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Friday, August 15, 2014

15

How I Became an Adult Backstreet Boys Fan

BSB"Sorry, we went with another candidate."

I briefly considered putting this on my tombstone, but then I realized the better idea would be to get cremated and have a trusted friend blow my ashes into the eyes of job fair recruiters. If I were to die this instant, that is. You don't want to hire me? Too late, I fired myself from being alive.

"You'll get something,” my mom assures me. "How is your writing going?"

***

I spend all my extra money on a video player for the TV. It's small and compact enough that I could probably lose it if it didn't have wires attached. I rip it out of the package and sit nearly immobile until one of my roommates returns.

"Look," I say, holding up the remote. "We can all watch music videos together."

She is excited like she would be if I’d just made alternate on the spelling team. You’re happy so I'm happy. I decide this is sufficient.

That night my roommates and I watch everything from My Chemical Romance's "Helena" to Crazytown's "Butterfly." I drink champagne out of a boot-shaped mug and fist pump when I put on "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."

I have seen it before, but each view brings a new revelation. All of the Backstreet Boys are trapped for a night in a mansion so spooky that they turn into horror movie characters. Nick is wrapped in gauze, flanked by two female mummies. Howie is a vampire doing a slow-mo bite of a lady in a red, ruffled dress who looks stoned.

I decide that a world without a high-budget haunted-mansion boy band video is not a world I can feel comfortable living in, just as I would not feel comfortable living in a world where the question "Am I sexual?" is left unanswered.

("Yeaaaahhhh.")

"Wait," I tug at my roommate's sleeve, sloshing champagne into my lap. "Let's watch another Backstreet Boys video."

***

My inbox the next morning has three job alerts, along with a confirmation for my order of one Backstreet Boys Millennium tour poster.

When my girlfriend comes over I ask her who her favorite Backstreet Boy is.

"I didn't really like Backstreet Boys. I liked NSYNC."

"It's not a zero-sum game! You can like both."

"No,” she says.

"But like if you had to pick—"

"Kevin.”

***

My favorite Backstreet Boy is Brian because he is short and looks like he might have been really into kites during his childhood. My favorite member of NSYNC is Justin, which I feel a little guilty about. Backstreet Boys was more of an egalitarian boy band, whereas NSYNC was the Justin show: the other members didn't really have a fair fight. I imagine that Chris Kirkpatrick's dread-ponytail was a cry for attention, a silent plea to let him have a solo.

I have stopped looking for jobs.

***

My poster comes much later than expected, and I have to pick it up from the post office. It's in a long poster tube, but when I unwrap it I reveal a small print the approximate size of, say, my resume. I flatten it out and tape it to my door.

"It's here!"

My roommate surveys the poster.

"I thought it would be a lot bigger."

"It's big enough! Look at it! They're dressed like spacemen."

"Yeah," she says, looking at it again. "Why are there only three of them on the poster? Aren't there five of them?"

"These are the three best ones."

I text a photo of it to my girlfriend.

"Why is it so small? Where is Howie and AJ?"

***

In the video for NSYNC's "I Want You Back" the boys are dancing on a spaceship, with color-coordinated skintight shirts and baggy, belted black pants. Halfway through my third viewing of the video, I decide that I, too, would like to look good in skin-tight shirts.

"If I just dance a lot I'll get those muscles." I pull another beer out of the fridge.

"Dancing gives you lean muscle," my girlfriend says. "They have to lift weights too look like that."

I have a gym membership that I use approximately once every two weeks, my primary motivation being that there's a liquor store on the walk home. "Gym gets you Gin," I'll say as I turn the elliptical up from Level 1 to Level 2.

I start going to the gym every day, equipped with a playlist I subscribed to called "BOY BANDS," which has everything from O-Town to New Edition. Every day after the elliptical I take a walk through the weights section, too self-conscious to pick anything up. There are dudes in tank tops who already have boy band muscles. They lift weights above their heads without breaking eye contact with their mirrored reflections.

I meander long enough at one point that it's awkward if I just leave, so I pick up a five-pound weight and flex with it.

***

My roommate who works from home is making a fruit salad while I listen to "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" with headphones plugged in.

"All you do is go to the gym, get drunk, and listen to the Backstreet Boys," she says. "Are you going to be an adult Backstreet Boys fan?"

I don't answer because I don't need to.

***

I fly back home to Texas for my grandmother's 80th birthday party. Afterwards, I pick up a friend who I haven't seen in a year.

"What's new with you?" I ask. "Are you still seeing Mark?"

"Yeah! How are you?"

The playlist in my car switches songs.

"I think that ‘The Call’ was when people started liking Backstreet Boys less,” I say. “It's a song about infidelity that couldn't possibly be marketed to the same group of people that were enamored of ‘As Long as You Love Me.’ I'm good though, to answer your question."

***

A few days later I return home to a handful of letters that my girlfriend wrote me while she was visiting California, along with a package containing a Backstreet Boys T-shirt that I ordered off of Etsy a week before in the twilight hours of the morning.

Sighing, I sit down at my computer, open a job alert email, and turn the volume up slightly on "It's Gonna Be Me.”

 

 

Chelsea Upton hates One Direction.



15 Comments / Post A Comment

Tripleoxer

This was great. Also, I met 4 of the Backstreet Boys in college at some private radio concert that my mom won tickets to and gave to me (I think Kevin was the one that wasn't there?). I hugged Nick and took a photo with AJ. Probably the crowning achievement of my life.

Lisa Frank

What? Howie was the best Backstreet Boy.

Also, One Direction sucks. Except for Zayn. Zayyyyyn.

buckachu

@Lisa Frank Yes, Correct. And Howie has also aged the best. Have you seen him lately?? Yes plz.

TheGenYgirl

Personal essays with adrift female voices composed in short, bitter-sweet vignettes are my happy place.

Wendy Streeter@facebook

Hello Friends all over the world this is my testimony about the good work of a man who helping me roster my broken relationship and marriage and my name is Wendy Streeter I'm from Florida,USA, i was married to my husband for 4 years we were living happily together for this years and not until he traveled to Italy for a business trip where he met this girl and since then he hate me and the kids and love her only. so when my husband came back from the trip he said he does not want to see me and my kids again so he drove us out of the house and he was now going to Italy to see that other woman. so i and my kids were now so frustrated and i was just staying with my mum and i was not be treating good because my mother got married to another man after my father death so the man she got married to was not treating her well, i and my kids where so confuse and i was searching for a way to get my husband back home because i love and cherish him so much so one day as i was browsing on my computer i saw a testimony about this spell caster Dr.Brave testimonies shared on the internet by a lady and it impress me so much i also think of give it a try. At first i was scared but when i think of what me and my kids are passing through so i contact him and he told me to stay calm for just 24 hours that my husband shall come back to me and to my best surprise i received a call from my husband on the second day asking after the kids and i called Dr.Brave and he said your problems are solved my child. so this was how i get my family back after a long stress of brake up by an evil lady so with all this help from Dr.Brave , i want you all on this forum to join me to say a huge thanks to Dr.Brave and i will also advice for any one in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him his email is bravespellcaster@gmail.com he is the solution to all your problems and predicaments in life. once again his email address is bravespellcaster@gmail.com,or kindly visit he website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com Thanks.

2737471081@twitter

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Wendy Streeter@facebook

This Is How i Get My Husband Back From Other Woman Today

Hello Friends all over the world this is my testimony about the good work of a man who helping me roster my broken relationship and marriage and my name is Wendy Streeter I'm from Florida,USA, i was married to my husband for 4 years we were living happily together for this years and not until he traveled to Italy for a business trip where he met this girl and since then he hate me and the kids and love her only. so when my husband came back from the trip he said he does not want to see me and my kids again so he drove us out of the house and he was now going to Italy to see that other woman. so i and my kids were now so frustrated and i was just staying with my mum and i was not be treating good because my mother got married to another man after my father death so the man she got married to was not treating her well, i and my kids where so confuse and i was searching for a way to get my husband back home because i love and cherish him so much so one day as i was browsing on my computer i saw a testimony about this spell caster Dr.Brave testimonies shared on the internet by a lady and it impress me so much i also think of give it a try. At first i was scared but when i think of what me and my kids are passing through so i contact him and he told me to stay calm for just 24 hours that my husband shall come back to me and to my best surprise i received a call from my husband on the second day asking after the kids and i called Dr.Brave and he said your problems are solved my child. so this was how i get my family back after a long stress of brake up by an evil lady so with all this help from Dr.Brave , i want you all on this forum to join me to say a huge thanks to Dr.Brave and i will also advice for any one in such or similar problems or any kind of problems should also contact him his email is bravespellcaster@gmail.com he is the solution to all your problems and predicaments in life. once again his email address is bravespellcaster@gmail.com,or kindly visit he website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com Thanks.

eizverson22

Backstreet Boys who is my favorite combination. They are my idols.

DirkMcQuickly

I recently bought the mp3 of "I Want it that Way" - Still amazing after all these years.

kylechernin

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James Mack@facebook

THANKS TO Dr Brave FOR BRINGIND BACK MY WIFE AND BROUGHT GREAT JOY TO MY FAMILY?

Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

peligradangelita

Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I'm getting tired of Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. It would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
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schnetzjean

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