I am now 30, therefore a proper adult. Whilst this means the slow, gradual descent towards death and dementia, the upshot is I haven’t worried about the following for years:
Getting pregnant by looking at a man
When I was a teenager, More seemed to specialise in horror stories about girls getting pregnant after bathing/having a fumble/going swimming with a boy. These stories always made me anxious. For starters, I was definitely not having glamorous, grown up bath sex like all the other girls in the world, but mainly because getting pregnant was seen as THE WORST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN TO YOU. Worse than the time I went swimming with boys when I was 13 and wore a white swim suit. Or the time my new boyfriend asked if I had any tunes and I said I’d check the medicine cabinet. But according to these magazines, teenage boy sperm is some sort of ovum seeking missile. Regardless of distance, clothes or cycles, if it comes anywhere near you, you will definitely, probably get pregnant. Because of this, I spent many a month panicking because some boy looked at me funny in Burger King.
Not doing it right
Here is a picture of a position of the fortnight. It makes no sense, maybe hurts and is clearly impossible to do when his parents are downstairs watching Parkinson. But doing the position of the fortnight was the gold standard of sexy times, alongside outdoor or water based sex. The best compliments were sex based, and the worst insult was that you weren’t doing it right. Obviously, I’ve like totally done all the positions from More, in the bath, and I actually sent some in once, but they were like “these are just too advanced for our readership” and I was all like, whatevs, they’re the vanilla versions. But just writing this makes me anxious.
Death by toxic shock syndrome
Another thing I was super paranoid about was death by toxic shock syndrome. If you’ve not read the leaflet in a box of tampons (what have you been doing all your life?), this is some sort of illness you get if you leave tampons in and other mystery reasons. It causes dizziness, headaches and death. As a teenage girl, with a penchant for drama, I, of course, was definitely going to get TSS. I can remember getting a headache once and thinking I was probably going to die. I didn’t.
Not getting married to Drazic from Heartbreak High/Jordan Catalano from My So Called Life
As a teenager I was in love with both Drazic and Jordan Catalano. They were essentially the same character- communication issues, poor literacy, unstable homelife; although Drazic did have his eyebrow pierced and roller bladed. Dreamboats. I spent a lot of my time planning my wedding to either or both of them. Sometimes Damon Albarn, but he was like thirty or something totally ancient. A friend from school recently found an invitation that I gave her in English. As you can see it was addressed to both her and her husband, Leonardo DiCaprio.
Being hit in the head by a football
During my teenage years, like most people, I was perpetually embarrassed. Anything that drew unnecessary attention to me was horrific. Planned attention was of course, an entirely different matter. After school we would hang out at the bus station (REBELS) and in the summer we would make our way to the nearest park and watch the boys play football. Girl Power! Anyway, I always seemed to get hit in the head by said football (it probably happened twice), and it always really hurt. But obviously showing pain, anger or embarrassment was a big no no, so I would laugh through gritted teeth and quietly die inside.
So there you have it; teenage years: anxiety, embarrassment and learning that white swimsuits are a huge mistake.