We don't know what's coming next, and I look forward to making more memories, but for now I wanted to capture what I consider my top 12 reunion memories. It was going to be a top 10, but 10 just wasn't enough.
Let's start with 12-7. 6-1 will come in the next post.
12. Long Island DVD Screening: Somewhere on my list of childhood daydreams had to have been going to the movies with NKOTB, and in January 2010, I got to. Better yet, the movie we were watching was about them and I got to see it a week before it hit store shelves.
There was also a thrill in the buildup to the screenings, although I probably appreciate it more now than I did then. I was convinced the closest screening to me would be in West Virginia (read: not in a place I had a hope of getting to) and had resigned myself to waiting for my copy in the mail to watch at home in my New Kids-free living room. When I saw that one of the theaters that had been selected was only 45 minutes away, I could hardly believe it, and when I got the email saying I could attend I was giddy. Being part of such a lucky select group made it even more special.
A week or so before the Holmdel show I was sitting in my mother's hospital room wondering if I would be lucky enough to be chosen as a LGT volunteer, and no sooner did the thought cross my mind than I received the invitation email. (One of my small thrills in life: seeing "Joe McIntyre" in my email inbox.) The day of the show was cold and the rain came down hard, but my co-volunteers and I became fast friends. Holmdel is especially notable because it's the closest I've ever come to having a sensible conversation with Joe, despite the fact that said conversation included me mentioning Shoshanna Bean.
10. Atlantic City Casi-NO tour: Last minute decisions are always the best, aren't they? It never occurred to me to buy tickets for AC when the tour went on sale. I had Miami. I had Radio City. I didn't need to fight Jersey shore traffic on Memorial Day weekend for another show, right? So I thought until the Wednesday before the Saturday show, when Elizabeth, Kim, and I decided to meet in exotic Atlantic CIty for one extra show. We met up with Jo there, and while the concert was good, the after party was better. It was the best show after party I've been to, which may have had something to do with seeing this guy.
9. May 16, 2008 Today Show: Yup, this is really #9. I double checked. They actually get better from here.
I had wanted to go to the very first Today Show on April 4, but I couldn't miss work because I had to teach a class that day. I decided then I wasn't going to miss the next one. Remember when we didn't know BHs were champion queuers? My friend and I had this idea that we were going to take the 5:30 a.m. train FRIDAY morning of the show and get there just before 7. Wednesday of that week I turned on the Today Show and found out people were already lining up. And then my friend had to go away for a family emergency and I was left going by myself, just as I decided Friday morning wasn't going to cut it.
The first Today Show taught me a lot. Like
- I could tell my husband I was going to go camp on the streets of New York and he would not think I was crazy.
- BHs are instant friends. While I was on the train to the city I saw two girls with camp chairs, introduced myself, and they adopted me immediately.
- New Kids attract rain.
This was also the day I opened my Twitter account so I could send updates to other fans.
The enormity of the moment didn't hit me until we were finally allowed into the plaza around 6:15 Friday. I walked around the building and saw all of NKOTB on stage together. It was like someone physically pushed me backwards. All my breath went out of me and it became real.
ktsummer Oh and when I came around the corner & saw them all, I almost fell over. It just hit me - WOW via txtEven though it was cold and wet and I could see very little through all of the flags, signs, and umbrellas, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
8. The Today Show That Wasn't. By the time the second Today Show rolled around, we all knew better than to show up the morning of. So for the September 1, 2008 show, I went in the afternoon before. At first, everything was going great. I was with a group of 4 friends. The sun was out. My husband still did not think sleeping on the street was crazy. We were golden. And then, a guy from NBC came out and told us the show had been canceled.
At first we thought he was a heckler. But as he explained Hurricane Gustav was worsening and the show was devoting all its time to news from the area, we knew he was serious. At the time, there were about 100 girls in line. Some had already been there two days. Others had come in by bus or plane and hadn't booked a place to stay, so there was a fair bit of panic in the crowd. (We were also disappointed, but everyone there understood the reason for the cancelation and agreed that story took priority.)
Within 10 minutes of telling us the show was canceled, NBC and the Plaza security started telling us to get out. Guards were removing the barriers and shooing us off the sidewalk. We said, "We can't leave. The New Kids are going to come here and see us." Every non-fan there thought we were bonkers, but personally, it never occurred to me that they wouldn't come. One guy said we had to leave or he was going to call and have us arrested. The NBC rep kept saying, "Girls, they're not coming. They're not coming." But we were insistent that no, the New Kids really were going to come there and see us. Finally the girls who needed time to make hotel or travel arrangements convinced NBC to allow us to stay for an hour while they made alternate plans.
Around 45 minutes later, a murmur rippled down the line that we were right, and that NKs really were on their way. I have never seen such fierce primping in my life. Makeup appeared as if by magic. After my last Today Show experience of being half drowned, I hadn't bothered doing a thing with myself, but I did change my pants in the middle of the street.
Danny, Jon, and Joe walked down the line, hugging, taking pics, and signing autographs with each girl. Later, after they had left, a Today Show employee told us that when they had picked the guys up from the airport, they insisted on coming straight down to the line, even before they checked in to their hotels.
"Your fans said you would come and none of us believed them," she said to them. "Our fans know us," she said they responded. "They know we're going to be there."
7. Hearing The Block for the First Time: Do you remember (or should I rewind)? I bet you can picture your first listen through The Block clear as day, just like I can. Diving into each track like it was a piece of chocolate cake and you hadn't eaten in weeks. Squeezing your eyes shut so you could hear each voice, each note. Gasping a little when you heard how the lyrics had changed since the "oh oh oh oh" days. Being overcome when you realized this was real. It was 2008 and you were experiencing a brand new NKOTB album. They were together. It was happening. And it was just beginning.