(Take a peek at the first few installments here if you aren’t caught up.)
I can’t believe I’m already on part 6 of this recap series and this is only about the second night. Like. I need to take a lesson in being succinct. I apologize. Insincerely.
I want to say that we got dinner in the dining room after we made our way back on the boat after Half Moon Cay. I’m pretty sure we did because I have a vague memory of severely under cooked (raw) prime rib and overcooked creme brulee. I could have done without the bundle of disappointment that is the cruise dining room, but I thought Megan should experience it at least once. I’m mean like that. Her meal wasn’t that bad, she said. So I guess the joke’s on me. I have to be really careful with my tone for this one, because I have Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You, America” playing in the background and I tend to soak up affectation like a culture sponge. I’m still dropping Rs like Lizzie Borden and lilting syllables like Kala the southern belle.
It was Block-A-Versary night. Because it was an anniversary celebration of 30 years since the iconic Hangin’ Tough album (and VHS concert special that my sister, cousins and I WORE the FUCK OUT well into the 90s and early 2Ks) and 10 years since the inception of this crazy cruise. And I was here for it. 30 years ago, I was a plucky 3-year-old, belting “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” from atop our secondhand coffee table, so my memories of the first time around are unclear at best, and romanticized fictionalizations at worst. But I know that many of you were teens the first time around, and if my relationship with NSYNC and BSB in those days is any indication, it was your LIFE. I get it. I fake married Chris Kirkpatrick by making a marriage certificate in Microsoft Paint, so. (Yes, Chris. Don’t judge me. I was odd.)
Theme nights for me tend to be an opportunity to be funny, but I was at a loss for this one. Luckily, Christina reached out to me a few months ago and asked if Megan would be the Jon in their recreation of NKOTB from the Hangin’ Tough concert special, made up of “the husbands” (and Jessica as Danny). Megan was Jon, as you all know, Jonas was Donnie, Jeremiah was Jordan (but the wig made him look more like Gaston) and Dan/Faux Joe was obviously little pre-pubescent Joe. It was hilarious. Especially since actual Jon showed up in the SAME EXACT OUTFIT. We could not have planned it better. That unassuming orange button-up shirt ended up being everything. Since Megan was taken care of, costume-wise, I decided to just join in what the gals were wearing, and the lovely Christina slapped some decals on a piano-skirt for me, while Kala crafted a pretty light-up letter to attach to my shirt. It’s pretty nice just shipping things to other people from Amazon, and having them do all the work. Except for the fact that the skirt was a “one size fits all” monstrosity that I wasn’t going to be able to try on until I was on the boat. And let me tell you. It. Was. Close. My spanx saved me on that one and I still couldn’t breathe in too deep or sit down if I wanted it to remain intact. What I didn’t know was that there would be a headband with sparkly 30 and NKOTB trading card involved, and the whole thing was a lot more “cutesy” than is my usual aesthetic. In short, I was uncomfortable. But I was grateful, so I stuck it out and waved that little fangirl “Donnie” heart like I made it myself.
The girls were all lined up on the second level, right at the railing, bouncing our glowing boobs before the party even got started. I had been promoted from a light-up music note to the letter B in the NKOTB sequence, so I was pretty sure I was contractually obligated to be perky. And I gave it my all. Eventually, the guys came out in all their glory, and Joe caught my eye in his sparkly Bieber pants. He caught my eye and my hormones because, damn. For some reason that fuckboi getup really got me going. I was into it. Is what I’m saying. It’s a curse of the Tinder age. Before I knew what was happening, though, I was being yanked from the railing and pulled toward the small stage at the back of lido. And I was a little concerned. Had we been asked to go up there? Would everyone hate us? I had no clue what was happening but I’ve been dying to get on stage since 2016 so I went with it. Even if it was the small stage. I was excited. All the piano-skirted girls and Megan made our way to the platform and white-girl-danced for all the Blockhead world to see. It was a teensy bit awko because so many other ladies were having their big moments on the big stage and it felt weird to dance in front of those moments. But we did.
One of those moments was the original Cover Girl, Jennifer Cervantes, getting to relive her iconic moment from that immortal concert special, and I legit teared up. I remember watching that little Donnie dance in awe when I was barely not a toddler. And I was jealous of her. Then and now. But that was honestly the most pure and adorable moment I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen my sister give birth. Twice. After that, I started to feel weird about being on that stage for SO long. Even though it was becoming apparent that the stages on this year’s cruise were a lot like the Hotel California. You can check in but you don’t check out. For real, though. What was with leaving everyone in stage purgatory? Awkward. I was starting to panic about being rude and getting down, or whatever, when I was finally told that Donnie had in fact asked us to go up there. That would have saved me a lot of worry had I known that to begin with. Once I knew that I was free to dance like the big screen wasn’t watching. And boy, did I. It wasn’t long before Megan’s matching Jon outfit got her a ticket to the main stage. Which I desperately wanted to happen. But I mean, I wanted to go with her. Obviously. I’m not going to talk about that a ton, because that was her experience, and this blog is for mine. But you guys were there. You saw her doing every body roll on the planet, and earning the nickname, “Not Jon” for the duration of the cruise. You don’t need me to tell you.
After about 5 hours of dancing non-stop in such a public area on stage, I was dying. Of dehydration and of being an out-of-shape 33-year-old whose spanx were strangling her organs, and whose strapless bra was pretty much around her waist from all the boob bouncing (the light-up letters looked really fun when they bounced). The power pack to my light-up letter kept malfunctioning because it was water-logged by all the sweat in my cleavage, and I had run out of dance moves three hours earlier, so when the party finally wrapped up, I was grateful. I hopped down, amazed that my legs didn’t collapse under me, and made a beeline for the closest water I could find. Then I got dressed for the after party, but that’s a story for another blog.
If you’re still with me, thank you. Please let me know that you want to keep reading these. It helps motivate me to write.