gary, howard, jason, robbie, mark.
ginger, baby, scary, sporty, posh.
justin, jc, chris, joey, lance.
brian, kevin, AJ, howie, nick.
you knew their names by heart. you had their faces on your bedroom walls. you copied lyrics into a pretty notebook. you waited patiently by the radio to record their songs onto a tape. you bought magazines with them on the cover. you hoped your parents would bring you to their showcase here. you went to your friend’s house after school to watch their videos because she was the only one who had satellite tv. you wished you lived in manchester or florida.
your taste in music changed as your grew older. when they eventually stopped performing together, you mourned but not for very long. your priorities changed to include financial independence. you valued knowledge, relationships, life purpose more than being in the presence of mortal idols. you found yourself burdened with a couple of debts in the pursuit of the above.
now, you finally feel like an adult responsible for things other than yourself…
…and the damned backstreet boys decide to grace the stage at an accessible venue with an affordable entrance fee and you forget you’re 28 and save lives for a living. for that one hour in the middle of a late-twenties-early-thirties crowd, you are a 12-year-old girl who knows all the words to all the songs and has perfected the dance moves a million times in her dreams and is convinced howie d will marry her one day (no, he won’t).
you think you’re too old, but some things never get old.
20 years on, i’m still a downright fool for the backstreet boys. hearing them sing the a capella break down bit in “all i have to give” was the most surreal moment of the night, even more than watching them do the iconic 90s “get down” choreography that is best performed in loose metallic sweatsuits. oh, and i finally told – okay, screamed – howie d that i loved him, which was a pretty cathartic experience!
okay, i exaggerate.
alot of childhood dreams came true that night. if 12-year-old me knew that this would be possible one day, she would have been less upset about missing that one showcase the boys did back then. she would have also spent less money on magazines and posters and put more of it into the “send lishun to england to watch take that in concert” fund. haha.
oh messrs littrell, richardson, mclean, dorough and carter…thanks for helping this little big girl check off another item on her bucket list and giving her a royally sore oropharynx just in time for her call tomorrow. it was a pleasure!