So, speaking of photos of me in the 6th grade, I just got mailed a 137-pound box full of ancient-ass STUFF that’s been in storage for like…a decade-ish? (If anyone whose basement my 137 pounds of stuff has been in still ever reads this – thank youuuu!!) I’m still sort of slowly sorting through it. I was not at all sure what all I would find in there. So far, it’s about 60% horrifying, 39% mortifying, 1% charming. Lots of photos (lots of those are ones that I shot on b&w film and developed myself), LOTS of my old writing, which was the big big big thing I most hoped would be there (MORTIFYING MORTIFYING MORTIFYING), including old school newspapers and yearbooks and the school literary magazine (and a photocopy of the very first check I ever got from writing, from winning a contest for said literary magazine – that photocopy makes up most of that 1% charming right there), some books, an iron pen-holder shaped like a monkey, my award for Customer Service All-Star from Kohl’s, a fork (?), a floppy disk labeled “poems” (!), the issue of Playboy that my freshman-year college boyfriend’s subsequent girlfriend was in, a signed photo of Joe Scruggs. Lots of treasures.
Oh my god. So many diaries.
So many horrible, horrible diaries.
One has N’Sync on the cover. One is covered in leopard-print faux fur. One of them says “LOG” on the front of it in sticker-letters. One is the “daily question” thing I had to write in every day in class for A.T. Two of them are literally not even MINE. The oldest one has two distinctly labeled sections: “Unicorns, mermaids, and horses” and “Anything.” (This is true.)
That one is less diary-y exactly – mostly it’s drawings (of unicorns, mermaids, and horses) and lists and quotes and a single short story and some fashion design sketches. (“Fashion” design sketches.)
I think my favorite thing about the ones above is the very specific note that the purple ruff on the back of those shoes needs to be clip-on. Though I guess I also appreciate the “died satan” shoes. Scary AND fashionable!
I bet once we get to see Alexander McQueen’s original papers and notebooks and everything, we will find that he, too, often noted that some of his fashion sketches appeared to be picking their butts. (Or maybe I meant that not as an observation, but as a dictate?)
That’s kind of exactly what all of my notebooks still consist of. Fewer horses, usually. But still: drawings, and clothes to sew, and stories, and lists, and quotes. (And exactly as much butt-picking.) That was the biggest lesson to be learned in this 137-pound box: that I am exactly the same as I always was. My habits are embarrassingly consistent. My cartoon-drawing style is still the same. My handwriting is still the same. I still write stories and edit stories and dislike my stories in exactly the same ways. I still keep notes of “the good lines” from books I’m reading. I still make the exact same kind of to-do lists, I swear to god. I just found one that consisted of: “write, clean newt tank, shower, food?, cross stitch.” I am NOT making a funny joke when I saw that if you change “newt” to “turtle,” I might have written that exactly same list last Thursday. Actually, it would totally save me some time if I just went ahead and put that in my jacket pocket now so I can use it again next Thursday.
Another observation: About half of my notebooks begin with the line: “I know I said I’d stop with the whole diary thing, but…” The “but” part is often a denial that this particular notebook will BE a diary. “…but this is for POETRY” is a particularly horrifying one, since it implies that I thought that was in some way BETTER.
I talked about boys a lot. I went to the skating rink a lot. I was a terrible, boring, horrible, embarrassing person a lot.
But so anyway here’s the conundrum: What the fuck am I supposed to DO with these fucking things? I mean, BURN THEM IMMEDIATELY, right??? Because honestly, my current #1 best reason ever to NOT die is just because of how much I don’t want anyone to find them and read them after I’m dead.
Blerg. I cannot think of a single reason NOT to burn them. But I kind of suspect I definitely won’t.
June 24, 1993:
Yesterday I spent the night at Joanna’s house, and late that evening, I got my piriod. I hate this dumb thing! I hate having my piriod! I hate ragging!
[Hey, look, I learned the word "ragging!" I did not yet learn the word "period," I guess.]
June 1994 [in a "P.P.P.S."]:
On MTV News they said that there was a rumor (note that I did say “rumor!!!”) going around that Eddie Vedder (the lead singer from one of my favorite groups, Pearl Jam) had gotten married over the weekend to his long-time girlfriend. I can’t remember what her name is, but I think it’s Beth or something. Anyway if it’s true, I won’t be all that sad, because it was to this girlfriend that he’s had forever, and it’s not like I could have married him, anyway.
[Which I think was very reasonable of me.]
July 24, 1994:
I haven’t heard anything else about Eddie Vedder, so I guess he’s not married.
[Also reasonable. Why WASN'T Kurt Loder doing daily updates? "Eddie Vedder: Still married.")
December 13, 1994:
Sorry I haven't written in so long. A lot has happened (school dance, trip to the mall, much much else) but right now I'm just going to talk about two things - Tyler D* & Christmas.
Tyler is this guy that two of my best friends (Wanna & Courtney) like a lot, plus about 10 other girls in this school. This includes me, but I consider him pretty much off-limits because Wanna & Courtney like him. ... Well, at the dance he asked me to dance, but I said no (because of Wanna & Courtney). But then that night I spent the night at Wanna's and we (read: ME!) called him & we talked to him for like 4 hours. He was so funny! And at school, when he walks past me or catches my eye in class he'll wink and stuff and he'll say, "See you next hour, baby," or something like that. So now I'm getting to like him a lot more. Oh, well!!!
Now, second of all, Christmas is almost here!!! This Christmas is going to be really groovy for a few reasons #1 - I'm getting a totally fantastic present! A stereo with 2 tape players a CD player, a remote control, & everything, plus 8 CDs!
*[Yes, THAT Tyler. I don't know why he and I never ended up getting together.]
October 1, 1998:
We stopped for breakfast in Salina, KS this morning. … Dad told me something neat. He said there’s a Salina in California, too, but they pronounce it “Saleena.” He said that John Steinbeck wrote in Salina, CA, and that the town is known for its artichokes. Personally, if I was Steinbeck, I’d be pissed.
["Personally, if I was Steinbeck..."]
November 25, 1998:
When I read my poems to BK’s class, she said, “You’ve been reading too much Sylvia Plath.” I had heard of her before, but never read any of her stuff, so I got a couple of her books, and I really dig her. I’ve discovered Sylvia Plath. :)
[APPARENTLY I READ SYLVIA-PLATH-Y POEMS OUT LOUD TO A CLASS. WHY WOULD YOU LET ME DO THIS, BK? I THOUGHT WE WERE BUDDIES.]
August 7, 2000:
I just re-read (since, like, 4th grade) There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, by Louis Sacher. Great fucking book.
[This is fair. I have no problems with this entry.]
March 21, 2001 [maybe?]:
I chipped another tooth. I need a lucite ball [tongue ring]. Have you ever seen “Heathers?” I’m drunk.
Anyway. Prepare yourself for a coming deluge of scans of ridiculous things….