Boy Bands & Road Trips

This past weekend, my brother and I went on a Youtube binge of all the boy bands we remember from our childhood. My favourite was Hanson, and I stand by that choice, because have you seen Taylor Hanson lately? Good job on the aging there, buddy. I mean, I dodged the bullet by not marrying you since you’ve got five kids, but good job.

Listening to Hanson brings back so many memories. Middle of Nowhere was the soundtrack of my life for months. A day wasn’t complete unless I had listened to the CD. I studied the lyrics religiously and I can still sing along with most of the album.

I remember a girl at school telling me I wasn’t pretty enough for Taylor Hanson. I’d never spoken two words to her and none of her friends were around, so maybe she was trying to let me down gently. I can’t imagine she got much satisfaction out of insulting me. I actually felt bad for her, since she’d wasted an opportunity.

Hanson came along on numerous road trips. For a number of years we lived a five hour drive from my grandparents (rather than the three or four day drive we have know) and we spent every holiday and plenty of weekends down there. Listening to those old songs brings back the rest stops, the Mad Libs we used to play, the plethora of books I read (though my mother and brother could not read in the car, I have always been a fan of doing so).

Further back in my memory are the days when I would look across the backseat and see my brother face down on the fuzzy purple car seat, fast asleep. Both of us were prone to the car sleepiness; I’ve had more than one string of drool on my jacket.

We played the alphabet game, finding objects in alphabetical order. X was usually on a license plate. We played travel Trouble and travel Bingo. My grandma made up the Silo song (Silo, Silo all around the town; some are bright and shiny, some are falling down!).

I remember the stretch of drive that meant we were almost there; that feeling of anticipation knowing that soon we’d be making even more memories. I’ve always been close with my grandparents, and I used to cry when we left, even if I knew we’d be going back in a week.

There’s one friend I connect with on Facebook occasionally who messages me now and again to let me know she saw Hanson in concert. I have yet to do so, but perhaps my chance will arrive. For a long time all I knew were those first couple of albums I held so dear, but recently I’ve been catching up. Even the songs I didn’t know make me long for those good old days.

And I’m not even old yet. Geez.

It wasn’t always Hanson, of course (there’s a CD by the Moffatts that makes me think of driving, and a Westlife CD that makes me think of long hours spent playing particular computer games), but they’re particularly nostalgic for me. It may be because they came to me at a time in my life when I was just starting to be interested in romance – or maybe it’s because Taylor Hanson aged so well (again, good job!).

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