This post is part of #the100dayproject that encourages creatives to do an action every day for 100 days. I've chosen to write an article or blog post every day. Previous posts for this project can be found here.
“Getting that album was more important than when I lost my virginity, because the joy from that lasted a lot longer,” Carrie Rainey joked.
Rainey remembers the day exactly. It was Tuesday, March 20, 2000. She woke up around 6am like any other school day and sat at the kitchen table for breakfast. She asked her grandmother where her grandfather went and she replied he was running an errand.
When he walked in, he placed a CD on the table. On the cover were the five guys of *NSYNC hanging like marionettes on a stage. It was the “No Strings Attached” album. Her grandfather drove an hour roundtrip to the nearest 24-hour Wal-Mart to buy the CD for his granddaughter.
“They didn't do stuff like that. I wasn't spoiled so that was very new,” said Rainey. “I never had him surprise me like that.”
She didn't get a chance to listen to any of the tracks before she headed to school because her grandmother wanted her to eat breakfast first. The car ride to school was two minutes, not enough time to listen to at least one *NSYNC song.
She wasn't about to let any of her classmates know she hadn't listened to it though. She walked around campus “reading” the booklet to let them know she was the first fifth grader, if not the first student, at Swartz Elementary to have the CD.
“I was a dork in school,” said Rainey. “I had big frizzy hair. I was chubby. I had a big gap in my teeth. I was not a cool kid, but for that day, I was.”
Rainey visited her grandfather in March, three weeks before she moved to Marfa. It had been a year since she last saw him. He has Alzheimer's which has taken away his memories.
But he remembered buying her a CD. Once Rainey heard him say that, the memory came rushing back.
“I couldn't believe it because I had forgotten about it,” said Rainey. “It made me really happy.”
*NSYNC released one more album, Celebrity, before disbanding in 2002. They reunited today to received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Perfect timing considering today is the last day of April, the day of the fan-proclaimed *NSYNC holiday.
Because y'all, it's gonna be May.