Nostalgia in Reverse

Without getting in to specifics (and possibly violating laws), I work in a place that caters to young girls. It is a retail store in a famous fancy hotel in New York City, focusing on a children’s book about a little girl who lives in the hotel. I love my work, and adore most of my little customers, but the one thing I can’t stand is the music we have to listen to.

Music that is meant to appeal to girls between the ages of nine and twelve is pretty tough to listen to all day. And I like cheesy pop music. I say cheesy not crappy. There is a lot of crappy pop music, but some of it is awesome.

I love her. Not ironically. Just pure love.

I love her. Not ironically. Just pure love.

And there’s this sort of weird musical Stockholm Syndrome that sets in, and you start to think you actually like Demi Lovato or whatever, and it’s hard to deal with.

But today I put on a shuffle of Pandora stations, that included a One Direction seed and a NSYNC seed. I’ve staunchly defended 1D in the past, because I believe in boy bands.

Any institution that can give us these two is clearly on the side of the light!

Any institution that can give us these two is clearly on the side of the light!

But it wasn’t until today, when “The One” by The Backstreet Boys came on, followed by “Up All Night” that I realized how important that tween music is.

See, on the night of my 25th Birthday Party, I made an EPIC mix. It was like 200 songs long and featured several genres. Everyone was having a good time, we’d had some food and some drinks. And then “Larger than Life” came on and my girl friends and I went bonkers. We jumped up and down, we sang along loudly, it was like we were twelve at our first school dance again and it was amazing.

I started thinking about the girls I see in the store everyday, how in ten, fifteen, twenty years, they’ll be in the back or upstairs room of some bar and “What Makes You Beautiful” or “One Thing” will come on and they’ll go nuts. They’ll spill their drinks and fall off of their shoes. They’ll shout over the music and have the time of their lives.

I know that this will happen. I know because I’ve seen it happen. It happens with my friends and I when we hear BSB or NSYNC or even 98 Degrees or O-Town. I’ve seen it happen with my mother and her friends when The Monkees come on.

The Sci Fi and Fantasy I got from Dad, but the boy bands come straight from Mommy Dearest!

The Sci Fi and Fantasy I got from Dad, but the boy bands come straight from Mommy Dearest!

I love that pop music has that power. It stays with you in a way that other music doesn’t. I love classic rock, and country, and Broadway musicals. And yeah, my heart skips a beat when I hear the opening piano part of “Jungleland,” I can croon all the words to “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places,” and of course get goosebumps when Idina hits that final note in “Defying Gravity,” but nothing gets me out on the dance floor quicker than BSB.

Put Nick and AJ in a Glee style sing off with any other two pop stars and Nick and AJ would win every time!

Put Nick and AJ in a Glee style sing off with any other two pop stars and Nick and AJ would win every time!

I’m psyched that I’m around for some of that exposure for these kids I guess is what I’m saying.

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