I am not ashamed to admit that I have a pretend boyfriend or the fact that as far back as I can remember, I have always had a pretend boyfriend. You see I am boy band crazy, always have been and always will be. When I was 9 years old a friend of mine gave me her walkman and told me to listen to her new tape. I put the earphones on and pressed play and my life was changed forever! That tape was Hangin’ Tough by the New Kids on the Block. 5 boys singing in harmony, singing about love, singing everything I ever wanted to hear. In my mind they were singing to me! I was hooked, I was in love and I had my first pretend boyfriend.His name was #JoeyJoe and he was the baby faced boy next door member of the group. My friends also had their first pretend boyfriends. One girl loved Donnie (the bad boy), one loved Jordan ( the hunk and lead singer) and then there were Jon and Danny. From that point on I lived and breathed Joey Joe and NKOTB. I talked about them all the time, watched their music videos non stop and spent hours memorizing their songs and dance moves so I could perform them later for my friends. The days of me crushing on the 9 year old boy in my class who threw rocks at me were over, my days were now spent daydreaming and writing I love Joey Joe all over my Trapper Keeper.
Two years later, on Halloween, NKOTB performed in my hometown. My parents told me the tickets were all sold out but as an alternative they suggested that I dress up as a NKOTB fan and go trick or treating. I was so proud of my costume. I had New kids earrings, shoelaces, tshirt, huge badges, bracelets and my mom even let me write their names all over my jeans. I went out that night feeling so cool. I knocked on my friends door eager to show off my costume and show her how much I loved Joey. To my surprise she was not in costume, when I asked her why she said that she had tickets to go to the concert and that she would be sure to tell Joey Joe that I said hi. I was devastated. Like, run home throw myself on the ground sobbing my life is over and she is going to marry him and live happily ever after, devastated. I had missed my chance, she was going to steal my pretend boyfriend.
As you can see I survived that heartbreak. After the New kids stopped being popular I went back to crushing on regular boys as the music scene had started to change and boy bands weren’t on top any more. Then one day in 1996 as I was flicking through the channels I suddenly stopped. Right there in front of me on the screen were - 5 boys all singing in harmony, singing about love and how they would never break my heart. Right there in front of me were the Backstreet Boys. I ran to my friends house and told her what I saw, we went to the store and bought the tape and spent hours memorizing the songs and dance moves so we could show them off to our friends at the next school dance. All of a sudden life was good again. The boy band was back! No more did I crush on the 16 year old bad boy in my class who spit and wore his wallet on a chain for I had a new pretend boyfriend and his name was Nick Carter.
All of a sudden boy bands started popping up everywhere. You couldn’t escape their catchy tunes and squeaky clean images. Some had 4 members whilst others had 5. Some had a bad boy whilst others had 2 boy next door heart throbs.Some had accents and some didn’t. This time they were back and they were back for good. For as long as God continued to make teenage girls, the boy bands weren’t going away.
Recently I went out for drinks with friends and I got into a discussion about music with a girl I dont really know well. All of a sudden before I knew it we were talking about the New Kids. Talking about them with as much excitement as I first did back in 1988. Here I was bonding with someone and talking to her as if I had known her my whole life. I listened as she told me all about her pretend boyfriends. I left that night, went home, put on my Ipod and listened to Hangin’ Tough and remembered all of my previous pretend boyfriends, remembered how I had loved them all with all my heart, remembered how much fun I had dancing and singing their songs with all of my friends, remembered the innocence of my youth and how there are girls all over the world who are just like me. The song finished and keeping with the boy band theme, I picked up my IPod and carefully selected my next song. As the music started I couldn’t help but smile, there were 5 guys, singing in harmony, singing about love and how they wanted me back. They were NSYNC and my current pretend boyfriend Justin Timberlake.