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How NKOTB Saved my Life – 2013 Tour Announced!

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Okay that’s it – I can’t hold back, I have to say it again, I LOVE 2013 so far.

So far this year has been freaking amazing AND it just gets better.

But first, you have to understand why this is so amazing to me.

I had a pretty bad childhood, I’m honest about that, but one thing that I was never lacking was toys. I was spoiled rotten; my parents let me have just about anything my little heart desired.

The first time I remember hearing them on the radio I was in the 6th grade and I had just gotten a big stereo for my bedroom; the kind that had two cassette tapes on the front, a record player on top and played AM/FM stations. CDs weren’t a thing yet. His voice sang out over the radio singing “I’ll be loving you forever.” and from that very moment I was in love. Jordan Knight, New Kids on the Block.

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I was that girl who was so in love with NKOTB that I bought every Teen Beat, Bop or whatever magazine their pictures where in and my entire bedroom walls with no room left at all was wallpapered in their 8×10 Magazine shots and photos. I had the baseball cards, the dolls the buttons, if you could buy it with New Kids on the Block on it, I got it. I went to any and every concert my parents would drive me to. I’d go to the same concert three nights in a row in different areas of California that my parents were willing to drive me to in order to see them.

My cousins and I made a video called “The New Babes on the Block” which was this horrible home video of us pretending we were cool and telling them how much we loved them and pretending to be interviewed by someone like Oprah about how we were their biggest fans. It was amazing. I watched every interview they did, every appearance, I even watched their cartoon. Loving NKOTB is honestly one of the highlights of that time of my life.

It was a horrible time for me. I was the chubby little girl who was just starting to like boys and I was about to embark on a time in my life I call the rejection period. I felt rejected by everyone, boys that didn’t pay attention to me, popular girls that didn’t want to be my friend, my dysfunctional family, the biological mother that didn’t want me.  But obsessing on New Kids on the Block made it all better for me. Nobody else had to love me, I had them. I can honestly say that is the first time I can recall my escapism mechanism kicking into high gear. I spent hours in my bedroom having a relationship with Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon and Jordan.

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Those boys were with me whether they realized it or not through some of the hardest moments of my life. They were there when I found out that my grandmother had knowingly married a child molester, they were there the first time I kissed a boy, they were there when I lost my virginity, and the first time I got my heart broken. They were there when my biological mom came back into my life and wanted me to do drugs and take care of her two new kids. And their anti-drug stance was probably one of the major reasons I didn’t end up following that path. They were there the first time I cut myself on purpose. They were there the first time I tried to kill myself.  Music has always been something that I turn to when I am lost and confused and hurt, I can just listen to a song that I related too and get lost in it. I associate certain songs with certain times of my life. These boys gave me that coping mechanism and never even knew it.

Now fast forward a bit. New Kids on the Block splits, they are gone, life goes on, and I triumph through but now I’m at this point where I weigh over 400 lbs  I’m 32 years old, and suddenly there is an announcement that NKOTB is reuniting and going back on tour. Their new album comes out and Danny Wood, realizing that a lot of their fans are out of shape and fallen into the trap of obesity starts encouraging their fans through his own love for working out.

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And when I first started exercising and it sucked, and I weighed 400 lb. and my body wouldn’t let me do much at all. It would take me over 40 minutes to walk a mile on the treadmill they kept me company with their music. I had their new album on repeat over and over it was the only thing I listened to when I exercised for months and months and months. Until I met P!nk and Adele, then I started sharing space on my play list for other favorites.  A year later, after attending their reunion concert in Tacoma Washington, my best friends husband Colin, bought us tickets to their Concord CA concert. I needed to go to CA and I weighed 420lbs. I ended up having to take a train because I couldn’t afford to buy two seats on a plane. I had to sit in the handicap section because of the concern of me not fitting through the stairwell. I never went anywhere anymore, but for those five men I’d still muster up the courage to get to their concert. It was amazing; we were in like the 6th row. My friend and I wore shirts that said “My Freebie List: #1 Jordan Knight” Tora’s said Joey McIntyre of course.  These boys whether they realized it or not, got me out of my depressed 400 lb. shut in phase.

These five men once again, managed to be there with me through some of the most important moments of my life.  I remember listening to their album on the headphones in the hospital the night after my gastric bypass.  I remember listening to them when my marriage was falling apart.  They were there when I could hardly walk a mile, and they were there when I could run one for the first time.

I talk about something I call “Forever Moments” Things that happen in our life that we will never forget, things that happen that are etched into who we are forever. These five men are part of my life and they don’t even know it. Some people touch our lives without ever realizing it and some people save our lives and never know it.

A brand new NKTOB Album is coming out. A new tour! 2013 is SoooOOoooO my year, I’ll have that album the moment it comes out, they will be with me as I train for my first half marathon this year and I’ll be at any concert I can get too! I’d tour the whole damn country with them if I could afford to follow them around like the Blockhead Groupie I am.

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Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

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