Last Friday, my childhood BFF Brittany and I reunited to take a road trip to the New Kids On The Block/Backstreet Boys concert in a city 150 miles north of ours. I say “road trip” but it was more of a religious pilgrimage to worship at the altar of AJ McLean’s facial hair (if you’re unversed in the BSB gospel, AJ is the bad boy of the group, and Brittany and I have been trying to get him to marry us since 1997). The concert was incredible, obviously, complete with dazzling pyrotechnics, dreamy harmonies, and Jordan Knight straining so hard to hit his high notes that I genuinely feared for his well-being. Over the course of this grand adventure, I learned a few lessons about style that will stick with me forever…
1. Uncomfortable Shoes Are Not Worth It
Brittany and I modeled our outfits on Avril Lavigne circa “Sk8r Boi,” partly because it just felt right for the occasion and partly because we bought most of our accessories at Walmart an hour before the show. My lace-up 4-inch wedge platform sandals were perfect for the look I was going for. Not so perfect for a two-and-a-half-hour dance party. Luckily I stashed a pair of flip-flops in Brittany’s fanny pack (more on that later) and was able to swap shoes in order to hobble out of the arena. Brittany, meanwhile, happily danced the night away in a pair of flat boots. Wise woman, that one.
2. Take Every Opportunity To Dress Up
I have to say, that mad dash through Walmart for rubber bracelets, rhinestone skull necklaces, a baby blue necktie, and a curling iron is a memory I’ll treasure forever. So is the moment in the hotel room when I plugged in the brand new curling iron and it exploded. So is the process of getting ready for a ridiculous concert with my old friend, reminiscing about our middle school crushes while affixing fake lashes to our eyelids. And none of that would have happened if we hadn’t decided to dress up for this momentous occasion.
3. Bald Is Beautiful
As hard as it is for me to admit, my beloved AJ has changed a bit over the years. Most notably he is completely bald now. Which means that bald is my new favorite hairstyle.
4. Fanny Packs Are Kind Of Awesome
During the drive up to the concert, Brittany started telling me about her penchant for fanny packs.
Come on. But she made some compelling arguments: they’re completely hands free, they’re so uncool they’re cool, and you can use them to block unwanted grinding attempts at the club. When she brought out her black leather fanny pack to top off her concert outfit, demonstrated its impressive storage capabilities, and showed me a sweet fanny pack dance move, I was sold.
5. Sometimes A Pelvic Thrust Is The Best Accessory
The Backstreet Boys and the New Kids were both decked out in all kind of snazzy clothes. They wore studded leather vests, sparkly tuxedos, puffy high top sneakers, sleek fedoras, and sequined basketball jerseys. And even with all that, it was their masterful pelvic thrusts that were truly unforgettable.