"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Friday, June 22, 2007

A LETTER FROM THE PAST! (oh god, i'm so embarrassed.)

A couple of weeks ago, i got the bug to go through some of the things i left behind at my mother's house. Most importantly, i was looking for my journals. Journals that had been crammed into every unsuspecting corner of my bedroom, hidden in such ways that i had to remember where they all were - and there are quite a few. I was good at keeping this stuff a secret by writing in old class notebooks; at the ends when there were always a couple of sections left empty if it was from a class that didn't require much note taking. So i would fill up the remainders of spiral notebooks and then put them right on my bookshelves in plain site. Very sneaky.

The trouble in finding them, is which notebook is really just Trigonometry and which has the details of that day in my junior year when i ditched school and walked to the stores around the corner instead of the bus stop to wait, crouched in the bushes by the deli so that my mother wouldn't see me when she drove past but keep an eye out for my friends who were going to pick me up and take me to the beach? Which notebook is that filed in? Hard to tell, is what i'm saying.

So i found a couple of them, some in spiral notebooks, others in yellow legal pads which were my note taking medium of choice when i started college (the first time). Probably because they were cheap and i had no money whatsoever.

This is so not the point.

The point is: I remember a lot of this stuff being kind of racy. And the idea of leaving my teenage thoughts lying around my bedroom unsupervised had kind of given me the heebie-jeebies for, oh i don't know, ever. This is stuff Mom should never, ever see. Ever. Even when i'm 50, mom should not accidentally come across my journals. You might think i'm being dramatic, but i just don't think she could ever look at me the same. It's not worth it.

The earliest one I unearthed is from 1998 and DAMN, THE DRAMA. I turned 18 that year, and I know that this is not the first one. I know this because it starts: "August 1, 1998: I guess i'll be starting in the old math notebook now..." and if you flip towards the front, you see... oh look at that. Trigonometry. Good guess, i had up there. I was just pulling something out of my ass...


I've found some really interesting things that i probably can't share here, unfortunately. See this post about telling people i know about having a blog. Sucks. There is possibly some incriminating dirt amongst the driveling, world-weary bullshit. It truly is amazing how difficult and heart-crushing it is to be 18.

After much persistence, i was able to find the one thing that i know i can share because i wrote it. On February 13, 1992. I was 11.

Inspired by Metalia in this post, i wanted to find some kind of notes from the way back to show what was going on in my head. And then i thought of this letter that my 6th grade English teacher had us write - to ourselves. A LETTER TO THE FUTURE!

We wrote a bunch of crap that was going on in our 11 year old lives, sealed and addressed them to ourselves. They were dropped into Ms. D's file cabinet and were scheduled to be mailed out 10 years later when we least expected it. According to the postmark, i received this in June of 2000 so i'm not sure what happened there, but i have a feeling Ms. D retired and decided that she wasn't going to be responsible for dealing with this shit after she was done and just sent them all out to the world. Not important.

Ready for this? Oh god, here we go:
My comments will be italicized. Because i cannot just post this and not beat the shit out of myself. I mean, come on.

Dear Claire,

Hi! How am I? {That's a little LETTER FROM THE PAST humor}.
I'm in 6th grade at [name of jr high school].

This past year, the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) {yeah, I really spelled it out. And underlined it. Just in case} just broke up and became their own countries. That took place January 1, 1992. There was a war in the middle east last year. The Berlin Wall came down last year. {i have a strange feeling that our teacher wanted us to say all of this - i don't remember being that up on my current events at 11. not like we could miss any of this stuff, i just don't buy that this was my idea.}

Enough about news, lets talk about styles. {oh yes, lets} One of the great styles this year are overalls with one or both straps down {gah, hello, 1992. I don't even know why i would mention this since i DIDN'T ACTUALLY OWN OVERALLS. I was SO not cool.} Another are button-down shirts that have sheer sleeves {also did not have any of these} Last year and this year Z.Caverrichi's [sic] are in style. {I certainly didn't have a pair of these. WAY too expensive and mom did not understand my need to be trendy. so i wasn't. I wore jeans - Levi's, most likely - that were tight rolled at the ankle and lots of socks. Also, leggings (so flattering) and giant ugly sweatshirts to cover my ass. I believe Keds were involved.}
Music that everyone likes {everyone? really?} is really a lot of rap. {i was so misguided in the 6th grade. and a sheep. baahh.} Like Boyz-2-Men, Club Cheatin' {who? i don't think i knew who this was back then, either}, Naughty by Nature (O.P.P) {Yeah, you know me}, Marky Mark {and his Funky Bunch?}, Iced Tea [sic], Ice Cube. {This is all so contrived i can't stand it. I was actually trying to fake being cool in a letter to myself. Hello, low self-esteem!} I like Boyz-2-Men, Good Vibrations (Marky Mark), O.P.P, Deee-Light[cough, sic] and B-52's. Vanilla Ice is totally out. {Like, ohmygod, TOTALLY OUT. He was like, so LAST YEAR.}

My best friend is Laura. She is here right now helping me write this letter. {oh. that's where the music inspiration came from. Laura had older sisters. We would pretend we were homeboys. Oh yes we did. Wrapping our arms across our chests with our hands on our shoulders and lean back just a little? You know. Word to your mom. I think she has pictures} Pretty cool huh? {It certainly is.}

My two very, very good friends are Angela and Kim. {Sadly, after i wrote this letter to myself, a huge fight erupted in which i lost these two "very, very good friends". They stopped speaking to me aaannndd prevented the rest of the class from speaking to me as well. The second half of 6th grade sucked ass.}

This year the 1992 Winter Olympics are goin' on {i'm hip} in Albertville, France. {yes, they certainly were. i looked it up, just to make sure.} We have about 11 medals. (Cool, huh?) {so cool.}

Well, I better go! {I must have had a lot of absolutely nothing to go get started on. Maybe perfect my Dance Party USA moves; listen to some BelBivDeVoe}

Bye! Talk to ya later!
Claire [full name - including middle name]

And then there are some doodles at the bottom, including a BEST FRIENDS 4 EVER thing that is in Laura's handwriting, also a "Right now I like Philip [full name, including middle initial]" with his name encased in a heart. Phil sat in front of me in all of my classes. Alphabetical order was good to me that year. And lastly, this gem written by Laura: "Oh Yo! Wonder if were still best friends? I really hope so!"

To which i say, "then you shouldn't have fucked me over at Friendly's after we went to see "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kim and Angela, eh? EH? Perhaps we would still be best friends if you didn't start telling people not to speak to me. That could have been helpful. Is all i'm saying." Meh, doesn't matter. We made up that summer. Kids.

And now this is on the innernets for all the world to see. I am so, so proud.

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  • That. Is. Beautiful.

    By Blogger SUEB0B, at 6/22/2007 11:32 PM  

  • Oh, neato-keen. I think this is a lovely idea, to share your 11-year-old self. I will be digging out my journal from ... 1966? I was 6? This is going to be fun. I think I was totally in love with my new Chihuahua puppy and having a fight with my mom about what to name him. I wanted something like Pedro - we finally ended up with "Honey", because HE was honey in color. Sigh. I had that damned dog for 17 years. Oldest living Chihuahua EVER.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/23/2007 7:54 AM  

  • Suebob - Isn't it? Inspirational, really.

    Fifth Floor - Oh, i think you should! Would love to see that. Poor Honey must have had lots of gender issues for all those 17 years.. poor, poor Honey.

    By Blogger claire, at 6/23/2007 6:04 PM  

  • you must be the bravest woman in the world to actually post something like that. i would rather be boiled alive in a tub full of gelid republicans than even LOOK at something i wrote back then. oh, the horror!!!

    but hey, you were classy enough to like the B-52's! not even BelBiv DeVoe trumps THAT. rock lob-STAAAAAH!

    By Blogger First Nations, at 6/24/2007 11:08 AM  

  • The 11-year old stuff is fun, but now you've got me intrigued about the 18-year old journal dirt.

    By Anonymous twoBusy, at 6/25/2007 8:54 AM  

  • That is too cute. And also, I feel old. I'm also feeling pretty good because well, I must have been cool. I totally had those shirts with the sheer sleeves and the overalls (kill me).

    Thanks for sharing this one. Too cute.

    By Blogger Aimee, at 6/25/2007 11:04 AM  

  • people wrote journals on paper? who knew???


    cool stuff. keep publishing golden nuggests from the archives.

    By Blogger minijonb, at 6/25/2007 11:55 AM  

  • FN - i didn't think it was all that bad until you said that... now i'm going to go hide in the closet with all of my cassette tapes. aaannd you got that song stuck in my head now.

    twobusy - at least two of the people mentioned in the journals read here. i know, how stupid am i.

    aimee - i am shamed by your coolness. shamed!
    thanks for coming by, btw!

    minijonb - will try to, but as i said.. the spies..they're here. i'll see if i can find something that's not so horrific.

    By Blogger claire, at 6/25/2007 5:13 PM  

  • Hahaha!! I LOVE this kind of stuff (as you know). I have no words. I also used to sign pages in my diary with my full name. WHY?!

    By Blogger metalia, at 6/26/2007 10:23 PM  

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