This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Me At 13

While I am out of the country for the next few days my very good friend Sarah Brown will be your guest host. Sarah blogged at Que Sera Sera for over ten years but currently writes at her Tumblr, Damn Gina.

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Whenever I have the good fortune to entertain the captive audience of dooce readers, I feel like it’s good internet karma to share the love, so I want to talk about my current favorite blog, Me At 13. (Or, as my husband calls it, “meat13,” but I think that puts you on a watch list so let’s keep the spaces in there for the sake of this post.)

My zeal for people poking fun of their former teenage selves knows no bounds. I’ve been hosting Cringe, a night where people get up and read from their own teenage diaries, for 8+ years now and this passion shows no signs of flagging. I don’t know what it is about this time of life that presents such an endless fascination for me, but it never gets old. Do you want to talk about what were the most popular ways to fold a note at your school? Absolutely, where is some notebook paper. Am I having some wine at your house and you wonder if I might want to look at your eighth grade yearbook? Did you even have to ask?

My good friend Amy kept a list of every outfit she wore to school in ninth grade, every single day of the year, like some proto-fashion blogger. This list include such gems as “Mom’s Xmas sweater” and the mysterious “Alabama tie dye outfit.” It brings me such joy that I made it the endpapers of the U.S. Cringe book. The Me At 13 Tumblr taps into this same golden vein, updating regularly with spectacular mini-time capsule photos and brilliant captions like these:

meat13collar
The bigger the detachable doily collar, the closer to God.

meat13ski
Going skiing this winter? Don’t forget to pack your favorite sweatshirt, the one your mom’s friend gave you that came free with her purchase of Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men cologne.

meat13dance
“UGH! I am wearing clip-on earrings, this black velvet drop-waist dress and Sam & Libby flats and am about to dance in a large circle of girls to music by Passing Strangers, the Erasure cover band, at my 8th grade cotillion at the Alzafar Shrine Temple! STOP TREATING ME LIKE A CHILD!”

The genius behind Me At 13 is Ashley Sholiton, currently my favorite person I’d like to get a drink with after Bernie Mac but he’s still dead so Ashley it is. (If I could somehow get a drink with Ashley and Bernie Mac, but instead of getting a drink we got high and judged the Miss America pageant, that would be my dream.) (Sorry for saying the word “high” so close to your daughter’s name, Ashley’s mom.) She shares this glimpse into her childhood and adolescence so beautifully and exactly, even with just a few sentences, that after awhile you really feel like you knew her and her siblings and her life. Sometimes she writes longer funny posts about learning about periods or Get In Shape Girl, or excerpts from her diaries, or more serious posts like this. If this blog was a TV show, I would watch it.

She recently added a submission feature to the site called Mortifying Mondays, where you can send in your own brutal teenage fashion shots and explain why that was the perfect outfit for school picture day, or how your mom only let you wear those boxers as shorts when you were home, even though all the popular girls wore them to Kristen’s party. UGH! God, your mom, really.

You can submit and share your own photos here. Please do this, because this sort of shared public humiliation is what brings light into the world.

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