For most fans visiting this site, meeting their childhood idols involves Backstreet Boys, but not for me. Granted, they are my favorite band, but I didn’t become a fan until I was almost 18-years-old in 1998.
My childhood idols were New Kids on the Block.
I had their very first album, but didn’t fall in love until I heard “Please Don’t Go Girl.” When the “Hangin’ Tough” album came out, “Cover Girl” immediately became my go-to song. I listened to it every morning getting ready for school where I would go off and be made fun of because I was taller than the other girls or because I was chubby. It didn’t matter, because Donnie Wahlberg was singing “Cover Girl” to me. I remember once crying myself to sleep because I wanted to be that little girl he sung to in the “Hangin’ Tough” concert on VHS. When my father ignored the fact that he had a daughter and when my mother was busy working three jobs to support us, I had Donnie, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jon Knight and Danny Wood.
And I never imagined in a million years that I would meet them.
During their “Hangin’ Tough” tour, they came to my hometown of Valdosta, Ga., to the complex at the university and tickets sold out. My cousin Courtnie and I were devastated. I thought the closest I would ever get to meeting them was my aunt seeing Jordan shopping in our mall while I was in town. And while I attended my very first concert (the first of thousands) in Tallahassee, Fla. on their “Summer Magic Tour,” I still never thought I would meet them.
Almost 2 years ago, for their “The Package Tour” show in Atlanta, I finally got the chance. I had wanted to before during the NKOTBSB tour – my two favorite groups – but was unable to. I probably couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for Julia being there. I would have freaked out. I never get nervous with celebrities, but I shook Danny’s hand and then there was Joey McIntyre, my first celebrity crush, those blue eyes, staring back at me and he put his hands on my shoulders.
“What’s going on in your head right now?”
“My little 6-year-old dreams are coming true.”
And he asked me something else and finally gave me a big hug and I went into mush. It’s like he knew. How, I don’t know. I came close to meeting him during the NKOTBSB tour, but he was on his cell phone and I didn’t want to disrupt him. (This is the same day that the NKOTB’s buses followed me to Orlando and Jordan and Jon tried to run me off the road by honking their horn with their heads out the window at me because I had NKOTBSB written on the back of my car window).
And then there was Donnie, who hugged me, humming that “back rub” hum in my ear and I was complete mush. I almost forgot about Jordan because I was done for… until I saw Jon and when I told him I was the girl he almost ran into a truck of watermelons two years before, his eyes lit up and he knew what I was talking about. He remembered me.
I met them twice more that summer, going all the way to Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis for the last two shows on that tour.
I can’t believe I’m getting to meet them again on Saturday in Atlanta. I’ll be the girl that gets flushed when I see Joey McIntyre sing “Twisted” and the girl that longs to be Donnie Wahlberg’s center of attention during “Remix” or “Cover Girl.” I wanted to be that little girl in the “Cover Girl” video.
The purpose of this post? Never forget your childhood dreams. I didn’t get to become a country singer like Reba McEntire or a fashion designer, but one of my childhood dreams came true – I met New Kids on the Block. Not once. Not twice. Three times… and four this weekend.
And no matter what people say about you. No matter what happens to you in life whether it’s something at work or personal, nobody can ever take the fact that your childhood dream came true.
And now I get to take my mother to see the group she took me to when I was in fourth grade.
See you Saturday my fellow Blockheads. <3 Sect. 11, Row B.