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Middle-Aged in Middle School (Sarah & Jill: A History)

When you’ve been friends as long as Sarah and I have, sometimes memories start bleeding together and you realize that being able to recall dates or how old we were for a certain event becomes increasingly difficult. There’s no way in hell I’m claiming old age. There are just THAT many memories since 1985. Plus, I’m stupid terrible at filing things away appropriately.

Sarah is definitely better at remembering stories from when we were younger. I would wager this is due to the fact that she kept incredibly detailed journals for the better part of the past thirty years. There are plenty of moments in those journal that, I’m sure, Sarah and I would both prefer stayed in the confines of those pages. But every once in a while, sometimes triggers a memory so strong that it nearly knocks us over. And then we usually laugh so hard that we actually do get knocked over.

Don't be jealous of our 16 year old selves getting our JC Penny portraits on!

This has nothing to do with anything. I just wanted to put this picture in another blog post. For obvious reasons. This time, please notice the shoulder pads of this too-big blazer. For funsies.

I’m not sure there is a more powerful memory trigger than music. There isn’t a time period in our history that isn’t filled with an EPIC soundtrack. I mean, you wouldn’t even have to get us drunk and we could sing the entire song lists from Les Misérables and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat…oh, and NEWSIES. On command. With parts and harmonies. And then we would tell you the most ridiculous stories about the time Broadway musicals ruled our lives and annoyed the living hell out of our families because we couldn’t shut the hell up. Ever.  

The other night, we fell down a middle school wormhole of music videos and song memories. We discussed disastrous (yet amazing) talent show performances that bring equal parts hysterical laughter and abject shame and embarrassment. The drama! The disagreements! The angsty versions of Wilson Philips’ Hold On! I almost can’t handle it all.

But as Sarah and I are naming song after song, tears are streaming down my face as I remember how super lame we were. Sure, we listened to the popular pop or rap songs that our friends were listening to but we had a had an after-school-special-kind-of-undying-love for the adult contemporary music of the time. Michael Bolton was OUR JAM. We could get DOWN to Love is a Wonderful Thing as only really cheesy middle schoolers could. How we weren’t stuffed in any trash cans is beyond me.

Being so lame has made this trip down musical memory land so damn enjoyable. 

So. Peg your pants. Grab any too-big blazers with ginourmous shoulder pads and let’s all travel back in time together. Here are 10 songs that bring back SOOOO many memories. May you laugh so hard at how lame Sarah and I were that you can count it as your workout for the next week. You’re welcome, world.

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