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A Backstreet Boys fan talks 'N Sync

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Backstreet Boys
Paul Smith/Retna

The latest episode of Glee made me realize something about myself: I can’t let go of certain things. And by things, I mean my hatred of everything ‘N Sync-related.

As a child of the ’90’s (literally, I was born in 1990), I felt forced, at a very young age, to pick a side: Backstreet Boys or ‘N Sync. I immediately gravitated toward the pitch-perfect harmonies of BSB as opposed to the Justin Timberlake-JC Chasez duets that featured three other dancing guys. It might seem harsh, but any child of the ’90’s knows that this rivalry was real and cutthroat. And back then, it was okay for me to be so harsh in my approach to pop music, so long as it was out of love for Brian, AJ, Howie, Nick and Kevin. Ten years later? I’m not so sure it’s rational anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ashamed of my ongoing love affair with the best boy-band of all time. When I was 20, I went to two Backstreet concerts within four days of each other. And so did my 50-year-old father, who also enjoys pitch-perfect harmonies… just sayin’. You see, the love and dedication isn’t what I’m worried about. It’s the hatred.

It’s the fact that when my friends put an ‘N Sync song on while we’re having an impromptu dance party (as everyone does), I stop dancing. And as much as they think I’m being ridiculous, and as much as I know that I’m being ridiculous, I just can’t fake it. And when Glee did a mash-up of “Bye Bye Bye” and “I Want It That Way,” I was a little offended. However, if my obsession stopped there, I might be alright. But it doesn’t…

It took me a long time to accept Justin Timberlake outside of ‘N Sync, and I still haven’t fully. Sure, it helped when he cut off his curly fro, but to this day, I don’t have a single JT song on my iPod. And I won’t buy his new CD. Will I watch him on SNL? Absolutely. Do I think he’s funny? Definitely. But the moment he gets behind the mic, it’s 1998 all over again for me and the claws come out.

And don’t get me started on The Social Network. The minute I saw that his fro had returned, I de-Friended the entire movie, no matter how good I knew it was supposed to be. Luckily, the other members of ‘N Sync have been pretty non-existent in my world, mainly because I don’t generally follow NASA projects, The Singing Bee or Dancing With the Stars, which I stopped watching after Drew Lachey lost (98 Degrees I can deal with). My friends tell me Joey Fatone was on Broadway, but all I have to say to that is, “So was Kevin from BSB, and guess which one I would have paid to see?” But my main point is that, other than JT, I no longer have to worry about ‘N Syncers invading my radio, which is a good thing, because I’m scared of what my loathing would turn into if it had more musically active targets.

The 13-year-old version of me was an adorably passionate curly haired girl, who knew every word to every BSB song and would never forget the moment Brian waved at her from the tour bus. But the 22-year-old version of me is scared that she’s less adorably passionate and more annoyingly passionate. That being said, I’m not going to change. When I say BSB for life (which I do pretty often), I mean it. I can’t help it … I want it that way.

Am I alone in my over-the-top dedication? Is anyone else hung up on something from your childhood that you can’t seem to let go of as an adult? It doesn’t have to be a feud. And it doesn’t even have to do with boy bands. But it is fun when there’s dancing involved.

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