Wednesday, April 8, 2009
NKOTB, part two
So Donnie totally kissed the girl next to me.
Yep. I'm not burying the lead, to use a journalism term. I'm getting that detail out of the way first thing. Because that is undoubtedly what I'll remember most from the New Kids concert in Des Moines on Monday.
I didn't even know about the show until the middle of last week - how I let that happen, I'm not sure. But I decided if I could get a decent seat, I should go. How could I not, right? This is the band, after all, for which I basically lived -- for, oh, I don't know, three years.
So I totally scored a fourth row seat for less than I would have paid for the ticket from the box office. Thank you, craigslist and overeager New Kid fan who upgraded her original ticket and had an extra.
Even better, though, was that I was on the end of the row on the left side of the arena. This normally would mean nothing. However, as my kiss detail may have led you to guess already, this meant everything to those of us on each row's end BECAUSE the New Kids walked right past us.
Yep. That meant touching. And, like, sharing air and being closer to these guys who I realize now are really just regular people than my 11-year-old infatuated self ever could have imagined.
Their trip down the aisle was a result of a three-song set the guys did on a small stage near the back of the arena. Afterward, they passed right by us to get back to the main stage. We knew it was coming because a line of arena security guards came and stretched a theater-style fancy rope between us and the aisle. As if all of us 30-something rabid New Kids fans were going to attack them or something. (Especially this gigantic, eight-month pregnant one).
Anyway, the girl in front of me, who when turned to face the aisle was actually next to me, is an almost-31-year-old stay-at-home mom of 8-month- and 20-month-old
baby girls. (She also has two other children including a 15-year-old, who she had at 16. And her husband has three kids from a previous marriage.) She had made these green and white Boston Red Sox caps for herself and her sister by gluing tiny rhinestones one by one onto the hat's front in the shape of the Red Sox's "B." She had also made green T-shirts that said "Face Time" on the front and "Round 4 - Tulsa, Omaha, Moline and Des Moines" on the back. This was obviously the fourth time they'd seen the guys.
This story is getting more detailed than anyone really cares, right? Sorry. I really liked this girl in front of me. She was super nice and chatty and just cool, and if I could look like her after I have this baby, I'd be way happy. If she didn't live in Manhattan, Kan., I'd have asked her out. Kidding.
So Jon came down the aisle first, offering high- (more like mid-) fives. I got one.
Then Joe came and then Jordan. Pretty sure I touched Jordan's arm.
Danny came (meh, who cares).
And then Donnie, who appeared to be walking down the aisle like everyone else. When he got to us, though, he stopped, sort of pushed the security guard aside and gave this girl a chocolate-brown hand towel he'd been using and kissed her. On the lips.
It was incredible, mostly because it was so unexpected. And it happened right there. And to a girl I sort of knew.
She screamed. "I got a smooch!"
I remember yelling, "Oh my God!"
Her sister gave her a hug.
Though it was weird - and it probably sounds weird to everyone who is not and never was a true New Kids fan -- this was a big deal. Those of us around her, I think, were genuinely happy for her. I was at least.
The concert continued, and it was all good. Jordan sang "Baby, I Believe in You," his shirt blowing in the wind of a fan, and the guys (like they were when I saw them in Omaha in November) were appreciative and happy and enthusiastic and genuinely seemed to be having a good time up there on stage.
I think performers don't do that enough these days.
So was a two-hour drive each way worth it?
And I'm contemplating figuring out how long it would take to drive to Wichita this summer - the next time the boys from Boston will be nearby.