5) A song with significance.
I have a confession to make.
Back in the day, and that day was 1998, my family and I were at Disney on a family vacation. It was my high school graduation present. During what I believe was our EPCOT day, Mom pointed out there was boy band concert that was being filmed for The Disney Channel. If you’ll travel back in your memory some 13 odd years, you’ll remember the late 90s being the Years of the Boyband. More spiky hair and funky harmonies than you could shake a stick at.
So, this group was NSYNC, and my sister and I turned up our noeses BIG TIME. We were all, pshaw, boybands? Are for teenyboppers. Thanks, but no thanks. Let’s get a funnel cake and ride Spaceship Earth again.
Mom was like, “Not even for free?”
We were all, “Um, ten-year-old girls screaming over some lame made up group isn’t‘ our idea of a good time, Mom.”
And Sister Fate, she heard every single word of that conversation and wanted us to pay for our flippant attitude toward boy bands. The NSYNC concert aired two months later and NSYNC became the hottest boyband in the country. We were kicking ourselves for missing the concert.
A few months later, inexplicably, we were hooked. We had a fever, and the only cure was clearly over produced songs sung by pretty boys. We still say that making the decision not to watch that free concert cursed us to have bad seats to everything for the rest of our lives.
Although at 19 years old I was almost a decade older than their target demographic, I was a sucker for anything and everything NSYNC related. We attended several concerts. We bought every CD — even the import singles with exclusive German tracks (this was before iTunes, i.e. the stone ages). We even bought those stupid teen magazines and hung posters up on our walls. I’ll never forget the winter we took off in the snow to get handi-tac from Walmart.
Why would a college aged girl become obsessed with a boyband? It was probably the fear of changes that were happening all around me. My grandmother had a stroke the next summer and then passed away the next fall. I’d started college, and it was new and weird and sometimes hard. My Dad’s company transfered him to Cincinnati, where he lived 5 days out of the week. I was ending one romantic relationship and starting another one.
Change is awkward and unsettling. Boybands are the complete opposite of that.
I’m a big fan of the 90s station on XM Radio. Everyone once and awhile, the familiar opening notes of Tearing Up My Heart will start blaring on my way home from work and I can’t help by smiling about a simpler time when a group of singers brought so much joy to my life.
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