They say a girl is always influenced by the images of marriage she grows up with. Whether it’s white dresses or Disney princesses, you’ll always have a soft spot for the first ideas associated with “I do.” That’s why it’s getting really hard for me to find a guy these days, because my true marital ideal is a polygonal marriage with most of the original members of New Kids On The Block.
Travel back with me, way back when, to the earliest of early ’90s. People wore huge pants with lizards on them, Madonna didn’t have a British accent, and the charts were being burned up by an adorable group of East Coast ragamuffins. Jonathan, Jordan, Joey, Donny, and Danny weren’t the polished, squeaky clean boy bands we’d get later in the decade—in fact, the only thing squeaky about them was Joey’s voice, which hadn’t even changed when he prepubescently shrieked that I was his Popsicle.
I know you’re wondering who I’m leaving out, and the answer should be obvious. It’s Danny. Who the hell even was Danny? Joey was the ingenue, Jon was shy and quiet, Jordan was the heartthrob, and Donny was the bad boy. Danny was, like, their cousin they had to play with on holidays. Was his rattail a personality? Why did they keep making him wear yellow? Anyway, Danny is not invited into my plural marriage.
To be honest, even Donny is actually a satellite member. He just bounces in and out when we forget to lock the door. We break up because he keeps singing what I’m realizing is a pretty horrifically racist reggae song called “Stay With Me, Baby.”
As you can imagine, having such a strong, principled ideal of my perfect mates can make dating around pretty difficult. My last boyfriend couldn’t understand why I needed him to wear a fedora with the top cut off to achieve orgasm. Honestly, that feels like a pretty basic request. Moreover, our therapist constantly took his side, refusing to recognize my wants and needs. My wants were basically “to engage in a polygonal love match with three-fifths of an early ’90s boy band,” and my needs were “for Andrew to try providing that experience via costume changes and rhythmically shouting ‘oh.'” How hard is that?
Frankly, I am sick of all the shame and the judgment. As a young girl, the New Kids told me that I was their cover girl, their angel. They told me I made them feel “so fancy-free,” which is an emotion even supposedly mature adult men will not express to you. But NKOTB will.
If I want to live in a beautiful Miami home filled with glass block showers and flamingo walls, surrounded by triple-J as Donny raps mediocrely on the side porch, what’s wrong with that? What other men could provide that? They simply don’t have (oh oh oh-oh-oh) the right stuff.