I’ve been taking a browse through some of the dozens of old journals lining our bedroom-shelves, and these ones from junior high are… well, embarrassing is what they are! (What, you thought I was going to say cute?) All I can say is that I’m glad the internet hadn’t yet been invented, or these might have been spewed into a public venue at a time when I took myself too seriously to have a sense of humor about them. Now, though–well, I’m not averse to holding myself up for some ridicule, so here are a few of the items that made me chortle and snort…
I picked this one for fun, just because of the date–I can faithfully report that exactly twenty-five years ago today, in seventh grade, I… wrote a script for a puppet show, turned in a paper titled “Why I don’t like T.V.,” got a goldfish drunk in science class (it died), and satisfied the requirements of dress-up-as-what-you-want-to-be day by bringing my doll and “being a mother.” Oh, and Ryan Sasser sat near me at lunch (giggle).
Later in the month at a church youth-retreat, I had nothing to report about what we were studying, but recorded in detail where Ryan Sasser sat for every session. At the end of the weekend: “Pastor Braun left early, and he had the keys to drive the van. Mr. Sasser, who had driven kids up and stayed overnight like Daddy, hot-wired the van and it went just fine.” What interests me now is how UNremarkable I found that bit of information. Why did Mr. Sasser know how to hot-wire a van??
It’s funny how my twelve-year-old self danced back and forth across the line between kid-hood and preteen-ness. In one entry I detailed the episode of getting beaten up in the girls’ bathroom by a ninth-grader (probably my first-ever use of the “F-word” in recording that dialogue), and reported after a dance that my mother “was embarrassed because we were dressed in mini-skirts, but I didn’t care.” Barely a week later I flip-flopped back to KID with this entry: “When I got home I found on my bed six pairs of nylons! I still like knee socks and tights, but how can I tell Mommy that? I feel stuck. It was considerate of her, after noticing that all my friends wear nylons, but… Next thing, she’ll give me a razor!” Oh dear me. (This leaves me wondering, of course, how that mini-skirt looked with my knee-socks…)
There’s a page covered with stickers, followed by a page titled “Here is a rough sketch of my lifetime as I’ve planned it so far.” Snort! I actually mapped out as far as the distant and mystical year 2000, when I was scheduled to “run for president.” I didn’t specify president of what, but I’m pretty sure “president of my Rehab Class” wasn’t what I had in mind. (Maybe the drunken goldfish was an Omen…)
December 3, ’86: “Today was Daddy’s 40th birthday. Mommy came in during the class he was teaching and gave him a bottle of medicine for old age [Geritol] and a boquet [sic] of balloons that said things like, ‘tease me about my age, and I’ll beat you with my cane.'” Man, he was OLD that day. (Wait, was that my 37th birthday that just whizzed by?)
In early December I featured a numbered-and-ordered list of the boys I Liked, followed by this commentary: “I wonder now if I like Luke or Ryan more. Maybe I like them the same, and whoever likes me I’ll start liking more.” (Okay, pragmatic so far. But then I veered into the heady realm of fantasy with this:) “After all, what’s the use of running after one if the other is at your feet?” Ahem, cough! Let me now say for the record that neither Luke nor Ryan ever ended up “at my feet,” unless you count later in that same month when I played Mary while Ryan played The Donkey in our church’s Christmas play… On which day I may–or may not–have “heard Ryan say to the sheep that he likes me.” After which I went home and played with my Legos.
I’ll close with this episode, which I find very revealing about my personality in general: I finally declared my crush on Luke by the clever means of passing him a note in which (are you ready for this?) I avowed my intention of kicking his butt at science grades. Did I know how to win a boy’s heart or what? What followed was a pretty heated competition, culminating with the annual science fair. We’d each been keeping our topic under wraps as tight as National Security, until the Big Day when we EACH unveiled a project titled “The Effects of Acid Rain on Seed Germination.” No joke, same exact project. For which I won the blue ribbon, thereby forever ending my hopes of an amicable (let alone romantic) friendship. Oh, the drama!
That’s my seventh-grade year in a (cracked) nutshell–hope you had a laugh at me. Related to nothing above (except maybe the “MEANGRL” centerpiece, thinking of my beat-up-in-the-bathroom episode), here’s this week’s “collection” of personalized plates: