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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Couples Therapy: Return of the Repressed


By Mary Binzley and McKen

[Dear Dr. Meulemans: in accordance with your demands, we have decided to revisit several deeply repressed memories dating back to near the origin of our friendship… middle school. Fitting in nicely with the upcoming phenomenon known as “Middle School Harris,” in this column we have laid bare our souls. Xoxo, Mary and McKenna]

You know what they all say… middle school is worse than meatloaf. In a few short days, we will celebrate those “golden” years at Middle School Harris. We thought it might be appropriate to provide a more realistic picture of our own middle school years.

Nowadays, we scroll through TikTok and see beautiful adolescent girls with perfect lives and perfect bodies keeping up with the trends while maintaining a pristine online social presence. We, on the other hand, looked like the rats from Flushed Away combined with Cabbage Patch Kids. Picture this: McKenna wakes up and thinks it’s a great idea to braid half her hair and put the other half up in a pigtail. She then throws on her knee-length plaid shorts, ugly running shoes and her signature blue hoodie. Simultaneously, Mary rolls out of bed, keeps her hair up in the same bun she’s been wearing for three straight days, pulls on her Green Bay Packers sweatshirt (with a large hole in the pocket) (that she also wears every single day) and makes sure she has her glasses (that turn to sunglasses outside, OF COURSE).The only word for these two? Modelesque. No wonder they were BFFs.


Nobody has ever tried harder at school than Mary and McKenna did in middle school (except for maybe McKenna in high school). Once, McKenna recorded an entire audiobook for an assignment that in no way whatsoever required it. Although less good at school, Mary was a whiz at getting teachers to hate her. From Ms. Klas in sixth grade (“You should really eat less sugar!”) to Mr. Goetzinger in seventh (“Mary! STOP TALKING TO MCKENNA. And DO NOT jump over those bushes!” Author’s note: McKenna had jumped over the same bush seconds prior saying “it’s like hurdles” but received no admonishment), Mary could never get that “A” in citizenship. She was just too “spirited.”


McKenna’s peak sport moment: the first track meet of seventh grade. She did the long jump for the first time ever during the meet and won first place. Truly an athlete. Unfortunately, we only went downhill from there. (Although Mary thinks McKenna’s peak moment might have been when she accidentally cosplayed as a lesbian Justin Bieber during another infamous track meet). Mary’s peak sport moment: getting 50th place (the last possible ribbon) at a cross country meet.

Social Life

After they return home from a long day of eighth grade, they pop open their school-provided email accounts and proceed to message all their friends using their school email’s chat function. While chatting, they open a separate tab and begin asking each other questions on, the hottest social media platform. A real question Mary un-ironically answered in eighth grade: If you could bring one thing with you to a deserted island, what would it be? Probs my iPod touch or something XD!


If we’re going to be out here exposing ourselves so hard, it is imperative that we reveal what we’ve repressed the most: our love lives. In sixth grade, McKenna started dating a small boy named Tommy. They chatted on Gmail after school every day. He started to fall in love with her, but in seventh grade, she broke his heart and later dated his best friend. Then he started dating Mary in eighth grade. They shared many firsts: first kiss, first fake playdate with a next-door neighbor to hang out alone, first (ACCIDENTAL) hand-to-D contact (email for more details). Then, five months later, he broke her heart (unfortunately, Mary only realized Tommy broke up with her 20 minutes after the fact). A few months after that, McKenna started dating Tommy again. He, too, was her first kiss. Then, two weeks later (after he said he loved her and wanted to have children with her), she broke his heart. To this day, we are still afraid of commitment, but we are also still best friends with the small boy named Tommy.

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