Monday, January 25, 2016

Music Monday: NKOTB were NOT my boy band.

I was in fifth grade when New Kids on the Block became all the rage. In my school district fifth and sixth grade were in a building together as the start of middle school. It was the beginning of an extremely self-conscious, rough period of my life. Everyone has those memories of the less than happy times in their lives, and often they don't want to dredge up those times.

Last week I talked about how the Eagles bring up happy memories for me, how they are tied to so many of my life events. New Kids on the Block, on the other hand, bring up only bad memories.

As a fifth grader I was beyond awkward. When I look back on myself at that age, all I want to do is protect that girl. I had huge glasses, long hair that was more often tangled than not, and dressed in t-shirts and long skirts. Got a good picture? So when I made friends with a group of girls who were definitely cooler than me, I was relieved. Their friendship offered me a measure of protection from the cruelties of middle school.

When New Kids on the Block got big, my friends obsessed over each member of the group, assigning and reassigning each boy to each girl. We would sit on the floor by these big plate floor to ceiling windows while we ate lunch. I was ten years old, and definitely not ready to be mooning over boys. I just went along with it, and  kept quiet so that none of them would know how much I truly despised the thing that they loved.

One day my best friend came over to spend the night, and my mom was joking around with me about my loathing of NKOTB. That was all it took for me to become a social pariah. That's the workings of junior high girls sometimes, and I was caught in the cross hairs. The aftermath of a few silly statements became a living hell for me.

To this day when I hear a NKOTB song I think back to those days and wince. Such is the power of music over my memories.

Incidentally, Backstreet Boys are my favorite boy band. :)

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