Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag: Part 1

Hello Loungers! This week’s theme is “When I was a teenage dirtbag”

When I came up with this theme last week I was beside myself with suppressed glee. There was SO much to write about – the music, the people, the friends, the parties and of course the opposite sex!

But when I started to write it became apparent that there as far too much material to squeeze into one post. In fact so epic was it becoming that it was beginning to look like an early 90’s version of The Illiad. Certainly, there were some worrying similarities between the blokes hair-dos.

The Mullet.  This scourge of both the Trojans AND the men of early 90's suburbia.

The Mullet.
This scourge of both the Trojans AND the men of early 90’s suburbia.

I’ll be honest up front – there is absolutely NOTHING outstanding or different or even slightly unusual about my suburban teenage years. But that to me is exactly what is so great about them – teenagers with their overwhelming feelings and yearning for connection manage to make the most boring environment feel ALIVE with possibility.

So rather then take you on a forced march through my adolescence all in the one post, I thought I’d go for a full self-indulgent nostalgia-fest over several parts.

Mostly so I get to re-live all those feelings without having to skimp on the details.

But also maybe just in case my boys are ever interested in who their mummy was before she was mummy. And before I get too “senior” to remember all the juicy bits!

So this is Part 1 of my Odyssey into my teenage dirtbag years. I’ve started with a fairly tame subject… otherwise where’s the incentive to read the rest of the series? 😉

Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag

PART 1 : Methods Of Communication

OK so mobile phones exist. In fact my Dad is one of the few people we know that has one for work. Except it’s called a car phone and it is an actual telephone that has been installed in his car!!!

But we’re years away from even the most basic flip-phones and the internet is barely a twinkle in the eye of some Silicon Valley geek-boy.

So how did the average suburban teenage girl convey vital information?

1. Notes

There are two kinds of notes. The first is hastily scrawled on ripped bits of exercise book or foolscap and is used to communicate messages of immediate urgency such as…

“Are you eating lunch with us today?”
“Can I borrow your protractor?

But the note that was guaranteed to send either a frission of excitment dread racing through your body was this one…

Receiving one of these was sure to liven up your maths lesson!

Receiving one of these was sure to liven up your maths lesson!

The second type is a longer, more detailed letter which is usually written at home and then delivered to it’s intended recipient the next day.

These types of notes are used when you need to tell your friend, how much you really, REALLY like someone that doesn’t even know your alive. They are also likely to include…

  • Margin art in the form of elaborate doodles and swirls
  • Professions of undying friendship i.e “WE R Friends 4 EVA!”
  • Signing of Mrs. (insert surname of crush here)

2. Telephone
Not content with seeing and talking to our friends all day it was imperative that we then debriefed the days events with a D&M (short for a deep and meaningful conversation).

As well as a communication device the telephone was the source of a constant power struggle between the teenager and the parents. Suburban parents sought to try and control use the phone as a bargaining chip to encourage positive behaviours such as studying and speaking pleasantly. Sometimes this was even sucessful!

This phone is identical to the one we had at home when I was a teen. I was surgically attached to this baby from 1990 - 1994

This phone is identical to the one we had at home when I was a teen. I was surgically attached to this baby from 1990 – 1994

In later teenage years the telephone became a double edged sword.
Without the benefits of caller display we were forced to actually answer the phone and simply take a punt on who was on the other end.

This meant that if you’d been avoiding a nice but irritatingly earnest young man with sweaty palms who you’d grudgingly agreed to go to the movies with then there was a good chance you’d have to talk to him if he rang.

By the time I was 18 I was forcing my mum to screen my calls. Poor Mum – I think at times she must have wondered what some of those nice young men saw in me!

3. Slumber parties
This probably seems more suited to a section on “Entertainment” or “Socialising”. I’ve put it in this section though because they were, in essence, MASSIVE talkfests.

Talkfests that were punctuated by the screams of teenagers being terrorised by Freddy Krueger.

I can see I’ll need to explain that one.

Slumber parties were HUGE especially in my early teens. Throughout the week plans would be made, parents would be hassled and movies selections would be made. These arrangements were of course all conducted via notes (see above).

Then come the weekend, anywhere from between 5 – 10 girls would descend upon the hapless home of the designated friend. Once all were assembled the conversation would turn quickly to the business at hand.


Which ones did you like and more importantly which ones liked YOU. Who would you pash if you absolutely HAD to pash someone? Who had a new crush, and who’d decided they were totally over someone who’d previously rated high on their pash-list.

And as we talked the night away for some reason we ALWAYS had some sort of horror movie on video in the background. I have a feeling it was because movie classifications were much more seriously enforced in those says and that these MA 15 + movies were considered “grown-up” but I can’t honestly remember.

What I do remember is pretending womanfully that Freddy Krueger did not give me nightmares for weeks afterwards, or made me slightly afraid to be home alone even during broad daylight!

Still gives me the heebie-jeebies 20 years later...

Still gives me the heebie-jeebies 20 years later…

So that wraps up Part 1 of the Confessions of a Teenage Dirtbag. Hopefully some of you may even front up for part 2 if I promise not to post any more pictures of Freddie!

The Lounge

Linking up with The Lounge – you should go check out their teenage dirtbag antics too!

A Public Service Announcement…

The staff and management* of The Very Inappropriate Blog are delighted to announce that it has recently reached a very special milestone…

fifty fabulous followers-final

* The roles of both staff and management being played by me of course

That’s right, fifty fabulous people in the world have subscribed to the blog (either through wordpress or via email) and it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion by saying thank you.

“But who are these fabulous people?”, I hear you ask. “What are they like?”

The answer is of course that they are, quite simply, a top bunch of people.

But I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for. You’re not satisfied with that type of surface level analysis. You want to more. And luckily I am in a position to give it to you!

An industry certified market research company** has recently conducted a research study on the subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog. The findings support unquestionably their status as a top bunch of people…

But wait! There’s more…

Subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog have generally been found to be effortlessly stylish men and women of the world.

They are often described as being…

Graph 1

When they enter a room, subscribers of The Very Inappropriate Blog create an instant hush, followed by whispers of “Who was that masked man/ woman?”.

This is supported by the fact that several subscribers indicated that they may or may not have at one time in their career worked for a secret intelligence or “counter-espionage” organisation.

Some of them may also have been Zorro impersonators but this has not been statistically poven.

As you would imagine such dashing people have interests which are as eclectic as they are.

While by no means an exhaustive list, the following interests were mentioned often enough by subscribers to have statistical validity…

Graph 2

Other findings from the study include…

  • 98% of subscribers identify as “human”, with the other 2% identifying as “aspiring to be a dolphin”
  • 75% of subscribers have an inexplicable aversion to the words “synergy”, “interface” and  “tic-tac” in any other context than describing a small minty sweet.
  • 45% of subscriber answered “I’d think about it” if presented with the opportunity to run away with the circus.
  • 100% of subscribers were wearing underpants at the time of the study

Needless to say the last point in particular was extremely reassuring.

However in the midst of this wonderful news about the cutting-edge people who DO subscribe to The Very Inappropriate Blog,  there was some alarming information about those who have not yet done so.

For example did you know that 90% of people who don’t subscribe to The Very Inappropriate Blog never actually realise how awesome it is? Make no mistake – this fact has been verified by research and is in no way an act of blatant self promotion!***

Furthermore the chances of actually missing a post increase exponentially the longer you remain unsubscribed!

Don’t let this happen to you. To make sure you’re one of the cosmopolitan, slightly twisted, international men and women of mystery subscribe now!

WordPress members can simply click the little follow icon at the top of the screen, or else you can sign up with your email address using that little box on the right (under the mugshot).

Don’t delay! Subscribe now to gain instant street cred and a slightly sparkly exterior!****

** the role of the market research company also played by me.

*** IS an act of blatant self promotion

**** only if you also happen to be a member of the Cullen family

And on a serious note…

Thank you all for reading and for not thinking I was crazy – or if you did think I was crazy at least not letting it put you off too much. You will never know how much it has meant to me. 

Linking up with the gorgeous Kim for The Lounge at 

The Lounge