Sunday, September 28, 2008

Me and Jeff*, all dressed up for the prom, 1984

I've also been reading a book called Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas. It's hilarious.

Here's an explanation of the project from the author, Sarah Brown's website:
The first inklings of Cringe came about back in 2001, when Sarah Brown found her old diaries at her parents’ house, and decided it would be a good idea to send the most painful excerpts to her friends in a weekly email. Two years later, she moved to Brooklyn and told roommate Liz Schroeter about this endeavor, prompting Liz to dig out some old teenage zines of her own. The first Cringe Reading Night was held April 6, 2005, at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn.
And the readings are still going on there, and in other cities, too.

The book includes things from other people, and I think the best parts are the commentary or explanations about the entries. Of course everybody's embarrassed by them, but a running theme seems to be, "I haven't changed at all."

This, of course, inspired me to get out my own diary and read through it. I've always been a sporadic journal keeper. This one is no exception. I started it December 25, 1981 and the last entry is January 26, 1985. And it's just over half filled. Sometimes there are months between entries.

I wrote mostly about who we saw at the mall, what albums I bought, and which concerts I went to. There was some friend drama - I felt left out a lot. Lots of people were "babes" back then. And lots of stuff was really "bitchin'" and "ex." And apparently I spent way more time and energy than I remembered obsessing over a certain someone.

I ended most entries with something like, "Well, it's really late. I need to get to bed."

Then there's typical teenage angst:
"I wish I knew who or what I was. I mean, I'm not doing anything, I'm just kind of here, doing nothin'."

And in the "I haven't changed" category, here's something from December 31, 1982 (I'd just turned 16):
"I wish I could act naturally at school, but I just can't. Everybody probably thinks I'm stuck-up or something. Oh well, that'll be my New Year's Resolution. To act more myself at school & to make some more friends. That seems fair. Well I better jam!"

It cracks me up how I would write about how sad, hopeless, and depressed I was and then say, "Oh well. Then last week we went to see The Beast Within. Gross movie."

But this is my favorite line of all (from January 7, 1982 - I was 15):
"School sucks, but it's been going pretty good because my hair is looking slightly better."

At least I had my priorities straight.

Anyway, it's really late. Gotta jam!

*not the one I obsessed over. Although he did rock that maroon tuxedo, no?.


John said...

At least you're more consistent with your journal keeping now...

Deanna said...

I know, right? Some things never change...