The Talented Mr. Timberlake

The Talented Mr. Timberlake.

My birthday is in a few days and in my spare time reminiscing, I’ve come to realize a very real truth. In middle school, which I believe is the age when you start the formative process of forming your musical taste, I lived through the golden age of bubblegum pop.

To put this in perspective, I understand the 80’s had Michael Jackson, the early 90’s, well, I don’t know what they had, but the late 90’s and early 00’s had a veritable smorgasbord of manufactured pop idols directed specifically for us. I don’t think I’m underselling it when I say that Britney Spears singlehandedly brought an entire generation of boys through puberty.

She was 16 at the time, and unlike the other hordes of males chasing after her, she was age appropriate. I mean, seriously, c’mon.

Now the counter-force to the dueling bubblegum pop divas of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera was the boy band. N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys, and a distant third of 98 Degrees were all at the height of their powers. TRL (the most amazing product placement scheme of its time) would have Times Square packed and squealing for a glance of any of these acts.

Coming completely clean, I was/am a huge fan of N*SYNC (N*SYNC > Backstreet Boys, not even an argument). This was something that you did not advertise in middle school as a boy, as being called “gay”, “homo”, or “fag” was not to your benefit in navigating the minefield that is pubescent social networking. I will say that my sister owned all the CD’s, but I listened to them as much as she did. Instead, the music that you were allowed to like as a middle school boy were some combination of Blink-182, Linkin Park, and whatever censored rap song was getting the most airtime on the radio. I liked some of that stuff (I can recite Nelly’s Ride Wit Me word for word) but none of it really touched my love of bubblegum pop.

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How To Buy Condoms (or Things They Should’ve Taught You in High School)

How To Buy Condoms (or Things They Should’ve Taught You in High School)

At a certain point in your adult life, you’re faced with a stark realization that you’re probably going to have sex. Now, I can only write this from a male perspective, but I can say that 99.99% of the time this is a good thing. I leave the .01% out there for some unforeseen circumstance, but as my RA once so poignantly said, “Sex is like pizza, even when it’s bad, it’s pretty good.”

Now, I’m assuming that the brain still has some control over your prime biological directive and that some sort of family planning or just logic dictates that you don’t want mini-me’s running all over the place, mostly because it would really cut down on your galavanting around time. This means that you need to procure some contraception. This pretty much means that you’ll have to go out in public, and perform one of the most odd deeds in today’s modern society. You’re basically going to announce to a complete stranger, that yes, you, will be intending to have sex.

This frankly, is the shit they need to teach you in high school, these fairly basic social interactions that will pepper your normal adult life, but if you’ve never even considered the notion, will absolutely terrify you.

So, these are my painfully learned rules on how to buy condoms, for the purposes of edification, but mainly for comedic effect..

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