I remember when life was hard. And by "hard," I mean my problems consisted of the emerging zit on my face, my inability to straighten the underside of my hair, and my nomination as vice president of the "itty-bitty-titty committee." Ah yes, life was hard indeed. I was asking myself some real existential questions. Did my crush like me? Did I look as good as my classmate in that Limited Too shirt? My decisions affected lives –that is, those of my chia pet, sea monkeys, and tamagotchi.
Here are the top 10 problems we suffered through:
1. What color should the elastics on my braces be?
Ah, braces. Remember that weird time when you thought it would be kinda cool to have them because everyone else did? Then when you finally got them and saw your first disposable picture developed you proceeded to do the awkward closed-mouth smile for the next 3 years. Elastics were our accessories—the only saving grace of being a brace face. Black and orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, and your classic fav color of choice for every other day.
2. Mom is on the phone and I want to use the internet!
3. I missed my TV show and I forgot to VHS it.
A new episode of "Boy Meets World" is on? Better tape over Mom and Dad’s wedding or your sister’s Baptism! Missing a TV show and forgetting to tape it was a bad hit; you’d either have to hear what you missed through word of mouth, or wait at least a week until it aired again.
4. My crush is on AIM. This. Is. Not. A. Drill.
During adolescence, AIM was our Facebook, Tinder, OkCupid and Twitter all wrapped up in one beautiful angst-filled place. Since we were all way too awkward to talk to the people we liked in person, of course we did it via AIM. There was an art to it – sign on, sign off, and sign on again to make the open and shut door sound until your crush noticed you on their buddy list. At a young and impressionable age, AIM defined the relationship game for us.
5. I want to break up with my week-long boyfriend/girlfriend.
You had been dating all of a week; it was your longest and most serious relationship. Your initials were in his/her aim profile with a heart next to it. It was love, but now it had to end. Breaking up was a delicate task, and it needed to be handled with the greatest amount of care. This is why, of course, it was to be done strictly through AIM, a friend, or a note passed in the hallway.
6. Mom won't let me go to that sleepover/dance/party.
Ugh, Mom was the worst back then. Didn’t she understand the importance of going to a dance? I told my friend I would go, and she told my crush. So if I don’t go, I am a liar, and therefore it is the end of the world. It was the end of the world a lot in those days. But especially when you had strict parents that didn’t understand that standing together in a sweaty gym was way more important than Nana’s 80th birthday.
7. Do I really have to follow through with a sexual deed if someone snaps my plastic bracelet?
8. I need a more mature AIM screen name.
9. I don’t have unlimited texting and I owe my mom 10 bucks now.
Remember when texts were 25 cents a pop? That made it real hard to keep your strictly virtual relationship with your week-long crush on the DL with your parents. Once Mom and Dad got that bill, shit really hit the fan.
10. I can't afford Abercrombie, so I'll have to shop at Aeropostale.
Abercrombie and Hollister were obviously the coolest places to shop. When we were young, we loved the loud techno music, and we didn’t wish we had a gas mask inside the store. Unfortunately, the tiny pieces of fabric sold at Abercrombie and Hollister came at a hefty price. When we couldn’t afford them, we were left buying Aeropostale and hoping that that our classmates couldn’t tell the difference between the logos on the right side of our pastel polos.