March 26, 2013

I Want It That Way: Backstreet Boys Harlem Shake

So apparently I pretty much missed the whole Harlem Shake thing. I kind of know what it is now, but I still don't really get it. No worries....that's not what this post is about.

When I was in high school, boy bands were all the rage. It's like one day they weren't and then the next day, they were. I can't explain it. But I loved them...'N Sync, 98 Degrees, and especially The Backstreet Boys.

Didn't take me for a boy band fan? Well, I was.

I even managed to see both 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys in concert my senior year of high school. It was 1999...we weren't sure what the coming millennium would bring what with Y2K and all so I consider this quite a feat.

My Backstreet Boys experience was truly unforgettable. I had been helping a friend of mine stay caught up in our honors English class (she was on our school's golf team and was busy winning the state tournament...thus she had to miss a lot of school).

As sort of repayment for helping her, her dad bought us concert tickets to see BSB. Except my friend wasn't all that interested in seeing them. Thankfully her 9 year old sister was as big a fan as I was so she made a wonderful concert-going companion.

Now I must tell you about my friend's dad. His family and mine have been close for years and he's kind of a celebrity around my small hometown. His name is Wayne, but everybody knows him as Mister Wayne because he owns and operates a beauty/barber school. He is a legend in the hair industry. Seriously.

And I feel very privileged to say that he took me to see The Backstreet Boys. Where I proceeded to scream and cry like those girls who saw Elvis back in the 60s. Except I was screaming for Howie D. Yes, I loved Howie. I only picked him as my favorite because I thought nobody else liked him...I guess I felt sort of sorry for him because he was the oldest. But Mister Wayne humored me.

He even agreed to stay at the concert arena long after the band had left the stage because they hadn't yet performed "I want it that way" and I just knew there were going to come back for an encore. We waited and waited. People started to leave. Just as Mister Wayne was about to make us pack it up, the boys came back out and sang the song. It was amazing. Though I didn't know it, in that moment I was infinite.