4 Middle School Things I Wish Were Still Socially Acceptable



1. Grinding

Once you hit a certain age, grinding becomes socially unacceptable. But, it’s such an easy move to whip out on a dance floor if you, like me, have absolutely no sense of rhythm! All you have to do is stand in front of someone, press your backside into their front side, and rotate your hips in a circular motion — like magic, you can dance! Certainly, I think the peak of my own dancing (read: grinding) career occurred during a 7th grade sock hop at my local JCC (Jewish Community Center, for those of y’all who are not in the know). Some Enrique Iglesias song played on full blast. Some guy named Barry Lieberman stood behind me with his hands on either side of my waist. I was wearing Hollister from head to toe, and I was giving Barry as much of a workout as I could. In that moment, life was really chipper for me. “This is as good as it gets,” I thought, firmly gripping Barry’s hands with my own so that they stayed in the PG-somewhat-PG13-rated region of my body.

2. Listening to Blink 182

If any of my friends caught me listening to Blink 182, they would skewer me. I have some friends (whom I love dearly — you know who you are) who belong to the set of Very Relevant Folk that consistently reads Pitchfork. For no other reason than to be able to casually reference obscure bands during conversations. “Mt. Kimbie? You haven’t heard of Mt. Kimbie? I mean, everyone knows about Mt. Kimbie, but I read about them in Pitchfork months before they got big…so, clearly, I am a superior human being to you.” I would lose all cultural credibility with these friends (well, most of my friends) if they ever found out about my undying adoration for Travis Barker…but, you know, sometimes, all a girl wants to do is scream the lyrics to “All The Small Things” at the top of her lungs.

3. Subsisting off of Lunchables

At the onset of this year, I promised myself that I would learn how to cook. I would be wrapping up my third year of college; it was high time that I learned kitchen skills other than boiling water for Ramen (mmm, MSG) or reheating leftover Pad Thai. Once midterms started to hit, I realized that learning to cook was a lost cause. Who has the time? Besides, the Thai restaurant delivery guy already knew me by name. But, because I can’t eat Pad Thai at every meal, I will sometimes diversify and buy prepackaged meals at the grocer. My favorite kind is Lunchables! I love how the meals come in neat, little plastic packages! I love all the options — nachos, and crackers and cheese, and chicken nuggets (if I ate meat)! I love that every meal comes with a juice pouch and a piece of candy for dessert! Whenever I buy Lunchables, I feel the pure, unadulterated joy of living simply — like, when I was 10 or 11 and begged my parents to let me bring these hearty, little treats to school.

4. Sleeping in (way) late

Up until high school, my Sunday morning routine was as follows: wake up around noon, amble into the kitchen, amble into the living room with a bowl of cereal, and watch South Park until mid-afternoon. These days, I start to get anxious if I stay in bed past 10 a.m., even on a weekend day. Lord knows my body craves as much sleep as it can get, but there is always so much to do — errands to run, ducks to set in orderly rows! And doesn’t the whole day feel wasted if you aren’t up early and primed to conquer the world — coffee in one hand and cell phone, newly refreshed Twitter feed at the ready, in the other?