School has officially started, which means I can no longer pretend to be on summer break. I actually shed a little tear driving past my old elementary school when I saw all of the kids playing outside for recess. I remember those days when everything was so easy, when my biggest worries were about Sock Hops or which gel pen to use. I even had mild panic attacks over skating parties. What if I got sick and couldn’t go? Obviously this was an early sign of more hypochondriac behavior to come.
I was a very good student and cried whenever teachers told me to be quiet. I only got in serious trouble once when a teacher confiscated a very dirty Mad Lib my friends and I had been working on. I thought for sure I was going to jail.
I can recall three traumatic experiences I had in elementary school, although I’m certain there are many more that I’ve blocked out. The first was in kindergarten when a girl threw up on me. It was the Pilgrims and Indians Brunch. I was a pilgrim and she obviously wasn’t into it. I’d like to say that this was the first and only time someone has thrown up on me, but that would be false. When my sister and I were younger, we loved to dance around the house to the Lion King soundtrack. One night we were dancing in her room like lunatics, sliding around the hardwood floor in our new flannel Lands’ End onsie pajamas. After several exhausting rounds of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” I collapsed onto the bed. Jessie fell on top of me and threw up in my ear.
The next traumatic elementary school experience happened in 3rd grade. My sister and I walked to and from school since we lived only a few blocks away. One day, I spotted a leak in my purple lunchbox. To most people this would not seem like a huge deal, but for some reason it terrified me. I stormed down to the front office, leaky lunchbox in hand, and demanded to speak with my mother. I called her and told her that I would be needing a ride home from school today seeing as my lunchbox was no longer safe to walk with.
To my horror, my mom said no, absolutely not. I screamed and cried and threw a huge temper tantrum in the front office, slinging my lunchbox fluids all over the receptionist’s desk. I couldn’t believe her. How was I supposed to walk home with a drippy lunchbox? In the end, I wandered home sobbing hysterically. When I got there, I told my mom how much I hated her for putting me through such an ordeal.
The next tragedy happened in 4th grade right after I had gotten my braces. I always looked forward to the day I’d get braces. I saw them as the cool thing to have, like they added some sort of preteen sex appeal. My dream was to have both braces AND glasses, like my older sister, but no matter how many times I faked poor eyesight at the ophthalmologist, they never prescribed me a pair of lenses. I got lucky with the braces, though. The ladies at my orthodontist loved me because when it came time to change my bands, I’d tell them “have at it, give me everything you’ve got.” They exercised their creativity through my dental work, and I often sported “rainbow brackets,” aka every band color in the drawer.
One afternoon in 4th grade, I was performing a skit with my friend Kelly (I think it was Kelly?). I’m not 100 percent certain what the skit was about, but it was in Social Studies class and I had a stocking on my head, which leads me to believe we were reenacting the Watergate scandal. At the end of the skit, Kelly ripped the stocking from my head. Unfortunately, the stocking had snagged on one of my brackets so when she pulled it off, the majority of my top set came off as well. I’m not sure why I didn’t immediately call home and go to the orthodontist, but I walked around the rest of the day with a long wire poking out of my mouth.
All of this talk of elementary school got me thinking about my old diary, which I fortunately still have. Here are a few of my favorite entries, word for word, typos and all…except the names. I had to change all of the boys’ names because I still know some of them, which could make things pretty awkward for everyone involved. I tried to include pictures of some of the shorter entries. I couldn’t use any pictures from the ones that have boys’ names because, again, that’s just way too embarrassing.
To start things off, here’s a little something I found from when I was in 4th (?) grade. I think this explains a lot about the person I am today.
January 5, 1997: Dear Diary, I like lots of boys but my friends make fun of it. (I was 8 years old in 1997)
November 1997: Today was just a day. I did go to bball practis (sigh) my life is usaly O.K. (some pretty deep stuff)
April 1998: I watch a T.V show called Keenan and Kel. Kel is cute!
April 23, 1998: Today was awfull. In math I got every equation WRONG!! (except 2). I even got 300 x 5 wrong. Then, at dismesle (dismissal) time my lunchbox leeked. I asked my mom to come pick me up but she said she wouldn’t! (proof!)
Oct. 2, 1998: In my earlyer writing I said, “but above all, I like Leonardo Decaprio.” Well now I don’t like him I like Nick Carter off the Backstreet Boys.
December 26, 1998: Youve heard alot about Megan, but most things were complaints. Well Megan and I are best buds. We used to do friendship tests. Most of them said “you and your friend are in troubled waters.” Well, we didn’t pay any attention to it but now I think its right! For Christmas she got me bath beads, witch I love. But she knows how much I love Nick Carter and gave Maddie a lifesize poster of Nick! – signed, Heartbroken. (followed by an illustration of a broken heart)
Sept, 26, 1999: I like Jack, so what else is new? Andy said that Jack liked me and tryed to call me. He said that Jack didn’t go to the skating party cause i didn’t. it turned out to be a lie. It turned out that Jack asked Megan for her #. It turned out that Megan was overjoyed and my heart was crushed. I called Jack and asked him if he called me. He said no. I have come to this: ‘When some hearts are lifted, others are dropped’ – Joanna Clark. (yes, I quoted myself and signed it)
October 19 1999: My birthday is ruinned! (even though its not my birthday).
- I got sick on the day i was supposed to have my party.
- my best friend Megan wasn’t going to come because she invited her new best friend who she spends more time with from school.
- Brownie died (my hamster)
- I got a letter saying that i needed to go to ESS, where all the class disrupters and people i don’t like go. it’s not FOR class disrupters but for kids who cant do a bull worth math. I think it stands for Extended School Studies. OH well. things might turn out okay. (for the record, I still can’t add, subtract or give correct change.)
Feb 2, 2000: I really wanted a boyfriend for the sock hop and valentines day. Sam asked me out. I said no. Then I told Kelly to tell Jake i liked him. She did. Before that, Andy told me that Jake was going to ask out Mallory (ugg). Then Andy said Jake liked someone else. Then Andy called me and said
“Will you go out with Jake?”
“Can i call u back?”
I called Lonna but Kelly was at dance (this makes no logical sense). Lonna told him i said yes, so now i have a sweatheart. Oh yeah? The funny thing is i said “yes” today which just HAPPENS to be groundhogs day AND my dads bday. Pretty cool, huh? (I wasn’t aware I was such a sucker of groundhogs day.)
No date, but 5th grade for sure: Dear Diary, I got my hair cut! Anyways, i am soooo afraid that Jack likes Chelsea. I luve Jack sooo much. then again, i dont know what luve is so i like Jack sooo encredibly much! he is so hot, sweet. he is PHAT. (yes, I said PHAT). I wish he would put his arm around me soooo much.
I’m pretty shocked by a few of my entries. I seemed like a real mess. Every page is about another boy toy. One entry is a letter to WHAS11 telling them I have some “need 2 be announced news,” and to please broadcast how much I love so-and-so. The following entry is to “people who make loudspeakers,” asking them to please send me “the biggest loudspeaker ever made” so I can “shout to the world” how much I love so-and-so. But most of all, I’m still blown away by the fact that I called a boy PHAT.
So, since I’ve shared so many of my entries with you, here’s a picture of the last page in my diary:
That last page packs quite a punch. What a slew of insults. I must have been quite successful with my scare tactics, seeing as no perpetrators dared sign their names. Either that or no one cared to read it, which is actually a little embarrassing to admit.