That time I met New Kids on the Block

Happy holidays! Since I like to focus on all things fabulous here, I wanted to share one of the best days of my childhood with you. I always get a bit nostalgic about this at this time of the year because when I was 13, I got tickets to see New Kids on the Block for the first time for Christmas. I also got backstage passes. It was a huge deal. Money was tight and we were coming off a particularly difficult time financially, yet my parents found a way to get us tickets to the concert and a hotel room nearby since the concert wasn’t close to home. I still can’t believe I got to experience it.

I recently came across my diaries from when I was a kid and this entry is a gem. It really reflects my excitement from this event.

Diary entry from January 14, 1990:

“Well, my first entry of 1990! Dec. 31, 1989 was the greatest day of my life! I not only saw New Kids in concert, but I met Danny (an absolute sweetheart), Donnie (wild but really nice) and Jordan (nice but shy)!! Eric and I got backstage passes from Butch Perry (Jan’s cousin), who is their bodyguard. I also hugged Danny (my new fave) and when I gave him his bouquet of flowers he got all embarrassed and then gave me a big hug! Then Donnie came out and he was mingling with the crowd and said, ‘No pictures unless I get a hug!’ When he came to us and I said shyly, ‘Can I have a hug?’, he said, “Of course!” He also gave Eric a hug! Jordan was shy towards me, but Jordan and Donnie both nicknamed Eric, ‘Little man.’ We had our pictures taken with all of them. It was the greatest day of my life. Thanks Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jon and Joe! I love you.”

Ridiculous and cheesy, right? (I gave them flowers? I’d forgotten that part.) I kind of agree. But here’s the thing. My continued love of New Kids on the Block reminds me of a different time, a time when life was simpler and I didn’t have to worry about my kids, bills, aging, etc. I saw them again in 2008 when they reunited and again this past summer when they played at Fenway Park. Both shows were amazing. I hadn’t been to the Boston area shows between 2008 and 2017 because of those pesky adult responsibilities, but I was so glad I was able to go again this year. It was a crazy rainy night and the show was stopped toward the end of Paula Abdul’s set due to lightning, but it was such a fun night. There aren’t many I’d stand in the pouring rain for!

So here’s my suggestion as we get ready say goodbye to 2017 and start fresh in 2018: embrace those youthful memories. Have fun. Be cheesy if it makes you happy. Stand in the rain with good friends, even if it means your hair is a mess and your mascara is gross. Be grateful that 28 years after your first childhood concert, you’re still here and you have loved ones to share the memories with.

And Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jonathan and Joe have all aged mighty well, I might add. (Joe turned 17 on that amazing day in 1989!) I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a NKOTB playlist on Spotify and may or may not listen to it when I’m working! Life is too short not to have fun and listen to music that makes you smile!

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