Self-Induced Idiocy

Sleepovers were the shit in middle school. It was at a sleepover that I first drank — peach schnapps mixed with orange crush or a Smirnoff ice — both equal levels of headache inducing sweetness. It was at a sleepover that I first smoked a joint, though I still didn’t understand the concept of inhaling and the boys who supplied the joint had no problem telling me so. It was also at a sleepover that I fainted for the first time. And before you feel sorry for me, let me explain: I fainted on purpose.

I don’t remember whose idea it was, probably one of the girls who had an older sibling — bet it was Jessica — because where else would someone learn this fun (question mark, question mark) party trick?! But somehow, when I was thirteen, I found myself bent over and breathing deeply while surrounded by a group of girls ready and eager to literally take my breath away when I gave the go ahead. Looking back on it now, I realize how fucked it is. That we would take turns helping each other pass out for fun. Hold your breath, pass out, wake up a moment later, beg to do it again. Who needs drugs? However, the only reason I realized how fucked it is, is because I brought it up recently to a friend, “how weird was that fainting craze in middle school?” I explained the party pastime of the year 2000 and her face said it all, “this is not one of those childhood anecdotes we have in common you crazy person, how the eff are you still alive?”

I wonder what our parents would have done if they knew? Punishment to varying degrees to be certain, but I think my parents would have just cried, unable to understand why their daughter would do something so careless (I was raised catholic, so I was mostly punished with guilt). When they then learned that we also did it a few times in gym class unbeknownst to our gym teacher, rage would replace their tears, likely rallying for that teacher to be fired. But no one ever found out. Instead, Jessica’s dad picked his daughter up from one such kooky sleepover covered in lipstick kisses. Kisses we gave her while she was passed out. Kisses he chalked up to innocent teen exploration. Big shout out to Jessica’s dad for being super progressive because we all went to a catholic school where being a lesbian wasn’t a thing anyone ever talked about, but I digress.

I don’t advocate purposeful fainting as a party pastime, or as an anywhere pastime. I know that something could have gone seriously wrong and I am very thankful nothing ever did. The late nineties and early aughts were a strange time to be a teenager, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go through my angst years at any other time. Besides, every decade has it’s own form of self-induced idiocy — I’m just happy mine came before butt-chugging and eating Tide Pods were the fun (question mark, question mark) party trick.

Note: I was purposely vague on the how-to because it is dangerous. You don’t want to do mess with that kind of silliness. Besides, weed is legal now in Canada.