I miss boy bands.
Last night I was with two of my girlfriends at a bar in the financial district of Boston chatting about random topics over beers (true to form, I had a glass of wine…) and baskets of onion rings and fries. As usual, we got into a discussion about dating and men, and the grim or not-so-grim statuses of our social calendars. I was busy focusing on which fries to devour when I told them: “I miss boy bands. They were the best kind of unrequited love.”
They looked at me like I was a little crazy.
“Think about it,” I continued. “We idolized these guys in those bands and it was okay to love them even if they didn’t love us back.”
“They were kind of gay,” one of them said. “And also, it was an easier unrequited love because we were, like, ten.”
“I feel like it was sad when we were younger that they didn’t love us back though!” the other chimed in.
I ate more fries (give me french fries and foreign languages and it’s game over for me) and nodded. “They were a little gay, and I know we were ten. But it’s not sad that they didn’t love us back, because we weren’t alone in loving them. There was a whole generation of girls that loved them and it was unrequited for all of us.”
“Oooohhh, so true.”
Maybe the conversation was supplemented by happy hour buzzes and baskets of greasy deliciousness, and the concept is not particularly deep, but I think there is something to be said for the love we all felt for boy bands. Frosted tips, questionable sexual orientations, and rampant auto-tuning aside, we all invested emotions (and our parents’ money in N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys paraphernalia and concert tickets) in those boys during our formative years – when we were first learning what all of those feelings meant – and they always delivered, even if it was only through highly-choreographed dance routines and over radio waves. Plus, who doesn’t shamelessly jam to a little “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “When the Lights Go Out” on their morning commutes? …Just me? Okay.
I can appreciate that, even if they were famous more than ten years ago when I still didn’t know what they were really saying in “Digital Get Down,” those boys will always make me feel forever young. And so, to them I dedicate this post. May all of our love affairs be worthy of corny lyrics, dance routines choreographed by Hollywood big shots, expensive music video sets, Pepsi endorsements, vocal runs by JC Chasez and close-ups of Justin Timberlake’s face. May we never have to tell men to “Quit Playin’ Games With [Our] Heart[s],” and may we always find the courage to say “Bye Bye Bye” if haters hate.