I’m halfway through a dirty martini and I skipped lunch which means I’m halfway to feelingstown, and I’m dragging you all down with me. I have been thinking about writing this blog for about a month. But the words wouldn’t come because they’re too real. And I have a hard time with things below the surface. Even as I write that disclaimer, I get a little misty-eyed. Because Blockheads have held me DOWN this year. Brace yourselves. This is going to be an epic journey through my psyche.
Born in 1984, I came out of the womb with a love for NKOTB. In fact, I fully believe my early idolization of this beautiful boyband shaped my adult sexuality. As confusing and contradictory as it may be. Boybands in general became my love language. A soft masculinity. Palatable to teen girls and adult women who perhaps suffered trauma in early years and have a hard time with loud, overt, definitive masculinity. But that’s just a theory. A theory I fully intend to explore in a future book project, but a theory nonetheless. The fandom would go on to define me for my entire life, taking shape as ironic, nostalgic, quirky and earnest along the way. And I have absolutely played it off as a joke in the past. Because, when someone says they’re a New Kids on the Block fan, it is often met with amusement, or questions about nostalgia, but now, with absolutely no iota of irony, I am here to say that it is an identity. Because it takes a special kind of person, with special kinds of reasons, to hold on to a piece of pop culture so fiercely that it results in the collective fandom literally creating the modern iteration of that very band. And we Blockheads have done that.
The band itself is the common denominator, obviously. But they are beside the point, at this point. We have found each other. In factions. In cliques. In Facebook groups full of inside jokes and likeminded fucking people who live on opposite sides of the world. In venues far from home and on cruise ship decks slick with Gulf rain. We have maintained friendships across state and country lines, with Facebook as the string between our cup phones. Because what is this fandom if not a perpetual 90s sleepover that we all desperately and continuously need? We found each other when our real lives fell short. And we showed the fuck up.
I live alone. I work in a closed-door office by myself. I’m perpetually single (likely due to my aforementioned reasons of confused sexuality and issues with authoritative masculinity, but that’s a story for another day.) and when I’m not holding a microphone I get lonely. Hopelessly, desperately lonely. At 34 I have done a good job convincing myself and those around me that this is the life I choose, which to some extent it is. But when I’m at my most lonely, and everyone around me is smiling in their coupled lives, I know I can always turn to the cheesy Facebook groups that hold my far away friends. The friends who I’ve maybe met once, if at all. Who will throw heart-reacts at me in a matter of minutes and make me feel like a person again. (Legit, I’m doing deep breathing exercises to keep the tears in my eyeballs while I’m in a public space…)
Blockheads have shown me such inexplicable kindness that it forced me to write about my feelings. And like, that’s bad. I don’t do that. I haven’t been funny ONCE in this blog. Look what you’ve done to me! Blockheads have literally wiped away my tears, and given me the All Access pass from between their OWN BOOBS. Blockheads have sent me homemade scarves because I live in a cold weather state and they wanted to make sure I was warm. Blockheads have sent me very personalized and SPOT ON care packages that made me sob, pantsless in my bed, wondering what I have done in this life to deserve such consideration. Blockheads have donated money to my family’s cause, while in the middle of their own family tragedies. Blockheads have gifted me concert tickets. AMAZING seats that resulted in EPIC pics with me and my dude, Donnie. Another Blockhead has offered to gift me a barstool seat in Hollywood in May for the Mixtape Tour. The only Christmas cards I received were from Blockheads. Blockheads have been unwaveringly supportive of my fledgling comedy career. Blockheads have merely sent me a message, imploring me to keep posting on Facebook, because my posts brought them joy. And that is the kind of positive reinforcement I didn’t even realize I was missing. I sincerely hope that this paragraph hasn’t come off as, “I like you if you give me stuff”. Because, obviously yes, I do. I love getting stuff. I’m poor as fuck. But it’s so much more than that. It’s literally the thought that counts. Because in my life, it doesn’t occur to me that people think of me. And for that, I am thankful.
Blockheads, you have taught me so much about myself and so much about you. I for real love you, even if I don’t for real know you. Unless you’re weird. Or like…aggressive. Then we’ll have to talk about it.
This is a real leap of faith. I’m sure I’ll obsessively check social media for backlash because again, I do NOT write from the heart. This feels like the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Thanks for listening. And thanks for being there.