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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Looking Back on 8th Grade [1999-2000]

Yesterday, I had the chance to meet several of my high school girlfriends for drinks at a local restaurant. While we caught up on the latest in each other's lives, one of my friends, Kate, told us about the party she and several of our other friends had put on the week before. I can't remember the specific title she gave it, but the gist of it was 'an 8th grade party.'

What is an 8th grade party?

Several girls got together, drank drinks they enjoyed in 8th grade [diet sprite and diet mt dew], ate snacks they loved in 8th grade [cool ranch doritos], and reminisced about all things 8th grade. All things 1999-2000.

I am so sad I missed out on this reminiscing session!

Kate said the idea came to her when she was talking with the daughter of one of her coworkers. The daughter was in 8th grade and Kate said she was talking with the girl, telling her, "It'll get better, I promise!" It inspired her to remember back to her 8th grade days and all that went along with it, and the idea for the party was born.

Kate researched the top fads of 1999-2000, our 8th grade year, and printed up a list of all of the hot things that year. She had it in her purse.

Among the hottest things of 1999-2000 were: [Photos courtesy of my best friend, Google.]

Tommy Hilfiger.

Everyone had Tommy Hilfiger clothes. Because of my frugalness [frugalty? frugality? whatever...], the only Tommy shirt I had came from the Florida flea market we visited every year while visiting my grandparents on spring break. How much you wanna bet it was a fake? Considering it only cost probably $4 per t-shirt, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet.

Colored braces...


I had braces from 7th-9th grade. I absolutely did the whole color-coordination thing with the bands, according to the season or time of year. Black/Orange for Halloween, Red/Green for Christmas, Blue/Yellow for summer. Yep... I did that.

Hey, we all did it!

Doc Marten shoes.

These were spendy, and I don't think I had mine at the peak of their popularity. But, I did get a pair, and then, they got stolen at the YMCA. It was a sad day.

Oh wait... Maybe mine were Doc look-a-likes, and were really Maurices brand.

I forget. [Ok, I'm pretty sure they were the knock-offs now that I think about it.]

Regardless, Docs were the THING.


While they are still popular today for things like scrapbooking, these pens were alllll the rage in 8th grade. I wrote hundreds of notes to my friends with those pens; and still have a shoe box [my Maurices shoes maybe??] full of the notes.

Incidentally, it was also cool to draw on your shoes with these. In tech-ed, I would draw on the bottoms of my shoes with my gel pens. Yep, the same shoes that got stolen at the YMCA.

Adidas shoes.

Everyone had these shoes, and in really cute colors too. I think I got these a little later than the peak of the fad too. I remember wanting them so badly, but they were pretty expensive. I tried on my friend's pair at school but because I have medium-big feet, they were just too tight to wear around that day. Sadly for me.

I did get a pair of these eventually, with white stripes though.

White stripes=boring.

What did I do? I painted the stripes with [nope, not gel pens!] nail polish! Genius right? Yep, the stripes are each a different color, complete with sparkly top coat.

And I still have them in my closet.


1999 was also the year of Columbine. It was the year Britney Spears and Christina got their big breaks. 1999-2000 was the year Survivor got started, and reality TV emerged. It was the year of the Y2K scare, and the hanging chads in the Gore/Bush election. It was the year MSN launched their MSN Instant Messanger and chat rooms boomed.

It was my 8th grade year.

It was a year of basketball, tennis, boys, and friends. It was a year of acne, insecurities, hormones, girl fights, and school dances. A year of awkwardness, gossip, laughs, tears, [attempted] fashion, and popularity.

It was a year smack in the middle of junior high.

What a blast from the past! It is so funny to think back; to remember all of those hilarious times, and those insanely awkward and sometimes sad times. To remember what I was worried about, and to look back and remember when I said "No boys will ever like me."

[Then I look at my ring finger and know that in 8th grade, my husband was also saying "No girls ever like me!" See? We're perfect for each other!]

Times have sure changed, and it's funny [and scary] to think what it'll be like when I have kids someday. In 2040 or whenever they look back on their 8th grade year, who knows what they'll be thinking. Probably something along the lines of what I heard a high school girl say last month. "Remember when RAZRs [the cell phone sitting next to me as I type this...] were cool??"

My [future] kids will probably say something like Remember when iPhones were cool? Remember when people watched movies on DVDs/BluRays? Remember when Taylor Swift was the best singer in the country?

Who knows what they'll say. It's still at least 15+ years away until I have an 8th grade child of my own. I can hardly imagine the world a year from now, must less 15... It will be an interesting ride, watching it happen.

Oh, how times change.

What was the world like when you were in 8th grade?

Enjoy the ride,


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