Thembi Keeps It Real: I Love Donnie!
I know it seems like I always keep it real but there are too many little secrets about myself that people aren’t aware of just because they prove that I’m not “cool.” The blackgirl acceptance theme of this blog’s title has made me realize that I need to live my Lady Law #2 – “Go where no black girl has gone before” – a little more publicly. Therefore, I’m starting a new feature called “Thembi Keeps It Real.”
So let me keep it real with you all…I LOVE New Kids On The Block, especially Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr., otherwise known as Donnie, the bad-boy of the group.
In fourth and fifth grade you couldn’t tell me NOTHIN’ about Donnie Wahlberg. I had an NKOTB lunch kit, NKTOB concert videos, a scrapbook made from magazine articles and photos of Donnie, I had a New Kid’s pillowcase, I had a slew of official posters and would also plaster my wall with tear-outs from Bop and Teen Beat. My best friend Acacia and I used to watch the Hangin’ Tough concert video, pause it at the exact moment where we thought Donnie looked the cutest, and kiss the television screen. The girls in our fifth grade class were each defined by whether they liked Donnie, Jordan, or Joey, and we would come to near fisticuffs if anyone were to dare say anything negative about our respective man. At the age of ten I saw a 60 Minutes report on the NKOTB phenomenon that explained how the average preteen girl obsesses over unattainable boys as a way of exploring her budding sexuality without getting hurt. In spite of that overwhelming scientific evidence, I knew this was no silly crush and Donnie would someday be mine.
Now here we are in 2009 and sure NKOTB has kind of made a comeback, but there’s definitely no returning to the good old days. Donnie is still so fiiiiiiine to me, and in spite of a short and shallow summer fascination I had with his brother Marky Mark back in 2000, I genuinely continue to prefer Donnie. In fact, there are plenty of applicable analogies:
- Donnie : Mark :: Grover : Elmo
- Donnie : Mark :: Dark-skinned Aunt Viv : Light-Skinned Aunt Viv
- Donnie : Mark :: House Party :: House Party 3 or 4
Marky Mark is all well and good, but there’s just no replacing a Boston bad-boy original.
And you know the best part of the whole thing? My dad thought it was totally ridiculous that I was so infatuated with these white boys who were in essence doing the Jackson 5/New Edition routine to a tee, and I only understand his disdain for them now that I’m an adult. Anyone with eyes and ears could easily see the deal, and their producer Maurrice Star went right ahead and put them on Apollo’s Amateur night to capitalize on it all to sing, dance, be white and STILL not get booed. Check it out:
And for another throwback, yes this is Pebbles introducing them in 1989 as a full-fledged musical guest. Donnie puts on quite the performance and really gets it at 1:45.
Donnie is actually recently divorced and since he’s only 39 our age difference is just on that acceptable cusp of men I should date. He still does some acting and singing so he’s not a wash-out or anything, and I know for a fact that Dorchester boys like black girls. Donnie, if you’re out there holla at a sister! Ladies, sound off in the comments if you too were NKOTB obsessed and if not, who had you sprung as a tween?
h/t to Dee Phunk for bringing all of this to mind!