Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Further Attempts to Fit In
Oh, hey, everybody! Look over here! The New Kids on the Block are BACK and better than ever! Look at them dance! Listen to them sing! Smile and nod at their television interviews about how they are all grown up now and ready for that big comeback!
Yeah, me neither.
I can't lie. I was never into the New Kids on the Block. Oh, I tried to be into them. I bought a huge poster of Joey McIntyre and hung it on the wall behind my door. And I would pretend I was totally in love with him. Believe me, I wanted to make out with that poster like I meant it. But all I really felt was friendship and a cold, cold wall.
On more than one occasion, I picked up a cassette of NKOTB's music and walked around the store like I was planning to buy it. But then I would always put it back, unsure if it was worth my entire $10 allowance. So, to this day, I have never actually heard a New Kids on the Block song in its entirety.
I can, however, sing from memory most 1970s Tanya Tucker songs. Not that I would have ever admitted that when I was in sixth grade when NKOTB were at the height of their popularity.
Have I mentioned that I used to be a huge phony?
The same thing applied when Beverly Hills 90210 gained popularity. We didn't have Fox, so I never watched it. But that didn't stop me from fawning over pictures of Luke Perry in 'Teen magazine and reading interviews wherein Shannen Doherty revealed that she loved U2. It's sad, really.
I had always suspected that I was a bit weird because of the way people reacted when I talked about my dream where my dead cat came back as an angel. Or when I showed up at school wearing giant pink sparkly squid earrings. But it never really occurred to me to try to tone it down a little until I got my secret Santa gift in 6th grade.
It was a copy of 'Teen magazine. At first, I was flattered that someone wanted to give me some new reading material. But it occurred to me later that maybe I was getting subtle eyebrow plucking advice.
And so, I heeded the pages of my new magazine and began to slowly and methodically put away my childhood. I painted the pink walls of my bedroom over with white. I threw away my unicorn posters. I stopped letting my mom do my hair. And I pretended to enjoy the New Kids on the Block. Because that's what girls my age did back then.
It's funny. Even now, I'll catch myself emulating the behaviors of others because I want to avoid ridicule. I think to myself, "What would an adult do right now? Have a cup of tea and watch the news? Ah, yes. That's what I'll do then." I certainly wouldn't make out with my Christian Bale poster...
What? Oh, like you never do it. Shut up.