Tag Archives: Middle school

The Dawn of the Millenium

Jana: Look everyone, it’s New Year’s Eve again! Or I’m sorry, the eve of New Year’s Eve, again. It just keeps happening.

You may remember that last year I told you, in no uncertain terms, that it’s best to STAY HOME on NYE. And I absolutely was not wrong. Odds are good that, if you do something, it will suck. Or, if it doesn’t suck, it will at best be entirely mediocre. Chances that you’ll meet someone you might fall in love with ON new year’s eve are shockingly small. Chances that you’ll just find someone to kiss who isn’t really gross or horrible are ALSO small. If you already have someone who you love and who loves you, it’s likely that you’ll get in a fight. I’m just saying. These are just the cold, hard, facts.

However, this year on NYEE, I wanted to provide you with a happy memory. I know that’s not characteristic of what we do here at DWDSTDT – and is, in fact, unprecedented –  but as I thought about New Year’s Eve’s past, I couldn’t help but remember this really nice one, and it seemed worth sharing.

It was NYE, 1999. The previous year, ’98, had been so brutally awful and sad for me that my parents were determined to make this one good. Plus, it was a big deal: the millenium, and all, and the excitement of a likely Y2K disaster. With these things in my mind, my parents organized a party for my entire 8th grade class. The parents would come too, and they would hang out in the kitchen while we, the teens, partied in the living room. We posed this to the class and people LOVED it because parents knew they’d be in the same house as their kids and everyone would be safe, and the kids were all nerdy like me and just wanted to soberly slow dance anyway. We were doing this!

My best friend Molly and I were elated. We weren’t exactly the “cool kids” in the class (we were weird, dirty, and generally left alone), but here we were, about to host the NYE MILLENNIUM party! We got right to work. First of all, I got my hair straightened, so I looked roughly 1000 times more attractive than usual. Also, I bought a sparkly sweater. Molly put her hair in pigtails. Our other nerdy friend agreed to “DJ.” Molly’s mom showed up early with the largest platter of deli meats that has probably ever existed. IT WAS ON.

Oh, and one other thing. Another friends’ mom happened to own a local toy store. As a surprise, she brought us party favors: little black journals that you had to write in with special day-glo pens. Everyone got one. EVERYONE GOT ONE. Has anything ever been better?

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We ALSO had one of those mini polaroid cameras, which were HUGE and not yet defunct. We pasted the mini pictures in the journals. GENIUS.

We partied away; drinking soda, listening to Smashmouth, hugging each other. Everyone used the journals as little “yearbooks” for the night, having everyone else sign theirs. The class HOT GUY, who I will call Jim, wrote in mine: “Thanks for having this party Jana, we really needed something like this.” I read it over and over. He knew my name; I was somebody at last.

There were slight hiccups, like the DJ friend breaking the stereo (see my list of party high points and low points, below). But mostly, I was in heaven.

At midnight, we all gathered on the back porch to watch Boston turn black from the Y2K power outage (my parents’ house has a view of the boston skyline. It’s a “grand view,” which is also the name of the street, which you are not the first one to point out). I will admit that when the lights stayed on I was pretty disappointed – what now, if not the apocalypse?, I thought. Well, life went on. Molly and I spent ALL of new year’s day in our pajamas, listening to Smashmouth’s hit CD on repeat and eating just SO MUCH deli meat. We rode our NYE2000 high straight into January: we were the 8th graders, and it was a new millenium, and anything (read: just high school, more sadness) could happen.

I will leave you with these excerpts from my “Millennium Journal.” Read them, and go forth into your NYE with full hearts and low expectations.

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Catherine: Unusual though it may be, yes, this post has been about a happy memory. One of the very few Jana has, so YOU’RE ALL WELCOME. As someone in Jana’s house, right now, I can gladly report that yes, the journal is as wonderful as it looks and oh-so-exquisite.

As Jana and I prepare to spend NYE together tomorrow, I think we can both assuredly say that it will not be any more fun than that party she threw that time in 8th grade. The party we are going to SOUNDS REALLY COOL (it’s in a WOOD SHOP – RIGHT?), but I know that we won’t have anyone to make out with, something unforeseen and tragic will happen, and maybe we’ll kill ourselves. And then it’ll be 2013 and we’ll begin making a new year of shitty memories.

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Romance Isn’t Dead, It Just Watches Bad Movies.

Catherine: Isn’t young romance cute? Except not when you are the 12-year old couple GOING FOR IT on a street corner in the middle of the day whom I encountered the other week. Those two need to shut. it. down. If you’ve been reading, you already know about my deodorant-obsessed first boyfriend but perhaps noticed no tales of a first kiss? Perhaps? Well, that’s because there was no kiss (thankfully.) That “special” moment was reserved for the summer after 8th grade. That’s probably PRETTY late. I get that. I understand. And we all need to deal with it and know that given my awkward social behavior, it was a real no-brainer.

My SECOND boyfriend, let’s call him Timmy (no relation to his real name, but I think the name Timmy is funny and a little tragic, like this story) and we were in love, I think. I base this on the fact that he gave my Cherry Chapstick once at a movie theater. And that is all I ever want, really. I have a chapstick addiction, and we were dating before it even started, so he was really ahead of the curve. All my friends at the movie (group date, clearly) thought it was very romantic. As did I.

So, one spring day we trek to the local elementary school fair where I win a goldfish which would go on to live for over a year and would be named Spot, because it had a spot. Its death would break my mother’s heart. After the fair, we headed to my friend “Sarah”‘s house, where she was hanging out with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, whose name I THINK was actually Sacha, was in middle school despite being maybe 16 years old, had facial hair, and was a Russian drugdealer. I am making zero of this up. Suffice it to say, Timmy was impressed.

We all settled down to watch “Starship Troopers,” Sara and Sacha on an opposing couch very obviously doing things. Sexy things. It was gross, but fascinating. At one point Timmy leans over and whispers in my ear, “I wanna kiss you.” I think to myself, WE ARE IN LOVE! FUTURE HUSBAND (truly believed that, guys.) I AM EXCITED BUT MOSTLY NERVOUS. Maybe 10 minutes later, “the kiss” happens. It is disgusting, wet, and wrought with bad breath. I complete the movie by snuggling into the crook of his arm at such an angle that he cannot possibly kiss me again. And he never would. We broke up days later.

Still, I know I am beat by my friend who lost her v-card whilst watching “Spaceballs.” That’s alright.

Jana: I love the fact that your first kiss took place in such close proximity to a 16-year old Russian drug dealer/middle school student. He seems to embody, for me, what’s really beneath a first kiss: fear, darkness, danger, inappropriate behavior given maturity level, etc.

And my first kiss didn’t happen until I was 16 (REALLY edgin up on 17. It’s like I was in The Sound of Music, except it was 2003), so. Don’t feel too bad.

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Happy Birthday To Me: I Wasn’t Cool in Middle School

Catherine: It’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me, specifically. Before I get going, may I suggest liking our facebook page as a special birthday gift to yours truly? Or perhaps, if you wanted to get craycray, putting us in your status? Think about it.

In middle school, I was cast as the lead in “Guys in Dolls.” This may have been pre-type casting, because there was a scene where my character gets  drunk and sings weird shit like “if I were a salad, I KNOW I’d be splashing my dressing” and “boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!” I’ve probably said those things under the influence before.

Well, I thought getting the lead in the school musical would make me cool, because that’s what I wanted – you wanted it too, even if you won’t admit it. It uh, it didn’t make that wish come true.

I will forever remember this event:

It was tech day of our show, a weekend day, and it was my birthday. I had left the auditorium, and as I headed back, three popular boys who were doing lights or stage crew were hanging by the entrance. One of them, Greg (real name, I ain’t protectin’ his sorry ass), said, “Hey, it’s your bithday, right?” To which I was like, “Yeah!” (Inner dialogue: “Greg is talking to me – I’VE MADE IT!”) Greg then goes on to say, “Happy Birthday!” (Pause) “To a LOSER.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

THIS SHIT HAPPENS. And it RUINED my whole birthday, and I STILL think of that moment in my life with regret. I wasn’t cool enough to have a comeback. But I am going to take that chance now.

Here goes.

Me: “I’m a loser? I know you are… BUT WHAT AM I?” (Inner dialogue: “Nailed it!”)

Greg: “No, you are a loser. I am not a loser. You are, and I specified that.”

Me: “… oh.”

So. That is an amended version of what could have happened on that fateful day, as I walked into the auditorium fighting back tears.

Greg, wherever you are, I hope you aren’t still a total asshole. And also that you grew out the Mario Lopez haircut.

Jana: This story hurts my heart, especially because I can actually picture it, entirely. All I can say is that, had I been there, I’m sure I would have been crying for one reason or another (I QUITE often cried during weekend rehearsals for musicals), and maybe we both would have been sitting alone, you mentally repeating the Greg incident and me crying either because the love of my life didn’t love me back, or because I hadn’t gotten into college (both things that I openly cried about during Saturday rehearsals). Maybe we would have decided to sit in the hallway together and, each taking an earbud, listen to the “Dashboard Confessional” CD playing in my discman. Maybe it would have brought us comfort.

I retro-actively offer you that solace as my birthday gift. Welcome to 26! It’s mostly just as devastating as 16.

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True Love and Deodorant: You Can’t Keep Both in Your Life

Catherine: In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a brief love story.

In middle school, my first boyfriend had a name consisting of solely initials. I will change them, but know that names that are just initials are ridiculous and should be banned. For our sake, let’s call him PJ.

Our story begins when his supremely attractive friend, “Mark”, called me up on the phone. He inquired if I was going to the dance with anyone? NO, I wasn’t, and I made sure he knew I WAS FREE and mentally prepared to tell everyone I knew (like, six people) that hot Mark liked me. Alas. He was calling on behalf of PJ, to see if I would go to the dance with him. I had to clarify who exactly PJ was before agreeing. Ok, yea, we have never spoken before, but we might as well go together. Sure.

From one or two slow dances later (broken down in great deal at a post dance sleepover), blossomed a three month long relationship.

Our courtship consisted of awkward eye contact, or lack thereof, in the hallway, and the occasional hug. We may have spoken on the phone a few times, but I honestly didn’t know anything about him – nothing at all. But, he was my boyfriend. So. On Valentine’s Day, he gave me a single red rose. I just about died. Romance! Passion! An extra-long hug where everyone stares at us and giggles (and during which I, myself, giggle.) I put it in my room, where it remained until I graduated high school (I know.)

Sometime after this bold gesture, we went on our one and only date to the local pizza place where I forced my best friend, Samantha (real name) to come, and hot Mark tagged along. There wasn’t too much talking.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that we later broke up when I called him on the phone from a friend’s house so that they could coach me and listen in. This was, of course, after I had gone to his middle school graduation party, been up to his room, and saw approximately 12-20 different brands of deodorant.  I didn’t have the foresight to end it on the spot.

PJ set me up for years of awkward behavior near or around guys and though sweet, I would like to blame him for messing me up.

Point is guys, have a good Valentine’s day with your co-partner, or cat, or (ideally) both. I like you all.

Red is for Valentine’s Day, and I wore it here.

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