I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about elementary and middle school, wishing I could put in a tape, press play and rewatch the highlights.

I have a bad memory, so I don’t remember a lot from those times. It could also be that I’ve blocked a lot out, seeing as I was a puberty monster from hell. However, I’ve noticed that when I take an edible before bed (sorry, Mom), I’m able to recall memories that were previously dormant. Like my mind relaxes enough to show me stuff I was too anxious, stressed or preoccupied to remember.

Full disclosure: this could totally be placebo effect. My anxiety makes it pretty easy to trick me into believing stuff. If a stranger on the street told me I was pregnant, I’d believe him. Wouldn’t matter if I’d had sex recently (I haven’t, Mom). Or if he followed up with, “Well, you wanna be?” I’d convince myself that yes, I actually did notice some splash-back from that Whole Foods toilet, which means my pee stream must have propelled a lingering toilet sperm from watery its depths and into my unsuspecting vagina.

This is a joke, but it’s also something I’ve had to talk about in therapy. “Sperm don’t have legs, Joanna,” is an actual thing my therapist has said to me.

Don’t trust sperm, never have.

Anyways, the other night I took an edible and started remembering things from 5th to 8th grade. Here’s what I wrote down:

My first kiss with a boy I was absolutely obsessed with. We were at the movies. When I got home, I washed my mouth with soap because I was worried about germs.

Accidentally farting in class and wanting to die.

Asking my mom why I farted so much, and her telling me it’s probably because I was eating six bowls of Raisin Bran per day.

“You’ll be cute, but never hot.” Something a middle school boy once said to me during an assembly. He was holding court on the bleachers, predicting who would grow up to be hot or not. He was my Allison DuBois, and I, like Kyle Richards, asked for information I simply could not handle.

“I don’t even take Advil.” – A girl in my D.A.R.E. class, sucking up to the officers. I was wholly addicted to Sudafed at this point, so she became my North Star.

Putting on 8 coats of lip gloss to impress the boys at gym class, only to have said boys say, “Looks like you’ve got cum on your lips.”

Putting on 8 coats of black eye liner to look mature and edgy, only to have my crush say, “Looks like someone punched you in the face.”

Begging my mom for a dark blue Chrysler Town & Country.

Playing “the floor is lava” but replacing “lava” with “a river of sperm.” (Like I said, never trusted them.)

Watching Armageddon for the first time.

Falling hopelessly, desperately, obsessively in love with someone new every year and feeling like shit when they didn’t notice me.

Falling hopelessly, desperately, obsessively in love with Vin Diesel.

My favorite pants: denim flares from Ross with an airbrushed panda bear on the left leg.

A girl telling me, “You wore those pants yesterday.” Bitch I know they’re my favorite.

Creating three fake screen-names to stalk my crush on AIM. One of them was “FashionVictim123” which was, unintentionally, perhaps the best undercover name I could have picked:

I’m on the right, flying deep under the fashion radar.

Realizing I was one of maybe two kids in my social studies class whose family voted for Gore.

Similarly, a kid telling our science teacher they weren’t going to learn about evolution.

Faking a broken toe at soccer tryouts because I didn’t realize it would be so much running.

Stepping on a mason jar, cutting my toe 90% of the way off and going into shock while my parents weren’t home.

Fiddling with a phantom bra strap in class so boys would think I wore a bra.

Believing my cousin when he told me that croutons were made from ground up bits of hamsters.

Riding my bike around the neighborhood as fast as I could, hoping all the teenage boys would look out their windows and whisper, “Damn that girl can fly.”

Absolutely living for my friends’ bar and bat mitzvahs.

Thinking Voldemort had taken control of my feet when actually they were just asleep because I’d been sitting on them too long while reading.

Being a real asshole to everyone, especially my family. Sorry Mom, Dad and Jess. I love you.

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