Tuesday, March 2, 2010

grown-up reality and teenage fantasy

Between looking for work, attending to my many projects, and my suddenly jam-packed social schedule, I have had to admit that I can no longer work on this project daily. I had hoped to have more accomplished here before I had to reduce the frequency of the unpacking and the writing about the unpacking, but the reality of real life prevents that from happening, so I have accepted it and am moving on.

If you really need to interact with me daily, try Twitter or Facebook (or even that old dinosaur MySpace).

To reinforce my commitment to the project, however often it shall be realized, I bring you today's box:

nkotb? omg!

Yep, this is a box full of 13-year-old Jen's hopes, dreams, and possibly notes passed among classmates at Joan McQueen Middle School circa 1989. Awesome.

diving right in

Ok, right on top, there's a scrapbook:

too many projects, even as a kid

And these pictures from the only time I ever saw New Kids live:

Q-Jam '89!

the best part is the haircut of the grown man on the right

Q-Jam '89 was my first concert experience. Our seats were in row ZZ, and the openers were Seduction, Sweet Sensation, The Jets, and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. At the time, I was still terrified of the song Nightmare on My Street, with its reference to Freddie Kreuger, but I rocked the heck out to Parents Just Don't Understand. Good show.

Not everyone agreed with my assessment, though; four of the five acts (not you, Fresh Prince!) were outed for lip-syncing and bad use of taped accompaniment:

click to enlarge

Now would be a good time to mention that I'm glad I eventually found punk rock.

Before that happened, though, I also loved Corey Haim. There are posters and magazine clippings of him in this box, too. Is it possible he inspired my future punk rock self?

corey haim (circa 1989)

jen scaffidi (circa 2006)

Now here we have a letter written by The Sister on Travelodge San Antonio stationary. That means it was written during our cross-country trip to Florida, while we were stopped in San Antonio where we drove around the Alamo 50 times but never found a way to park or go inside.

(Don't worry; a few years later while living in San Antonio, I will be forced to go to the Alamo every time a band comes to town.)

During this trip, though, I think I was supposed to mail the following letter for my baby sister and I never did. Think she'll be pissed?

but only some of the songs

i thought you would like it

There's something really sweet and sad about that letter. Not as sad as Joey's middle name, though.

Moving on, in the same envelope, written in my handwriting, we find all the lyrics to my favorite NKOTB songs. And on the back of one of these pages, a to-do list:

  • Write down words to songs
  • Buy postcards
  • Buy school clothes
  • Buy school supplies

At least I had my priorities straight.

Ugh. I just reached some lower stratum of this box filled with perfume and dust. Sneezing and tuberculosis, anyone?

Among the weird stuff I've found in here:

  • A Teen magazine "prom primer," full of hair and makeup tips. There's even a section on "fragrance." Oh, and don't drink and drive.
  • Several copies of a survey on drug abuse, written by me. Was this a science project or something?
  • A Teen Beat's 7th Annual Teen Star Awards ballot, on which I have listed "Dan Quayle" as my "fave child star." I guess even back then I was a smart-ass Republican.
  • A program from Frank Zappa's 1988 Broadway the Hard Way tour, featuring my uncle Mike Keneally.
  • A pin that reads I <3 Dancing.
  • And an official Batman: the movie peechee-style folder, full of clippings of Corey and Corey, Neil Patrick Harris, and the (new) Mickey Mouse Club. I'm so glad I'm not 13 anymore.

Strangely, no notes from classmates. I have a memory of a box of such, and I thought that was this box. I wonder if I threw them out or if I'll find them at some point.

Among the staggering number of clippings from Bop and Wow magazines, there are some bonafide pieces of memorabilia here:

ebay, here we come!

In this collection, we have (clockwise from the top left):

Official fan club letters:

we think of you as our friend

so please buy stuff


  • A bumper sticker
  • A sheet of stickers
  • A program from the tour they were on when I saw them
  • Two unauthorized biographies
  • A giant button
  • A BOP sticker
  • Some trading cards
  • And a small pile of mint-condition fan club newsletters and magazines
I had always thought this entire box would be worth something someday, but as you can see, even the Official Fan Club Newsletters are only worth something if I make a purse out of them (which I am not doing, but you can go right ahead). So it's all going in the trash, unless you speak up now.

Crap. Now I have I'll Be Loving You, Forever stuck in my head.