1. AIM PROFILES – I can’t tell you how many songs I listen to that make me stop and think, “Man, I wish I had an AIM profile I could add these lyrics to!” Those were the days of passive aggressively telling the boy you had a crush on how much he hurt you by asking someone else to the school dance. Just a little line from DMB was all you needed to make you feel better about yourself. I would color code every single quote and song in my profile to make sure everyone knew how crafty I was. And then I would get SO mad when AIM would cut me off for too many characters– just when you think you have the perfect list of material.
This was also the best way to get attention from almost anyone, because the moment you put up something angry or sappy, you would get about ten IMs from friends asking, “Is that about me??” AIM profiles were an attention whore’s DREAM.
2. TRIPS TO THE MALL – The mall was THE SPOT when I was 13 years old. Every time I had a free moment, I would ask my parents for 20 bucks and a ride to the Cape Cod Mall to pick up the newest pair of butterfly clips for my hair, or some tacky earrings from Claire’s. I would spend hours aimlessly walking around hoping to bump into boys from school. But most of the time I was just sitting at Friendly’s with my girlfriends eating brownie sundaes.
That part of my life hasn’t changed… Only now I’ve graduated from Friendly’s and am attending The Tollhouse Cookie Bakery.
3. SCHOOL DANCES – I fucking LOVED school dances. Any excuse to put on pink lipstick and too much blue eye shadow was the perfect night in my book. But the suspense leading up to the dance to see if my not-so-secret crush would ask me always stressed me out. I knew he liked when girls wore pigtails (remember those?), so I would wear them every single day, hoping he was falling as much in love with me as I was with him. Thinking back on it, I’m sure the only thing he was doing was asking himself if I ever washed my hair. But at the time, I didn’t care. And look at that! It got me nowhere with my crush. He always went to the dances stag, maybe to prove a point that he didn’t want to be tied down. Ugh, MEN! It was okay though since there were always other boys that wanted to show off their moves with the ladies on the dance floor. And by “moves” I mean ‘lets see how far apart we can stand from each other while we slow dance to this awesome N’SYNC song.’ The end of the night always ended up being my favorite part. Sleepovers with my besties and prank calling the girls we hated #lylas!
4. GYM CLASS – This falls under the “do NOT miss” category of this post. Let me be clear, when I say I hated gym class, I mean that I would rather purposely jump, ALMOST FAMOUS style, off of a building than walk into the gym. It was hard enough trying to find an outfit and good hairstyle for the day, but then having to find gym clothes and a way to rock a pony tail on my 5’1”, baby fat, 13 year old body was just torture. I conveniently forgot my gym clothes 4 out of 5 days every week and somehow convinced my gym teacher that I deserved a B. Thanks Coach! If only I could convince my boss I need a raise that easily. More importantly, they NEVER gave us time to shower. So we would have to go back to class sweaty, smelly and miserable. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with already. We were 13 for crying out loud. PUBERTY IS ON THE HORIZON!!! Thank GOD for Bath and Body Works.
5. NO BILLS – YES, YES and let me say it again, YES!!! I never realized how amazing this was until now. Everything was just magically paid for – clothes, shoes, electricity, medical bills.
Well, that is GONE. And for some reason, my once healthy 13 year old self has turned into a not so healthy 25 year old. I am slowly learning to accept that every single time I step foot in the doctors office or the car dealership, I will be giving them a kidney. Something is now ALWAYS wrong with me, or something that I own. It’s like the moment you leave your parent’s house a switch in the world goes off that alerts everyone to take you for all your worth. GET THAT QUARTER LIFE KID! SHE WONT KNOW WHAT HIT HER! Not cool world. NOT cool.
6. OVERALLS – Do clothes get any better? Overeating and going out in public… no longer a problem! Just throw on those overalls, no one can tell! Although not always flattering, comfort was always first and is always first for me.
7. NO BRAS – On the comfort note, I was far too insecure to accept that I sprouted a rather large pair of breasts at the tender age of 8. My best friend was a tank top with a built in bra. While they offered virtually zero support for my almost D cups, they made me feel like all the rest of the flat, pre puberty girls. Except I wasn’t like the rest of the girls… I was a girl trying to hide her melons not realizing the no bra thing was almost offensive in my case.
8. WAITING FOR RIDES – This one also falls under the “do not miss” portion of the post. Getting picked up or dropped off was not only inconvenient it was embarrassing as fuck. I would have to beg my parents for a ride somewhere, then go through 20 questions, “Why are you going there? Who is going with you? When do you need to be picked up?” Setting plans really stress me out, so I would try and casually respond with the answer, “Ill just call you when I’m ready.” Well, that certainly didn’t fly. So then I would try, “Fine, I’ll be ready at 7PM, but please pick me up down the street and around the corner near 7/11… I don’t want anyone to know you exist.” That one seemed to work. What I did until 7PM… that was my beeswax.
9. DAWSON’S CREEK – “Oh? Do I seem a little sweaty and flushed? I must have a fever!” What that really meant was, “You wouldn’t let me watch Dawson’s Creek last night because you think I’m too young so I’ll just watch it during my ‘sick’ day while you’re at work, SUCKERS.” Once the parents were out of the house, it was just Dawson, his creek, and me. Who will Joey choose this time?
The love affair was so much better than TWILIGHT, am I right? And all the cool kids were watching it, so I wouldn’t dare go to school without being caught up! The last thing you want to be was the girl at the lunch table, not only eating a TUNA sandwich (thanks mom), but behind on the show that defined our generation.
10. GEL PENS – O.M.G. You would have to save up your quarters, get your ass to Staples, and load up on a bag of these babies if you wanted ANY chance of making a solid friend in middle school. The front of my textbooks, my notebooks, even my arms were constantly covered in glitter designs or my crush’s initials. This is most likely why he was my not-so-secret crush… #fact.
11. PASSING NOTES – I cant tell you how many notes I passed in class when I was supposed to be copying down everything my teacher was writing on her overhead projector. It was so hard to see that damn thing anyway; my notes were far more interesting. And no, it couldn’t wait until after class. I needed to know at that moment if X would go to the movies with me on Friday night so I could talk about it the rest of the day. Circle “yes” or “no.” And if you ever got caught, all hell would break loose, because then you would have to read the note out loud to the class. I was usually pretty careful, but always ready to go Naomi Campbell on my teacher’s ass if she called me out.
12. TOP LOCKERS – Just because I was a shorty, doesn’t mean that it made more sense for me to have a bottom locker. Someone call HR, please.
13. TRUE BFFS – Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made a lot of great girlfriends over the course of my life, but, to quote Grey’s Anatomy, I met my “person” when I was 13 years old. It was love at first sight and I had finally met my match. Someone with whom you can talk all day long about boys, make up the most awesome dances to Backstreet Boy’s songs, and realize that D cups at our age were heaven sent. Not to mention, this broad loved to rock a feather boa.
How many girls do you know that would wear a boa to school and make you feel okay for doing the same thing? That my friend, is a keeper.
By Alex Devlin
This post originally appeared on Dirty and Thirty