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Dear Diary. 2.

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Back by popular demand!

That’s not true.  No one has demanded it.  It’s just something you say.

But some people mildly enjoyed the last “Dear Diary” post so here is a little follow-up.

And yes, Mom.  I used aliases.

November 15, 1980 – 12 years old

Today I almost got hit by a car.  I was on my roller skates and went down a driveway pretty fast out into the street and the car didn’t see me at first and just missed me.  I was so scared.  I can’t believe I wasn’t killed.  So just in case I die soon I decided to make a will:

To my mother and father:  I leave everything in my scrapbooks and all the pictures of me I have so that they can keep their fond memories of me.

It was pretty presumptive to assume their memories of me would be fond ones.  Ah, I guess.  I was a pretty good kid.

To my sister:  I leave everything I own, which is all the games and toys we played with together so that she might remember me.  I will always remember her.

Brings a tear to your eye that I would remember my only sibling, doesn’t it?

To my Grandparents:  Anything left over, because I love them too.

After giving my sister everything I own, “anything left over” wouldn’t be much.  But hey, it’s the thought that counts.

Also, when I die I promise to contact all of my family and friends and tell them all about Heaven.

I promised.  And I meant it.  I remember thinking that everyone else who had ever lived and died just wasn’t trying hard enough to contact their friends and families from the Great Beyond. 

It really burned my ass because I truly believed they were all stone-cold slackers.

**********

November 29, 1980 – 12 years old

Tomorrow we are going to put up our Christmas tree.  I’m so excited, I can’t wait!!  (Oh, and by the way the 52 American hostages have been in Iran for 392 days now.)

I’m getting presents soon! (World War II is over).

I’m getting presents soon!  (They’ve discovered a vaccine for polio).

I’m getting presents soon!  (Americans landed on the Moon).

Christmas (and current events). 

Priorities.  Gotta have priorities.

**********

December 28, 1980 – 12 years old

My Mom told me about the birds-and-the-bees today.  Gross.

First she asked me if I knew anything and I said “No!”, but she got the wrong idea, because I already know everything there is to know.

Ohhhhhh dear GOD I remember that day.  The day every kid dreads.  The day every PARENT dreads. 

It is just a dreaded day overall. 

No one wants to hear it and no one wants to talk about it.  But there it was staring me in the blushing, queasy face.

"The Talk" never, ever, ever, EVER looks like this.

“The Talk” never, ever, ever, EVER looks like this.

I had just come home from a slumber party at a friend’s house, and I swear to God I just knew it was going to happen that day.  I walked into the house and my sister and Dad were suspiciously absent. 

My Mom was sitting in the den doing some cross-stitching or something (maybe subconsciously of something phallic – I don’t know – just to work herself up to it) and I knew it was coming.  It was a coordinated attack.

I tried to sneak past her but she said “Hey, come here.  Let’s talk.

I froze, my tongue stuck out of my mouth in a dry heave and my eyes rolled up past my eyebrows and into the back of my brain. 

In the name of all that was Holy, what more could she teach me that the after school special-esque/Tampax-sponsored menstruation movies they show you in 6th grade PLUS the movie “Sooner or Later” with Rex Smith hadn’t already taught me??

Nothin’.  That’s what.  Nothin’!

Yes, folks. He was 17. She was 13. 1-3.  What the WHAT? I was never much into blondes. But he did make me want to take guitar lessons from a babe-a-licious, kind of androgynous, man/boy.

My Mom did a fine job in the end.  She really did.  She’s the best.

Even so, through no fault of her own, I have a vague recollection of blacking-out after hearing each of these words pass my Mother’s lips: 

  • sperm
  • excitement
  • ejaculate…and
  • lovemaking

**********

September 2, 1980 – 12 years old

Well I’m in Junior High now.  7th grade.  A lot happened over the summer.  After John, I liked Jim.  What happened was I told this one girl that I liked Jim but I shouldn’t have because she has the biggest mouth in town.  So she told her brother Dave and Dave used to be Jim’s best friend so of course he told Jim I liked him.

“…Take it, MacDonald…”

**********

July, 1981 – 13 Years old

Finally I’m a teenager!  I can’t believe it!  What a great day.  I got my own room, a clock radio, a gold necklace, a cake and then dinner!  I think I like my room best of all though.  Now I have all the privacy I want.

1.  Apparently I felt it was very nice and super-special that my parents fed me on my 13th birthday. I don’t remember food being doled out as a special treat reserved only for landmark days, but perhaps I don’t remember because of the memory loss induced by severe malnutrition during the other 364 days of the year.

2.  It seems that I was actually trying to decide on this day which was the more awesome gift:  a clock radio OR my own bedroom (in which I no longer had to sleep with my little sister).  Hmmmm.  Choices, choices.

That clock radio was awesome, though.  It was digital.  And the numbers were blue. 

And as bright as the face of the Sun. 

But not so much this kind of sun…

As this kind of sun.

It took me three weeks to figure out how to lessen the supernova brightness on that stupid-ass clock.

**********

September 2, 1981 – 13 years old

8th grade is pretty hard.  And don’t think I’m feeling sorry for myself.  (Even though I am).

I couldn’t fool myself or keep a parenthetical secret from myself.  I was my own worst best-friend.

**********

August 26, 1981 – 13 years old

I am starting to gain a little weight.  I usually weigh about 106 lbs, but yesterday I weighed 110.  Today I exercised though and by 10 pm I weighed 106 lbs again.

I am highly skeptical of this entry.  My idea of exercising at that time was doing some cutting-edge leg lifts a-la those soft-core porn (I’m sorry…I meant legitimate work-out videos) they used to air on Showtime; the ones where the women were all either intertwined with each other and licking their lips and stuff, or very creepily into…themselves.

So unless I was sweating it out in the wrestling sauna at the old high school, sigh, I did not drop four pounds in eight hours. 

110 pounds.  Egad.  I kissed that bitch goodbye a long time ago.

Alright, I’m including this one just, cuz.  Seriously.  Come on.  (Skip to about 1:08).  Yessss.  So very, very aerobic.


**********

February 28, 1985 – 16 years old

My sister and I have been planning for a while to get my mom a message recorder.  The cheapest ones we’ve seen are like $70.  We always plan on getting big things for presents and then we end up with no money, and people get no gifts and everyone is sad.

How about a nice scented candle?  Maybe some earrings?  A homemade, moist and delicious Duncan-Hines cake from a box?  No way.  She birthed us and it was either the moon or nothing for my Mother. 

A 30 lb answering machine costing a week’s pay from me and a month’s allowance from my sister – or nothing. 

Better to make her and everyone else we knew sad on their birthdays with no gifts at all than to get them something shitty and cheap and yet personally thoughtful. 

THAT’S how much my sister and I loved my mother and the people around us.  That’s how we rolled.

**********

March 12, 1985 – 16 years old

Nothing much happened today. Unless you want to count the fact that he smiled at me.

I remember that day.  That was a great day.

**********

March 13, 1985 – 16 years old

Last week went great, this week is terrible.  I’ll probably fail my chem test tomorrow.  Oh well.  Life goes on.

Sure.  Yeah.  Life goes on.  Who cares.  So what.  I could see the bigger picture.  Wise beyond my years, knowing success or failure was in my control and ready to accept the blame if failure should come to pass.  Ho hum.  Life goes on.

**********

March 14, 1985 – 16 years old

I did fail my chem test!  Shit.  I have no time to study, or do ANYTHING, or see my friends because of this stupid play I’m in!

See, where I went to high school they physically forced you to act in these plays that sucked up all of your study time and energy and made you chronically unavailable to your family, friends and boyfriends. 

Way to man-up, Blamey Blamerson.

**********

July, 1985 – 17 years old

Well I’m 17 today.  It’s the first time I’ve been home for my birthday in a long time.  I went downtown with some friends (which my parents didn’t like to begin with) and then I came home 45 minutes late so of course they were PISSED.  They told me I only care about myself and that I screw around and keep pushing and pushing them.  They were over-the-top mad.  So ridiculous.  Me and my parents are beyond hope.

I had forgotten how awful my parents were to me.  I should have gone through the emancipation process as I had planned shortly after turning 15.  

Were they dumb?  Didn’t they remember no kid had cell phones then (it was 1980freaking5…hello??)  and that a teenage girl should be allowed a minimum of an hour grace period on her birthday curfew even with no notification of any kind that the grace period will be enacted? 

On the drive home via Westbound I-55 I remember very distinctly looking at the city from the passenger side and thinking just how beautiful it was and what a great time I’d had. 

And then it occurred to me just how fucking dead I was going to be when I got home. 

Eh.  Yin and Yang, my friends…Yin and Yang.


**********

Dear Diary.

Posted on

When I was 9 years old my mother took me to Woolworth’s.  Oh how I loved that store.  Being surrounded by all the neat stuff there (otherwise known to us adults as crapola) was like being in Heaven for me.  I’m sure my mother did everything she could to avoid taking me and my sister to Woolworth’s mainly because she’d end up spending hard-earned money on well, crapola.

My life in some pages...

I tended to gravitate toward the paper aisle.  Scads and heaps and troves of paper as far as the eye could see.  Notebooks made heart race.  I wanted to buy all of them; one big shopping cart full of empty pages to be filled with drawings or doodles, but mostly writing.

It was there in that aisle my mother let me pick out a little spiral bound notebook.  It was green.  It cost .33 according to its top, right-hand corner, and it would be my very first diary.  I wrote this warning on the cover:  “DO NOT OPEN – Notebook for Notes!”   Above that I had scratched out the word “Diary”, which you can still clearly read.  I think it really threw people off the scent of its true function.

I kept one diary every year for 12 years, starting from the age of 9 – 4th grade, through the age of 21 – Junior/Senior year in college.  I’ve kept all of them, although I seem to have temporarily misplaced 1979 and a few others.  They’ll turn up.

There is no better way I could travel back in time than reading these things.  Not even with a DeLorean.

I will now give you some random excerpts from just a few of these diaries because, well, it’s scintillating stuff.  The depth and worldliness of my observations is kind of astonishing.  There’s really no other word for it.   Please take a moment and enter my pre and emerging pubescent mind, with some 43-year-old commentary.  If you dare.

Has held up well for 33 cents. 1978.

March 19, 1978 – Age 9:  My boyfriend Mike moved because his father had to move closer to his work.  I loved him. And he loved me.  It was true love. 

Mike once asked me to say “robin red-breast”, so I did.  He laughed and said “you said breast”.  I fell hook, line and sinker.  How could I not?  Our love was deep, and it was binding.

**********

March 28, 1978 – Age 9:  I’m sorry that I’m so late in writing but I got tied up.  I haven’t seen Mike since he moved.  I’m sure he’s forgotten all about me.  I like Jeff.

I must have been tied up in meetings.  I think 9 days was an appropriate mourning period.

**********

March 29, 1978 – Age 9: My friend Jan stayed overnight last night.  We had a super busy day.  We went to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  It was about UFO’s (flying saucers).  Then we went home and ate and then we went into the basement and skated.  Boy what a busy day.

1984. This one is fairly sparse. Shame, it was a good year.

I’m not sure how I survived that day, yeesh.  Whew.  Just reading about it makes me super exhausted.  Those skates had metal wheels, not the fancy rubbery plastic kind.  No stoppers/breaks on the toes.  Those were some old-school skates.  The metal wheels were dented in places so it was kind of like skating on squares.  The laminate flooring in our basement bore the scars from our skate parties, and so did the walls and doors due to our roller derby, high-octane collisions.  Every few minutes from upstairs we’d hear “**%$^%$#….KNOCK IT OFF!”  But we were pretty bad-ass, so we didn’t.

**********

Junior/Senior year in High School. 1985-86.

March 30, 1978 – Age 9:  I spent the night at Jan’s house last night.  Her Mom made us clean the house and vacuum the living room and I knocked over a plant.  Her mom was out somewhere and came home that very minute but I ran so she didn’t have time to yell at me.

There are so many things wrong here.  Why did my friend’s mom make a 9-year-old guest clean her house and vacuum her carpet, while she was out getting a mani/pedi?  I do not note whether or not I was paid, but I suspect not.  Why did I scamper away due to the toppled plant?  Where was I going…I lived five miles away?  Why didn’t I man-up and say “Bitch, clean your own house!” while throwing the vacuum cleaner handle down and stomping out with pride? I’ll never know the answers to these burning questions.

**********

???? 12, 1978 – Age 10:  I got my report card today.  Last time I got a U, a big fat U, in “talking”.  But this time I got an S -.  So not too bad.  Man, if I got another U my dad would probably beat me. 

I wrote on this one with a peppermint scented pen. 1980-81.

Let me be clear, my father never beat me.  Back then you could make reference to even just the threat of “getting beat” by your parents without FOX News doing a sixty minute expose on it.  Those were the days.  I did talk a damn lot.  And most of my “U”s were in bright red ink, I think to emphasize the fact that if I could have gotten a “Z” in “talking” I would have.  It was the beginning of my disdain for the tail end of the alphabet.

**********

December 27, 1978 – Age 10:  This year’s Christmas was pretty good excepting I got the chicken pox.  I was loaded with them on my head, in my ear, in my mouth and everywhere else you could name.  I got the pox the last day of school before Christmas vacation and I missed the party and I was in charge of it!  And then my Dad got tickets to the Nutcracker Suite but I couldn’t go because I had a lot of the pox all over me. 

The Pox.  The dreaded Pox.  I had it bad, but not as bad as one boy I knew who was rumored to have scratched his wiener completely off during his stint with The Pox.  I’m pretty sure it was true.  I’ve seen that boy a few times over the years and my eyes always…travel…down….

**********

October 24, 1980 – Age 12:  Tonight at 7:00 I am going to my very first boy-girl dance!  Since I’m on student council I’ll get out of a whole day of school to decorate the gym.

This one is flannel. So comfy. 1986-87.

Really?  A WHOLE day??  To hang up some construction paper and sweep the floors?   No wonder I got a 7 in Math on my ACT.  I remember that day, and all we did was listen to the music us girls brought in so we could make the playlist..the playlist consisting of a 7 foot high stack of vinyl 45’s.

– Right now it’s 6:30 and me and Julie are getting ready for the dance.  I am wearing light blue pants and a blue turtle neck with a white vest.  I set my hair in curlers of course, but the curl didn’t stay in.  I put eye shadow and lip gloss on.

Several things:  1. Blue pants and turtle neck, with a white vest…I…I…don’t know what to say.  It’s not right.  2.  Curlers.  I remember those curlers of my mom’s.  They were steam curlers.  When you’d open the lid of the casing to pull one out scalding hot water would launch out of the top, along with enough scorching steam to melt your face.  You could have powered all of Vegas with my mom’s 12-curler set, the Hoover be damned.  3. I remember the eye shadow was green, which was the perfect choice to compliment my “Hee-Haw!” outfit.  I don’t know why someone didn’t help me.

– Now it’s 8 o’clock and the girls are on one side of the gym and the boys on another side.  All the girls took off their shoes because the boys were too short. 

It’s not like we were wearing stilettos.  Those boys were damn short.  Freakishly short.  Like Lilliputians, and I was only about 5’2″ at the time.  Um.  Yes. I took my diary with me lots of places.  Apparently I took it to this dance.  Geeeeeeeek.  What did I do, stick it in the back pocket of my electric blue pants next to my comb while I was swaying back and forth relentlessly…sorry, dancing…. with a boy?  I also wrote down who danced with who and how many times.  I made a chart.  What the….?

'Cuz nothing says "SECRET!" like huge black letters on a shiny, silver background screaming "SECRET!" 1981-82.

**********

November 18, 1980 – Age 12:  Today I’m working on my book.  I watched some TV too.  Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days.  I need a new bra and some long sleeve shirts.  And I want a piano. 

“…the attention span of a gnat” takes on a whole new meaning here.

**********

November 20, 1980 – Age 12:  Today we played dodge ball in gym class.  I ended up being the only one left on my side so naturally everyone on the other side was aiming for my head and neck.  I was lucky to only get hit hard in the side. 

Naturally the head and neck is where the four guys on the other side simultaneously aimed for me.  It makes perfect sense.  And I believe the gym teacher who sat off to the side, arms-folded on top of his beer belly literally pointing and laughing at me, yelled to me the phrase which Rip Torn inevitably pilfered:  “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!”

**********

November 21, 1980 – Age 12:  We finally found out who shot J.R.!  I thought it was Cliff Barnes.  Grandma thought it was Kristin.  Mom thought it was Dr. Elby (he’s a sicko) and my sister thought it was Pam.  But Grandma was right!  But now Kristin is pregnant with J.R.’s baby so he can’t call the cops on her or his baby will be born in jail. 

My Grandmother was a prophet.  Who else could have ever guessed it was Kristin when you had that sicko Dr. Elby running loose?  Grandma should have played the lottery that day. 

**********

My Grandma phase?? 1989-90.

December 1, 1980 – Age 12:  Today I feel like my life has ended.  John broke up with me in Art class.  He said we fight too much.  We went out for 1 month and 8 days.  He likes Jane.  She is such a slut. 

Ohhh, Johnny.  I really liked Johnny.  We did fight a lot though; about current events and who would be more rich and famous when we grew up.  I’m pretty sure I lost.  Also around that time I learned the difference between a “slut” and a “whore”.  Jane clearly deserved every bit of my appropriate assault on her chastity.  She DESERVED it.

**********

December 25, 1980 – Age 12:  Merry Christmas!  I got some stationary, books, lots of earrings, the new Styx album, an alarm clock and ATARI!  I also got a new diary, with a lock on it.  Atari is the best though. 

It was the best.  But most of my friends had Intelevision.  I hated Intelevision and worked hard to eradicate it from existence.  I did pretty well.  Styx “Cornerstone”.  I still have it.  You know it’s you, Babe.

**********

December 26, 1980 – Age 12:  I went to Mary’s slumber party tonight.  We watched The Amityville Horror.

The scene with Rod Steiger and the flies made me gag but I remember thinking it would have been scarier if they had been bats. And the bleeding walls made quite an impression.  I decided right then and there that I never wanted to live in a house with bleeding walls.  I’ve yet to cave on that decision.

**********

December 27, 1980 – Age 12:  Today we went by my aunt and uncle’s house and spent the night.  We all went to the roller rink.  Later on when we were watching TV me and my cousin Joe got into a fight and he hit me and gave me a fat lip.  But then I kicked him in the head.

Uh huh, but that kick in the head came about a half-hour AFTER our parents made us apologize to each other. 

This one survived a flood. Barely. 1987-88.

Only I didn’t really think I – needed – to apologize.  So while all the cousins were on the floor quietly watching TV as the parents played Pinochle,  I seethed, waited for my opening…stood up, and kicked him in the head.  He ran crying upstairs like a little girl because, shit, I kicked him in the head.  Yeah, go on…RUN.  He started it.

**********

December 28, 1980 – Age 12:  Played some Space Invaders today and then watched The Amityville Horror again and went to bed. 

Why was I always watching that movie???  Ahhh, right.  I forgot.  I was in love with James Brolin, going all the way back to Marcus Welby.  Mystery solved.

**********

December 31, 1980 – Age 12:  We went to Grandma’s tonight because my parents went out.  Me and Grandma stayed up until 2:30 am.  It was a blast. 

I wasn’t being sarcastic here.  I loved my Grandma.  I miss her.

**********

I hope you were able to absorb the profundity of these entries.  If so, check in some time in the future for the High School years.  It gets pretty steamy.  I won’t give it away but there is talk of (deep breaths)………………corduroys.

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