Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We partied like it was 1999. Literally.

Every 20-something girl has a boy-band crush from back in the day. Don't deny it; you do too. When I was in junior high and high school, I LOVED the Backstreet Boys. I mean, loved. As in, my first-ever screen name was "bsbluver4ever." And I am!

In October 1999, the Backstreet Boys came to Phoenix for their Millenium Tour. As soon as I found out about this, I knew I just HAD to go. My mom (also a BSB luver) and I stood in line at Dillard's for hours to get tickets. They had a lottery system to determine who was first in line -- they definitely didn't have enough tickets for all the people who showed up. It was a HUGE deal and sold out in just a few hours.

When the lottery was drawn, we ended up being near the end of the line. We almost lost hope, until my mom came up with a brilliant plan. Each person could purchase up to eight tickets. So she boldly asked a mother-daughter pair at the front of the line how many tickets they were buying. The girl said four, so my mom begged them to let us in on their group (we were only buying three). Worked out perfectly! My mom, 8-year-old sister and I all went. That was only my second concert (my first was Neil Diamond just a few months prior to BSB ... polyester disco pants and all) and it was amazing. I seriously dreamed about it for months afterward. I even wrote about it in my journal and drew hearts all around it like it was the best entry EVERRRRR! (cut me some slack; I was 12.)

Fast-forward 11 years. I was trying to figure out a good way to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday (coming up in August). I heard that the Backstreet Boys were going on tour again, this time with New Kids on the Block. I just knew she'd LOVE it if my sister and I took her to this concert. It'd be like a Backstreet's Back reunion for all of us (ALRIGHT!). So, we purchased the tickets just before Christmas and gave them to her to open on Christmas Day. We saved the gift for last -- three tickets tucked away in a non-descript white envelope. When she opened them, she didn't have her glasses on and couldn't read what they said -- my uncle was sitting beside her and goes, "The Backstreet Boys??" and she immediately jumped up and SCREAMED. She was stoked beyond belief; you would have thought she'd won the Publisher's Clearing House. I knew we'd made the right decision.

Ever since then, my mom has reminded me about the concert nearly every time I saw her. "Only __ more days until BSB!!" she'd sing. We got pretty pumped up about it. My mom was a little sad my two younger sisters weren't coming so she decided to buy them some tickets on our row so they could join us.

Last Thursday, our dreams came true (even though the power was out all day). All of us girls hopped in my mom's car and we went to Oregano's for dinner. Oregano's is this super-cute pizza/pasta restaurant in Mesa that has such delicious food. And huge portions, which is great when you're dining with a group of skinny little girls because you can share entrees!

Mariah (my clone) and Mom

Sarah, Me, Emma

After Oregano's, we headed to the arena. A whole hour early, yes. We were excited!

Our seats were in the very very last row. As in, there was no one behind us. Just a wall. THE wall. But don't feel bad -- US Airways Arena is a fairly small venue, so we still felt like we were close enough. Plus, they had these huge screens  on either side of the main stage that we could watch, too. And the stage was set up so they basically performed across the whole court, not just at one end. There was a main stage at one end, a catwalk which ran down the length of the court and then a small, round stage at the end of the catwalk.

Plus, if no one's behind you, that means you can dance the whole night and not worry about blocking anyone's view or annoying anyone with your moves. So of course, we danced ALLLLL night. That's right!

Sarah and me, with no one behind us!

The hottest ladies at the concert (can you believe my mom's 50? She looks amazing!)
It suddenly hit me half-way through the show that the early 2000's were my "time." My era. Someday, when my kids ask me about the music I listened to and liked as a teen, I'm going to tell them about the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears and Jimmy Eat World and Linkin Park, and they're going to go, "Ewwww! So lame!" (or something else; "lame" probably won't be a cool word by then). But I've embraced this fact. I come from the era of body glitter (lots of it), too-tight belly shirts, low-rise jeans, partially-crimped hair and bubble gum pop. And that might make me lame, but I love it. 
Which boy band team were YOU on back in the day?
The new Backstreet Boys (minus Kevin)
Joey McIntyre ... whoa.


  1. Confession: My high school boyfriend was a Joey McIntyre look alike. I may have continued to date him because of this in spite of the fact that he only got a 9 on the ACT.

  2. @Char, your comment totally made my whole day!

  3. That's awesome you had so much fun! You're mom does NOT look like she's 50! You have some great genes Jenna.

    BACKSTREET BOYS....all the way. I use to call them my boys (until I had more than 1 boy of my own).

  4. Oreganos + all night BSB dance party = aaaamazing! And oh the days of aol screen names lol
    ps- don't forget to let me know what color you want for your heart, (gold red or pink)!

  5. OK, the older lady "ahem" is going to show her age. My boy band crush was the Osmonds, so now you know that I'm definitely NOT a 20 something or even a thirty something. Almost to 50 just like your mom. And yes, your sister Mariah is your clone!!! When I first saw the picture I thought "what a cute pic of Jenna and her mom".

    Thanks for letting me hang out!! Love that you are writing almost every day. I always look forward to what you have to say even if I don't comment much.

  6. Janice, my mom LOVES Donny Osmond! I think that's one of the many reasons she married my dad -- he looks just like him!


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