1. Your ‘Passive Aggressive Lyrics As AIM Away Message’ game was out of control. You could change that shit on a dime and had a specific lyric for every situation, from “friend is talking to my ex boyfriend in the hallway” to “my parents won’t let me go to the all ages concert.”
2. There was no aspect of the human condition that could not be expressed in emo lyrics. Anywhere you fell on the spectrum of pain, there was a song to soothe your wounds. (Yes, Chris Carrabba, sing me my life story.)
3. You knew that the ~preps~ were all into Maroon 5 and John Mayer, and you sometimes enjoyed their music, but to be honest, their level of raw emotion was just not enough for you.
4. You had a serious goth/punk/whatever-my-mom-let’s-me-buy-from-Hot-Topic phase, and during that time, you took Evanescence and Amy Lee in general very, very seriously.
5. (And you know how amazing her cover of Sally’s Song is.)
6. Ashlee Simpson was very significant to you for two reasons: One, you totally bought into the (maybe manufactured?) storyline about her being the misunderstood, emotional younger sister to the perfect beauty queen. And two, she was dating Ryan Cabrera (and Ryan Cabrera’s hair), and you imagined that they hung out all day, playing guitar and experiencing emotions together.
7. All the dudes you had crushes on had one of three qualities: A lip/eyebrow piercing, hair that he swished out of his eyes every 6 seconds, or a single nail painted black. Or all three.
8. The guys who seemed really intellectual and emotionally mature to you were the ones who smoked weed and listened to Incubus. They seemed to have some kind of chill wisdom to impart on your spazzy self.
9. You took all of your pictures of yourself from this angle:
10. Your default activity in class was “writing things on your arms so that people will ask you about them later.”
11. Your Livejournal/Xanga did not have your name or a title at the top of it, it was just a lyric, such as “But it’s better if you do.”
12. When it came to eyeliner, you were nothing short of a master. And more than once, you indulged in the unforgivable “black eyeliner on the inside of bottom lid” look.
13. You either went vegetarian/vegan for a short time, or you were too lazy to do it but you still talked about animal cruelty/posted PETA stuff on your blog every now and then.
14. While you may have watched Laguna Beach and The O.C. in the privacy of your own home, you knew that that shit was strictly for ~preps~, so you talked shit about it in public.
15. Chances are high that, at least for a month, “Ohio Is For Lovers” was YOUR song.
16. Open mic nights at your local coffee shop were a thing in your group, and a lot of people participated in them who objectively should not have. It was a lot of bad poetry and guys with their acoustic guitar playing songs they wrote about their ex, and/or “Wonderwall.”
17. If someone were to tally the total amount of time you spent fixing/moving/thinking about your bangs, it would probably come to about a year of lifespan. But you don’t regret it, your bangs were fly as hell.