I recently binge watched an amazing new show on Hulu called “Pen15.” The show follows two best friends, Maya and Anna, as they start 7th grade. The best part? It’s set in 2000 — the same year I started 7th grade.
Aside from being absolutely hilarious (and often times heartbreaking),the show absolutely nails everything about this time period, from the butterfly bedsheets, the translucent landline telephones, the seedy AIM messages we all had with strangers at that time behind the veil of a made up a/s/l. If someone offered me a million dollars to read the transcripts of those conversations I’m not sure I’d take the deal. Self-respect and dignity don’t come cheap in this life, and I was a fuckin’ pervy little shit.
Watching the show brought back so many of my memories from that time period. The good, the bad, the ugly, and, of course, the cringey. The show’s soundtrack was pretty on point, as well — with one huge exception.
That’s right; they didn’t include a track from every middle schooler’s favorite band: Blink-182. WTF?!
In those two weird years of my life as a middle schooler, I primarily listened to three albums on a loop. Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory, Alien Ant Farm’s Anthology, and Blink-182’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. This song in particular got a lot of play because I felt it perfectly conveyed my feelings for the crush I had at the time.
In the first semester of 8th grade, I sat next to or behind him in 3 of my 6 classes! It was heaven, and he was nice to me even though I was definitely not the most attractive girl with an obvious crush on him. Bless his heart.
But then, in the second semester, tragedy struck. Our seating charts got changed! My heart was broken. Life no longer had meaning. What was the point of living if my one true love wouldn’t be forced to interact with me on a daily basis anymore? Luckily for me, with help and commiseration from Blink-182’s “Roller Coaster,” I made it through the rest of my 8th grade year and then made my way into high school, where a new major and largely unrequited crush would take Christian’s place in my heart.
Blink-182, though? They could never be replaced.
(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)