorite, but I still don’t care much about them. So how did that girl back in 8th grade typing class become my be fri? Hmmm. Well, news of NKOTB reuniting hit and I get a call from Catherine asking if I want to spend $90 on a ticket to see them when they come to Houston. I didn’t think twice. Nope. Don’t want one. Well, Catherine doesn’t give up easily. She asked a couple more times over the next couple months and each time my answer was the same. Nope…until the concert day arrived. I get a call at noon from Catherine. Someone had to drop out, the ticket is available, I don’t have to pay for it, blah, blah, blah. I don’t remember the rest because I was trying not to be nauseated by her excitement.

I caved. That’s right, I said yes.

So Catherine, her sister Erin, friends Dana and Jenny all arrive at my house a few hours later. I helped Catherine pick out which of her five Joe pins she’s going to wear and we head out the door. Dinner was awesome and I honestly thought to myself how glad I was that we went to dinner first because I was sure that would be the best part of the night. Much better than a lame boy band concert. We stood in line for loot and the girls were getting all worried they would miss the opening act. I offered to stand in line so they wouldn’t miss one moment of those dorks who call themselves singers. We ended up getting to our seats just in time.

They came rising up out of the floor and the screaming began! I took some video footage, mainly of Catherine and Erin losing their minds, and decided to enjoy the show. I was actually enjoying myself (I’m saying that to you in a whisper). I even caught myself at one point thinking to myself that Joe has a pretty nice voice. I know, I know. All you NKOTB groupies are wanting to claw through the screen right now to tell me all about how he’s sung on Broadway. Catherine has already filled me in more than you know.

Then the moment happened…they somehow teleported to the middle of the crowd and popped up on a rotating stage in old school outfits. “Remember when we said girl please don’t go…” Who is that girl screaming in my ear??? Holy CRAP….it’s ME!!!! I’m screaming! I can’t stop screaming! Make this stop! But it doesn’t folks. I sang, bopped, screamed, and giggled my way through the entire song…and loved every minute of it.

Ok, it’s time to get this back under control. They ran up to the stage and had 35 year old women jumping banisters to touch them. It was fabulous. They sang some of their new stuff and I was embarrassed by some of the lyrics. Things like “I’m a man now”, “She’s like Baby, I’m like Swayze”, etc. The show ended and I thought that it was pretty fun, but we needed the encores before I could feel the night was complete. Sure enough, as they came out for Step By Step, I started jumping, clapping, screaming, and who knows what else. I was trying to take a picture too. I’m totally busted! Clearly, I was no longer holding back with my affection for the New Kids. The picture was blurry and crooked.

When we left the concert, I was exhausted. My feet hurt from standing the whole time, I couldn’t hear a thing, my voice was a little hoarse, I’d bought Catherine a program, she bought my baby a Step By Step onesie, I had run out of memory on my phone from all the pics and video I took…but I swear I don’t care anything about these New Kids guys. I promise.

Picture of Catherine and her sister Erin discovering New Kids concert tickets in a recently opened present. Acid wash jeans rule. And a true fashionista matches her socks to her Christmas sweatshirt always.


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