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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confessions of a middle school smut peddler


I used to love to read my step-sister Erin’s diary. Compared to the banal existence I led as an eleven-year-old, her experiences as a freshman in high school were so much cooler. She had a real boyfriend, and they were serious. She wrote about their French kissing and boob groping in great detail. It was more salacious than Judy Bloom’s Wifey (which I also read in her bedroom).

The best part—besides the fact that I had to sneak under her bed to read the latest entries while she was at cheerleading practice—was that her boyfriend had written in a bunch of “Oh, baby” comments in the margins.

It was good shit.

Then one day, there was an entry about me. Specifically, how she found me annoying and dumb. I was heartbroken. I confessed to my mother that I’d read Erin’s diary and she told Erin, who took it better than expected. We sat down and she told me how she’d written the entry out of anger because I’d borrowed her sweater without asking and how we say things we don’t mean when we’re angry.

I apologized and swore I’d never do it again (wear the sweater or read the diary).

The next day, when I went to read her diary, a new one was in its place, and it was locked. I was pretty bummed. I’d been passing along the French kissing and boob grabbing juiciness to my friends and had become the unofficial smut peddler of the group. I didn’t want to lose my clout. Thankfully my step-father’s top drawer housed a cheesy collection of R-rated videos.

I have one word for you: Hardbodies. It’s a classic.

Anyway. I started my own diary/journal after Erin denied me access to hers (the nerve!). I kept at it with ridiculous religiousness, amassing about 15 journals that span ages 10-28. Yesterday, as I packed up my woman room, I found them all at the bottom of my closet. As I rifled through them, a few thoughts crossed my mind, like:

Why the fuck did I write so much?

What the hell am I going to do with all of these?

Did I have a pen stuck to my forehead for 18 years or did I actually manage to simultaneously live and write the equivalent of 50 novels?

How many observations can one person make about life in Connecticut?


For a minute I thought about burning the journals. I’ve never burned anything. I think that makes me kind of boring. Our yard is small, though, so a fire could get ugly. So could the headlines: “Woman’s past responsible for destroying her future.”

Tragic.

I thought about sitting down and reading them right then and there, but I was home with Junior—who has croup by the way, good times—so leisure reading wasn’t an option. Then I thought about making Chuck read them every night before bed so I could quiz him:

“What was I doing on July 25, 2001 at 3:52 p.m.? Dammit, Chuck! We’ve been over this! You don’t know me. How can you say you know me?”

Sigh. What does one do with 18 years of recorded fillyfoof?

Save them, my friend Sandy told me. “When our husbands die and we become roommates, we can rehash.”

Out of all the options, that one struck me as best. I don’t want to take any trips down memory lane right now, especially since the journals lack the joie de boob groping that Erin’s possessed. (Note to self: When writing journals in the future, make them steamier. Hello.) If I croak first, I’ll write it into my will that Chuck has to read them to his new wife.

Myeas. Mwahahaha. Instead of The Notebook, it’ll be Mrs. Mullet’s Many Notebooks. Starring Eva Mendes as me and Survivorman as Chuck (really, he’s Chuck’s doppleganger), Junior and Diddlydoo.

What about you? Do you have a journal(s)? When did you start? Do you fondly reread them or have they grown cobwebs? And really, does it get any better than Hardbodies*?

*Yes.

15 comments:

FoN said...

Holy crap this post was funny. I am SO jealous that you have 18 years worth of journals! I bet there is some FUNNY shit in there.

Google 'people read stuff they wrote as kids as adults'. I TOTALLY want to start one of those groups in some local hippy coffee shop. I've heard some of them on the radio and they are *hysterical*.

Jenni said...

wow, that is impressive. i kept journals on and off for years, but i was never committed enough to stick with it.

Maggie said...

Hoo boy that is an amazing number of journals! I always started, got about 5 entries in and then lost interest til the next year. My mother, on the other hand, has a journal for every year since I was born. I'm 31.

marybt said...

I have diaries and journals. Now that I'm older, they tend to be themed ... I have one that is basically letters to my daughter (after she was born I was terrified I would die and she wouldn't know how much I love her, now I just pass on what wisdom I possess), I have a gratitude journal, I have an art journal, I have a journal where I write all the books I've read, I have a regular diary journal (I don't write much in it anymore, although I do have about 10 or 15 that I filled up).

I used one of my diaries - from 1987 - as positive proof that I have tried cottage cheese. My husband is always griping at me because I don't like cottage cheese and he said I never tried it. ONe day I was going through my old diaries and ran across February 2, 1987 ... "I tried cottage cheese today. It was gross." That was the whole entry.

heather said...

I've been a fan of burning. When my grandparents died we found some old letters. We read them out loud and then mocked whatever child was mentioned in a sweet and loving way in the letter. Then we all decided that since our family is so lacking in sentimentality that we would go home and burn everything ever written by or about us so we weren't posthumously mocked by relatives.

Sparkling said...

“Woman’s past responsible for destroying her future.” that is possibly the best quip you've come up with in the 6 months I've been reading you!

Yes, I wrote journals and they were just drivel. I kept many and don't know why. I was always so afraid someone would read them and tried to keep them locked up. And then as an adult, I couldn't throw them away so they just sit there.

Isn't blogging like journaling? Isn't that where we got our start?

Pricilla said...

Goats don't keep journals, they eat them.
The only record I have is my blog. I can't eat the computer.
burp

Magpie said...

What is my blog, if not my journal?

Mama Badger said...

I was never good enough to keep a journal. I tried, but it just never worked out. I bore myself.

You were quite the little voyeur, huh?

Brandy@YDK said...

I have a few but got rid of lots of them because I was a slut in High School and didn't want Chris to read them.

Keely said...

I didn't write journals, I wrote stories. Long, pathetic, impassioned stories about my love affairs with Jon Bon Jovi and...probably some other rock stars. I wrote them by myself, and in tandem with another friend of mine so we could feed off each other's angst.

NO, I don't still have them. Are you insane?

Staci said...

My stepmother kept giving us diaries at Christmas because I don't think she knew what else to buy or because she got them as freebies at work. I wrote in one for awhile, but then my mom told me she found it while cleaning one day but didn't read it. Yeah, right. That was the end of my "dear diary" days. I think I threw it out once she said she found it.

My life was even more boring then than now so I have no illusions that it would have ever amounted to anything other than reminding me of that fact.

Cloud said...

When I was cleaning out our office so that it could become Petunia's tiny room, one of the things I had to clean out was the old toy box that housed my old journals, letters, etc. The experience was a weird mix of nostalgia and horrifying.

I kept the journals, because I couldn't figure out what to do with them. But I did throw out the notes sent to me by my 8th grade boyfriend.

Frogs in my formula said...

"I tried cottage cheese today. It was gross." Made me laugh out loud.

And yes, Mama Badger, I was a total shameless snoop.

Trina said...

Sometimes when I go back and read old journals of mine, I laugh, think about how much I've grown, remember old feelings, etc. It's nice.

But would you want other people to read those? NO. My dad recently died and he left us a bunch of stuff to clean up--including journals. I admit, I've read a bunch, and can't help thinking that he wouldn't have wanted me to. (I can't help it, I'm a shameless eavesdropper and spy). So, at least before you die, BURN THEM.