“You don’t need my voice girl you’ve got your own.” – Tori Amos
I just needed to reemphasize what a great day it was. The feeling is like after I take an especially lovely trip to the village. It’s been one of the best days of the year, with everything just falling into place. Imagine how I’d react if something truly phenomenal happened. I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but Anita and I are best friends. I remember telling her once but it wasn’t until her candle-lighting ceremony that it was really…confirmed. We have an immense amount of private jokes between us, I guess that’s one indication. Also when I got home today (to a mailbox more packed than I remember) I knew I would just burst if I didn’t talk to her and tell her about my day. Something totally random but wonderful happened. I’ll call it a one-time fluke, but it was still pretty cool.“Sleep, sleep tonight
And may your dreams be realized.” – U2
This is where once again I wish my father hadn’t read the diary so I wouldn’t have felt the need to be so cryptic. Granted, the random but wonderful thing that happened was almost definitely boy-related, and specifically related to Neil. He was this really young kid (13 to my 16) who I started seeing around school. He was hard to miss because he was a punk in a sea of preppies, with dirty torn up clothes, spiky hair a different color every few weeks, and a playful badass attitude. He was the only true punk in his grade and one of maybe a dozen alternative-looking people in our entire school. Claudia was heading in a more punk direction, while I was alterna-chick with hints of goth, but neither of us were fully formed whereas Neil was all punk all the time. I’m almost positive that I finally met and chatted with Neil that day. I (unsurprisingly) ended up developing a crush on him that, despite his maturity, made me feel guilty because of our age difference. 20 years later a three-and-a-half year age gap isn’t such a big deal but in high school even thinking about him made me feel like he was the Lolita to my Humbert Humbert.
Whatever the happy incident was, for me to compare it to a trip to The Village is major. Anita and I visited Greenwich Village as often as we could. It was all about shopping for music, which was one of the cornerstones of our friendship. We’d start with Record Runner on Jones Street, and maybe stop by Bleecker Bob’s (which is not on Bleecker Street as its name would have you believe), which was almost always had a disappointing (and overpriced selection). Next it was on to Second Coming, a tiny place on Sullivan Street where we found tons of used tapes and CDs. The guy who worked there had a shiny shaved head and a crush on Anita, and we nicknamed him Lysol because the bald head made us think of Mr. Clean and therefore cleaning products in general. My personal favorite record store was Generation Records on Thompson, where I consistently found lots of obscure, sought-after CDs and was intimidated by the tattooed, haggard, too-cool-for-you staff. We usually walked up 8th Street up to St. Mark’s place, where we stopped by Venus (another favorite) and once in a while, Sounds. There was usually a stopover at BBQ for a late lunch and early dinner and then, broke but content with our musical acquisitions, we’d take the subway back to Brooklyn, perusing liner notes on the train home.
It’s funny how friendships can take on the intensity of an affair. Anita and I spoke on the phone several times a day, spent most weekends together, and would even bring each other to school (one of us would cut classes to visit the other—crazy, right?). It’s rare to have that kind of connection on a platonic level, and rarer still for it to endure. But I guess I felt especially close to her since her recent Sweet 16 (what the candle-lighting ceremony is in reference to). I don’t remember what kind words she said about me at the party, but I know that was the moment I fully realized we had become best friends.
Monday, September 13, 1993
Tenth grade has begun and for some reason I like it. Maybe that’s because tomorrow is only my fourth real day. I did not get psychology, I got economics but I really like it.
Now for the guy I like. No, the guy I’m trying not to like. His name is Elliot and he has brown hair, I’m not sure about the eyes and he’s shorter than I am. We were both born in Russia and moved here when we were little (he was around 3, I was around 4) and he has math right before me and we sit in the same seat. Coincidence? Well okay maybe but… I don’t know. I have art tomorrow and if I don’t talk to him I’ll consider dropping this whole liking him business. I heard that he was really sweet though.
Anita came over last weekend and I had a lot of fun w/her. She’s one of those people I know I can be good friends with. Plus she got me started on U2. Later.
I’ve never been much of a math whiz, and even today I sometimes get nervous trying to figure out the tip on a check, but I’ve always had a mild interest in economics (I still have a copy of a paper I wrote in 7th or 8th grade on the 1929 stock market crash which was oh-s0-originally titles “What Goes Up Must Come Down”). In particular, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of investing. I think of it as a more intelligent form of gambling: there’s risk, but with the right information, foresight, and a bit of luck, a potential for windfall. I was looking forward to this economics class because one of our big projects was to take $5,000 of imaginary money at the beginning of the semester, invest it, follow the stocks throughout the autumn and winter, and write a report on the financial outcome. I invested in Harley Davidson, because I had a thing for motorcycles at the time (which may or may not have had something to do with U2 drummer Larry Mullen’s passion for Harleys) and a couple of toy companies, thinking they’d do well around the holiday season (Mattel did alright, but I remember Tyco tanked). The guy who made the most imaginary money invested in IBM (talk about foresight). For all the grumbling I do about Hunter, I have to admit that was a fun project and a great hands-on way to learn about investing.
In some ways, romance can be a bit like the stock market. You invest your time and emotion into a person and hope it somehow pays off, or at least doesn’t make you want to jump out a window. Sometimes you find great fortune and sometimes you end up broke (insert suggestive/witty pun about “losing your shirt” here). I thought Leon was a good investment, and on paper it was all there, but that lunch date never materialized, and since he was a year ahead of me in school and we no longer rode the same bus together, we quickly grew apart when the school year began. Elliot seemed like a good bet because of our similar cultural background and math desk (I know, I was grasping at kismet straws), and also because he was cute and rumored to be a nice guy. However, considering how many ill-advised romantic picks I made in previous years, I wasn’t ready to do any serious investing just yet. In other words, I didn’t have the guts to talk to him.
Sunday, July 26, 1993
I’ve been back a week now. Let me tell you about the rest of the cruise before I talk about other things.
In St. Thomas I went scuba diving. It was really great. I felt like I was in another world. I had been snorkeling before but there I was actually down 20ft under the water and breathing. I’d love to do it again. Nothing happened w/Jack. Too young and too immature (besides, he has a girlfriend).
[Blah blah, breathing underwater, blah. As if mermaids don't do it all the time. Okay, so it was pretty exhilarating and a little bit scary, not knowing if there might be a creature that could sting or bite around the corner, depending on a clunky tank of oxygen not to drown, etc. As much as I loved it, I don't think the mermaid life is for me. Oh, and Jack? Yeah, as if his immaturity had anything to do with it and I wouldn't have sucked face with him at the slightest chance. There just wasn't one on the cruise. Just a rumored girlfriend. Bah.]
Anyway on to other things. Before I went on the cruise I spent almost a week at my cousin Jenna’s house in Connecticut. That’s where I got the new U2 tape (“Zooropa.” It’s the best. No “Achtung Baby” is the best. It’s my favorite tape. But “Zooropa” is really good.). When I was there I got a letter. That is not very amazing because I get letters all the time. But not from Leon Lehman.
[Before we go on about boys (and get comfortable, because we will go on. And on. Take a load off, make some tea) a few words on U2. The budding interest I started taking in this Irish foursome around the time of my last birthday had by this point mutated into a full-on obsession (all the way). Achtung Baby was my album of the decade and Larry Mullen Jr, U2's drummer, my (hopefully) future husband despite the fact that Mom thought he had "a nose like a potato."]
I don’t know if I ever mentioned him before. He was on my bus the past 2 years and I’ve gone from fighting with him to flirting with him (I didn’t like him, I just liked flirting with him. It was fun) to being good friends with him. Before I left for Connecticut I wrote to him and when he wrote back I was surprised but very pleased. And the letter was really funny (I read it at least 3 times). I sent him a postcard when I was on the cruise and then I called him when I got back. I had a good excuse but we ended up staying on for more than an hour. The next day I wrote and mailed him a letter.
[Actually, I did mention Leon before in an entry where I said pretty much the same thing about liking to flirt with him. Which goes to show how repetitive consistent I can be. I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever heavily flirted with someone who I wasn't at least mildly attracted to. Though while I found Leon empirically attractive, and while we had a rapport, I'm not sure that it was a romantic one.]
Anyway, the point is I’ve been thinking a lot about him and how I want to be really good friends with him. We have almost identical tastes in music (except for my little, okay humugous almost out-of-control obsession with U2) and both love those great 80’s songs. It’s almost like (don’t laugh ‘cause what I am about to write is kind of corny) he is my soul mate. I think he is such a wonderful person but I don’t want to do anything too sudden or dramatic for fear of losing what tentative friendship we have. See, when school starts again Leon will only be taking the bus in the morning so I don’t want that to be the only time I can talk to him.
[I think it's rare to want a platonic relationship with someone you flirt with, but in Leon's case, it was true, not a matter of immaturity or having a girlfriend or some other excuse. Up to that point in my life, all my close friends were girls, so developing a friendship with a boy was new to me. Boys were for crushes, not friendships; my brain could not compute this new programming. And music was a big part of it. While Leon wasn't a U2 nut, he was a big fan of 80's music and we often talked of the songs we heard on retro stations, from Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" to Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight."]
A lot of this was sparked by some things he wrote in my yearbook. He said he thought that we had become great friends. He also said I was more human than some of the stuck-up snobs he knows, that we made each other laugh and that I was very pretty (Aw! Tell me this isn’t like the perfect, sweetest, most sensitive guy in the entire world). I wrote nice stuff in his yearbook too, by the way.
Now I’m not saying that I’m in love or even in “like” with him but I have been thinking incessantly about him. I want us to be really close (best?) friends.
[I guess what it came down to was that while Leon and I had a lot in common, could make each other laugh, and all that good stuff, I just didn't feel that same sort of spark that I did toward Mark or Jack or even Larry Mullen (but then, Larry was in a class of his own). Leon had all the qualities I wanted in a guy, but I wasn't sure that x-factor was there. I wasn't sure it was missing, or just hadn't developed.]
And if I’m not thinking about Leon, it’s U2. Today I went to a mall and bunch of flea markets with Didi and her parents and I ended up buying a video (“Achtung Baby: The Videos, the Cameos, and a whole lot of interference from Zoo T.V.) and two U2 shirts. I also wrote a letter to Larry Mullen Jr, through Island Records which I don’t expect to get any response. I would give anything to meet them but my next goal is to see a concert.
I’m both deeply regretful and deeply relieved that I don’t have a copy of that letter to fan letter to Larry.
I feel kind of bad for Didi, who bore the brunt of much of my U2 mania back then. She told me years later that I pretty much ruined the band for her with my over-zealousness. How bad was it? So bad that nobody could even utter the words “you too” without me immediately perking up and asking, “U2? Where?” Sorry, Didi.
As for Leon, he is still in my life today and I can safely say he is not my romantic soul mate, though he is a good friend. If and when he reads this post, he may get quite a chuckle out of it.
Lehman, this one’s for you.
Tuesday, December 29th, 1992
My birthday was great. I got a lot of great presents from my friends. All together I got 6 U2 tapes! I also got some great jewelry and an engagement/planner type book full of Van Gogh paintings (he is my favorite artist).
Even though it is vacation, I have been thinking about Will so much. For the past 5 days I have dreamt about him.
[Traditionally, I only dreamed of a boy if I really liked him (at least according to a previous diary entry). In this case, it was more than just the crush on Will. The day before winter break, he somehow found out I liked him. Didi caught him writing about it in a note to a female classmate he was friends with. I was horrified, especially since this discovery clearly indicated he did not reciprocate my feelings. It was a special brand of teenage mortification, hence the five nights of being tormented by his guest appearance in my dreams. Let the nightmarathon roll!]
Day 1: Didi and I are sitting in a café and Will is there. There have been some new students that have entered our school and somebody was reading down the list. When the person got to a girl named Viola he said:
“Yes, that is the girl I’m going out with.” He said in the obvious way so I would hear and get upset.
Will and I moved to a smaller table and I thought that I was going to cry.
This is where it gets weird. We move back to the big table where other people join us. Then somebody spilled all these beans or lentils or something and we all start trying to clean them up. I start sweeping them off the table and the waitress goes: “Why don’t you make more of a mess?”
[Not a whole lot to interpret here. I mean, somebody actually spilled some beans. More text than subtext, really.]
Day 2: Will was sitting many, many seats away from Didi. Yet there he was, all of the sudden, sitting next to Didi. He wanted to sit next to her because he wanted to tell her something. What he told her is that he didn’t like me. And I don’t mean it that way. I mean at all. How rude.
[Yeah, figment-of-my-dream-Will! Learn some manners! Maybe that'll make you appreciate how delightful my 15-year-old self is, dammit!]
Day 3: I don’t remember specific things but I know he was there in class and I was talking to him.
[And what really matters is that he was there, torturing my subconscious with his mere presence. Insert wistful adolescent sigh here.]
Day 4: I was going to walk to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas spectacular and it was raining. Will was talking to Didi and he goes, “She’s going to walk there all by herself in the rain? Without an umbrella?” He was genuinely worried about me (or at least as genuine as you can get in a dream).
[This one is my favorite, because it has a nice mix of pathos, restraint, and paranoia.]
Day 5 (yesterday): I was in art class and we were drawing these strips that were all different colors. We had to do 24 of them and I did my 24. Since I was done, and kind of sad I decided to go in the closet for a while because I was really not in the mood to face anyone (especially Will).
After some time I came out and saw that Tyra was sitting next to him so I asked her if she would move over so I could sit next to him. She did, I sat down and then he begins to insult me! I don’t remember what he said but it was this whole long monologue/list of insults. I put my hands over my face and was going to cry.
Clearly, my dream self should have never come out of the closet.
This diary entry went on for pages and pages swooning about Will, which I have edited out (you’re welcome).
As for Didi’s presence, she was instrumental in what little contact I had with Will before the dream- and proverbial beans were spilled. We both shared several classes with Will and Grant, in classrooms where there were no assigned seats, and chair-desks were arranged in a loose circle. Didi and I would get to class early and engage in a subtle-but-painfully-calculated ritual in which we would move around the chairs in order to maximize the possibility of having our crushes sit next to us. It may sound a little crazy (agreed), and I couldn’t tell you the methodology behind the madness, but I swear it worked about 80% of the time.
Until Will found out I liked him. Then I tried to sit as far away from him as possible.
Friday, September 18, 1992
Yesterday I got a tape from Fran. It was a letter one she didn’t feel like writing. Anyway I was so happy to get the tape from her that I asked if I could send one back and my dad suggested that I invite her to sleep over during the weekend instead. I was so happy.
Then today I come home and my dad says I have to do all my homework for the weekend tonight if I want her to sleep over. I griped about it a lot and even my mom agreed with my dad.
So after dinner I was about to go into the other bedroom to do my homework when I go into my room (where my dad was playing Nintendo) and I told him I wanted to study in my room. He said I could when he finished playing and I got angry and I told him I would be up all night if I did (I did exaggerate a bit). I was so pissed that when I left the room I called him a hypocrite. He called me back into the room and asked me what I said. Finally he dragged it out of me and what did he say? Surprise, surprise!!! Fran couldn’t come over.
The weird thing about it is that my mom starts defending me saying Fran is coming over but later she comes into the room I’m in and starts yelling at me! As usual she threatened to leave so I would be all alone with him and would have to live just with him.
The thing I don’t understand is why she defended me when she probably agreed with him. She thought I was wrong anyway so why didn’t she just back him up and make him happy? Why is she disagreeing with him then yelling at me? Well I know I did deserve it.
“I ask myself too many times why don’t you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut?” (Annie Lennox, “Why”)
I’m used to getting my hopes up and then fucking things up.
To complicate matters further I think I’m beginning to like Will Davidson. I really don’t want to because he is IMPOSSIBLE to get. They all are. I ask Didi to hit my every time I think of him, or I dig my nails into my skin. LIFESUCKS!
Fran did not end up coming over.
I wish I could say this was a rare family occurrence, but I just chose not to write about them in my diary often. It was easier to stick to lighter fare, like crushes. The dynamic at home could be turbulent, and while being a smartass didn’t help matters, I know now there were circumstances that added to the tension which I had nothing to do with.
My parents tried to do their best. We all did. Let’s just leave it at that.
Wednesday, August 28, 1991
Boy! It has been a while, hasn’t it? For a boring summer, it hasn’t been so bad. I did go to Ohio for like 10 days & I spent some time with Fay. During that time we grew pretty close & even though we haven’t seen each other in a month, we are now not only pen pals, but are best friends, too! Let me describe her to you. She is 11, tall and thin. She is very pretty, and she acts mature for her age.
[I bet Fay just materializes out of the ether before you the way I paint her with words. Such vivid description!]
What I like about her is that, although we have a couple of things in common, we have our differences, too. Plus we can talk about anything. It’s funny. I thought that Nisa was my best friend, but how can we be best friends when I feel closer to a person hundreds of miles away than I do with one just a block away. I feel that I’m just not connecting with Nisa the way I am with Fay. I haven’t been for a while.
[It had been years since I'd seen Fay and even longer since I mentioned her in my diary. Becoming insta-best friends with her was easy, because we didn't have to deal with each other on a day to day basis. Given enough time, I'm sure we would have had our ups and downs and maybe even some drama involving a Certificate of Friendship. Alas.]
Well. I’m on a diet. I’ve already lost around 10 pounds & I’m praying (not literally) for another 10. I’ve also cut my hair. It looks like the same style as Chynna Phillips. I feel & look like a different person. If I just lose those 10 little pounds before school starts. I will be complete.
[If you lived in America, have a pair of ears, and were alive in the early 1990's, chances are you heard Wilson Phillips smash hit "Hold On" more times than you ever want to for the rest of your life. For those too young (or unborn) to remember, you may have heard the song in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, when the square-burger-craving duo sings along--nay, rocks out to the chirpy anthem. Back in the days when my musical taste was of the more sugary pop variety, I was a fan of this "supergroup" who were initially more famous for their Beach Boy daddy (Carnie and Wendy Wilson, daughters of Brian Wilson) and Mamas and the Papas mama (Chynna Phillips, daughter of Michelle). That, coupled with the fact that I was growing out a bad perm and had a catastrophic 'do that was straight on top and curly on the bottom made me look to Chynna as something of a hair role model. My eighth grade class photo bears the exact same haircut as the one above, only light brown instead of blond. In my defense, it was the early 90's and it was still a marked improvement over the perm-plus-small-hedgehog-made-of-hair-and-Aqua-Net-that-I-called-bangs.
The ten pound weight loss came from a ridiculous but temporarily effective seven day diet that included one day of nothing but fruit, one day of nothing but vegetables, one day of nothing but bananas and milk, and a couple of days of nothing but meat and vegetables. Every once in a while Mom would come home with a grainy photocopy of some fad diet that one of her coworkers swore was the best way to lose weight fast. My parents and I tried this one and all of us lost weight...and eventually all of us gained it back.]
Gosh am I looking forward to school! It starts September 11, but orientation is September 6th. I will get to see all my friends (and the cute guys in my grade!) that day! I’ve been thinking about Justin all summer. I want to see if I still like him. And if I do, I want to see if he has matured a bit & if he likes me. I also want to see if any of the nerds I knew last year have turned into hot studs. (I can hope, can’t I?!) Well just wanted to fill ya in. See ya!
So much excitement and optimism for the beginning of eight grade. If I had known it would be one of the most wretched years of my life I would have gone easy on those exclamation marks.
Feb. 15, 1991
Sigh! I’m really happy (I know it doesn’t sound that way but I am.) because my parents are going to Atlantic city on business and I am going to spend three days (we have a long weekend) with Rose! Yay! The reason I’m sighing is because my mom is mad at me. Same old thing: I’m never satisfied and I’m unappreciative.
The reason my mom considers me unappreciative is this: Tomorrow Rose and her friends were planning to go shopping at Ceasar’s bay. Rose invited me to come along, and I really want to, but my parents say that if they leave later, they will just drop me off at Rose’s house while I’m left with her parents waiting for Rose to show up. The only good thing is that my parents don’t exactly know what time they are leaving, so there is a chance that I might go. Yeah, like a one percent chance! My mother said that she doesn’t want me to go shopping with Rose and her friends because there wouldn’t be any adults with us and my mom is afraid that something would happen to us.
Sh#t! What a gyp! It’s like hardly anything goes exactly the way I want it to. F#ck! Oh well, at least I’ll spend a few days with Rose.
Yay! I just found out that I am going shopping tomorrow after all. YES!
If you’re happy-frustrated-angry-pouty-and-then-happy-again-because-you-got-your-way and you know it clap your hands…
Yes, I realize this entry does not paint me in a spoiled and bratty light. I could try to make excuses, about how the long commute to Hunter and heavy academic workload left very little time for socializing. I could mention that at thirteen years old, it was a big deal to be able to spend time with friends without adults hovering nearby. That it was a big deal to go shopping. That I was having so little fun in 7th grade I didn’t want to miss out on what little chances for it came my way blah blah blah. But let’s call it what it is: I was being kind of awful. The terrible teens were setting in, and it would get worse before it got better.
Also? Ceasar’s Bay Bazar is where I got those New Kids on the Block jeans, so not allowing me to shop there might have prevented further fashion disasters. Kind of like the wardrobe equivalent of not allowing me to get that perm. But either fortune favored me in that moment or my adolescent moping wore my folks down and I got my way. Go me?
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 1990
My father is so unfair! It was all planned that I would go to Joyce’s house on Friday and sleep over. I was so excited, when I realized that Friday was half a day and that we would have even more time to spend together. When I told my Dad he told me I couldn’t go because he thinks Joyce will kill me or hurt me because she had a bad early childhood! That is so f%^&ing stupid!! I understand that my Dad cares about and doesn’t want me to get hurt, but this is ridiculous! I can’t believe what kind of bulls#$% this is.
Also, I have to tell Joyce that I can’t go to her house on Friday (tomorrow) because I have to go somewhere on vacation. I am SO furious! I don’t think there’s any hope, but I’ll show my father that he has no right to act so presumptious and unfair to me. It’s not fair!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah, the first bitter taste of adolescent injustice and parental resentment.
I’ll be the first one to retroactively find logic and wisdom in the diary entries lacking self-awareness. But in this case, I think my 13-year-old self had good reason to be furious.
My parents showed what some would consider an unreasonable amount of overprotectiveness. I was not allowed to take the subway to school those first few years at Hunter because Mom and Dad feared for my safety. Instead, they spent a decent chunk of change for me to be picked up and dropped off from school via private school bus. This meant no sleeping in when my schedule had a free first period and no extracurricular activities, since the bus left promptly at the end of the school day. The commute from where we lived in Brooklyn to the Upper East Side would have taken around an hour and fifteen minutes, but because I was one of the first kids to picked up and one of the last to be dropped off, my commute was nearly two hours each way.
I was drifting apart from my elementary school friends and my new friends were scattered throughout the city, so seeing them outside of school proved difficult. Thus the visit to Joyce’s house was a rarity and an enormous letdown when it fell through. And it makes me a little bit angry to remember it. Not just because I was given permission, then had it taken back and had to lie to my friend about why I was cancelling, but because my parents judged my friend so harshly based on the fact that she was adopted.
I did a little research just now and discovered that of the 500 recorded cases of serial killers, 16% of them had been adopted, a striking statistic considering that only 2-3% of the population is represented by adoptees. It’s possible that my parents came across a similar statistic within days of learning of Joyce’s family situation, but I highly doubt that sleeping over her house would have put me in any grave danger.
I’m sure there are kids out there who would do anything to have the parents I had, overprotectiveness and all, but at the time, it was like being put in a cage. Sharing this personal detail of Joyce’s life with my folks cost me, and also taught me that withholding information–and even lying–would sometimes be the only way to get a bit of freedom during my teenage years.
Saturday, Dec. 15, 1990
I’ve decided to continue with my writing since I just got a new diary. I don’t know if I would’ve started writing if I didn’t get this diary.
Today I had my birthday party (my real birthday is on December 22, in a week).
I had so much fun! I got a lot of great presents! Yanmei got me “Exclamation!” (the perfume). Myrna gave me 50 dollars (Whoa!), Nisa got me this good book and a pair of earrings (they’re okay), Joyce got me this great purple turtleneck with a white shirt with gold beads on it (She also got me socks and stockings to wear it with!), Chen-chi got me these beautiful ceramic swans (two of them in black), Helen got me this cool earring and necklace set (they are gold and in a leopard pattern). My parents got me a lot of stuff (including two Nintendo games, two movies, a walkman…)
I had such a blast! (I think everyone else did too.) Oops! I left an important thing out! Rose gave me this diary for my birthday! I love it.
I blew out all the candles on my cake and made a wish that Darryl N would like me. It was worth a shot! A lot of other stuff happened, but I don’t want to use up all the pages in one entry!
I just want to say one more thing. Tonight I found out a big secret about Joyce. She’s adopted! I suspected it before, but now I know for sure. I feel so bad for her, and I know I’m really lucky to have a pair of wonderful parents who love me. I’ll be sure not to act very different around her. I’m glad though that she has a great guardian. And I hope Joyce and me will stay friends.
This new diary I received was pale pink, with combination lock and watercolor drawing of a teddy bear wearing a bow, sitting at a window beside a tea-cup. On the inside cover, written (a year or two later) in big letters was the following quote:
AND YOU CAN DREAM
SO DREAM OUT LOUD
As for Joyce’s “big secret,” I don’t know why I felt the need to remind myself I not to act differently around her. It’s not like I discovered she killed someone or had a life-threatening/contagious disease. But I guess I was still used to more traditional family structures and had never met anyone adopted before.
This only made Joyce more exotic and fascinating to me. And as much as I wanted the two of us to remain friends, we didn’t. While we were both shy and insecure 7th-graders, Joyce went on to thrive in athletics, becoming a track star and one of the more popular girls in our grade. I would become…well, neither of those things. Helen, another new Hunter friend, also became popular and quickly faded out of my circle of friends.
In fact, within a year I would lost touch with most of the old and new friends who attended my 13th birthday party.
This entry, poised on the cusp of teenagehood, is one of the happier ones in the diary, and also one of the last times I’d show genuine gratitude and affection for both of my parents for years to come. And in case you’re wondering, I’m almost positive that one of the Nintendo games I received was Dr. Mario.
May 15th, 1990
Sometimes when I have a lot on my mind, I write a letter and it usually makes me feel better, so here goes:
Lately I have been thinking a lot about us. I thought about our dating, then our break-up and you going out with Emily.
I know that hating you for breaking-up with me was the wrong thing to do and so was trying to break you and Rose up. I did the wrong thing and I admit it.
The only reason I felt so angry was because I felt that you used me and when you got bored you’d just go on to another girl (which in this case was Carmella Louise, even though she said no when you asked her out.).
I know that we didn’t take any trips to the alter or anything and I’m not even sure we were going steady, you tell me if we were.
I think that during the last few months (and this may sound corny) I have learned and matured quite a lot, because only know am I ready to admit that we really broke-up and I finally except it.
We are going to be graduating very soon and I don’t want us to part being enemies (or whatever we were), so if you just want to be friends than we’ll just be friends.
Next year we’ll be at different schools, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep up a friendship.
One more thing, if you got the impression that I hate or resent you, I don’t. Please don’t show this to anyone because this is how I really feel and I don’t want anyone to read it.
Let’s see here… Writing “except” instead of “accept” showed some Freudian slippage in retrospect. And the “trips to the altar” line seems falsely flippant and self-conscious. There’s also the fact that I never actually apologize for trying to break up him and Rose, just admit it was wrong. And okay, okay, I realize how phony and ridiculous it was to try to suggest a friendship after graduation when we never really had one to begin with. Still, I was aiming for closure and resolution on my end, and I like to think I managed to attain it.
Even though I never sent that letter to Mitch, at the very least this shows a nice departure from my evil conniving ways and maybe even a bit (a teeny tiny bit?) of personal growth.
April 17, 1990
I had a terrific Passover at Anna’s house.
I also talked to Elaine on the phone recently and we thought of another plan to not only get revenge on sleaze-ball but also to break up sleaze and Rose!
What Elaine, Chen-chi (we need her help) and I will do is go up to sleaze and Rose (Elaine and I will go up to Rose and Chen-chi will go up to sleaze) and we will tell Rose that we saw sleaze kissing another girl, and we’ll tell sleaze that we saw Rose kissing another guy. We’ll tell them both not to tell each other or they will both deny it and we hope that one thing will lead to another and that they will break up.
I know that it’s a pretty cruel plan but they both had it coming and they both deserve it!
Passover is a holy holiday in Judaism to celebrate the Hewbrew’s enslavement from Egypt. Observing it involves spring cleaning, avoiding leavened bread, asking a bunch of holy questions/praying, and eating things like Matzo, gefilte fish and hardboiled eggs. Typically, it does not involve hatching devious revenge plans on the boy-who-done-you-wrong and so-called-friend-who-has-the-moral-code-of-a-mosquito.
I was not allowed to watch Dynasty when it was on the air, because of its late evening time slot and adult themes. So I don’t know where I picked up such Machiavellianism, because it wasn’t until just recently that I became acquainted with the legendary feud between Alexis and Krystle Carrington. I am equal parts embarrassed and impressed that I was capable of conjuring such a manipulative scheme at such a tender age.
The real question is whether such a complicated plot would work. Would Elaine and Chen-chi be convincing enough? Would Mitch and Rose take the bait? Would I finally find the vindication I so desperately wanted? All would be revealed soon enough…
April 4, 1990
I finally figured out a way to get back at sleaze-ball!
What I did was write him an anonymous letter about how I was in love with him and gave him some clue to who I am by giving Elaine’s description (Elaine said it was O.K.).
Today I’ll write him another letter saying to meet me/her in the library, and the whole gang will be there, then Elaine will say “can you come outside with me?” and we will follow her outside then yell “JERK!” and he will be SO embarrassed and humiliated!
Why get mad when you can get mad and even?
Oh, the plotting. Dealing with heartbreak is one thing, but add a dose of betrayal and mere wallowing just isn’t enough. This isn’t to say that I didn’t do my share of moping behind closed doors (there were still plenty of tears), but I needed another outlet for the bad feelings. Planning revenge while nursing a broken heart seemed like a perfectly reasonable solution. And what better revenge than a scheme that could teach sleaze–er, Mitch a lesson about his nefarious womanizing ways? Who wouldn’t wither under such cruel humiliation as being called a jerk, loudly, in public? That would show him!
The elements were in place and we just needed to see if Mitch would take the bait…
In the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, I was fond of the show Doogie Howser, M.D. in which a young Neil Patrick Harris played a prodigy whose impressive memory and passion for medicine helped him become a doctor at 14. On top of dealing with the stresses of being a practitioner, Doogie had to navigate the everyday pressures and dramas of puberty. Keeping a journal helped him make sense of it all, only he didn’t use paper, he used a computer (twenty years ago, this was pretty damn revolutionary). At the end of every episode, he would type away his insights. As the white words scrolled along the blue screen, many a night I felt like I learned something from his experiences too.
Around the time the show aired, my parents got me a computer. It cost about $3,000 (!) and I used it to write a handful of term papers and play hundreds of hours of Tetris. For a couple of months, I also used it to keep an electronic journal. I thought it would be fun to experiment with a new format and figured it would provide a safe place to keep my private thoughts private (how things change). Tucked into the back pages of the composition book journal are several printed out pages (dot matrix style) from my “Doogie diary.” This is the first entry:
April 2, 1990
Today in Music (class) we saw the tape of some of the talent show and during my act Mrs. Angelo said to me and Elaine
“Look at Mitchell (Also known as: two-timing sleaze-ball), he’s blushing!”
So we turn sideways and he was all red!
I wonder what that means…maybe he kind of misses me after all…
Well since we’re on the topic of sleaze-ball, and sleaze-ball is going out with Rose I’ll tell you what’s up with her.
First of all, I had a fight with her, so we’re not really on speaking terms. Also, some of Sam P’s friends are having a surprise birthday party for him and I’m invited to it. I kind of have a crush on Sam, and I know that he just likes me as a friend, but after the surprise party, who knows what could happen!
Also, Passover is coming soon and I am going to my cousin Anna’s house on April 10 and sleep over. I just can’t wait until Spring\Passover\Easter vacation!
For the talent show, I sang what was at the time my favorite song: “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson. I don’t know whether my sentimental musical rendition had anything to do with Mitchell blushing, or what the fight with Rose was over, but there was tension between the three of us. None of us could communicate it in any real way, so instead the awkwardness grew.
Meanwhile, I plotted my revenge…
Today I went to a park with Rose and Rose’s friend Lauren and we had a really great time.
But the really good part was that I saw a really cute guy!
Then I found out that his name is Donald but I call him Donnie (like Donnie from New Kids on the Block!).
Anyway, I also found out that he likes me!!!
I gave him my telephone number and he might call me to ask me out!!!!!!!!!!
He is so adorable!!!!!!!!!!
Eat Your Heart out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Donald/Donnie never called. Maybe because he didn’t appreciate having a nickname foisted on him like that, especially one that recalled one of the most mocked boy bands of the last 25 years. Or maybe he didn’t call because of my dubious music taste.
Once again, I’m a bit baffled that I thought nothing of continuing a friendship with the girl who agreed to go out with the boy who broke my heart. It’s as if I separated the deed from the people involved, or just took all the bad feelings and projected them at Mitch, since he was the one who took actions to make me feel so terrible. Maybe I saw Rose blameless in all of this because I could see why she’d want to go out with him, I had once been charmed by the gelled hair, pale blue eyes, and rosy cheeks myself.
One thing I’m glad I don’t remember is anything about the encounter with “Donnie.” The very idea of what my 12-year-old self on the rebound must have been like makes me cringe.
Mitchell R is such a two-timing sleaze-ball!!!!! I hate that f#$%ed-up @#$hole!!!
He asked Rose out and she said “Yes!” At first I was furios but then I realized that it was Rose who was getting the raw end of the deal! He’ll just go out with her for a few months (maybe even less!) dump her, and then find some other girl to chase after!!!
She’s going to learn her lesson the hard way!!!
That’s what she said.
I was learning some lessons, too, about how unfortunate it is to date in such close quarters. While I may have made a mistake in assuming things with Mitch were more than they were, working his way through my female friends like that before my body was even cold was pretty tacky.
Oddly enough, at the time I think I was angrier at Mitchell than Rose, which makes less sense to me today. Mitch had already proven himself to be a jerk, but Rose was allegedly a good friend. And yet she blindly agreed to go on a date with Mitch without even asking if it would upset me (which we can see it did, in the most melodramatic way). Either she didn’t realize how utterly heartbroken I was or didn’t care or both.
Oh well. At least I had a good nickname for the boy-who-done-me-wrong. Never mind the fact that it’s up for debate whether he really two-timed me or that our dates. This type of anger and heartache defies all logic.
Luckily, I was about to hatch a plan, one I was sure would bring me vindication against my transgressors…
Today I went out with Mitch and we had a lot of fun.
We saw Jason, Charles, Yanmei (the bitch!), Rose, Penny and Elaine at the movies.
What a coincidence! Really! But it was really fun anyway. And I think that me and Mitch will have something going. Also at the movies (we saw “back to the future II”) I found out that Charles wants to go with (make-out with) Rose but I know that Charles is just desperate (someone told me.) so he asked Rose and they will probably go out. He might like Rose but I still know that he’s desperate. Elaine is really upset because she really likes Charles and thought that he kind of liked her too, so now she’s depressed because she wanted Charles to ask her out. Oh well. I hope things work out between them because if they don’t things can get messy between Elaine and Rose.
Between these type of diary entries and watching old episodes of Dynasty via Netflix (if you’ve never seen a catfight between Krystle and Alexis you are missing out, my friend), I have about all the 80′s drama I can stand.
There’s nothing like going on a date only to find out that you’re being stalked by half a dozen of your classmates. That sort of thing only happens when you’re a kid or a character in a movie filled with wacky misadventures. As annoying as it was to have the group sitting a few rows behind us at the movie, I found it even more irksome that the entire crowd also followed us on the seven-block walk back to my apartment building. It gave us something to laugh about, but made the date more awkward by a factor of ten. The only real privacy Mitch and I had was the elevator ride up to the fifth floor and the three foot walk to my apartment door. There was no kiss and I don’t think we even held hands, so I’m not sure what made me believe that the two of us might “have something going.” But at least I was completely over my crush on Charles and could be a mere bystander in the unfolding love triangle surrounding him.
A few words on Back to the Future Part II. I remember enjoying the movie but feeling cheated that the it ended with a cliffhanger which reduced the film to a trailer for the third installment (the first movie did that too, but still felt more complete). I did love all the special effects, including the hoverboards, flying cars, and holographic theaters, and managed to suspend all disbelief regarding the time travel logic, so that I could enjoy the movie for entertainment’s sake. It’s something I wish I could do more often today.
I just (well a few hours ago.) saw the movie “beaches” again and it was really sad at the end. It’s about this friendship that these two girls have and one of them dies at the end (that’s why it’s so sad). It got me thinking about friendship and how I would feel if one of my good (or even best!) friends died. I would be so depressed and miserable, I don’t know what I would do.
Well let’s move on to a happier subject. Like my date with Mitch (which is tomorrow by the way.) I hope it goes all right.
Also my birthday is coming up and my party is going to have a horror theme. We are going to see a horror movie then tell ghost stories, have some food then play with my Ouija board.
In case it’s still not clear, it’s sad because of the death in the movie. Of the friend. At the end.
Ah, Beaches. For those not up on their chick flicks, Bette Midler plays a bold and brassy gal (I know, so very unlike her other characters) who forges a lifelong friendship with a sensible and cautious gal (Barbara Hershey). What could they possibly have in common, you ask? Well, not a whole lot, but you know what they say about opposites (“they,” in the late 80′s, being Paula Abdul and a cartoon cat). There’s fighting, singing, crying, dying, and more crying. All to the tune of a soundtrack sung by the Diving Miss M herself, who made us take stock and ask who the wind beneath our wings might be. Despite its somber conclusion, the film has moments of levity, plus plenty of shoulder pads, big hair, and a musical sequence about the invention of the bra (you owe it to yourself to hear “Otto Titsling” at least once in your life if you never have).
To me, Beaches is a scary movie because it shows the fragility of friendship and of life itself. However, others out there might consider it to be a horror movie because of its abundance of female emotion and sentimentality. Either way, it was not part of my impending birthday’s theme.
As I previously mentioned, my parents let me immerse myself in all kinds of media related to paranormal phenomena, but they didn’t let me watch scary movies. Nothing with Freddy or Jason or Michael Myers or anything of that ilk. Initially they forbade horror movies until I was 13, but decided to loosen up and end the moratorium a year early. Clearly, I decided to really run with the theme.
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of your birth than seeing a bunch of people die onscreen, tell stories about dead people, and then try to actually talk to dead people using a toy/instrument of the occult? Sounds like my idea of a good time!
Tomorrow, guess who’s house I’m going to????
I really hate that a$%hole now. Yesterday he actually had the nerve to call me! What a s@#&head!!!!!! Maybe it will be a little fun.
Also I have a new love!!! I’m over Francis (who hasn’t called since the date) and back on the track!
His name is J.D.
He’s 15 and gorgeous. I love him!!!!
Just a few little problems.
1. He lives in Staten Island and I live in Brooklyn.
2. He doesn’t know I’m alive!
3. He’s 15 and I’m almost 12.
But I can fix all that (not the age or Staten Isl thing but the rest!).
The way I got to know him is that he is my cousin Anna’s brother’s friend and when I went over to her house I saw him there!
God I love him a lot!!!!!!
I will make sure that very, very soon, J.D. will like me as much as I like him! (maybe even more!)
J.D., I love you!
Also, me and Elaine might start our own baby-sitting club! Isn’t that great!!!! It will be lots of fun!
Total word count: 189
Total number of exclamation marks: 42
Aside from my ludicrous idea of what love was (which clearly did not include getting to know the person or even speaking to him much), I had lofty goals. I set out to win the heart of an older man and to create a babysitting empire to rival the fictional one in Ann M. Martin’s Babysitters Club series.
Not only did these books enlighten me about diabetes, they also made me believe I could easily make money baby-sitting while having lots of fun doing it. Never mind that I had no experience watching children, no business acumen, and wasn’t even old enough to drive. I had enthusiasm and a library card that caused plenty of lofty delusions.
Mom put the kibosh on the baby-sitting scheme just as Elaine and I were brainstorming flier ideas. She did not want her 11-year-old daughter to be responsible for other families’ children and I can’t say I blame her. I was initially upset, but it did free up more time for me to concoct a scheme to get J.D.’s attention. That’s a story with another chapter to go…
Chen-chi is back in school and is doing just fine. I geusse that pill stuff was just rumors.
Chen-chi told me a very big secret.
She has diabetes. That’s why she was in the hospital.
She had sugar problems.
I won’t tell a soul.
Last weekend I went to my cusins bar-mitzva and it was really awesome.
Up to that point, everything I knew about diabetes I learned from Stacey McGill, treasurer of The Baby-sitters Club. She was my favorite character in The Baby-sitters Club series of books by Ann M. Martin (and also had my favorite 80′s name). Poor Stacey also had “sugar problems” and had to give herself injections of insulin and carefully monitor her diet. She was even hospitalized a few times, just like Chen-chi.
The only “sugar problems” I could conceive of was eating too much of it, but I probably counted myself something of an expert on diabetes having read a bunch of children’s books that mention the condition. I felt terrible for Chen-chi because she couldn’t eat any chocolate or candy and had to spend time in the hospital. In retrospect, I also feel bad that there was so much gossip circulating around her, which–let’s be honest here–I helped spread. And yet despite my rumor-mongering ways (and despite being a snitch), Chen-chi was trusting enough to share her health secret with me. This time I learned my lesson and kept my mouth shut.
I am so worried about you. I heard about you trying to kill yourself by jumping in front of a car or jumping out the window but luckily people could and did stop you from doing it but I guess it was too late to stop you from taking those 11 high blood pressure pills.
But Why? Why did you take those pills.
I know things aren’t going too well with you getting pre-suspended but that was no reason to try to kill yourself. That will never solve any of your problems, it will just increase them.
I really hope that you will be alright and please don’t do anything like that again. You really scared me.
I know you will get better and I know things will get better so just hang in there.
Love, Your very sympathetic and worried good friend,
While I was seriously worried about Chen-chi and her multi-faceted suicide attempt, I wonder if some my concern stems from leftover feelings of guilt at narcing her out on Halloween. I also wonder how I managed to believe so many theories as to how she tried to off herself. A car, a window, and an overdose of high blood pressure pills? Really? Really?
I can look back at the situation with a healthy dose of skepticism and question whether reports of Chen-chi’s suicide attempts were greatly exaggerated–if not completely fabricated. Back then, I didn’t question any of it, probably because I was too busy being a “very sympathetic and worried good friend.” One who never sent this letter or came clean about the Halloween incident.
Remember the Halloween parade we had? On the way back upstairs you dropped the egg on the stairs by accident and a teacher came in to tell us about it and if we knew anything to write on a piece of paper an annonamous note. Well I put your name down and even though I wasn’t the only one I am still very sorry.
I mean you should not have been carrying that egg even though it was for protection and I feel that it was sort of my responsibility to tell what I know and I’m sorry.
… … …
Dear 11-year-old Damiella,
Nobody likes a snitch. Chen-chi wasn’t like those hooligans who used Halloween as an excuse to pelt people with eggs and vandalize houses with shaving cream and toilet paper. If she was packing that egg as ammunition against a possible attack from these boys, that’s her business. If anything, you should be more sympathetic after last Halloween when Mom was accosted by young thugs who threatened to pelt her with Nair-filled eggs.
Chen-chi didn’t hurt anyone; she just made a mess on the stairs. You should have known better than to rat her out.
I got my perm after all and I have a few letters that I want to write to fill you in on what has been happening to me lately…
Remember the sleepover we had when we went to Alana’s party at the roller skating rink the next day? Well I just wanted to tell you that I think your friend Peter is a bad influence on you because whenever he’s around and even when he’s not around you act like a very imature person. All of the sudden you start cursing in Russian and acting like a fool.
Also I am grateful that you did so many nice things for me like helping me with my campain for president (really my flyers). But every time I don’t want to do something for you, you act as if you gave me a million dollars and I had to be your slave forever to pay you back. I don’t like it atall.
Although you helped me materialy I helped you too but non-materialy like listening to your problems and giving you advice.
I hope you change fast because the way you are acting if you don’t change soon, you will lose me as a friend.
Make the choice.
Either you change your attitude or you have one less friend.
… … …
Dear 11-year-old Damiella,
At least this time it wasn’t bad poetry.
Tolya was entering his teenage years, so cursing, acting like a fool, and having an attitude is not out of the ordinary. You should see the attitude you’ll be sporting in a couple of years.
P.S. That perm was a really bad idea.
Second day of school, I got the Blob (Mrs. Feinstein). She’s o.k.
Nisa’s a BITCH!
She’s a f@#in’ $%HOLE. I saw her the first day of school and ignored her. Now she’s getting the hint and ignoring me. GOOD! I’m glad we are in separate classes. Rose is also in another class but it’s not that bad.
Since Elaine and me are in the same class we have to start the cool group.
I think Penny should be in it. Also Chen-chi. I’m not sure about Yanmei. (she should kinda clean up her act.)
Mitchell got a new hair-style and looks cool. Gotta go. —Bye—
I haven’t the foggiest idea what inspired such vitriol towards Nisa, the girl I considered my elementary school best friend. Maybe it had something to do with her mother. The important thing is that I had enough strength and courage remaining to start “the cool group.”
If you have to ask what the qualifies one for being in the cool group, you probably aren’t cool enough to be in it. Also, I don’t remember the criteria Elaine and I set. Having big hair and awesome clothes probably had something to do with it. Being smart was cool, but being a nerd was not. There were probably other guidelines, which evidently Yanmei was falling short of (poor Yanmei).
In case you’re wondering, no, I can’t recall what the fringe benefits of being in “the cool group” were. Probably just a sense of clueless superiority over the other sixth graders.
Today was the last day of school and I got a good report card. Also I had a fight with Nisa because she did not bring in this Certificate of Friendship we were making. I don’t know what is happening. It seems all of the sudden we are very very different. She is trying to be so perfect. I’m beginning to think she is a nerd. I hate her mother, she is such a bitch.
O well, I guess we are finaly relizing our differences. It’s about time anyway.
The difference between me and Nisa:
Her mother = bitch
My mother = not a bitch
I haven’t the foggiest what the certificate of friendship was all about, but I do remember Nisa’s mom and how strict, joyless, difficult, and unpleasant she could be. Any time Nisa was invited to a birthday party, her mother would buy a dictionary to offer as a gift. She demanded academic perfection from her daughter and limited the amount of time Nisa spent watching television, playing with friends, or having any other kind of fun.
I tolerated Nisa’s mother, because her daughter was one of the brightest and most imaginative girls I had ever met and was my childhood best friend. But there was one incident made me dislike her mom once and for all.
One day, she was cooking a foul-smelling soup and demanded that I try some of it. She spooned a bit of spongy gray matter and held it under my nose. I politely asked her to tell me what it was first, but she refused and insisted that I eat the stinky mysterious spoonful of yuck before me. I complied, and on top of having an awful rubbery texture, the stuff tasted even worse than it smelled.
“What was that?” I asked.
“Tripe,” Nisa’s mother smirked.
“What’s tripe?” I dreaded the answer.
“Cow’s stomach.” Another smug smile from the bi-atch. “Would you like some more?”
My own stomach lurched. “No, thank you.”
I felt mildly betrayed by Nisa, that she hadn’t warned me about what I was going to eat, but her mother told her not to say anything. And while I can appreciate wanting to expand a child’s palate, doing it in such a sneaky way, and with organ meats, is a little mean. I mean, when my friends came over, Mom either made spaghetti and meatballs or let us order pizza. Mom didn’t make my friends eat any of our crazy Russian food unless they wanted to try it.
Nisa and I were able to get over this rough patch, but there would be conflict later on that couldn’t be smoothed away so easily.
Yesterday I gave Marcela her book and the letter she gave me, she didn’t say anything and I really don’t care.
I am not Nisa’s friend anymore either because she never cares about my feelings, only hers.
By the way I still really miss Jonas. And I still love him.
In case it’s not beyond obvious at this point, I was (and still am, truth be told) a fan of the dramatic gesture. It wasn’t enough to have Marcela storm out of my 11th birthday party. I couldn’t let her have the last word and wanted her to know the friendship was well and truly over. There was no better way to do this than return a book she lent me along with the letter she had written less than two months earlier asking us to be friends again. Much in the same way the end of a romance is often punctuated with personal belongings being returned, I found that such a gesture gave the end of my friendship with Marcela the gravitas (or, let’s face it, good old fashioned drama) it deserved.
Nisa was my best friend in elementary school, though I was also on shaky ground with her. It’s funny, because I remember being surrounded by friends during those years, but I don’t remember having so many damn conflicts with them. Were my preadolescent social skills that flawed? (Don’t answer that.) Is it common to have frequent quarrels with friends or was I that tempestuous and oversensitive? (Definitely don’t answer that.)
Whatever the case may be, Nisa and I would make up, but this was it for Marcela and me. Which always made me a little sad, because I thought she was so cool; not just because of her perfectly Aqua-Netted bangs, pretty handwriting, and the sassy way she snapped her gum. Marcela and I shared a resemblence, so I sometimes liked to pretend we were sisters. I also admired her sense of humor, smarts, and boldness. But in the end, I think we couldn’t find a way for our strong personalities to mesh. It’s a shame, because we had a hell of a lot of fun when we did get along.
(And let’s not even get into the whole Jonas thing. I’ll spare the excess entries where I’m mooning over him.)