6. YOUR HAIRCUTS / FASHION CHOICES
Frosted tips? The Rachel bob? Bowl cuts? Everyone has a photo of them tucked away with some jaysus-awful haircut that will never see the light of day. Until some eejit from school – whom you've carefully avoided for twelve years – decides to be nostalgic and upload them on Facebook for everyone to see, thus tagging you in the process. That guy you just added and have been texting pretty regularly? He can now see that photo of you in a NAFFCO 54 jacket with the hair plaits. He now knows you're not the age you claimed to be. You can untag it, sure, but he saw it. And he's judging you. Just like everyone else.
5. OUR OBSESSION WITH BOYBANDS
There's a very real possibility that some of you reading this were amongst the thousands of teenagers who screamed in tears when Boyzone, Take That and Westlife parted ways. TV cameras were parked outside secondary schools as waves of young women poured forth and sobbed their way into infamy. Years later, these images come back to haunt you on an episode of Reeling In The Years and you think yourself, I was one of them. I was in that pit of despair when Robbie left the band. If you had the money and power, you'd make sure there was no trace of you ever admitting to liking boybands. Also – the hell was up with those music videos? Look at this shit.
4. PAPER FORTUNE TELLERS / WHIRLYBIRDS / SALT CELLARS
See this shit? You probably based entire life decisions on this, right? The fate of your future career was decided on this little thing when you were in school. Do I do science or not? Will I shift your man or not? Do I go on the mitch? I know, I'll use one of these things to decide. And just like that, your future was shaped by a thing that you made in Double English on a Wednesday.
3. SPENDING HOURS TRYING TO FIND THE SECRET LEVEL / GAME THING
If you had a games console in your Junior Cert years, you devoted literally hours to trying to find that secret level or that hidden cheat-menu. Some of us were convinced that there was a secret boat-level thing in GoldenEye 64. Others knew of a secret mini game in Metal Gear Solid 3. That one was real, we saw that one. The thing's that bugging us about this one is that who knew, years later, you could just open up YouTube and in a second find a hushed-voice American flying through your favourite videogames of youth with the ease and grace of someone with absolutely no social skills whatsoever. You spent days trying to get it just right and this asshat does it in a speed-run.
2. LEARNING THE DANCE MOVES TO RUN DMC'S “IT'S LIKE THAT”
You convinced yourself that you were going to be able to use this in some situation. You devoted yourself to the ideal of being able to spin on your head with relative ease and not knock over everything in sight. You recorded it off the TV and were convinced that when the Fanta Roadshow pulled into your nearest town, you'd be ready to win the Dance-off. Right? Wrong. The Fanta Roadshow never came to your town. You never got to meet Andy Ruane or Mary Kingston. Your head-spinning skills were never put to use. You can't get that time back.
1. THAT EMBARRASSING THING YOU DID
We all have one. It doesn't matter who you are or what you did. You have that something buried deep down that you can never forget. It could have involved telling a boy you liked him and then said boy telling the entire school. It could have been an embarrassing situation involving your lower regions failing to keep themselves in check. It could have been exiting a swimming pool. The point is this – if time travel were invented, you'd be travelling back to that one moment and changing the outcome. Your life has moved on, you're in a successful career / relationship – but when you think back to that moment, the cringeiness, the shuddering realisation of it just knocks you over. We've all been there. We all have one.
"You're remembering it now, aren't you?"