Saturday, July 6, 1991
As it turns out, I’m not going to Israel. First of all, it’s expensive, and I’m not even going to see the sights. There’s not too much point.
My parents are doing stuff for me to make up for me, not that they need to or have to. Like they ARE TAKING ME TO SEE LES MISERABLES on July 13. I can’t wait! I am going to try to lose as much weight as I can before then, so that I can look good in this outfit that I got.
This doesn’t sound like me. Either I was censoring myself to be far more cool-headed out of paranoia that one of my parents would read my journal, or they did really good spin on that Israel trip and actually convinced me that it wouldn’t be fun. Either way, something about the way I calmly reacted and turned my excitement to the Broadway show makes me suspicious.
To be fair, I was dying to see Les Miserables (or “Les Miz” as it was more commonly called) ever since I saw a spine-tingling talent show performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” in the sixth grade. It was one of the biggest Broadway musicals of the late ’80s/early ’90s, with a heavy duty advertising campaign including posters, bus ads and billboards, and television commercials featuring grimy, earnest singers in rags that made the French Revolution seem so darn tuneful and romantic. While tickets to this show were not a substitute for tickets to Israel, at the time they were pretty good as far as consolation prizes go.
I don’t recall the outfit that prompted yet another diet, but it didn’t take much to fuel the desire to lose weight. This was the summer I tried the cabbage soup diet. The soup, which I sprinkled with copious amounts of Mrs Dash for “flavor,” was pretty vile, and nothing that a human being with taste buds could subsist on for more than a few days unless truly masochistic. It wasn’t the first fad diet or the last that I tried, but, hey, I had a date with some musical French ragamuffins and I wanted to look my best!
March 21, 1991
Well, me and Justin are over before we began.
About two weeks ago I called Justin and he said he didn’t want to go out with me. I’m over him.
I was in the talent show today. I sang “let the river run” and I only hit 1 sour note. What was neat was that a lot of people were cheering for me and complimented me on my singing.
What wasn’t “neat” was that I had to spend weeks on tenterhooks and then initiate my own rejection by Justin. And I didn’t get over him as easily as I tried to make it sound in my diary. When practicing for the talent show, there was a part of me that hoped more than anything that Justin would be so moved by my singing that he’d change his mind and go out with me after all. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
And hey, at least this time it wasn’t a Debbie Gibson song.
I was never a major Carly Simon fan, but always loved the 1988 classic* Working Girl, whose theme song was “Let the River Run.” It plays over the opening sequence as Tess McGill (Melanie Griffin in her finest role) rides the Staten Island ferry, dreaming of a better tomorrow while she begins another day as an under-appreciated secretary. Tess takes her fate into her own hands, transforming herself into a savvy businesswoman. She’s not afraid to defy convention to achieve her dream, something I found inspiring.
Of course my way of defying convention (throwing a note out a bus window at a boy I liked) did not make my dreams of getting a boyfriend come true. Even so, I used “Let the River Run” as an anthem of hope. “Let all the dreamers wake the nation,” belted out Carly. “Blaze a trail of desire,” she commanded. I was a dreamer! I wanted to wake stuff up too! I would have to face plenty of rejection, but wouldn’t let any dumb boys tarnish my optimism. I had too many trails of desire to blaze to let a little disappointment get in my way.