A few weeks ago I traveled home to see my family for the first time in a few years, but mainly because my mother demanded that I meet my newborn niece. Meeting an infant, of course, is absurd, because it’s like taking a small child to a theme park – they aren’t going to ever remember it. In fact, when my niece turns 16 and begs my brother for a car, I’m going to tell her, “No, we offered you a car when you were six weeks old, but you turned us down” and she’ll cry unfair and I’ll laugh as her dreams are crushed and destroyed. I got a car when I turned 17 and I wrecked that glorious 1993 Chevy Cavalier and didn’t get another car for 9 years, so I will be damned if any children of my family’s bloodline will be happy in my wake. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t ever want to have children.
My main reason for a lack of desire to spawn is the Jonas Brothers. I’m not scared that I’d have a trio of effeminate sons, who would storm the world with their catchy pop tunes full of positive vibes, but more that I’ll have a daughter who would grow up obsessed with the Jonas Brothers, Justin Biebers, Aaron Carters, Lil Romeos, and Hansons of her era. Jonas Brothers fans are among the most dedicated, borderline craziest, and terrifyingly loyal. I don’t necessarily understand it, as my teenage years were filled with a modest appreciation for music (my first concert was Def Leppard in 1990 in West Palm, thankyouverymuch) and my only real celebrity crushes were Candace Cameron and the chick who played Winnie Cooper.
To their credit, the Jonas Brothers are seemingly great sports about the insanity they deal with on a daily basis. I’d like to think if boxes of fan mail (or positive blog comments) showed up to my house, I’d just rifle through them for nude pics, but they seem to enjoy answering their fans, which is a rare attribute for superstars these days. For instance…
Dorky, yes, but respectable. I recently received an email with an advanced ticket purchase code for an upcoming Jonas Brothers concert in my city, and I posted a sarcastic comment about it on my FaceTweetTumbleSpace. Within minutes, I was swarmed by my friends with young kids begging me to give them my code so they could take their little ones to see these promise-ring-wearing anti-misfits.
I could only stare off into the distance, as if I were thinking, “Where, cosmic beings, has this life taken my closest friends, whom I once had tequila shot competitions with before passing out in the front lawns of sorority houses? And when will my time as a childless awesome person expire?” Luckily, my gods have yet to forsake me (Hooray, Wicca!).
But the time to conform will arrive for most of us, and we’ll be left to face the perils of who we’ll become, both men and women alike. One day, maybe tomorrow or maybe 20 years from now, you’ll find yourself staring down the concourse of an arena as your kids tug on your arm and your wallet, and you’ll find yourself faced with…
The Teenage Girl
The obvious majority, of course, as the 11 to 15-year old female demographic figuratively eats these boys up while they dream of literally eating them up. As Nick, Kevin and Joe (knew that off the top of my head, thankyouverymuch) announce their frivolity in “Live to Party,” thousands of young girls in attendance discover their father’s worst nightmare in a confusing mental avalanche of lust, desire and pure ocular and auditory bliss. In the bizarre case that you couldn’t readily identify a teenage girl, they’d be the females screaming at the top of their lungs for periods longer than the actual songs, eventually hyperventilating into fleshy heaps of pimples and braces. Of course, it’s stressful enough being a teenage girl dealing with growing up without a handsome blogger questioning your looks – which is why I’m always readily offering a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and back rub – so I won’t go too far into details, especially since the fathers out there have already lost enough years off of their lives.
The Pre-Teen and Pre-Pre-Teen Girl (accompanied by The Overbearing Mothers)
Following in the footsteps of their big sisters and, as we’ll soon cover, even their older brothers, it’s the younger girls approaching their teenage years prematurely that provide the most terror. While some of these girls are just typical by nature, there’s an underlying cultural phenomenon that has taken place for many years, as seen in the television show Toddlers and Tiaras. These young girls are usually fueled by narcissistic mothers, who are hellbent with the blinded belief that their daughters are gorgeous treasures. While it’s perfectly healthy to believe your child is cute, these moms do it to a dangerous fault. The girls attend the concert to enjoy their favorite band, while the moms are there to show their daughters off with territorial anger. It’s all in their faces. Their scowling, menacing, hate-spewing faces.
The Sensitive Teenage Boy
Times are changing, friends. Because of the Disney Channel’s endless parade of “It’s cool to sing and dance about the things happening in your life” shows and movies, millions of teenage boys are choosing the finer arts, as opposed to the traditional paths like playing sports and being cool. But that’s what the kids are into these days. Instead of learning instruments, they play Rock Band and Guitar Hero. So why not let them prance around the house in skinny jeans and Wayfarers as they belt out “That’s Just the Way We Roll” while their little sisters sing backup? That is, until they ask if they can go to an Adam Lambert concert. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The Cool, Hip Mom
Ladies, just because you’re in your 40s with a few kids and a waistline that rises an inch each year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be cool. Just don’t be torturing your kids by insisting that their friends accept you as the cool mom. Because it’s not cool when you pack a cooler bag with Capri Suns and Bacardi Orange because you and the girls are gonna go jam out at the JoBros show. Your daughter and her friends are attending the concert because at night they dream that one of the boys will give them a promise ring. You’re there because you refuse to cave in and accept that the only concerts that you should be going to involve your city’s classic rock station and the phrase “featuring two of the original members of Bananarama!”
A Wide Variety of Fathers
Chances are, if the father of a teenage or pre-teen girl is attending a Jonas Brothers concert, it’s because he’s overprotective and paranoid, which are typically adequate traits for the patriarch of a hormonal boy magnet. However, that’s unfortunately not always the case. In the same manner that the hip and trendy mom comes out to party, there are the hip and trendy doofus dads right there with them. This is the dad who dances along with the songs, performing outdated dance fads from the 60s and 70s because he thinks the girls find it charming. “Haha, that’s my funny, crazy dad,” he thinks they’re telling themselves. In reality, they’re flashing forward to the day they’ll pick up their first Hooters uniform in retaliation. Many of these dads are still holding on to their old flames and passions for music, having played bass in a college rock band in the 80s. Oh man, remember that time they almost met REM at the Waffle House next to the quad? Those were the days, man. *air bass guitar*
Sadly, though, there are also broken men mixed in with the fray. These are the fathers who were never prepared for raising the opposite sex and dealing with the nagging, whining, shopping, mood swings, boy crazes, slutty phases, menstruation, training bras, and “YOU JUST DON’T GET IT! STAY OUT OF MY LIFE, DAD!” moments that make parenting so wonderful. And as they’re standing at the concession stands, double-fisting 36-ounce Bud Fatties, there’s another dad looking around at the thousands of girls and having an American Beauty moment. Gotta love the pervert dads.
But what do you call a middle-aged man who attends a Jonas Brothers show by himself? A fan? Possibly. A dad scouting the show for safety reasons before he bring his daughters to the following night’s encore performance? Anything’s possible. But realistically, he’s a filthy, old perv-o who rolled up to your local arena or amphitheater in a busted up old van with an airbrushed dragon on the side and tin foil in each of the windows. Perverts are readily identifiable because they either look like haggard, old freakshows or they’re so painfully clean cut that you expect them to be covered in unicorn tattoos and recite episodes of Small Wonder while they skin animals. If you’re lucky, the perverts will only be there for the eye candy in the band. Otherwise, when a 52-year old man with a handlebar mustache and a raccoon cap asks your kid if he’d like a balloon animal in the shape of a giraffe with two coconuts, it might be wise to know where the nearest security kiosk is.
The Drag-Along Boyfriend
Men have a great deal of sacrifices that they make for their significant others – yardwork, watching the children, wearing pants, not drinking at church, trigger locks, monogamy, among others. Relationships are all about compromises, which is why good parents will tell their teenage sons not to bother dating until college. But puppy love happens and it’s too powerful to fight off. I remember my first girlfriend. We went to the mall and I bought a comic book. A week later I met my second girlfriend. Even teenagers have to make compromises, though, but of all the people who are at a Jonas Brothers concert – with the exception of people who are there for the music – the boyfriends who are dragged kicking and screaming are probably going to benefit the most. We’ll keep things PG for the sake argument, and pretend like certain things aren’t going to happen, but Bristol Palin didn’t get pregnant by catching fireflies in her back yard.
Kevin, Joe and Nick are 22, 20 and 17, respectively, which puts them smack dab in the prime age group for cougar prey. While the cougar trend has died off in recent months – arguably the past year or so – there are still plenty of cats on the prowl in their 40s and 50s. The problem with a dying trend, though, is that what’s left behind is the worst of the collection, or the rotten core, if you will. It’s like how we all make fun of Ed Hardy because we know that it looks painfully foolish, but the guys who devoted the bulk of their incomes to purchasing shirts, pants, sunglasses, hats, cologne, hand sanitizer, car seat covers, dog collars, blood transfusions, glass eyes, adopted Malawai babies, moon rocks, and shoes carrying the brand label won’t let go. Same goes for cougars. The fad was like a second wind for former party girls and once they got a second or third taste of the high life again, they refused to let it escape. This is especially problematic for the Teenage Girls and their Drag-Along Boyfriends, because chances are the Teenage Boys aren’t going to respond favorably to the Cougar advances.
Desperate Single Men (AKA Hyenas)
Speaking of Ed Hardy, the problem with the Cougar has always been what I’ve coined the Hyena. These are the guys who, despite receding hairlines and sagging man jugs, pretend they’re still young and hip, conversely chasing the Cougars around, while also trying to score with the 18- to 25-year old female demographic. They’re like big, retarded sharks swimming around in tepid pools of AXE and BOD, while they openly talk about how much money they want you to think they made last month. Some of these guys even have children that they use as justification and bait, but more than often their presence is self-excused with phrases like, “Hey brah, my ex-bitch’s sister just got a divorce and I heard she’s taking her niece to the JoBroBro’s show tonight at the bone palace, so I got two tix, a bottle of bubble gum vodka, so I’m gonna try to get my stick wet in the handicap stall.”
In fact, Christian Audigier is probably going to be there anyway…
I suppose this is a little far-fetched, seeing as you don’t hear much about the North American Man Boy Love Association these days, and the fact that the Jonas Brothers are slowly fading from their age radar. However, freaks come out to play no matter what the occasion, so if a grown man with a penchant or proclivity for the Disney fans has an extra $50 for a ticket and a few swipes left on his bus pass, then who’s to say he won’t make an appearance? It’s pretty safe to say that anyone wearing a shirt that reads, “I’m with candy/puppies” and has an arrow pointing down should at least be shadowed by security. Or locked in a fiery dumpster.
Have fun trying to sleep tonight.
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