Sunday morning Ann (my daughter) and I went into the shed to grab some of her boxes that were filled with her childhood memories, inside one of her boxes was a journal that I started on December 4, 1986….I was 12. I briefly went though it and laughed at a black and white photo of Kirk Cameron that I had taped to one of the pages with the words “ I love Kirk Cameron” written on the other page.
Last night I opened up my journal and instantly tales of my childhood came alive, reading about growing up in Catholic school was quite entertaining, because that’s where I got my first taste of cliques and how to survive being on the chopping block. Every week it seemed someone upset the “leader” of the group and on this particular day I was cast out of the group …. and now was taken in by the “goody two shoes” of our class.
Nancy hates me and I’m trying to figure out why all she said was “I hate you and I’m not kidding” I’m thinking it was because I wasn’t loud enough in cheerleading practice.
A couple of months later…. in big black marker appeared “Nancy is no longer here, she went to a new school” and all was right again.
Page after page was a synopsis about my day and an update on the status of my grade school crush was at the bottom in red ink, the funny thing was is one week I’d like him, two weeks later I hated him just to turn around a week later to state how I like him again.
Some memories didn’t leave me laughing, as I continued reading the words of my twelve-year-old self; I was reminded of the many times I got a “lickin” (spanked with the belt) for something my sister had done or for trying to stand up for myself…which never went in my favor.
“my dad took the calico vision out of the playroom and put it in my sister’s room because she wanted to play with it. It was given to both of us for Christmas but she cried because she wanted it in her room, now my dad switched our television sets and guess what ….when I went to turn it on, it doesn’t work”
From what came next didn’t play out in my favor and no amount of trying to get my point across worked because I ended up getting grounded. I still hadn’t learned to just keep my mouth shut.
One thing that became apparent on those pages was how a childhood friendship was changing and the things that I wrote about back then hadn’t really changed much from the present day. I felt the frustration that my younger self felt as she was trying to make sense of why her friend felt that she had to pretend to be something that she wasn’t just to fit in.
“Marie is acting weird. I don’t know I think it’s because she has stuck up friends and she’s trying to be like them” , “Marie called and said she couldn’t go to my birthday party because she was going to skateland with her friends from school. She knew about my party since December” , “ I don’t know why Marie invited me to her sleepover when she planned to ignore me. She’s starting to act like them, why would someone want to act like an airhead?”
I don’t know why it was so important for me to hold onto this friendship so tightly, my only guess was the promise we made as little girls to remain friends forever. No matter the changes that I saw in her as time went on I still held on tightly to that promise making excuses for her behavior, always baffled why she thought she had to “play” a certain part for her friends or the people she surrounded herself with. It wasn’t until very recently that I decided to put our friendship to rest and to leave the memory of those two little girls who at one time were inseparable in the past…where their friendship was carefree and innocent and not plagued by “growing up”.
What surprised me as I continued to read the pages of my journal was that I kept coming back making small entries….sometimes they were quick updates or details of my broken heart. The last entry was August 1996 … I think I will just leave a little note that says “For a recent update just google Valley Girl Gone Country” .