Remember That One Time… I Went To My Middle School Dance
Ah, middle school.
A time where we’re figuring out who we are and what friends compliment us. Our bodies are changing and making us feel some type of way. But most importantly, this is where the certain phases of our life begin.
The year was 2007.
Lucky for me, in middle school my local mall got a Hot Topic and at the time, that was one of the best things to happen to lil ol wannabe gothic/emo Jade. Never in my life will I deny how much I loved Hot Topic. Y’all talk shit on the store now, but they’ll always have a small spot in my heart for helping me be my unapologetic self, regardless of the fact many kids my age didn’t understand it.
A treasure trove of all things I loved, I quickly began growing my band tee collection to let the world know what bands I liked. I wanted you all to KNOW what bands I liked. Music was a driving force in my life and the music I listened to reflected on my personality. I took pride and value in what music I was into and that I wore whatever the hell I wanted. As a walking advertisement, I knew eventually I would draw in people who shared similar interests.
As your goth/emo/scene phase is a rite of passage, so is the introduction of dances and formals.
Ew, a social gathering. Ew, societal norms. But… my friends are going. Oh, hello, peer pressure, is that you? The 8th grade formal was our last hurrah before we became REAL big kids. Teenagers. This was an “I’ll go, but I won’t like it,” deal for me.
Hell no, I wasn’t gonna wear a dress. That wasn’t me. That’s not my personality.
I had one, single, go-to skirt that I wore to absolutely anything I had to dress up for, so my mindset was “this counts as formal, right?” But I still gotta ‘stick it to the man’ somehow.
AFI was at the peak of their ‘mainstream’ success. (Yeah, yeah, AFI has been around ages and I love them in all their sound evolution but you cannot deny how DecemberUnderground jettisoned them into a whole new audience’s lap.) DecemberUnderground released and I LIVED for the small chance I would see Miss Murder’s video on MTV. They were unlike any other band I had ever listened to and they truly opened up my eyes to that style of music. I wore that Miss Murder shirt and my AFI hoodie like they were the only piece of clothing I owned. Naturally, wearing my AFI shirt was going to be the way I stayed true to myself at this dance. Thanks, Hot Topic.
Heels? Absolutely not. I rocked my DC skate shoes. No stockings (which appalled my Memmy). My homemade safety pin necklace was an everyday wardrobe staple and this was to be no exception.
Luckily, I had a some best friends with similar mindsets and we all rocked the heck out of our little rebellion attempt, with Erin wearing a HIM shirt.
To be completely honest, unfortunately, I don’t remember too many other small details of this night and it kinda frightens me, because it doesn’t feel entirely that long ago. It’s been over ten years and it’s wild to sit back and think of that fact. I’m usually always the one with all the minute details stored in my memory, but alas, this particular event has eroded with time. Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, I’m actually getting a little anxious at realizing how long ago middle school was and that the memories are fading.
SHAKE IT OFF, GIRL.