“As Long As You Love Me”

I’m warning you. This post is super cheesy.

When I was a little girl, I’d bring my walkman everywhere: In the car, I’d listen to it with my headphones glued to my ears and my head pressed up against the window glass; In my room, I’d listen to my favourite CDs and dance so hard, I’d break a sweat; Before bed, I’d listen to my favourite love songs and just dream of a moment when I could experience what the words were saying to me. You know, things like, “I don’t know what he does to make you cry/but I’ll be there to make you smile/I don’t have a fancy car/To get to you I walk a thousand miles.” Or, “I will love you more than that/I won’t say the words then take them back/Don’t give loneliness a chance/Baby listen to me when I say, ‘I will love you more than that.'” Only the worst best lyrics.

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My very first concert was the Backstreet Boys’ Black and Blue tour at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. I had floor seats and during Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely, I held up my Brian Littrell sign with my favourite photo of the boy band singer (that I had previously stored in this beautiful folder) hoping and praying he would see. Then, while singing, he looked at me and made the same face he was making in the photo on my sign. Needless to say, I felt faint.

I’ve been to many BSB concerts in my day, and I remember as a kid seeing so many loving couples, hand in hand, at these cheese-filled love-fests that also happened to play terrifying beautiful pop music. I admired every girlfriend who got to bring her boyfriend to a Backstreet Boys concert. To me, every couple I saw at these shows looked so in love – just like the couples shown in all my favourite music videos from the year 1998.

Then, I got older and realized that love wasn’t like anything my child brain had thought it was. Love songs only depict the really awful or the really good moments. Love songs also exaggerate and fabricate and do all the things that commercialized art does to sacred moments, that in real life mean something different to every person experiencing them. Songs about love also welcome poorly dressed singers in music videos to follow. I don’t know if you saw Nick Carter’s pants in I’ll Never Break Your Heart, but…

I guess you could say I forgot about how badly I wanted to experience love song love, especially after learning it doesn’t exist. Love songs are basically on par with Disney movies: Unrealistic representations of society.

However, when you find someone that you’d do anything for, all the challenges that come with love’s roller coaster are worth it, even when the love itself doesn’t exactly replicate red roses, white suits and five (better than) in sync (read: ‘N Sync) voices.

Earlier this morning, my partner surprised me with news that he would be buying two tickets to see the Backstreet Boys’ In a World Like This Tour at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton in early May. One ticket for me and one ticket for him. He got the tickets just because. He lives in Vancouver currently, as he’s studying out there, and I’m here in Toronto. I’m going to visit him at the end of April, and he’s coming home with me for the beginning of May – thus he’ll be here for the concert. The fact that we are going to see one of my favourite bands from my childhood together is unexplainably awesome. Even more awesome, though: I have a gentleman in my life who is willing to sit in a room full of screaming girls listening to a boy band that I used to lose sleep over (no really, I once had this magnificent reoccurring dream that the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls were all dating one another and they all lived in this awesome mansion, to which they would bring me after picking me up from school. After this dream ended, I would wake up in tears), just to spend time with me and make me smile.

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I’m not a fan of Internet displays of affection, but this one I just couldn’t pass up: I think he wins the best boyfriend ever award. Not even the fab five behind the epic Larger Than Life could take that award away from him.

What’s the sweetest thing someone’s ever done for you?

xo

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