Sometimes I think the most romantic years of my life were the early- to mid-2000s, when I was still a teen and had to rely on more creative measures than texting, "hey whatsu p," "what's up*" to people I like. The restrictions of available communication, the limited hours in which to interact with crushes between classes – it was all so thrilling! Should we all revert to 2005 methods of flirting? Yes, probably we should. Here are 12 things you almost definitely did if you had crush on someone as a teen in the 2000s.
1. Printed out directions to their house from Mapquest. Because iPhones weren't out yet, and car GPS systems were a LUXURY ITEM. Also guys fun fact, I just checked and Mapquest the website still exists. So if you're feeling nostalgic for that sweet interface, map away to your heart's content.
2. Burned them a mix CD with pre-sad, torn ACL-era Drake songs on it. This was prime crush CD music because it was cool but also like, suggestive of romantic feelings in a way they may or may not pick up on. Basically every single song on So Far Gone is perfect.
3. Stayed up past your bedtime messaging them on AIM. Yeah so texting is how you communicate now and it's fine. But what – WHAT?! – could ever be better than brimming with anticipation over hearing the little door opening sound and seeing your crush's screenname illuminate on your PC screen? It was the fact that you both had to log on at the same time that made AIM so much better and fun than regular old texting. Let's bring it back.
4. Surreptitiously placed them somewhere in the middle of your Myspace Top 8. The number one slot was obviously reserved for your best friend, always. Number two is definite we are exclusively dating each other territory, so that's out. Three is a little too close for comfort. But spots 4-6? Prime crush slots, baby.
5. Wrote their initials somewhere on your pencil bag. Or better yet if you wrote their initials backwards so as to avoid someone in one of your classes decoding it and figuring out WHO YOU LIKED.
6. Slipped a note through their locker slits. The reason for the little holes in the locker is beyond me – unless it's some tactic to prevent someone getting shoved in their and suffocating, why else would they put slits in the fronts of lockers if not for slipping notes? Your locker doubled as your mailbox and the slits were a great way to slip a little "HeY :`)" or "HaNnAh WuZ hErE" in the one that belonged to your crush.
7. Listened to literally any Dashboard Confessional song while thinking about them. Ninety percent of having a crush as a teen is crushing and debilitating sadness over the idea that they could possibly like someone else. A great way to absolve some of this sadness was listening to "Hands Down" or "Vindicated" at full boombox volume.
8. Called them from a landline at a sleepover. Honestly this was great because it was flirting as a group activity. Do you remember doing this? You'd go to a friend's house for a sleepover, locate a group of boys also having a sleepover on the same night, and then spend hours on the phone with each other, listening to them play video games and fart or whatever while you all tried to decode the meaning in everything they said. So fun!
9. Asked a friend of a friend of a friend if they maybe liked you back. Directly confronting someone about feelings would have been way too bold and brash and terrifying. The obvious way to gauge interest as a teen was to ask your friend Ashley to ask her friend Josh if his friend Alex liked anyone, and if he did, who was it?
10. Put them on the list of people your cell phone plan allowed unlimited minutes with. In ye olde days before unlimited everything, every last text and minute was precious. Especially if your parents, like mine, grounded your ass the moment you went over on anything. A way around this was to add them to your select number of people that you could talk to for unlimited amounts of time. This was probably meant for family members, but whatever, your crush was equally important.
11. Sent them a very grainy selfie in front of your dirty mirror. This was a dark time for selfies. Front-facing cameras? If you had told me there would be front-facing cameras I would've slapped you in the face! The best option at the time was to take a mirror selfie with your flip phone that was going to be universally unflattering and prominently feature all the toothpaste dots that are splattered on your mirror. Sexy!
12. Gave them a special ringtone on your phone. And if it was especially serious, you shelled out the big bucks (like $3) for a non-polyphonic one.
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