I’ve been a Backstreet Boys fan for over thirteen years. I can tell you the exact date of my very first concert and I can list in order all of the cities I’ve seen them perform. I can also say that every single time a concert day rolls around I wake up with this goofy grin on my face that sticks around all day and well into the night. Put simply, they make me happy.
I’ve endured all sorts of teasing for being a Backstreet fan. People have insulted me, insulted my fellow fans, and insulted the Boys themselves. Honestly, I’ve never understood why so many people think that it’s okay to be so damn rude. I may not like an artist that you like, but I’m sure as hell not going to pick on you for liking them. Why should I? People like what they like. I happen to like boy bands, big flippin’ deal. I also like pop, rock, rap, jazz, country, alternative, hip hop, folk, and a handful of other kinds of music too… but those aren’t as fun to pick on me about for some reason, right?
People have said I’m wasting my time and money on Backstreet. That “those Boys aren’t going to be there for you when you need something,” and “what have Those Boys ever done for you?” I’ll tell you what… Those Boys have been a huge part of my life. Those Boys may not have been sitting next to me holding my hand, but they most definitely were there for me during some of the worst times I’ve had in my life. Not to mention the unflinching support I’ve had from fellow BSB fans who I’ve known on and offline over the last 13 years. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for certain people who I would have never met had it not been for Backstreet, I don’t know if I’d be here today. Those girls were my support group when I needed it most, when some of my offline friends and family were too busy picking on me about Backstreet to even bother noticing how seriously messed up things were.
Over the years I’ve tried my best to let the so-called jokes roll off of my back. I’ve smiled and forced an “Oh you’re so funny” laugh to appease them because I learned early on that trying to defend myself doesn’t work. But to be completely honest, I hate it. I hate how people find it perfectly okay to pick on me simply because of one single band that I happen to love. I hate that people who say that they’re my friends find it so easy to openly hurt my feelings.
In 23 days I’ll be getting on a plane to fly to Miami. When I’m there I’ll be meeting two women who I’ve known for years but have never actually met in person. We’ll be staying in a hotel full of crazy Backstreet fans that night and then the next day we’re setting of on the 2011 Backstreet Boys Cruise. For four days we’ll be on a boat with Those Boys that we love so much. We’ll be surrounded by people who understand exactly how we feel (plus a few crazies who we simply won’t engage lol). For four days we’ll be in a Happy Backstreet World where absolutely no one will make fun of us. Okay, maybe some of the staff on the boat might roll their eyes, but seriously, they’re going to learn real fast that a boat full of Backstreet Fans is not the group of mofos you want to mess with.
It’ll be a trip of many firsts. My first time meeting so many of my Backstreet Buddies in person, my first trip to Miami, first cruise, first time in the Bahamas, first time outside of North America, first prom (theme night)… I’m excited. Every time I think about the cruise I get that stupid grin on my face that I get before a concert. By the time I get home from this trip I think my cheeks are going to hurt from so much grinning and laughing with my girls.
Have I mentioned however that I never, ever, ever wanted to go on a cruise? That I have a fear of being out in water that I can’t see across despite my love of water? How about that in a past life I supposedly knew someone who died on the Titanic and that fear of big gigantic boats has followed me to this lifetime? Yeah. Part of me is seriously freaking the hell out knowing that in 23 days I’m going to be on a cruise. Another part of me though is so insanely geeked that I can barely stand it. I can’t wait to see my girls and hug them in person after so many years. I’m excited to be somewhere warm and sunny and wonderful just as Michigan is about to head into the bitterly cold season. I’m geeked to be able to add new experiences to my life resume and have new stories to tell. And yeah, I’m pretty stoked to be spending time with Those Boys too (all FIVE of them!!!!!). So if you plan on making jokes at my expense, screw off. I’ve got my prom dress, a happy bottle of Ativan to hopefully ward of any panic attacks, and damn it I’m going to have a great time no matter what you say!