Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm a Donnie Girl in a Donnie World

I haven't blogged in about a month and I figured it was time. (And my best friend gave me a little nudge the other day.) So I started thinking about what I could write and I just wasn't sure. I've been wanting to write a blog about my camp family but I just can't put my GSC experience into words....yet. (That blog will come though!) So, what to write? Early last month I stumbled upon a new book that was being released on October 2nd. It was called Five Brothers and a Million Sisters and it was a biography about my favorite group of all time. Preorder? Absofreakinlutely!!! Well, here we are October 5th and I'm already almost done the book. (When I can, I read on the train to/from work.) The book has brought back so many wonderful memories and has just reaffirmed my love for those five boys from Boston. The book includes quotes from fans of all ages and, though I know nothing of these women, I feel a connection to each of their stories. Their stories are my stories. Our memories mirror each others. We really are a sisterhood: a family of blockheads that has been connected for 24 years, even through the 14 years our boys were "absent." We are a group of women (and some men) who refer to ourselves as a family and not as just fans. These guys played such an integral part of my childhood and I didn't realize just how much until I started reading this book. Today, they STILL play an integral part of my life, though their role is now a different one. It's less about school girl crush and more about respect, loyalty and appreciation. And so was born my inspiration for this blog post...

If you know me at all, you know I'm very proud of my love for the New Kids. They're all over my desk at work and there isn't a day that goes by when I don't listen to one or more (usually more) of their songs. I get made fun of for it...A LOT. I don't care. These guys helped shaped my youth and continue to inspire me in adulthood. Even at 30+, I can proudly say that Donnie Wahlberg is one of the most relevant inspirations in my life. (In fact, at a recent training of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People I wrote him as one of my top 3 most inspirational people. Yep, at 30, he's the one that I thought of.) I've been a "Donnie Girl" since 1988. I often joke that he's my "pop" husband and I still fantasize about what it would be like to meet him. As soon as he joined Twitter (follow me at @Champagne37) I started following him. I was one of his first followers and the highlight of 2010 was when he tweeted me. Now I get  lost in the thousands of girls that follow him but his  tweets are still the high points of my bad days. While my love for Ddub started as a school girl crush, it has grown into an adult respect that is difficult for me to put into words. He is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing men I "know." If you don't know his story, read it. Go ahead, roll your eyes, judge me, and call me a dork. I really don't care.

I didn't have an easy childhood. I was raised by a single mom and was forced to grow-up pretty quickly. I didn't experience many luxuries, we just couldn't afford them, but that made me more appreciative of the ones I did have. I count among my luxuries my NKOTB sheets, my black satin New Kids jacket, my cassette tapes, posters, pins, pogs, trading cards, pencil cases, etc. My most prized possession? My NKOTB sleeping bag. I asked my mom for it while I was away at summer camp and she sent it, making a young girl's dream come true. When I sit here and think about all of the New Kids swag I smile a big smile. I still get excited thinking about how much joy that group and their music brought to my life. They were a constant source of joy in what was an otherwise unstable environment. There were a lot of unknowns in my childhood, but one thing I knew was I could always count on the New Kids to make me smile. When they broke up in 1994, I was devastated. But, I was heading to high school and I had new adventures to which I could look forward. Let's fast forward to 2008....the New Kids on the Block reunited and a tour is announced.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I. Went. Crazy. All of the excitement and love I felt from '88 to '94 came flooding back. I HAD to get to a show! Imagine my excitement when I saw that they'd be in Atlantic City, NJ on September 27, 2008: the very night I was to have my bachelorette party! ! ! Yep, the stars aligned and I was finally going to get to my first New Kids show. It was AMAZING and I left the Borgata showroom in tears. I was just overcome with emotion at finally having had a dream come true. I waited patiently for 20 years to see "my" boys and it was incredible. I used to be sad that I never got to see a show as a young girl. Now, I'm thankful. I wouldn't have appreciated it the way I do now. When that opening montage asked "Are You Ready?" and answered with "It's Time" I was overcome with a feeling I had never known before. It was so foreign to me and I cried. I still cry watching that montage and I still have a difficult time putting in to words what I feel because of NKOTB. The passion and energy and excitement that the New Kids bring to my life is unmatched by anything else I love it. I went on to attend 3 more shows during the 2008/09 tour and would've done a hundred more if that whole work thing didn't get in the way. Unfortunately I haven't been able to afford any of the cruise events but attending  is on my bucket list. It'll stay there until the guys decide to stop hosting and that ship has sailed (pun intended.) I WILL meet Donnie one day; mark my words. While their reunion filled an unknown void that was present for 14 years, meeting him and thanking him for his years of inspiration will be the ultimate dream come true. I have to do it to be complete.

The New Kids reuniting sparked a new excitement in my life. I was taken back to my childhood and the memories of dancing around my room to Cover Girl came back as if they had happened just yesterday. (I'm not ashamed to admit that this does still happen on some yesterdays.) I was engaged in the hype that was their reunion and was reminded about how important it is to hold the "little" things close to your heart. I was reminded of how important loyalty and passion are to success. I witnessed a devotion and gratitude to the legions of blockheads that instantly welcomed them back after 14 years. This gratitude to their fans is unmatched by any other group in history. (Don't argue with me on this; you won't change my mind.) The New Kids on the Block reuniting reminded me how important it is to never stop dreaming and how important it is to believe in yourself. I am inspired by at least one New Kid every day (thanks, Twitter) and am so very proud to call myself a Blockhead, a Donnie Girl, part of Ddub's army, a fan, and one of a million and one sisters.

This may all seem silly and trivial to you and that's okay. This blog isn't about you. It's about me making sense of my world and the New Kids on the Block are a big part of my world. I honestly believe that I wouldn't be who I am today without them. I feel indebted to each of the guys and hope that some day I can meet them and thank them in person. I could have gone on for pages and pages and pages about what I learned and continue to learn from Danny, Donnie, Joey, Jonathan, and Jordan. I could devote an entire blog (not just a post) to our New Kids family but Blue Bloods is coming on and I need to go watch.

Thanks for reading!

Positivity is not about being soft. It's about being smart. You sucka!


  1. I am actually also NKOTB obsessed (Joey went to high school half a mile from my house.. how could I not be? When I heard about the NKOTB/ 98 Degrees/ Boyz II Men concert- I thought of you. Are you going?

    1. Side note, I was able to win tix to the Philly show AND got comp tickets from their bass player for the Brooklyn show. :) Got to see my boys twice this tour. Very happy. Hope you are well. xoxo

  2. I wish! I went to five shows in 2008-09 and actually had my bachelorette party at a show in Atlantic City. With all of our medical expenses this year, and some other unexpected costs, we just can't afford the tickets for this tour. I'm going to try to win some though! ! Fingers crossed. :)