So you're a grown-up now, and you've tried hard to forget the humiliating early adolescent years. Blogger Sarah Brown, editor of Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas, would like to remind you, via a painfully hilarious collection of memorabilia guaranteed to make you wince.
The writers have included intimate journal entries, poems, wills (because you need to get that Boyz II Men tape to the right person) and more, as well as their shamed adult perspectives on their dramatic junior selves. Tracy Carr submitted a six-item list of why she hated Christi Edwards (2. "You're not supposed to look in other people's refrigerators; 3. Told me Daryle calls her all the time''). Amy Shapiro adds her handwritten list of what she wore every day in high school ("gap jean shorts w/ gap jean strip oxford . . . guess jean shorts w/ j. crew navey & yellow strip"). Davy Rothbart's contribution, written at age 12: "Past Loves if I can remember dem all!" The adult Davy confesses: "Most of them I'd never even spoken to."
My personal favorite is Tracie Masek's sixth grade Notebook of Rage and Despair. "Brennon Williams is a big fat idiot!" There are lots of big fat idiots at Tracie's school, apparently. "I hate Megan's stupid idiotic friend Rachel Meaders. I'm glad she's moving." And the always classic "I LOVE FOX MULDER." The adult Tracie writes of the last emotion: "This is still so embarrassing to me that I can't stand to look directly at it." Don't feel bad, Tracie. I felt the same way, and I was a lot older than a sixth grader.