My dear friend Tiffany sent me reeling into flashback mode with her post on New Kids on the Block. (Check out her blog at Quiet Gardens, Raging Seas!) Anyway, I had major flashbacks to my New Kid loving days. Alas, they were short lived, but filled with passion nonetheless. Now, my parents were nazi’s…uhhh, I mean, vigilant, about what my brother and I listened to. While other children sang and danced to Madonna and Michael Jackson, I rocked out to Leslie Gore and Sandi Patty. Somehow, though, the New Kids managed to slip through. Perhaps it was because our neighbor, Kirtie, who was in high school and babysat us occasionally was a New Kid FREAK. Seriously, she was the ultimate uberfan! Or perhaps they gave in and bought me a tape for the same reasons that I caved and let Sloan watch High School Musical – it was a harmless piece of pop culture and not worth the battle.
Either way, I finally received the coveted cassette tape, which I promptly popped into my kickin’ Walkman and jammed to the tunes of Right Stuff and Please Don’t Go Girl. My childhood friend, Jenny, and I argued over who was cuter. She liked Joey, but I was partial to Jordan. He was my first celebrity crush. I’ll never forget going to Kirtie’s house the day after she went to their concert. She and her friend had tickets on the second row and she had so many cool, up close Polaroids. She also bought a concert video and I watched, jaw agape, as Jordan spun round and round on his shoulders.
Kirtie gave me an oversize button, which I pinned on my tubular jean jacket and wore to school the next day. During recess, my friends and I stood in a semi-circle and compared buttons. I remember Alyssa Rohl had ten buttons, some small and some big. She had an awesome hat where she pinned two of her buttons. It was wicked. My other friend Kristen had a swatch watch imprinted with a picture of the boys. We talked about how sweet Joey was and how cool Donnie was with his happenin’ half mullet. And we all agreed that Danny looked a little like a monkey. There we stood, our hair crimped, french braided and teased, our conversation peppered with “like,” and “totally,” and “oh, gag me.” We were the stuff.
To illustrate this story, I thought I would include a picture from those days. Unfortunately, I don’t have many old pictures here at my house, these were all I could find. But, you’ll see I was totally fashion forward. The only fashion trend of that day that I passed up was the massive bangs. I wisely realized very young that I looked like a dork with my bangs like that. Not that I didn’t give it a good effort. While the other girls walked around looking like their forehead froze mid-projectile-vomit, I opted for simpler bangs, but rocked out the side ponytail and was a genius with a crimping iron. Now, of course, these pictures I’m showing were only from fifth grade, when my parents still exercised a good deal of control over my fashion choices. Later on, when left on my own, my choices in haristyle were far less tame. While I couldn’t get away with my bangs in full out bloom, I did try to curl and spray them in various ways. You know in the movie What About Mary when Cameron Diaz’s bangs are standing straight up, as though somehow she ran into a wall? That’s what I usually ended up looking like. If I find such a picture and have the guts to subject myself to that humiliation, I will post one. For now, enjoy the days of Units belts, Esprit over sized bags and crimped hair. Thanks, Tiffany, for the walk down memory lane. It’s been a good ride!