1. Constantly reglossed your lips. The trend was to make your lips look pouty and drenched in sparkly goop. The only problem was, this look wasn't exactly practical for eating, or talking, or walking out with your hair down on a windy day. But you still wanted to draw attention to your mouth at all times to remind your crush it was very open to kissing (if you ignored the stickiness), so that little gloss wand was always nearby.
2. Crimped your hair for a (faux) effortless lion's mane. You saw Carrie Bradshaw's iconic honey curls in Sex and the City, and, while you knew only few are born with locks so flawlessly buoyant, you'd still try to achieve the look with tireless crimping. Spoiler alert: You never nailed her exact look, but you figured out a few randomly crimped pieces actually looked pretty cute, so you settled for that just like she settled for Mr. Big.
3. Spent hours getting the perfect aerial (aka booby) Myspace shot. A top-down angle made your eyes look bigger and even the slightest cleave was instantly eye-grabbing. You wish you could apply this knowledge to the photos you take today, but after the oversaturation of "Myspace photos" and the mockery that followed, you're forced to take snapshots in less arm-cramping positions.
4. Added them to your Top 8 on Myspace. This was a bold move if this was a more distant, aspirational crush. But if it was a bud you were crushing on, this said, "Hey! You're important to me. Like, no. 1 or maybe 2 out of eight!" without coming off too strong.
5. Turned your wrist into a rubber band bracelet museum. Rubber bands were kind of a symbol of status — whether they were the thick, yellow Livestrongs, the thin, glittery fare from Hot Topic, or the more creative, literal rubber bands-shaped-like-animals. Having a lot implied that you traded with friends or were given some as gifts, making you a desirable social butterfly queen. No one needed to know you invested in several packs at your last trip to the mall.
6. Pulled out the stops with a ruffly halter top. You wore it with a jacket at school or around your mom, but once you were in a social setting and in close proximity to your crush, you'd strut around in a statement tank that looked ~~pErFeCt~* over some embellished jeans.
7. Bought the lowest of the low-rise jeans. Nowadays, we only brave crop tops with their high-waisted counterparts, but back in the 2000s, no one was shy about showing off their hipbones/belly piercings/possible tops of thongs. Jeans were either magically hugging the widest part of your hips, or they were super lame, unfuckable mom jeans.
8. Doused yourself in perfume that smelled like a cupcake. Or cotton candy. Or some sickeningly sweet fragrance that was supposed to make you, by logic, as equally scrumptious. Mostly it just made you hungry.
9. Applied body glitter on your clavicles and, OK, everywhere else. A little shimmer was supposed to draw the eye to all the places you wanted it to. Somehow, the look you ended up with was less "mystical dewy-skinned goddess" and more "this entire container just spilled on my shirt."
10. Relied on the power of leggings. Whether you wore them under an Abercrombie skirt or as pants tucked into camel-coloured Ugg boots, that stretchy, at times, sheer cotton legwear felt like a staple of flirtation, especially if it was trimmed with black lace.
11. Post a bumper sticker on their Facebook wall. You had so many options, aka excuses, to do this every day until they caught on.
12. Uploaded a 60-pic album of every activity you ever did. This would include 12 of the same photo of you with slightly different angles, but your crush needed to see each one and all the fun you were having, all the time.
13. Tagged them in those "Which one are you?" photos on Facebook. Because you'd have to tag, like, 20 people, it didn't draw too much attention to the person, but you could also drop the bluntest of hints by assigning them "gorgeous eyes" or "you make me laugh a lot."
14. Wore pants with messages on the butts. Sometimes you just had to assume the person you like just needs more obvious hinting. If they just happened to gaze at your behind and see the words "cutie" or "angel" or "baby," that would only further cement the idea that you should be their "honey" or "sexy" someone. It's basic psychology!