Until You're Back Here, Baby


Times used to be simpler.

At some point in my life, my greatest anxiety in the day was knowing my tomagochi had been confiscated by my teacher and left neglected on top of a shelf. It had finally reached the teenager stage, and I knew that at the end of the day the screen would be filled with steaming turds. The teenage virtual creature would be so livid that there would be no amount of games I could play with it to earn its favor ever again. I'd have to reset my tomagochi and wait for the egg to hatch all over again. My teacher just didn't understand.

It was a great weekend if my dad would take Camille and I to the mall so we could go to The Great Scrunchie Wall at Claire's. To find a hair accessory with ample amounts of peace signs, smiley faces, and other symbols from times passed that meant essentially nothing to me.

It was a time when we still went to Blockbuster. I probably did a whole lap around the store to give the new releases a shot, but I know I only actually rented Space Jam, Now & Then, and The First Wives Club like I did every weekend.

It was when we were all like, "What happened to those two girls from Destiny's Child?" and when when we raced home to watch TRL and vowed that if we were ever to go on the show, we would not SCREAM THE WHOLE TIME THE MICROPHONE WAS IN OUR FACE.

It was before everyone tried to disown the Dixie Chicks, Britney's greatest controversy was not wearing a bra, and my friend Jenny and I fought over whether or not the middle Hanson kid was really a boy or girl. It was when I pretended to like Aqua, and we all were like, "IS THAT A MAN OR WOMAN?" When Cher first released "Believe." (Also, Cher was really using that autotune long before T-Pain).

It was when our token public menace was Tom Green instead of Sasha Baron Cohen.

Clearly, this gray January day has left me feeling nostalgic and wanting someone else to share the sentiment.

Enjoy this playlist. I tried to incorporate some that maybe you'd forgotten, and I've spanned a lot of years. I tried to include a little something for everyone.

A lot didn't make the list, don't worry! You have 47,583,986 Now That's What I Call Music CDs you can refer to if you're feeling deprived. And for the record - I loved R&B before Love & Basketball was a twinkle in anyone's eye. I will confess, though - that for many years I thought Lauryn Hill's album was "The Misseduction" and not "The Miseducation."What a child.

If anything, listen to that En Vogue song and perform it to your best abilities.

Please include some favorite memories/songs/pop culture from middle school in the comments.

Now excuse me while I go make a TLC ringtone.

Have such a great weekend!