I'll be loving (this memory) forever.

My sweet friend Lyn wants to know:  
What's your favorite memory from your teen years?


Do y'all remember the New Kids?  I mean, surely you must.  Even if you weren't in love with them, you can recall that they were like, a big deal, not that long ago. 

No seriously, it wasn't that long ago.

I remember them.  I even remember that move they did on The Right Stuff.  You know, the one where you alternate jamming your elbows left and right at a 90º angle?  I also remember Joe McIntyre being cuter.  You know, less girly-lookin'. 

Here they are (or were), hangin' tough.

Okay, so there I was, back in the early 90s, in love with Joey Mac, much like the young girls of today are in love with Justice Beaver. 

There was so much about me that was wrong.  Joe was only the beginning.  Exhibit A: I was also tragically in love with bad fashion: splatter paint jeans, beaded socks, pleats, bangs.
Is it just me, or do those only belong on six year old girls? I was like, thirteen.  I also had a fuchsia/teal/purple fanny pack.  See? Wrong.  It's a wonder I trust my fashion instincts at all.

A word on bangs: I still love them and think they're wonderful, but here's the thing with me and bangs.  Bangs are bad, m'kay?  I know this because I'm a stubborn mule who has tried and tried only to come to this grim realization:  I am not the Katie Holmes of bangs.  I wish!  I'm closer to this guy.  Equally bad.  I promise.  I would never exaggerate, not in a million trillion years.
How are these connected? (Sometimes I have to ask myself questions to connect my thoughts and pretend they go together.) 

One day, my Daddy came home with tickets to go see NKOTB, live, in the flesh.  Not just on oversized buttons like the ones hanging from my bulletin board, aaannndddd, there would be a limo involved.  Squeals ensued, I am sure.

All I had to do was decide what to wear.  Seem simple enough?  (See Exhibit A.)

I decided that from top to bottom, it should go like this:
bangs in a wave
large, brown tortoise shell glasses and braces (not so much a matter of choice, you see)
sleeveless light purple tank top with white ribbing at the neckline but not the armholes (fancy)
(tucked into) splatter paint jeans
(was there a belt? I'm not sure.)
white, multi-color beaded socks
generic Vans from WalMart (y'all remember them?)(mine were black like these, only cheaper, and with neon pink and lime green smallish polka dots)(and I loved 'em strong)

I was what my Mama liked to call "psychedelic". 

I was what I liked to call "dressed to kill". 

I don't know why the fanny pack wasn't included except that somebody probably talked me out of it.

Probably something about "sometimes less is more".  I may have gotten a lecture on "understated style".  I don't really recall. 

I only wish I had a picture.  I'd love to put that up on my fridge.  I most certainly would.


I don't know why I love that memory so much.  Maybe it was because my Daddy took the time to notice what I loved, that I felt seen by him, and that he wanted to bless me with it.  I don't know if I processed it that way as it was happening, but looking back, I think that's the thing I love most about it, and even if I couldn't see it then, I see it now.

And it still counts.


  1. What a great memory!

    PS - I had those same walmart jeans
    and I was all about Joey too. See, we had the same taste back then too.

    Also, it took me several minutes to find where to leave a comment...I've lost my edge.

  2. ohhhhhhh, i loooooooveeeee this! I was also very much in lust with NKOTB, but before they were called NKOTB. That picture you put up of them...I liked them BEFORE that. Because I was in love with Donnie, and I was not in love with Donnie when he looked LIKE THAT. Shallow, I know, but I was also, like 12, so what are you at 12 if not shallow, huh? Was that sentence enough of a run-on for you?

    I also had the gigantic buttons, that were just horrible as I remember them now. What on earth were we thinking wearing those silly things? Why didn't our mamas slap us silly? Not only did they let us wear them....they BOUGHT them for us.

    I don't know what I will do when my girls are 12, but I promise myself I will not buy them buttons as big as dinner plates with boys on them. That, my friend, is a promise.

    That is a great memory. I wish one of my parents would've noticed me enough to buy me some tickets to see 'dem boys. I sure wouldda be happy. Maybe I wouldn't have rebelled and started drinking and chasing real live boys.

    So I guess I'll keep that in mind. Buy them the tickets....but NOT the gigantic buttons.

    Thank you for this post. I've learned a lot from it.

  3. (sorry I'm not finished yet) you know, we should get ourselves some tickets and go see them, bc they're coming to the 'dome. We should do it now before our kids realize they should be embarrassed that their mamas are squealing at a boy band concert...

    You think Handy Daddy would let me put that in the budget???

  4. Sarah: We could've borrowed bad clothes from each other if we'd only grown up together. :) Also that "lost my edge" remark made me laugh out loud!

    Holly: First of all, YES to the tickets. Your husband best say yes. He knows he'd beg you to death if it was Bon Jovi. (can't hold that against him)

    Also, I still chased real live boys in real live life, too. This one memory is dear to me, but there weren't enough times that I felt that way to fill my soul hunger. :( I still sought it elsewhere.

    Let's look into those tickets though, fuh reals.

  5. Oh Jo I was one of the many star struck girls when it came down to NKOTB! I saw them for the first time at fun fair park and they weren't huge yet:) ahhh yes the obsession was born! I too got to go and see them in concert in addition to the park. And just to give you a visual I had an oversized t shirt that was tucked into my blue jean shorts that I customized myself...these shorts were light colored and had holes made by me along with me and my bff taking a marks a lot to it writing all of their names ALL OVER those shorts. I'm sure you've got that awesome image in your head, but I have the picture to prove the look! Oh and as far as my hair went I liked to rock the "skid row" style with long hair having half of it covering over my left eye I was a total rockstar:) God bless my momma for being seen with me in public! Thanks for sharing your awesome memory of the best boy band ever:)

  6. aw, fa' real?

    Well start embroidering the heck out of ya lil' signs and sell dem babies and I'll see what I can scratch up selling my kids toys, and we can try to score us some tickets.

    I'mma where my bangs real high and I'mma scream "Donnie! Shave all that scraggly stuff off ya face and take a bath or somethin...."

    Well, maybe I'll just close my eyes and listen. A girl can dream.

  7. *wear*

    sorry, that was painful for me, too.

  8. Kristin: I can totally see those cutoffs. I love that whole outfit. I bet we were at that same show. Trippy.

  9. That is one great memory....what's funny tho' is that NKOTB were the rave in Kenya too...haha...small world!!!I never got into them too much tho' :( but i knew all their songs, and some of their dance moves - i was "happening" lol

  10. Oh... I almost had a heart-o-tack when I saw that bangs were categorized with beaded socks, splatter paint jeans, and pleats.

    But then you addressed that issue and I am pretty sure I am okay now. Whewww.

    How very fun this post was - as well as the entertaining comments.


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