Back in 1999, my high school dance team choreographed a dance to the new hit "Bug A Boo" by a super vintage four-member Destiny's Child. I never really listened to the lyrics, I just liked the beat and tried my damndest to remember the choreography.
In a recent spurt of nostalgia, I created a "high school dance" playlist, which includes Bug A Boo among other classics like the Thong Song, Ghetto Superstar and No Scrubs. I may or may not listen to this playlist every day in my car.
Most of the songs have relevant themes - I mean, people still wear thongs and I most certainly don't want no scrubs tryin' to holler at me - but Bug A Boo made me feel about as old as those Buzzfeed lists of "toys you had as a kid" because THIS:
1) "You make me wanna throw my pager out the window"
Whoa, PAGER? Yeah, I had one, shut up. It was awesome and transparent blue and it was used for such awesome things as my friends texting me "BOOBIES" in numbers (5318008, duh) and trying to find other words to spell because the only people who ever paged me were generally people I was already with. It was also necessary for everyone to KNOW you had a pager, so you didn't keep it in your backpack, you clipped it to your front jeans pocket like the pimp ass bitch you were, screaming "I AM SO IMPORTANT PEOPLE NEED TO REACH ME IN ENGLISH CLASS, FOOLS."
Pagers were a thing for like two years, because cell phones became more omnipresent and why would someone page you if they could just call a phone that was also clipped to your pocket? We are a lost generation. Probably only 30% of people alive even know what a pager is, since older people never had them and anyone younger than 30 skipped right from being a child to having a cell phone. And yes, I know Ice Cube had a pager that kept blowin up, but pagers were also a thing in the illicit drug trade for longer than we're probably even aware. Maybe Beyoncé's boyfriend was a clingy drug dealer.
2) "Tell MCI to cut the phone poles"
My next door neighbor worked for MCI. I have neither heard about nor thought about MCI since the last time I saw said neighbor, which was likely around high school graduation. A quick Wikipedia search told me that MCI changed its name to WorldCom in 2000, so if MCI is in charge of your phone poles, it's last century dude.
And let us not forget that phone poles are things that were used to bring telephone wires into your home so that you could PLUG ONE UP and ONLY ACCESS IT AT HOME. Yeah that was a thing. I understand her frustration, especially before caller ID was invented. When was the last time I had a land line? Um, probably my college dorm? I used it practically zero times because I had a cell phone when I went off to college, and I don't think I could call long distance on my dorm phone. LONG DISTANCE. That was also a thing! CALLING ANOTHER AREA CODE COST MORE. What?! Jesus I'm so old.
3) "Put your number on the call block"
Ok, serious question, can you still do this? I know it was a feature of landlines at one point, like the aforementioned caller ID, but can you block a number from your cell phone? My own personal form of call block is the beautiful red "ignore" button on my phone, but perhaps there's an easier way. But yes, CALL BLOCK. Some weirdo calling your house? Block their number. Boom, easy. Phone stops ringing.
I have a need for call block at this point because a dude I went on two dates with continues to call and text me every week or so even though we have not spoken FOR OVER A MONTH. I don't want to accidentally answer his call because I'm in a crowded store or something and thought I saw a different name on the screen. SERIOUSLY, even I'm not that bad. If a guy doesn't respond to my text twice, I assume he never wants to see me again. It's a pretty safe assumption, since I'm now living that situation.
4) "Tell AOL to make my email stop"
AOL, LOL. Those were the days. "You've got mail!" If you still have AOL as your email address you're either 90 years old or a member of some crazy cult that doesn't allow access to the outside world. I guarantee you if you put an aol.com email on a resume today you'd get laughed all the way into the trash can, even if you can build a robot that makes waffles in bed for you every morning and you're applying for a job of "robot maker."
The still-packaged AOL CDs became projectiles, the most common form of litter on the streets, akin to a Jehovah's Witness handout that's thrown immediately on the ground upon receipt. I wonder what happened to all the children in Asia who made billions of AOL CDs for years when AOL finally gave up on that idea.
I mean, this is still a crazy lyric if it were Hotmail, but AOL just cements the 90s-ness of this song.
And as for the fashion in the video, I did have a furry blue leopard print cowboy hat because for some reason novelty cowboy hats were in fashion for approximately three months. I remember thinking I was cool when I wore it to the pool. Nothing I did in the 90s was cool. Nothing.
While the overarching theme of crazy stalker ex-boyfriends (and girlfriends) is timeless, nobody could pack in the obscure 90s references like Destiny's Child. And for that, we thank you.