I think it’s fair to suggest that most people are embarassed by their junior-high selves. If you’re not, then you probably still have the personality of a junior high school student. Or, you are still a junior high school student.
I was in junior high from 1993 to 1995, the formative years of alternative rock. I did, in fact, own some plaid. I did, in fact, listen to Nirvana, Green Day, and Weezer (when I wasn’t secretly listening to Ace of Base). And I did, in fact, look like a total dork.
Normally, photographs from this era could be used as blackmail material. I’ve decided to stop that possibility dead in its tracks by grading myself. Be prepared to have a few laughs at my expense.
Exhibit 1, School Photo, 1994
Sadly, this picture made it into your junior high yearbook – the first yearbook that you actually purchased. It’s a good thing that color printing was apparently cost-prohibitive in that era, because it looked bad enough in black-and-white. Your hair was uncontrollably curly (it still is, but 2006 me knows to keep it too short to ever get that bad). And that one curl in the front of your head… what the fuck? Were you oblivious to using the photographer-issued comb and mirror before this picture?
Grade: D-. Harsh, but there are probably 700 black-and-white versions of this photograph still floating around out there on bookshelves across Rhode Island.
Exhibit 2, Family Photo Session, 1993
Fancy back-lighting and flashes, a professional photography session, and this is the best you can do? Sadly, I think this was the nicest shirt you owned at the time, as you had just outgrown your older nice clothes thanks to a recent growth spurt. But could you go out and buy something new? Apparently not, as you loathed clothes shopping at the time. No wonder your mother dressed you in this button-down shirt… wait, are those Peanuts characters down the seam? Pardon the pun, but that shirt is comically funny. Hopefully, you learned a lesson from that shirt: buy your own damn clothes.
Grade: D+. It would be a complete failure, but the fact that you’re so chubby that you look like your torso is floating on a steel-belted radial tire probably saves you the embarassment of detailing your ugly pants.
Exhibit 3, Celebrity Photo Op with “Fred the Baker”, 1995
Couldn’t you have picked something nicer to wear when you’re meeting a minor 80s-era regional celebrity? I have to give you credit, though. The Fighting Irish had a couple of breakout seasons while you were in junior high, so there are worse pieces of clothing you could be wearing. But is it any coincidence that since you wore that sweatshirt for this photo, ND has gone 0-8 in Bowl Games? That curse could have resulted from that hairstyle, too. I don’t think there’s a term to describe it, but the name “Spanky” comes to mind. Unfortunately for you, your 8th grade nickname was much worse.
Grade: C+. This was the worst grade you got in junior high, but it’s the best you’re going to do on this report card.