Middle-Aged Woman Confesses: I Adore the Spice Girls

The Olympics Closing Ceremonies outs her to family members.

I’m so ashamed. My secret obsession has been revealed. I must now face the scorn and ridicule of my family. It went down like this: On Sunday night, the closing ceremonies of the Olympics were aired on, well, just about 12 different stations, and I was poised to watch every minute. Not because I was eager to see the fireworks extravaganza or hundreds of Brits parading around in crazy costumes. Nope, I had seen the teaser on the Internet earlier in the day and, as much as I was tempted to check out my obsession online, I waited for prime time. It wasn’t easy. With a glass of chardonnay in hand and curled up in my comfy chair, I settled in to watch the closing ceremonies.

The John Lennon tribute was great and so was George Michael. Russell Brand was a showman as usual, but the big attraction was yet to come. Okay, I’ll stand up and say it: I love the Spice Girls. Yup, I’m a middle-aged woman (early 50s—that’s all I’m admitting to) who loves the Spice Girls. My husband and daughter came into the room and caught me with my hand raised in that “don’t interrupt me, I’m busy” motion that warns of bodily harm if anyone touches the clicker. One glance at the screen and my secret was out.

I was introduced to their catchy tunes years ago, when my now 20-year-old was still buying her clothes from Kids R Us. She and all her peers got caught up in the Spice Girl mania and I went along for the ride, ostensibly as the downtrodden mother forced to shuttle screaming kids to a SG concert (we went twice) but truth is, I was just as excited. I complained about the driving duty but, secretly, when there were no kids around, I blasted the Girls from my car and sang along to every catchy tune. I knew all the words. I even enjoyed the Spice Girls movie. (I think that admission pretty much completes the 12-step program.) Their girl power message was a good one for young girls, and maybe older ones too, and their look had a diversity and in-your-face attitude to which young girls were attracted.

During the show, Ryan Seacrest pointed out that the Spice Girls are the most successful girl band in history. The group was critically panned and belittled by music aficionados, but all those screaming tweens snagged a whole lot of CDs back in the day. I’m guessing the Girls hit that milestone by selling a few to some moms too. (I keep mine in a Bee Gees jacket just in case anyone snoops.)

What? What’s wrong with the Bee Gees?