>Some men do keep their promises, contrary to what everything in my life has taught me. This jersey pictured below has magical powers. I’m convinced. Once you read the story behind it, you will be convinced too.
Eleven months ago, on March 25, 2009, I went to my third New Kids on the Block show. Maine is a very special place to me. Some of my best friends live there and many of the happiest memories of my present life have taken place there (see this page for my past life connections to Maine: http://www.jessicajewettonline.com/unveiled.html). The show was fabulous as always, even though a random girl plowed over me and broke my leg in her attempt to get closer to Jordan for better pictures. That story is a whole other blog, though.
At the end of the show, the guys all wave to the crowd, blow kisses, say good night and all of that fun stuff. Jon knew me pretty well by that point since I had given him a “pitchah” as he called it when I was at the Nashville show. He waved at me and I thought that was nice. Then he tugged on the jersey he was wearing and mouthed the words, “I’m gonna give you my shirt.” I think I gave him a blank stare of disbelief for a second because I thought maybe he was talking to someone else. Surely not me! I nodded though and he nodded back. I watched, probably with my jaw on the floor, as he stripped off his jersey, hopped down from the stage, handed it to my brother and blew a goodbye kiss at me. You can watch the incident in this YouTube clip somebody took. (Sorry, Jon. I know you hate YouTube but this is one of the best memories of my life.)
My euphoria was short-lived, however. The guys left the stage and people started to leave. Armando, their security guy, approached and said that he needed the jersey back because all five of them were destined for an auction for breast cancer research. I think he expected me to throw a fit but I gave it up willingly. The money that jersey could raise, in my mind, was more important than one fan having it for nothing. I let it go and never expected to see it again. Jon apologized in his own way and I went home with a busted leg but some of the best memories I could ever hope to call my own. The gesture and the thought that he wanted me to have the shirt off his back was something that nobody could take away from me.
A little while later, the five jerseys that New Kids on the Block wore on stage in Maine were listed on eBay for breast cancer research fundraising. I thought maybe I could use my story to bring in bigger donation bids on Jon’s jersey, so I started advertising the eBay link everywhere I could. I wanted Jon girls to knock the other guys’ jerseys out of the ballpark. Little did I know, as the bidding surpassed $1,000, there was a conspiracy going on behind the scenes. Two girls that I barely knew felt the jersey should have been mine and they were unknowingly bidding against each other to win it back for me.
I will let Sissy tell her part of the story:
I had no idea any of this was going on until I got to the cruise last May. Sissy found me at the Family Feud game on the first night, I think (that whole weekend was a blurr of RedBull, seasickness and cat naps), and she told me what she had done with winning the jersey. At the cruise meet and greet, she wore the jersey in and told Jon what she was wearing. She took it off right there in front of him and gave it to him, much to the shagrin of New Kids security, who really hate it when you sneak gifts in right in front of them. The plan was that Jon was supposed to be the one to give me the jersey when he saw me on the cruise. Sissy thought he should be the one to give it to me. We all know Jon, though. We know that a) he’s forgetful, b) he’s late for everything, and c) he’s easily distracted. The cruise was crazy and Jon forgot to give it to me, or whatever happened. Instead, he took it home with him.
And so began the nine month badgering fest of, “Jon, don’t forget the jersey.” “Jon, do you still have the jersey?” “Jon, you ought to go to the post office.” “Jon, I don’t live in Tennessee anymore.” “Jon, Jon, JONATHAN RASHLEIGH KNIGHT!!! HELLOOOOO??!!”
Jon is cute but is busier than a puppy in a puppy biscuit factory. He responded from time to time, promising that when he had some time, the jersey would be mine. The words, “I promise,” coming from any man scare the hell out of me though, because I don’t really have any examples in my life of men who understand the meaning of, “I promise.” Maybe one or two. I admittedly have very little faith in men who make promises, so for most of these last nine months, I didn’t bother reminding him about the jersey. If it was meant to be mine, it would find its way to me eventually. If I know anything about Jon, it’s that nobody can order him around. He does things on his own time. Even when I was told to remind him, I had a crisis of conscience because I didn’t want to irritate him and I knew I was looking like a spammer to those who enjoy tearing me down.
After Jon’s surgery, my friends picked up on what I was doing through my tweets to him and they joined the effort to get him on the ball and return my jersey. I don’t even know how many of them helped me now. Probably a dozen or more in the last few months. There is a lot of dishonesty and jealousy running rampant in the blockhead world, but there is a lot of sisterhood, brotherhood and joy in seeing each other succeed too. I’ve seen both sides of the coin and I choose to take the joy with me rather than the jealousy.
Around my birthday, Jon finally had the opportunity to put the jersey in the mail. I think he mailed it on my literal birthday, in fact. My friends all seemed more excited for me than I was for myself and we even made a “package pool” to see which day it would arrive. I woke up today feeling more energetic than I had in a while and I was deep into doing past life and tarot readings for people as I always do with my job. I was deep into a reading when my mother brought a box in the house and put it in the chair next to me. I recognized Jon’s handwriting before I saw his name and, needless to say, I still haven’t finished that reading (sorry, Amanda D., you’ll get it tomorrow!). He was thoughtful enough to send a birthday card along with the jersey.
Everybody knew the jersey story all these months and I would have felt selfish in not sharing my joy, so I put a picture of the jersey with the card on Twitter. Hopefully Jon didn’t mind about that. I’m keeping the contents of the card to myself, so I don’t think he would mind the fuzzy image of it with the jersey. Truly, it only proves how thoughtful he is. It’s not an act. It’s not an image for the public. Jon is who he is whether he is on stage in designer clothes or on his hands and knees laying hardwood floorboards in dirty work boots. Yes, he can be a bit of a procrastinator, wickedly stubborn, late for everything and all of that, but those things all make him who he is right along with his thoughtfulness, sincerity, generocity and his true need to see people happy. For once in my life, “I promise,” actually means something substantial.
The jersey also brought me together with great people who I would not have known had Jon not impulsively took off his “shirt” that night. Sissy and Lauren went above and beyond the call of friendship for someone they barely knew. Now Sissy and I are great, close friends and I adore her. Tinah! Tina helped with reminding Jon about it and we are fabulously great friends in the last several months too. So many people had a hand in it. I couldn’t possibly name everybody but you know who you are. It may be just a piece of clothing that Jon once wore but when I look at it, I will always remember how many people cared enough to get it back to me. It went to several states and countries, lived for months in Jon’s house, and finally came home to me where he intended it to be way back in March 2009.