3 Jun 2008

Back To The Playground I Go

I've mentioned before on this blog how I loathe Sex and the City. While its syndicated re-runs haunt me now and again, I've been happily free of what I hate most about Sex and the City: its drooling, impressionable, estrogen-fueled following.

Alas, my peace is broken. Last week, Sex and the City hit the big screen. Cue the gaggle of worshippers stampeding to be blessed by the horse-faced one. Cue the non-stop chatter and gushing and spewing of Sex-isms.

Recently, a group of women from work were chatting about the movie as they waited for the elevator. They stopped when they saw me. "Oh! Have you seen Sex and the City yet? We don't want to ruin it for you!" When I explained that no, I hadn't seen it and that there would be no 'yet' in my future, I received that old familiar Look.

It's a Look that I first vividly remember being exposed to in 1989 when I was in elementary school. 1989 hosted some substantial historical moments: The Exxon Valdez Spill, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the fall of the Berlin Wall ... but according to my female schoolmates at the time, 1989 only meant one thing:

The New Kids on the Block.

Oblivious to teeny-bopper pop culture (thanks to not being allowed to watch Much Music ... that's its own blog post ... a lack of resources for 'teen' magazines, and feeling satisfied with my parent-lead diet of The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon), I was completely unprepared for The New Kid invasion. All of a sudden, every girl in my class showed up to school with a scrapbook dedicated to her favourite New Kid. Just as these girls would one day identify themselves as a Samantha, Carrie or Miranda - as children, they were known by whether they claimed Joey, Jordan or Donnie as their future husband.

I was very quickly educated in the Ways of the New Kid: Joey was the cute one, Jordan was the hot one, Donnie was the tough one, Jon was the sweet one and Danny was the guy that looked like a monkey that nobody really liked. And then one day, I learned that they sang.

Holding one end of an earphone from a girl’s Sony Walkman over morning recess, I heard my first New Kid song.

“Is that a girl?” I asked.

“NO! THAT’S JORDAN!” she spazzed. (Jordan was hers, you see – and not only did I just suggest he was a girl, I had just talked during his solo.)

“Oh. Right,” I said.

I sat there and listened. And listened some more. And slowly, my nose scrunched and my brow furrowed and I had officially had enough.

“Okay – thanks – you can have this back,” I said as I handed her my half of the (very stretched) headphone.

“DON’T YOU LIKE IT?” she spat, as if I had just turned away a bowl filled with money and chocolate.

“Mmm … nah. They’re no Beatles, that’s for darn sure.” (Again, thanks to my sheltered but quality upbringing, I had nothing by Paul and John to compare things to … that and I also had a habit of talking like an old man.)

I then noticed the herd. The Girl Herd. It was there all along, each member waiting for her own turn to listen to the New Kids on the Walkman. And now, they were all ready to turn on Little Miss Black Sheep. I received The Look.

“The Beatles?!” a girl, who I considered one of my better friends, exclaimed. “They’re so stupid. And so are you.” The Look is essentially this statement, but as told by a facial expression.

And as my face started to burn up with hatred and embarrassment, the recess bell rang and back to class we went. Within an hour, I had already received a note from the girl who had accused me of being stupid asking for a truce (“Circle YES or NO if we can be friends again.”) and like a wimp I had agreed to let it slide.

At lunch, after the sandwiches and Fruit Roll-Ups were eaten, the girls started to pool together with their scrapbooks, Bop Magazines and New Kids tapes to begin their new ritual – The New Kid Obsession Hour.

“Want to pick your favourite picture of Donnie?” the friend-foe asked – clearly extending the olive branch my way.

I looked over the scene of idiot girls – fawning (and some pretending to fawn - those were the ones who were relegated to liking Danny) over sub-par music, embarrassing dance moves and boys that didn’t even compare to Ringo. I was silently mad at myself for having even agreed to be friendly with the girl who called me stupid and did not want to spend the rest of my lunch drinking New Kid Kool-Aid.

“Uh – actually – I said I’d play Buns Up,” I lied.

Buns Up was a game that was played exclusively by boys. It involved throwing a small hard ball or tennis ball at a wall while everyone runs around. It’s more complicated than that, but the main point of the game was the punishment. Basically, if you didn’t touch the wall in time or if someone caught the ball you threw before it hit the pavement, you had to line up against the wall as someone threw the ball at your backside as hard as possible.

I never told the boys I’d join them for Buns Up, but when I showed up alone and in need of friends, I was quickly accepted into the game (fresh meat, you see). In the end (har?), I opted to have a small, hard object hurled at me for several months rather than having to join into the New Kid dribble.

And some things don't really change. I can't pretend to like SATC. I can't pretend to be excited over the film. And I can't pretend that I care if you think its sad or stupid or unfemale of me to not get excited over a bunch of hags moaning about their sex life for eight-millionth time. And no, I especially don't care that Big and Carrie get married (oh, right - spoiler alert, everyone.). So ... If anyone has a tennis ball handy, I'll happily hang out with you until Carrie and her ragged gang have gone to DVD.


Unknown 10:25 pm, June 07, 2008  

For what it is worth, any time I accidently came across Sex & the City, I flipped the channel pretty quick. But then again, I didn't see the attraction of "Friends" either, or "Seinfeld", and I'm old so my opinion is not valid. And everyone is used to me being 'different' (I think). But Walter S. liked to watch Sex & the City. I don't know what that might mean.

Your Aunt Janice

Rockstarbride 8:08 am, June 20, 2008  

I'm not a sex and the city fan either. But, yes, I loved NKTOB (Joe was mine). However, I still rocked the mini pops and Motown tunes at home. Oh, and yes, I am going to see NKTOB this fall. I just have to see how pathetic it's gotten.

Laura 10:00 pm, July 07, 2008  

Lol! The mini pops were where it was at! My parents gifted me with a love of the beatles, and what I like to call 'good' music early in life as well. I was also one of the only kids in my class who'd watch the evening news, or occasionally read a news paper. Ive always felt older than what my generation was into.

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I have no shame

Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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