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Get Mortified is an amazing teenage angst project that curates the teenage journals, song lyrics and poetry of adults, culminating in a live show in which said adults read their material on stage. The videos on the website looked very promising, so I stopped by the show when it was running this weekend. It was sold out with a line around the block. Waiting in line makes me hate humans, so I didn’t stick around. But I’m very remiss that I wasn’t able to enjoy this humiliating celebration of creative nascence.
My parents’ house is home to stacks of my teenage journals and bad poetry, and I imagine there is some good material in there. Only some, mind you, most of it is tripe. But one gem stood out in mind, a piece I typed on my 1991 Brother Word Processor called “Why drugs are bad”. It was a short piece, detailing the “this is your brain on drugs…” theory, but with the wisdom only an 8 year old can capture. There was even an excellent conclusion about how things like assprin [sic] are ok if you don’t take too much and don’t use it to get high. Upon remembering this gem, which was still hanging on my wall, I called my mother right away. “Scan that thing” I told her “It’s worth a million dollars”.
“Oh honey…I threw that away just a few weeks ago” she told me “when we took over your room”. My parents recently took over my room to expand their office space. I just about spit into the phone. How could she?? 18 years later and this piece still clearly has societal relevance.
There are other childhood gems, no doubt, but one unique piece of literature has been lost. Who knows what other nostalgia is being chipped away as my childhood room is disassembled and tossed off to the birds. Paula Abdul tapes? “Probably worthless”. Talking Teddy Ruxpen bear? “ah, throw it away”. What they don’t understand is Paula Abdul is an icon and the Teddy Ruxpen bear still talks. Which means, of course, that it is one of many things that are still worth keeping.