“Nick Lachey was in 98 Degrees and Justin Timberlake is from N*Sync, not New Kids on the Block!” I yelled at my fellow librarians. I could not believe that they didn’t know the difference between the inferior boy bands to the supreme New Kids on the Block. I had tickets to see the reunited boys from Boston, a.k.a. NKOTB, and my coworkers could not stop making fun of me.
I couldn’t really blame them. My husband, sister, and pretty much every friend I had couldn’t contain their laughter when I gushed about my tickets. I was a rocker girl. I went to see bands like Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots, and would complain when they played their slow ballads. They just didn’t understand.
Since I first saw the five New Kids croon, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,” I was in love. Their tattered jackets, ripped jeans, and rat tail haircuts encapsulated the times. At least the times I lived in! When I announced to my class that my family was moving out of Atlantic City and to Suburbia, Connecticut, Gilberto Lopez sang “Please Don’t Go Girl” to me. “How could you leave when we we’re almost to the hand-holding phase of our relationship?” he shouted in angst.
In Suburbia, nobody listened to New Kids on the Block, nobody owned a topless top hat, and nobody had rat tail haircut. I cut my rat tail off and sacrificed it. I vowed to listen to only metal from that day forward. I suppressed my feelings for Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, and Donnie Wahlberg…until the night of the concert. Then I found myself belting out “Please Don’t Go Girl” at the top of my lungs, along with 40,000 other women. I wondered if they were thinking of someone special, too.
I know I’m not the only one out there who has a guilty pleasure. Which category does yours fit into?
Pop Music: Do you sing along to boy bands (or girl bands)? Even, the “inferior” ones? Of course, I recommend the Greatest Hits of New Kids on the Block (CD DANCE NEW). Listen to see if you’re Jordan’s “Favorite Girl” or Donnie’s “Cover Girl.”
If NKOTB isn’t modern enough for you, give a listen to NSync (CD DANCE NSY). Before Justin Timberlake broke out on his own, he was crooning to choreographed hits such as “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “Bye Bye Bye” with his NKOTB look-a-like band.
Britney Spears (CD DANCE SPE) will surely spice up your day. I know you know the lyrics to at least one song from one of these albums. Don’t even try to deny it!
And, if you hate reality TV as much as I do, I hope you were as disgusted as I was when you heard about KISS taking the stage at American Idol’s finale. I have personally demoted KISS from rock gods to pop stars after that stunt. Listening to hits from Alive! (CD ROCK KIS) sounds like pop compared to today’s rocks hits anyhow!
Teeney Bopper Fun: Do you get sucked into teenage drama? Try the Gilmore Girls (YA DVD GIL). This mother and daughter team have a sweet relationship, and speak to each other in speedy, witty dialogue. See if you can keep up with their sometimes obscure pop culture references. My husband tried to resist the Gilmores, but he got sucked right in! He watched along with me as Rory graduated high school and went off to college.
Reality Craze: If you enjoy watching other people, try some of these. They’re way better than The Bachelorette and Dancing with the Stars! The Truman Show (DVD DRAMA TRU) is from the pre-reality TV boom era, and it documents the life of Truman, played by Jim Carrey. He doesn’t know that his every move is being televised for the whole world to see. Everything around him is manipulated by writers and editors: his boss’ requests, his relationships, even the weather! If only we could blame writers when something goes wrong in our life.
My personal favorite is People magazine. My life seems like I won the lottery when I look to the stars!
If you’re feeling a bit more cerebral, try Nancy Day’s Sensational TV: Trash or Journalism? (YA 791.456 DAY). Day discusses the now fine line between news and entertainment. She even includes ten steps to becoming a critical viewer, in case you’ve been spending too much time watching the E! Network!
The Dark Side: Is your form of a guilty pleasure more embarrassing to admit to? Maybe you think Eminem’s (CD DANCE/RAP EMI) lyrics are actually witty. Or maybe you check out Danielle Steele’s (LP FIC STE) books “for your grandma.”
So, c’mon! Fess up. What’s your guilty pleasure? After all, you have the option of posting a comment with a pseudonym…
Lisa Shaia is the children’s librarian. She, and her friend Kathy, sang their hearts out and danced the night away to “Hanging Tough,” among other NKOTB classics, one evening in June.