Friday Angst

Here begins a new tradition:

Every Friday, as a special treat (and to keep you coming back, of course), I will share with you a choice quote from your humble writer’s teenage journals. Please understand that this constitutes a sacred bond of trust between us, since my journals make me cringe in horror every time I dig them out of the giant suitcase under my bed.

But they’re funny, so there you go.

We can keep this tradition going forever, as I have a very deep well from which to draw. I wrote some thirty-odd journals between the ages of twelve and sixteen (less frequently after I burned out in Japan in the summer of 1998, but that is a different story altogether).

At some point in the near future, I will tell you about the single moment that started it all–a moment in a sweaty gym in upstate New York when I was twelve years old.

I’m working on that post, but the moment in question is so devastating, so personal, so humiliating, so earth-shattering, that I want to wait to share it with you until I’ve described it just right.

So instead of that post, you get the entry below. Before you read it, I would like you to understand what I went through last night to procure it for you:

F was working late, so I was home alone but for our two kitties (biggest bear and little pick). Delaying the horror of retracing my angst-ridden path through pubescence, I prepared an elaborate dinner of pork with roasted vegetables, taking my sweet time chopping and browning and spicing, until everything was in the oven, leaving me a full sixty minutes to scour my journals for a passage containing the ideal blend of humor, quality writing, and hilarious-but-not-too-humiliating angst.

Needless to say, there were not many.

All of my journals are fabulously written and witty, of course, but most of the content is far, far, far too humiliating to post in a public forum. (At least not for the first-ever post–check back in a few weeks for the really juicy stuff.)

After ten minutes I began to get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes from immersing yourself too fully in the past. I began to wonder if I had fabricated the last fifteen years of my life. Am I really a 28-year-old woman with a husband, a job, and a tiny apartment to call my own?

Of course. But somewhere in this sophisticated, worldly woman is the 13-year-old girl who chronicled the small dramas of her life with an earnestness rivaled only by Anne Shirley. I was also the 15-year-old girl who wondered if any boy (preferably a tall, blond one) would ever love her, who considered Titanic the greatest film of all time, and who dedicated at least two journals to Leonardo DiCaprio.

I regard her sort of like the strange little friend you prefer to keep separate from your other, more normal, friends.

Unfortunately, I had to stop reading after half an hour and a glass of whiskey, so this is the best I could do for today. Don’t judge, because I’m sure you were just as strange.

Here I am, barely 16 and full of angst (and apparently in the midst of a crisis of faith):

June 21, 1997, Saturday, 5:21 pm

I am doomed to the life of a nun who doesn’t even have a religion. A Jewish nun? I’ll go sit in the corner of the temple and pretend to know what I’m supposed to be saying. I’ll just mutter under my breath until I forget the English language and speak only in my garbled temple-tongue.

They’ll write me up as a highly religious lunatic who, because I’m not dangerous, will be allowed my own little corner of the flagstones where everyone can get a good look at me when they come for Sedar.

I can be a warning of what happens when you never find love. I’ll inspire people to go out and talk to members of the opposite (or in some cases, the same) sex.

They’ll all get married and build me a shrine where I shall die an honored old crone who went insane with loneliness on a hot and humid day in June.


6 thoughts on “Friday Angst

  1. Lara Ehrlich says:

    You got me. I guess I was 16. But age really is just a number, since I will admit without shame that at the ripe old age of 28, I STILL think Titanic is fabulous (albeit in more of a guilty-pleasure-chick-flick-and-wine sort of way).

  2. leti says:

    I hate to be an asshole when you are so generously offering up your humiliating youth, but as someone who has at times made her living as a fact checker I must point out that Titanic came out in Dec. of 1997. I say this only because in reading your post I felt a sudden pang of “I’m so old” at reading that you thought Titanic was the greatest movie when you were 15, knowing that I saw it during my freshman year of college and thought myself very mature in thinking it was terrible.

    Anyway I’m looking forward to more embarrassing diary entries.

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