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. :)


  1. you are so sweet. the juxtaposition of your earlier and present selves is something we rarely get to see (or allow ourselves to see). and the gentleness with which you treat that adolescent self is something to which we should all aspire... =)

    love you!

  2. First and foremost: I love this blog. Keep going please.

    Now for some knee-jerk defensive diatribe-ity...

    Psh. You best save this and make another go at self reflection in another ten years, because "most men" is still getting a pretty bad rap from your supposedly smarter, mature-er self. And while it's taken a lot of Judd Apatow movies to make me a secure fan of man again, I thought we were all past such debasing (really?) assuptions.

  3. Thank you, Alex, for illuminating my reverse-misogynistic tendencies. There I go, underestimating the modern man.

    It's true, though. Unfair. Good call. :)

  4. you should do this more than once a week, please.

  5. i remember the total self-righteousness and self-indignation that exists at that age. what i think it is interesting is the how not annoying teenage self-righteousness and indignation is, at least to me. it's so...passive. it's so...scared. it's so...angsty. it's so...that age, that mindset. as an adult, for whatever reason, teenagers, and the bizarre array of things they bring to the table, don't really bother me; i wish i knew why so i could apply that level of patience and tolerance to other aspects of my life. that being said, as a teenager, i pretty much hated every other teenager (at least the ones i wasn't friends with); that was my teenage self-righteousness at its best.