My mother described me as “boy crazy” in high school. I thought that sounded so 1950s. But she wasn’t wrong. I would like to say that I was tough, independent, intellectual… and maybe I was. But I was also boy crazy – insane, really.
I have pulled out my freshman year journal and have not yet been brave enough to read more than a few sentences. A cringe-worthy sample: “Today was the last day of my freshman year at school. I can’t believe it is over. I didn’t get a chance to say a good, sound goodbye to anyone but A., J., and S. I didn’t even get to say ‘hello’ to N. I won’t see anyone until school starts again. Isn’t that freaky? I’ll miss some people so much. I’ll miss N. more than anyone, even though he lives stronger in my mind than in my life.” Oh, it goes on and on and on. I don’t even think I had talked to N. in at least a month by the end of that school year. And we were never close. I was simply obsessed with him. And he was a total a*sshole. (As I typed this, I read beyond those few sentences and cringed even more. This is going to be hard.)
I could not throw out all my old journals, but I never thought I could bear to read them again. My mother found them stored in a closet in the New York City apartment and carefully wrapped each bursting volume (I pasted clippings, letters and pictures into them) in plastic wrap (yes, the kind you use to store food). I know she didn’t read them. She is still appalled that her brother found and read her diaries from high school (in the 1950s) – and they were in their 50s when he did so.
So here is the next grand writing idea – find something worthwhile in the old journals. Write the story of my freshman year, or high school years, and emphasize the 80s-ness of it all. I was in high school from 1985 to 1989. And the 80s seem to be attractive again (legwarmers, Dynasty and Dallas on Soap channel reruns, 80s songs now classic rock).
But is it really interesting to read the story of a boy crazy girl? Ick. Well, I guess there is the whole chick-lit genre… But I don’t think I can write that way.I’ll just have to write it my own way.