Step by Step (ooh baby)
I just read an article in Madison Magazine about a wave of New Kids on the Block fans (circa 2009) that have been revisiting their old idols – literally.
They sleep out overnight to get tickets (I didn’t know people still did that) to go to NKOTB reunion shows where they sing, dance, scream and throw their undies at the illustrious (and ever-grateful) Joey, Jordan, Donnie, Danny and Jonathan. Basically, these women have been acting the same way the frenzied walking-hormones that are precisely half their age, act around Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.
Admittedly, when I first started reading this article I thought it was going to be about a bunch of hysterical losers that were stuck in the past.
But it wasn’t!
These women had moved on. These 30-somethings from as far and wide away as Denmark and Australia had careers, families and great life stories under their belts (belts that were no longer fluoro-studded numbers I might add). In fact, there is a photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt that said “... sorry Joey I’m married now!”
This story so appealed to me because these women gave themselves permission to temporarily leave behind (in a safe place) their children; significant others; and jobs so they could go indulge their own silly little whims (not to mention spend a big wad of their own hard earned cash).
Mission: giggling, gawking, gyrating born-again teen.
Most people don’t get to be like that in everyday life once the responsibilities get louder than the music emanating from the stereo.
My favourite quote came from Alexis Lomen, aged 32:
“When you are 12 and feeling all goofy about yourself, having an outlet for that pre-teen angst is important. For me, that outlet was NKOTB. I was able to devote myself to something – or someone – and not be rejected. Now that I am an adult, I still have those feelings of angst sometimes and having the time and money to escape into New Kids Land has been awesome.”
Last year, my husband granted me what I like to call, a Get out of Gaol Free Card – aka a weekend away with the girls without him and the kids. My sister and two gal pals quickly decided that Byron Bay’s annual Splendour in the Grass Festival was to be the venue of weekend release. I had been to this festival a few times Before Child and I had missed it dearly ever since. Ironically, one of the things I loved most about Splendy was that it wasn’t an event dominated by young punters but was a nice mix of the young and young-at-heart-but-not-mind.
I won’t even pretend that I wasn’t losing my freakin’ mind in anticipatory glee at the prospect of a few days to unleash my single self. It was a weekend where the only person I had to feed was myself, I got to enjoy the music acts I wanted and I didn’t have to go to bed at a sensible hour. *Dance of Joy (Division)!*
There few a few notable differences between my last visit in 2003 and this one. The most obvious being accommodation. This time, we stayed in a gorgeous beachside rented two-bedroom apartment (we emphatically agreed that camping or sharing communal bathrooms were not options for us).
The morning that followed our first day of festivities, I pried open my eyes and glanced over at my sister who was also just waking in the adjacent bed and it was immediately obvious we were thinking the same thing.
“Wonder what the kids are up to?” I said as we both reached for our mobile phones.
Jeez, it was a good weekend though.