this one's for the children


Friday, February 22, 2008


I bade farewell to my hometown of Carson City, Nevada this weekend. I suspect it will be the last time I will visit in... maybe ever. The experience was sort of nostalgic, sort of refreshing, sort of embarrassing. The hardest part was going through my closet and getting rid of old stuff I haven't looked at or thought about for years (decades?). Cabbage Patch Kids, VHS tapes of My So-Called Life, my high school "art" portfolio, a life size stuffed E.T. (the Extra Terrestrial), a Trapper Keeper with a cocker spaniel on it, and most shamefully: my New Kids On The Block memorabilia. I honestly don't know what I can say here to help you understand the sheer volume and magnitude of my New Kids collection. I was the kind of fan who accumulated not only the "normal" stuff, like gigantic photo buttons and tour booklets, but who kept the really weird crap… like two (2) tiny gift boxes full of multi-colored confetti, collected from the floor after my first New Kids concert.

Other discoveries:

My "creative" collages, constructed using New Kids photos, posterboard, and captions clipped from teen magazines like, "Make it Sizzle!"

A stack of tradable New Kids cards, held together with a Scrunchie made of thermal.

The empty box that once contained my NKOTB doll. I found his little Cosby sweater and one plastic loafer, but Tiny Jonathan is still missing. Call if you have information.

Seven school folders, labeled with subjects like "Science" and "Social Studies," all of which contained, not science and social studies schoolwork like you might expect, but magazine clippings and photographs of the New Kids.

Negatives from the photos taken at my first New Kids concert in Sacramento. Hard to see what was going on in each picture, but from what I can tell, I was wearing a denim jacket, four Scrunchies, and a face covered in tears of pure bliss.

If you talk to any former NKOTB fan, you'll find they have no problem naming their favorite Kid. Jordan and Joey were the most attractive and the most talented and therefore, the most popular. The edgier girls went for "bad boy" Donnie, the the blind girls for Danny, the "guy who sort of looks like an orangutan." Me, I went for the shy, slender Jonathan. Everyone else in my immediate circle of friends chose Jordan or Joey, and although I couldn't deny their charms, I didn't want to fight. Even at twelve years old, I was worried someone would be mad at me. So, I just pretended to like Jonathan best. And I have to say, I really committed to that. In my rifling, I think I counted roughly 2000 glossy photographs of Jonathan Knight, including one in a wetsuit.

As I sorted through the boxes of various keepsakes and childhood treasures, I found myself tossing more things into the "Trash" pile than into the "Keep" pile. I've been told (by Oprah) that this is a healthy thing to do. No sense in hoarding a bunch of junk you'll never look at and all that… but I think you're supposed to hold on to the things that mean the most to you. And while it bothers me to think that New Kids On The Block meant more to me than handmade gifts and childhood toys, I can't deny that it's true. Jonathan Knight was my first love. And who doesn't want to remember that?

P.S. NKOTB is staging a comeback. Who's with me?

14 comments:

The Bruces said...

I recently did the same thing at my parents house and did throw most things away including the NKOTB memorablia. Josh wouldn't have stood for me dragging all of that back to Seattle. All I have to say is that I am probably destined to have boys someday because we did haul back all of my dance costumes and the little china hutch that my grandpa built me for my 3rd Christmas along with all the mini tea party sets I collected during my childhood. These items would be a little girls dream to play with someday, and now they are sitting in my condo's attic.

For the record, although I think you already know this about me, Jonathan was also my favorite New Kid. And yes, I am down for the comeback. Reunion tour summer 2008 perhaps? What a way to celebrate entering our 30s than to go to a NKOTB concert. I love it!

sarah at twolooseteeth.com said...

I've always liked you, but as of today, as of this moment? I LOVE YOU.

Jessica said...

I too loved NK's, but not to the extent you did. I was too busy watching Junkyard Dog, and macho Man Randy Savage body slam each other while plastering pictures of River Pheonix and the two corey's on everything. I too loved colage's!
I think we should have an all night party of My So Called Life. Jared singing Sedated makes me swoon!
And I am in for the New Kids reunion.

Face The Music Fan Club said...

Face The Music Fan Club
Hangin' Tough with the guys since 1994

Sarita said...

While I was never a super fan of the NKOTB.....too busy listening to my sister's erasure, depeche mode, and 10,000 maniacs, I think the comeback it a good idea. AND I was just saying today that we should have the new kids playing at the 5th grade party.

Emily said...

I am SO down for the NKOTB reunion. I'll just pretend I'm entering my 30's with you and Mags.

The Cliftens said...

See..I was the girl who had a "New Kids Suck" shirt that I found at the mall. Only my mom found it and wouldn't let me wear it because "suck" is considered a swear word in our family.

natali said...

tears of bliss...something tells me after your boyfriend reads this he might try dressing like a NKOTB.

Hartley Family said...

Ohhhh- Jonathan was seriously my favorite too! I loved him. AND- if there is a reunion concert I am GOING. I was telling my mom this the other day. Then, I reminded her for the millionth time of how she deprived me of going to their concert when I was younger. LUCKY! I think my mom thought there were bad people at concerts or something. Weird.

lisa said...

I was never a fan of NKOTB, but I remember one time there was a thing on TV about them, and my grandma goes " bands have the silliest names these days: Mucus on the Block? What does that even mean?"

reno said...

Mucus on the Block. That's the best thing I've heard all day.

A S H O L I N A said...

While I agree with Oprah (this RARELY happens) I am totally with you in the coming! Jonathon Knight was also my first celebrity crush!!! Yay!

michelle :-) said...

my heart sank when the come back was announced a no go... I loved Jon and Joey... I even have Joey's solo Christian Rock stuff ... * sigh *

I'm Andrea said...

i love your blog so much i want to pee.