Before we left my parents' house after our last trip to DC, I decided to run up to my room and fetch a basket full of my old diaries so I could force upon you, readers, some of the most self-indulgent writing. What better way to attract people to my blog, I thought, than to assault the public with my childish and adolescent ramblings? I thought so. There is no better way. While some of the later diary entries - those written in various books when I was, oh, between 15 and 18-years-old - are so mortifying I wonder if I'll dare share them online like this (not because of anything I did, mind you, but because of the non-existent drama I created - believe me, all I was doing was getting decent grades and sneaking sips of gin and juice with my girlfriends), I have decided that the earlier entries are totally suitable, even enlightening.
For instance, this gem from fifth grade, which includes the first inklings of my lifelong hatred of volleyball:
Jan. 11, 1989 School was the same old boring school today. Especially in gym. We played volleyball, again! We have been playing volleyball for at least three weeks now and everyone is getting sick and tired of it. See you tomorrow. BYE!
A lot of my early writing is like this. Explaining what I did in school that day, how many days are left until summer vacation, whether or not my teachers are nice to me. Etc. In other words, some of the most THRILLING prose you've ever laid eyes on.
Oct. 6, 1989 Dear Diary, Today is Friday. Tomorrow I'll be spending the night at Sarah E.'s house with Sarah H. Horseback riding is getting harder but I still like it. BYE!
But on October 15 of that same year, things started to get interesting. On that date, after "J.A." (junior assembly, for all you barbarians who didn't have to learn ballroom dancing as 11-year-olds, is where we'd all don white gloves and party dresses and learn how to socialize with young men who were similarly gussied up - you know, just like normal kids), I listed all the boys I danced with. Why did I do this? My guess is a) I realized this would be hysterical to my older self or b) I wanted to pretend that I was more into boys than horseback riding, because that seemed more normal.
This next entry illustrates my keen fashion sense as a pre-teen. And believe me, when I was 11, I was hot. Especially when I got braces. And then had them on for four years.
Oct. 18, 1989 Dear Diary, Hi! Well, here I am again. At this exact moment I am lying on my bed listening to Q107. I've been getting pretty good grades. There's going to be a dance on Friday at St. Stephen's. It's going to be from 7:30 to 10:30. Three whole hours! I'm going to wear my pink skirt and my pink sweater and I'll see if Sarah will put my hair in a French Braid. I can't wait! BYE! P.S. Horseback riding is great!
What follows is an intense and ridiculous documentation, covering several weeks, regarding what happened at the dance, who I had crushes on (as well as who my friends had crushes on), who liked who, and accounts how we did really, super mature things, like call boys using three-way-calling so that they wouldn't know one of us was on the line. The one talking would then ask the boy if he liked the one pretending not to be on the phone, so she could get a personal, real-time boost to the ego, or shot to the heart.
Reading the rest of the diary, to tell the truth, is a little bit like torture. Luckily, there are a few bright spots that outshine the hellish, detailed analysis of my "love life," which consisted of dancing with some boy now and then.
April 10, 1990 I think I've found out a way to tell if a boy likes you (I think there are three ways). 1) He acts very shy around you and tries to look good around you. 2) He always tries to be around you and talks to you a lot and talks about you a lot and tries to impress you. 3) He teases you!
There you have it girls, young Cara Rotondaro's guide to love. Don't thank me for the amazing advice, just go out and USE IT!
After what seems like several trillion more pages on the always-enthralling world of romance with the gang at St. Agnes middle school, I make this telling observation:
May 16, 1990 You know what's happening? Every boy I see I try to make a good impression. I guess I'm getting boy crazy.
Do you think?
Towards the end of the diary I get into acting, and treat that subject with as much crazed enthusiasm as I do horseback riding, so the entries are all, "Boys!" "Acting classes!" "HORSES!" and it's pure joy to reach the end. Of course, I can't finish the damn thing without a little melodrama directed at the book itself:
Oct. 22, 1990 "What would I do without you? You're the only one I can tell everything to. You have always been there. I could always count on you."
Ok, so I was no Anne Frank or anything, at least future generations will have a chance to read true-life coming of age tales delievered by yours truly. Or, they could just read Judy Blume.