Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Nod to Christmas

December 14, 1993
Dear Bethany,
I was in music class and I twisted my ankle around. We went to the doctor's office it was something kinda weird. But now I'm in a cast and crutches!
I can't wait til Christmas. I already know some of my presents: 
1. 2 Taffy Sinclair books. 
2. 1 Betty Ren Wright book
3. A set of Nancy Drew books
4. An ornament
5. a video
6. An American Girl dress

I figured this out from shaking presents and snooping. 

I am a rule follower. I get this from my father. I submit to authority, I follow even the most inane rules, I have panic attacks when I am in trouble. I think it is fair to say I was thus a fairly easy child (Mom and Dad, feel free to refute this by posting a comment below. I know you are both technologically savvy enough to do this) 
My major childhood misdemeanors and secrets included such horrible things as:
- eating brown sugar in huge chunks from the box when my mom and dad were out.
- watching "Saved by the Bell", perhaps the tamest teen oriented show ever. But I thought they wouldn't approve. 
- staying up late... to read.
- snooping around the house looking for Christmas presents. 

Truth be told, at 26 years old I am still scared about what my mother will say about this revelation. But to me this was part of the joy of Christmas. It was one of my traditions, and one I assume my parents knew about. It was fun to sneak into their closet and find bags and boxes of presents... and usually they managed to hide the biggest and best presents successfully until Christmas morning. 
If you are as afraid of breaking the rules as I am, you'll understand what a HUGE deal this sneaking around was to me. This was one of my largest rebellions... um, ever. Teenaged years included. I'm not kidding.

I also need to take a moment to question my literary tastes-- Taffy Sinclair?? I don't know who or what this is, but I imagine it is complete pre-teen trash. I am a little hurt. I thought better of myself. I thought I was some super smart reader girl. But apparently, I admired someone who went by the name Taffy Sinclair. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Life That Could Have Been.

In another December journal entry as I near the end of 1993, and the end of my tenth year, I reveal my fantasy of the future. Aside from the obvious desire to marry Patrick and own a turquoise evening gown, I was shocked to confront the life I imagined. 

I wanted to go to Yale. I wanted to be an actress for one year after college. Then, after I got that out of my system, I wanted to go to medical school and become a "well loved" pediatrician. I wanted to live in a house on a cliff looking out over the ocean in Maine. Something old and cozy and quiet. 

The last sixteen years have, I guess, been longer than I thought. I went to NYU. I stopped taking science my sophomore year... of high school. I am scared of the doctor. I acted for four years after college, only to realize I was spending all my time writing and was happier doing that. And I live in New York City in a studio apartment with a lovely view of the building across the way which has bigger windows and more floor space. 
I gotta ask: What the hell happened here?


December 12, 1993
Dear Bethy,
I guess I'll  tell you about square dancin' on Friday. First Ms. Mackey made me dance with Dan. Then Mike picked me (I wonder why I was the last one picked...) Then I picked Connor. It was so-so.

I can just see myself trying to think of complicated reasons why all the boys didn't pick me to dance with... clearly they all have crushes on me... so what could it be? Hm. It's a thinker, that's for sure. 
It's like waiting for a volcano to explode... when oh when will I finally realize the boys don't like me? What does it take for good old fashioned self doubt to kick in?

Also, I asked CONNOR to dance? CONNOR of the evil comments and horrible reputation? Is it possible.... the lady doth protest too much? Did ten year old Corey have a hidden thing for... BAD BOYS?? 

stay tuned. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Photo makes me seriously question my entire self image.

December 10, 1993
Dear Beth,
Guess what happened today! At lunch Connor and his table was sitting near Piper and mine's. First I overheard Fred (yuck) say "I think Corey's sexy." Then Dan came over and said, "Corey, Fred wants to go out with you!" Then Fred (who was obviously embarrassed) said, "Corey I've always hated you and I always will." 

...I wish I could figure out if Piper thinks I'm her best friend like I think she's mine!"

I am looking forward to the entry where I stop being such a raving bitch. When does that happen? I mean, that does happen right? I'm not so terrible now I hope.... 

But way to go Fred. I mean, a little melodramatic, but impressive none the less. I wish it had made more of an impact... I don't make any mention of being hurt or offended by such harsh words. 

Do ten year olds really use the word sexy?? I mean, look above. Patterned vest included. Braces prominent. Sexiness notably  absent.
From what I can tell, elementary school seems to be mostly about figuring out how other people feel about you-- do the boys like you? Do the right boys like you? Is your best friend really best friends with you? Where do you rank, and who feels what? 

As sensitive as I am now, I can thankfully say I know who cares about me. I know my best friends love me back. I take it for granted, forgetting there was a time when you couldn't count on that easy reciprocation. 
26 suddenly looks less complicated... 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Filene's: the grade school girls' Victoria's Secret

December 12, 1993
Dear Bethy, 
Soooo much has happened!
Tuesday, Steven (who likes me) asked Diana if I had a bra... B-R-A! She TOLD him! Then he came up to me and slid his finger down my back and said "Oh my god you have one! I bet you go to Filene's a lot!" I was soooo mad! But Mrs. Jackson made me make up!!! 

Steven was, unsurprisingly, an asshole all the time. So no real shocker here. Except why oh why would he assume I am bra shopping at Filene's?? It almost strikes me as a totally genius ad campaign... like clearly everyone gets their bras there-- and even the ten year old boys know it! I wonder if his dad like... owned Filene's and he was really just plugging their undergarments to unassuming fifth grade girls. Something to seriously consider. 

Also, I'm going officially invite Diana (who reads this blog) to comment below on why she told Steven I was wearing a bra. 

I pretty clearly remember the humiliation of this incident. We were at  recess and I wanted to die. Which, now that I think of it, is actually is a way to describe a lot of incidents that took place in grade school.... 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Choosing pity over courage.

November 29, 1993
Dear Bethany,
Hi. Thanksgiving was great! 
Guess what happened today? We were in D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and we were putting skit things together when Connor goes to Fred "He looks like HE'S on drugs!" Even though Fred is a jerk, I still felt bad for him. 

Fred, of the elastic-waisted jeans and I had a common enemy: Connor. 
I do find it interesting that teachers never seem to get involved in these Connor-related fall outs. Where are they during all this? Telling someone they look like they're on drugs when they are ten years old seems like a pretty large offense. 
This is the most sympathy I have handed out thus far. I am relieved to know I actually exhibited signs of caring for other human beings. And god knows I wouldn't actually ASSOCIATE with Fred-- but I would secretly pity him. 
This is the entire entry that day, which means someone else's hurt feelings were the biggest event of my day. Which is nice, if severely lacking in actual courage. 

On a side note, the D.A.R.E. officer who was working this day (and every day) was Officer Mayo. (I think thats right. That could have just been our snarky nickname for him. I can't seem to remember). The same Officer Mayo would six years later be the officer on duty when I wrecked my car in a snow storm. And he remembered me from our D.A.R.E. days together. sigh. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Unexpected Wisdom

November 22.1993 continued

... You know how Piper's parents are divorced? Well she's always said she hated her step-mom but today she told me that she would like her if she wasn't her step-mom. I was amazed! 

Piper's parents were the only ones who were divorced in my circle of friends. Her experience was divorce was, therefore, representative of my entire understanding of divorce. Piper's step-mom was bad. she was a bitch. (I also never met her). And though blonde haired, athletic, vivacious Piper was not the most likely ten year old to have highly evolved thinking, in this case she proved to be more mature than any of us. 

I feel proud of her, reading this entry. And though certainly in reading this journal I will encounter many fights and mean words said between Piper and I, for just this moment, she's something of a role model. 

Even on my best days, I'm rarely so diplomatic and evolved. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Time Magazine: news journal or toy catalogue?

November 22, 1993 continued...

Guess what we got in the mail? We got a "Toys to Grown On" with some RAD things in it. And from Time Magazine there was a clock/tape player that my mom said I could have.

You know what's more embarrassing than talking talking about your fifth grade crush online? Admitting to using the word "Rad" in 1993. 
Also, do ten year olds these days play with toys? In this cynical age I was surprised that I liked to shop from a catalogue called "Toys to Grow On" in fifth grade. From what I hear, fifth graders these days have sex, smoke, drink, call each other sluts. 

You will be happy to know I no longer use Time Magazine as a shopping guide. I have no memory of reading Time Magazine, but apparently I used any and all available reading material to look for toys. 

As for the clock/tape player... I never got it. Just goes to show how pointless shopping in Time Magazine really is. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nice People Are Still Scary.

November 22, 1993
Dear Bethany, 
Hi! Today I had tutering with Mrs. Betley. It was fun but kinda easy. I always get nervous that I won't know what to say around her or that I'll mess up. 

Ok. The "tutering" I had with Mrs. Betley obviously did not cover spelling. 

If I was hoping to uncover the reasons for my fear of authority in this journal it appears I have struck out. I was apparently already afraid of my teachers by the time I started writing. Mrs. Betley was the most wonderful, kind, blonde haired, big boned, loving teacher in the entire elementary school (which actually isn't saying much. There were only about 370 kids in grades K-6.) 
But her kind-fairy-godmother-motherly-wonderful-woman-who-would-bake-you-cookies-if-it-was-appropriate demeanor didn't stop me from being scared of her. 

It took two years cocktailing at a mafia run comedy club to finally learn how to stand up to authority. Too bad ten year olds can't cocktail. Helps build a backbone. If nothing else. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

You know what all the boys are really after....

November 9, 1993 (continued)

...PS: I'm kind of worried that Patrick won't like me because I'm not as good at math as he is. (Even though I got two 100%s) 

First of all- kudos to my parents for helping me believe some boy would like me based on my intelligence. 
Second of all, kudos to myself for ever getting 100% on a math test. Truth be told, my vocabulary is impressive but I add and subtract with my fingers. (little known fact)
Thirdly, if 100% on a MATH test isn't good enough for some boy... well then that boy just isn't good enough for you. God. How many times have I learned THAT lesson? 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Always a Critic

November 9, 1993
Dear Bethany, 
Near the end of school there was a glee club and band concert. IT STUNK!!! First they played "The Star Spangled Banner". It was so loud that you couldn't hear the glee club.
Oh! I should mention that Patrick was looking at me during math and the concert too. Maybe I do have hope!

My artistic tastes at this point were quite cultured. I was, after all, a SUMMER STOCK MUSICAL STAR. So, you can imagine the high standards  I was holding my fellow classmates too. The perfect band-glee club ratio is not easy to achieve. 

 My outrage at these concerts was also fed by the fact that I was not in band OR glee club. I have no idea of how I avoided both of these fates. I loved singing (again, I did SUMMER STOCK in NEW HAMPSHIRE) but I obviously knew my talents would be wasted on something as frivolous as glee club. 

Some time in this period of time I sang "Part of Your World" for the school talent show. It's a duet. I sang both parts. Comparatively about a hundred percent more humiliating than any band or glee club concert ever. 

ah, hindsight.