Last week, Donnie Wahlberg sent out this picture from his Twitter account (@DonnieWalberg). What you see above, from left to right, is Joey McIntyre, Jon Knight, Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood of New Kids on The Block fame. What you *see* are four shirtless men and one whitey tighty clad dude posing with facial hair in what appears to be a bathroom.
If you are a nearly 30 year old female, you see something quite different flash before you. You see the boys who used to grace your faux graffitied, Andy Warhol knock off sleeping bag you used for sleep overs and girl scout camping trips. The cotton pink liner was itchy and stifling in the summer and woefully inadequate in temperatures below 68 degrees, but it didn’t matter because it had Joey and Jordan on it. (Admit it, even then Donnie looked like the dad of the group.) It represented suburban camping at its finest and I loved it.
My seven year old self would lip sync into hairbrushes with my girlfriends to “Step by Step” and “Hanging Tough.” We played the cassette so much that when the tape popped out we calmly grabbed a pencil and rewound the tangled black mess until it was back inside the plastic casing. God love us for thinking that wearing a bandana tied around our left knee and ball caps cocked to the side made us Boston bad asses. When I heard “Please Don’t Go Girl“, I was pretty certain Joey was singing directly to me. I look at this video now and see a 13 year old boy begging a 28 year chick not to leave him. *shudder* With an over sized NKOTB t-shirt, fashionably tied to the side by a scrunchie, over neon colored bike shorts, I screamed pre-teen devotion to the 5 boys from Boston.
Flashback over, and you’re left with this picture of five men sporting Chester the Molester mustaches of varying thickness. Suddenly, the pink lined sleeping bag and over sized t shirt seem…tainted. It’s not that I don’t realize that childhood crushes age or that we all get a little wrinklier and saggier as time goes on. It’s just that I didn’t want to see these childhood crushes shirtless in a bathroom and looking like the latest suspects about to get tased by Chris Hansen’s crew on “To Catch a Predator.” I’m much happier thinking that Donnie Walhberg is out there breathing life into 2nd Lt. Carwood Lipton or beating the snot out of some punk on the streets of L.A.
Ah, well, I’ll always have YouTube…