Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dear Diary

Last Friday, I went to something called "I'm Mortified," which is a live show in which several people (6 in this case) read from the journals they kept as teenagers. At this show, a couple also read poems they wrote for the boy in question and one sang a song she wrote for the boy of her dreams. The most mortifying thing I ever did was "accidentally" give a love poem I wrote to a guy I liked along with some pictures of Alyssa Milano I had cut out of a magazine for him. We weren't really friends anymore after that, though I carry a constant reminder of him-I have a scar on my right hand from when he hit me (accidentally) with the end metal end of the hose in a (neighborhood) water fight.

This prompted me to pull out my own diary, which for some reason I keep in my nightstand. My diary was given to me by my parents on my 9th birthday. I know this because the first entry is dated 1/15/83 and in it I say it's my birthday and I am 9. Apparently, it did not occur to me that I would be able to figure that out later in life based on the date. In addition to the date stamp, I also wrote down the time I started my first entry. (Looking back, there were definitely clues along the way that I would grow up to be an anal-retentive, highly organized accountant. Yet that was still a surprise to my parents).

I was not very good at keeping up with writing in it. From 3rd grade through high school, only about a quarter of it is used. Part of it is because growing up in small town USA is really not that exciting. And part of it is because I wasn't one of the popular kids so that really cut down on having anything to write about. In later years, there was also suspicion the Evil-Ex was reading it, which cut down on how much I was willing to share. Of course, she couldn't have said anything without divulging she had read it. But she was the one that made me cut the lock on it after the keys mysteriously disappeared.

My diary is pretty much a running commentary on which of my classmates were "going out" with each other. I was pretty boy-crazy growing up; sadly, the boys I knew were not Heather crazy. I did get a few laughs while reading some of the entries, such as this one from 10/24/85 (beginning of 6th grade):

"I like D.O. I think he's cute and I think he likes me too. Oh God please make it be true. I want him to ask me! Now, S., J., and M., B. are cute. So is Z. But D. is cuter. BF is back. BARF! S. &S. like her. She is good at serving a volleyball also. I found that out in Pe. Good nite."

Three days later, I had this to say:

"The way it sounds I like everyone, but I eliminated S and B and Z. J is cuter than D but not very."

By the end of the year, I no longer liked D. (or so I said) and was "in love" with J. (He was really cute). By April 1986, I was "going with" M., whom I "loved so much." Yet I still liked D. (again) and J. and was now friends with BF. To be honest, I don't remember why I didn't like her and now she is one of my friends on Facebook, so I have definitely gotten over it. I was very excited when I got her friend request and that she remembered me. I do remember she was weird, but I think was also genuinely my friend as the years went by and perhaps actually sad when I moved our freshman year.

By the end of 7th grade, D. and I were very good friends, which is all that ever became of that, and on 2/16/87, I wrote "I collect baseball cards and when I die, D.O. gets them all unless he kills me. D.O. is who I like now, but as I read through you I'm not surprised." By October, we weren't friends again. Ultimately, we ended up regaining our friendship-he's the last person I talked to before I moved to Idaho in March of 1989. (And now we're friends on Facebook). After I moved, a new set of cute boys entered the picture but the story pretty much stayed the same. And from the looks of things, my high school years were the only time in my life my handwriting was pretty decent.

The first person to speak at the "Mortified" show kept her journal from a multi-person point of view. First was her writing to the diary. Second was the voice of wisdom speaking back to her. Third was one or both of these voices speaking to God. I couldn't help but laugh as she read her entries. I had just met New Guy the weekend before and told my friend I could have just written exactly what she had written as a teen. If I were to do a diary entry today, it would look a little something like this:

"Dear Diary,
I like New Guy and I think he likes me too. Oh God, please make it be true! I really want to get to know him better and I want him to want to get to know me better too. I feel alive again for the first time since James died, and I want this feeling to last. Plus, he's really cute and has a good sense of humor. And he's a good kisser."

Ah yes. The more things change in life, the more they really do stay the same...

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