1. Disproportionate Body: When puberty began its assault I was under the horrifying impression that my head was distancing itself from my shoulders at an alarming pace. My neck was so long to me, in fact, that I refused to wear any upper-garments that didn’t at least partially mask this abnormality. Apparently the most logical solution, of course, was to wear a yellow turtleneck year round.
2. Kissing: A glorious occurrence now, but what a wondrous source of pubescent anxiety! Should I go left or right? Am I using my tongue, and if so, what the hell do I know about using my tongue? Should I take out my orange and blue orthodontic rubber bands and clean the Doritos out of my teeth before go time? And on top of all that, you’ve got to deal with High School Tommy saying that you might as well “grab a knocker” while you’re at it. It’s too much!
3. Enormous Zits: Who gives a crap now, but we all remember the sheer horror of waking up in the morning with Mount Vesuvius growing out the tip of your nose. If you have the nerve to show up at school on those days (because I recall faking sick once or twice thanks to the nighttime emergence of a few real dandies), you know, not assume, that everyone is staring; the teachers wondering if you know how to wash your face, the students wondering if tears will be shed whenever you muster the courage to pop that sucker.
Looking back, it was all so stupid, wasn’t it? But we’ve got to remember that silly stuff matters to middle schoolers. They’ve got a lot on their plate. That’s why the next time some awkward thirteen-year-old gives you the stink-eye at the mall, it’s best just to let it slide.