Friday, July 31, 2009

Entry 3: seventeen, junior year

Same day, 10:44 pm

I'm in bed, in the most p.j. layers I've worn all year. Today was frigidly cold, as I've already expressed. My room has been closed all day, so it's freezing in here! [Yeah... the vent didn't work in my bedroom. It was awesome. Especially in the winter. And the summer.]

Tonight Ryan and Rod called me. Ryan Studebaker, I should specify. We talked, reminisced, got caught up. One thing he said after I had mentioned my being a complete dork freshman and 8th grade years was interesting. He said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I knew you weren't the hottest girl in our grade, but we just had so much fun together than that didn't even matter." [OUCH! Talk about a backhanded compliment!] So aside from the slight insult on my appearance back then, which I KNOW wasn't the most visually appealing, that was one of the nicest REAL compliments I've gotten lately. Ryan didn't want me for my looks, because I didn't have them! He really liked me for who I was. I've gotten sort of pulled away from that lately, it seems. It was cool talking to him though; just his voice evoked a lot of fun, pre-adolescent memories.

[Yeah. I was ugly in middle school. What. It's not like I still have hang-ups about it... I mean, I can look back and see that braces-flaunting, too-plucked-in-the-middle-but-still-thick-eyebrows sporting, skinny, pale-faced, too-much-eyeliner clad, brown lipstick-wearing 13-year-old in baggy jeans and a tight baby tee as someone I might want to be around...

Ok, perhaps not. Eighth grade. what a hellpit.]

Rod and I ended up going to Caribou at 8:30. After all of Canace's planning with him for a double date, he just up and called me, which I respect. We met there, I paid for myself, and we talked for about an hour. he's pretty cute; I like his eyes, and the left side of his mouth is sort of fascinating. There's a scar that sort of mars the line of his upper lip, and the tooth is missing at that spot. [Um, ew!] It makes me wonder what happened. [It no longer makes me wonder that.] But we talked about non-equencial (is that a word?) [No; no, it's not] stuff: school, majors, cars, music, friends, work, Canace, Kevin, money, etc. Not extremely boring OR earth-shattering. He doesn't like coffee, but you can't understand EVERYTHING about a person. He's nice and good-looking, but as far as I can tell, no sparks are flying. He's a sophomore at WaWa, 19. He doesn't look that old. [Aw. Brief, sounding older than I actually am moment: remember when 19 seemed old?] My hand is turning purple from being exposed to the chilly air, so I'm gonna leave on the note that I had a pretty fulfilling day today. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

[I'm putting this up early again because we're slowly but surely getting to the next stage in Katie Barry's adolescent life. This semi-blind-date thing with "Rod" was the very first step towards that next stage. And I want to get there, already! Right now I was on the cusp... in a few short entries, I will have met the people who would take the spotlight (haha) in my life. Happy reading!]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Entry 2: Age, 17

So normally this will be a weekly thing, but I had some extra time and felt like posting another one. Plus, I want to get to the good stuff. :)

Same day; I’m sitting in the Border’s Café; it’s 5:51 pm and it’s getting dark outside. Though it’s a warm and cozy atmosphere in here, it’s freezing and the wind is whistling shrilly just outside the window. My “rich and thick” café mocha (which is neither rich nor thick) is sitting across from me alongside a half-eaten jack-o-lantern cookie. There’s a reason why it’s only half-eaten. [I totally remember this. That shit was so expensive and SO not worth it. But something about sitting in a book store, drinking coffee and studying, was comforting. Made the bad food worth it.]

I’m flipping through a book called The Art of Imperfection. There’s some good stuff in here; I’ll list a few:

Ten ways to say “Bravo.” (Less than 10 I like)
§ “You’re absolutely right.”
§ “It’s so true.”
§ “Stop. You just said something brilliant.”
§ “You’ve hit the nail on the head.”

[Ok, so these are super cheesy, but you have to give 17-year-old me credit for attempting to be a nicer person.]

“A little bad taste is like a dash of paprika.” [So true, so true.]

The Etiquette of Shyness:

§ Look ahead when entering a room
§ Take a sec to draw your weight up, loosen your arms, and open your chest
§ Make eye contact
§ Smile at people
§ Be the first to say hello
§ As soon as you introduce yourself, incite a handshake

[Aww…searching for some antidote to the crippling shyness I felt all through early high school. A lot of us felt that, I think…it was the side effect of numbing self-doubt and constant fear of being humiliated.]

Cesar just got here; I told him that I was trying to make myself a better person and he said he was glad I’m looking in a different place than most women. [Oh man, here we go: the pontifications of womanhood by a 17-year-old boy. I wish someone would say the following to me now.] He said, basically, that Cosmo has “the top 40 things you can do to please your man” by a woman. HIS top 4 ways are these: Make him a sandwich, play with his dick, rub his balls around, and talk less. [Ug. I mean, let's admit it: most men would read this, smile, and nod. However, that does not change its obnoxiousness, ESPECIALLY from a 17-year-old virgin.] Men. Who needs ‘em? [Well, good point. ;-)]

Anyway, I talked to Canace after my piano lessons (give me a gun!) and I realized that if it’s true that when it rains, it pours!, that it’s a frickin’ thunderstorm right now. Not to sound arrogant, but since this is, after all, MY journal, I think I can write about the guys that either LIKE me or WANT me. [Here we go…we all know this is ridiculous in advance, so let’s just sit back and enjoy my present-day chagrin.] I know Kevin, Cesar, and Doogie like me, and Rod (Spotlight guy), Jordan (Enid’s buddy), Wes, and Don want me. I’m not sure who of them actually likes me. It’s weird; I’m not too interested in any of them, but it’s of course flattering to be sought after. Although sometimes it gets awkward or uncomfortable. Like a few days ago, after gym, Wes said something along the lines of “I feel like walking you to class!” Just as he finished, Doogie showed up to “get” me, cuz we always walk to chemistry together. Wes just sort of said, “or not,” and turned away. I could SO tell that he was hurt, and I hate being caught in the middle like that! And then there’s Wes’s “shindig” this Saturday that he wants me to go to. Well, on Friday, I’m going to see that movie K-PAX with Doogie, Frederick, and Julie. Saturday afternoon, Canace wants me to go to the mall. With her AND Kevin. This Rod kid wants me to go on a double date with him, Canace, and Perry. Don is being much more huggy and wants to “hear about my dream.” Oy. And that’s not even all. But the point is, I’m kind of being pulled in all these directions and it’s very odd. Because this time a lot of these guys don’t even know me at all, so it’s just wanting me, and I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m also sort of attracted to Jake, because he’s just got this awesome, funny, good-guy-with-experience sort of thing goin on, and his eyes are beautiful. But two days ago, Dorothy (sweet innocent, deprived, Dorothy) confided in me that she likes him a lot. NOT cool. So there goes that. [I think a lot of people could potentially read that and totally remember where I was coming from. It’s such a cliché—all those hormones, confusing new situations, not knowing quite how to act in them—that pretty much sums up 17. I did have a lot of guys after me, but I didn’t realize then that that alone didn’t make me special…most of those guys were after a lot of girls, or more realistically, the idea of girls in general…a concept you’ll see I wrestled with throughout my journal.]

On a different note. Yesterday when Enid and I were at the library doing homework, we met up with Rose (PURELY accidentally). Talking to her had the same effect on me that it always does; she makes me annoyed and trying to make Enid and me feel inadequate by saying stuff like “no offence, but I wouldn’t want to be around you when you’re with your OTHER friends.” [Awesome sentence.] Oh, and after she asks us why we don’t want to be friends with Ianthe anymore, she sort of disregards our answer as being unimportant, but still says to me, “I told you so.” Oy. She’s such an unhappy person, I think, or if she’s not then, she has an altered view on what a Good Christian is. I hope I never give people the impression she gives me. I just don’t respect that girl anymore. [While I don’t remember the exact scenario, I know it was people like this—self righteous, Christian teenagers—that put me off religion for years. Rose now, by the way, is totally different—like most, she mellowed out a lot in college. In fact, she’s one of the least pretentious people I know now.]

Themes? I was already using this journal (albeit awkwardly) as a vehicle for self-expression and figuring out those age-old adolescent puzzles: “boys,” friendship, religion, self-worth. As the entries continue, you’ll see how my life shifted away from the location of the high school and towards a new group of external, older friends (and future boyfriends), and how much this shift altered the way I felt about myself. Don’t worry—the writing will be equally as ditzy, but the storyline will improve. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Age: newly 17 (junior year of high school)

Side note: The old entries are transcribed verbatim in normal font; my present comments are in a different color/font and italics. Remember... all names have been changed!

I’m in pre-calc class; just finished a test. I suppose my first entry has to be about the dream I had last night. Or rather, this morning. I woke up to my alarm at 6:20 and felt really gross; just nauseated and exhausted. So I went back to sleep. And I think that’s where the dream began. I know Amy, Enid, and Don were in it. There were others, but hours have passed and I’ve forgotten. [Is anyone else already annoyed at the forced proper-ness of this language? I think I was nervous about starting a new journal with a leather bound cover. That’s my only excuse.] Certain parts had a definite feeling of déjà vu. We were at what I guess was this huge, beautiful farm or garden, lots of acres, but it was a dog kennel. No dogs in sight, but courses and jumping things for them. Showdogs, now that I think of it. It was all very green and lush, and there were numerous stone bridges that ran across little narrow canals. [If you haven’t already, insert British accent here.] I know Enid was there because I specifically remember giving her my school picture, which came in the mail last night. At one point, the group of us, including the 3 above mentioned and some people whom I didn’t recognized (but I knew in the dream), were sitting around a table (much like the one at the Nickelback concert). [Yes, I went to a Nickelback concert. I was 16 and it was mildly before that one song got so overplayed it made you personally want to punch Chad Kroeger in the balls.] The next memory was of all of us running, “gallivanting around” [why is this in quotes?], if you will, this gigantic place. I have the clear image of Ron and I chasing each other over the bridges. Another moment was in a boat, one that we were passengers on, not rowers. [Thanks for the distinction. The integrity of the story would have crumbled without it.] I was leaning back against Don; we were cuddling. I know I kissed his cheek but the nervous, fluttery feeling I had next to him leads me to think that we had never kissed. [So damn cute.] I know we were flirting and it was cute and romantic, not at all unwanted. We were somewhat “together” and the others knew it. He whispered something in my ear; I know I giggled. [Shocking.] I think he wanted to kiss/tickle my side or stomach (I think I got that subconsciously from his poking me the sides every day in gym)—I wouldn’t let him, though. [Because I… am a lady!] The group (we were obviously all good friends—note; no one besides Amy was there from the ‘the big group’) had decided to go get coffee. For some reason, Amy and I left in my car and drove WAY the hell out to a completely different town; a quaint, somewhat V-ish town. [Back story: “V” is shorthand for a much earlier group of friends whose main connections were estrogen and faux-witchcraft. Perhaps another blog of those earlier, funnier, group entries between the six of us adolescent girls will come later.] Wed drove through a LOT of country to get here; I have no idea what possessed us to go there. And it wasn’t Amy that went with me, it was Enid. Ok, so, we get to this town and I see this Hindu woman walk into a shop. She was wearing the most beautiful wrap dress I have ever “seen.” [Oh lord. So lingually cautious and in the same breath high-school imperialistic. Can’t wait to see what the “Hindu woman’s” dress “looked” like.] It was in the style that all Middle Eastern women wear, [NOOO!!!] but it was very rich looking. [Oh, well, ok… as long as she wasn’t poor.] It was gold and crème colored, and simply gorgeous. The shop NEXT to the one she entered was a Hindu shop. [Wait…a Hindu shop? I’m confused…] Enid and I parked and decided to go in. The inside of the store is eluding my memory, which makes me mad because I’m sure it was breathtaking. [I’m sure it was.] But when we left to go back to my car, Amy and Don were parking next to it (I think). They were apparently looking frantically for us; Amy was sobbing, and when she spotted me she broke down and grabbed me, hugging me really hard. I, of course, was not expecting this at all and was quite shocked. [Quite shocked, I say, gov’na!] After she let go, Don wrapped me in his arms. I forgot what he said, but I think I kissed him right away. [Finally!] It was just a peck, but it was significant. Don’t know why, but they had been searching the countryside for us for hours. That’s about all I remember; I know there was more but Bailey [my dog--that name can stay the same!] woke me up. Actually, I think I was either in another dream or there was a really monotonous part I couldn’t get out of, so I was kind of grateful to her. But today, when I saw Don after chemistry, he saw me, asked me why I wasn’t in gym, and that he had missed me. He was quite touchy, which I must admit I didn’t mind. [After, that, he lay his gloved hand upon mine, as it rested atop my parasol handle, and gently asked if he could call himself a suitor. I reproofed him gently, as must be done, but then remembered that this was written in 2001, not 1870, and felt foolish for my weird Victorian writing.] I told him I had had a dream about him, and I got the expected response: “Oh, that’s good.” Oyshk. [You'll be seeing a lot of "oyshks." Just a forewarning.] I’m not sure what my feelings for him are. More later, class is almost over.

Well, I'll tell you this much: most entries will be slighly less English-y and won't all be about my dreams. That's about all I've got for this one. More next week...

Friday, July 24, 2009


I was sitting in the living room the other day, drinking daiquiris with my friend Nic, when I busted out the old journal to read him a choice few entries from high school. This ended up being an entire day of reminiscing and laughing at our old, silly selves. Nic suggested that I make a blog out of my old journal entries--transcribe them and add commentary from my lofty, 24-year-old perspective. It's funny--I know it hasn't been all that long since I was enveloped in the self-absorbed melodrama of adolescence, but MAN: it seems like ages ago. I guess I finally have enough distance (temporally AND geographically) that I can publicly post things that, just a few years ago, seemed the most deeply personal and often traumatic experiences of my life.

The purpose of this blog is first and foremost to make fun of my teenage self. Sounds mean, but you should try it: go back to any paraphernalia you've saved from high school and college--letters, angsty poetry/lyrics, diaries--and try laughing instead of crying at the huge loser you were. For me, this means changing the way I've looked at those years. While they were indeed some of the most emotional, exciting, and formative of my life, they were also, well... kind of ridiculous.

Which brings me to my next reason for doing this blog: in a weird way, to recognize that I was kind of a bitch to a lot of people, and to make some roundabout kind of amends. Not directly, of course--I'll be changing names and leaving out dates, so I can't specifically apologize to those individuals I fucked over the most--but you know who you are. And I'm sorry. All I can say was that I was extremely self involved, and at 17-20, it seemed that there was no way out of that. Sorry if you got caught in the crossfire. And sorry if I wrote something hurtful about you. If you've figured out who's who, I apologize in advance for anything that's written. It's been long enough that I hope it won't matter.

Which leads me to my final reason for the blog. While it's all well and good to ridicule your teenage self, we should all extend a bit of sympathy for the poor bastard, too. At that age, we were so caught up in the emotional roller coaster of it all that we all acted like idiots. It's a right of passage. So while I do feel bad for the adolescent me's extreme selfishness, vanity, and drama-magnatism, I also understand it. I think this blog might wind up being more about growing up--with all the stupid, laughable and cringe-worthy pitfalls it necessitates--than about simply laughing at a high school girl's sappy musings. I realize that at 24, I've still got a long way to go... (hopefully, unless the whole 2012 thing comes true)...but it's an interesting point in my life to take a hard look back and wrestle with who I thought I was. Also, I kinda just wanted to start a blog. This is my excuse.