Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Self Help Book Needed.

November 5, 1993 (...cont)

... At recess Piper said she had asked PATRICK if he liked me. He said, "Well... Kinda... Yeah!" Also, if a guy says "well..." it usually means "Yes- but why should I tell you?!" I am SOOOO happy!!

You know that book "He's Just Not That Into You"? Yeah. They apparently need one of those for fourth graders. 

I was undeterred by Patrick's obvious ten-year-old ambivalence to me. Poor kid. According to the dates on these entries, he was apparently being asked about his feelings for me every 7 to 10 days. I wouldn't stop until he loved me. And even if he didn't, I would still decide that he did. Only a real woman believes that "well..." means "Yes, absolutely". By the age of twenty I was well versed in believing that  NOT getting a call was a GOOD sign. 

Corey-- He's ten. Trust me, he's just not that into you. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

short blonde vs. new england bad boy biker

November 5, 1993
Dear Bethany, 
...Today we had Worldly Wise which is a vocab test. I had finished my first part and was on the second when...Connor says "Corey you finished the first part?" I sarcastically answered, "No! I'm just doing this for fun!" Then Connor goes, "Corey, learning isn't going to help you grow." I started crying. 

Here's the thing: I know lots of short people who are totally cool with it. But I read this entry, and I still feel sad about it. Since I didn't go through the elementary school trauma of being a geek or overweight or wildly unpopular, I forgot about the tiny daily pains and cruelties. 

In my mind, Connor still looks like a motorcycle riding, bad boy, ladies' man (Think Danny in "Grease"). In my head he has tattoos and leather jackets and a bad attitude. Maybe a cigarette. Truthfully, I never saw Connor past the age of twelve, and while at some schools this would be enough time to acquire a leather jacket and cigarette, at my tiny suburban New England town, that just wasn't likely. 

I'd love to see a picture of Connor at ten years old when he tormented me with these comments. I'm sure he's adorable. I'd love to see Connor now. I hope he's a veterinarian or social worker or nurse. I'd love to be so terribly wrong about someone. 

As for myself? I'm glad I had the gift of sarcasm and knew its irrefutable power at such a young age. I'm even more impressed that I smartly coupled it with the distinct power of little blonde girl tears.  A killer combination, and one I am not ashamed to still use when necessary. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh the humiliation

November 12, 1993
Dear Bethany,
Today Ryan said Fred LOVED me!! Fred is a geek with black hair and elastic jeans instead of regular.

Is there any crime worse than elastic jeans? Wow, you're thinking, that Corey must have been a real fashionista to have such strong, incisive feelings about clothing choices at such a young age.
But strangely, while elastic jeans were apparently a disgusting fashion choice, elastic waisted turquoise SKORTS were just fine. 

If you don't know what a skort is, you obviously will never be as fashionable as me. I rocked that shit for years, 

Monday, April 20, 2009

...plus i had a penchant for patchwork vests.

Not my proudest achievement. 

Only nine pages in to my journal, ten-year-old Corey had ranked her friends. Not JUST in terms of how much she likes them, but also in terms of how attractive they are. 

The friend list shifts over time to reflect the constantly changing relationships. DIFFERENT PEN COLORS correct the list. I have clearly gone to the trouble to change the list weeks, months later, so instead of staying a reflection of my friendships as they stood on October 27, 1993, they reflect the manically changing friendships of ten year old girls. 

In terms of attractiveness, I rate myself third most attractive in the entire fifth grade. This was not only generous, but delusional. With my  braces (complete with elastics in holiday appropriate colors... fabulously black and orange for Halloween) and oversized ears that were quite possibly large enough to actually weigh down my tiny head, I was probably not even in the top ten. 

But I have to respect the confidence. The journal was totally secret, and a place I was safe to own up to my insecurities. Happily, at ten, I wasn't yet objective. Presumably I felt pretty,  and that meant I must actually BE pretty. 

...where does that feeling of certainly vanish to in your twenties? 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tiny Corey.

October 27, 1993, We have a Postural Screening Exam at school. This involves getting undressed behind a curtain, having your heigh and weight measured, and having your spine felt by the school nurse. The curtain is thin enough so that all the ten year old girls in my 60 person grade can stay very still and hear through the curtain what everyone's weight is.  Charming. Also really fabulous? I spend two pages of my diary recounting these weights and heights. They seem to help me get a grasp on the natural order of things. 

At four feet tall and 53 pounds, I had very little competition for tiniest person ever. And though everyone else towered above me at normal ten-year-old heights, I held fast onto my 53 pound achievement. 

I'd like to make some feminist comments about the obsession with weight, but the entry is more matter of fact than angst-ridden. I don't reflect on much of anything. It just IS. I was 53 pounds of uncomplicated truths. 

And when you KNOW your good friend is a way prettier ten-year old  than you are, at least she weighs 67 pounds. Ha, take that! 

I'd rather not address the fact that sixteen years later I still could easily ball park most of my friend's weights. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sorry Mom!

Despite beliefs that my sailor's mouth came in part from my college roommate, it was not so. In that first entry, at ten years old, I used the word "Shit" nine times. 

My impeccable New England manners had their limits even then.... 

The Kittie Journal

I would like to tell the story of how I got the kittie journal. I would like a touching memory of my mother and father handing me a diary and telling me to write my dreams and wishes in its private pages. I would like to think my first entry in my sixteen year relationship with diaries and journals started with the explanation of why and how I started keeping a diary. Instead, my first entry is a vivid, detailed account of my first major crush, Patrick (all names changed to protect the innocent. As well as my mortified ten year old self who would never forgive me.) 

Dear Bethany,
Today I'll talk about PATRICK.... When we worked on the newspaper he was always showing off and typing so fast that he made mistakes. Of course he's one of the smartest in the grade and AMAZING in math. 

Luckily, this first entry also reveals that Patrick liked me as "more than a friend"! Is there anything better than being ten and having the boy you like like you back? If I remember correctly my best friend, Diana, passed him a note in class asking him to check off his feelings for me putting them in the correct category. Diana and I spent the weekend creating this ingenious system, giving him options like "A. Ew, Corey's gross; B. She's my friend; C. She's more than a friend; D. I love Corey. 
All things considered, "more than a friend" was acceptable. My expectations were at least realistic when I was ten. I also apparently had the same desire to have clearly delineated emotions. There was very little room for ambivalence or confusion. My description of Patrick is exuberant without any angst or understanding of his faults. Even his typing mistakes were reason to love him more. 

At least Patrick was smart. And a red-head.