Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Journal at 13

Fellow writer and friend, Jill Wolfson, is doing a Dear Diary project on her blog. She's invinting authors to give her a snippet from their diaries when they were 12-14years-old.

It so happens that I've kept journals since I was thirteen. You'd think that at some point I would have gone back and reread through these tomes, but beyond a few times that I’ve flipped through some of the later ones to reminisce about an event, nope, I haven't cracked any of them open.

I realize now, that I should have, if only for the entertainment value. Wow, I was silly at thirteen. For example, my sister got married that year so this event got a lot of page time in my journal. I understand why I wrote about my worries--they were mostly because my parents thought she was too young to get married. (She was the oldest so I hadn't realized at that point that my parents thought 32 was the respectable age to marry.)

But the weird thing is, I described every detail of the day including the wedding luncheon and the reception. I wrote about the red punch, (it was so good I breathed it in) how many forks were used, (three, and they were silver) how many pictures were taken of the bride and groom (at least 250) and I even drew diagrams of where we stood in the reception line, what the cake looked like, and the poles that marked off the dancing area. I have no idea why I felt the need to record all these details. Did I think someday we were going to reenact the event? Was I writing it down to make sure my reception was just as fancy? Did I think archeologists would one day unearth my journal and need it to understand wedding rituals of the 20th century?

I have no idea. It was the only bit of information I didn't write down.

I did find some of my other observations on marriage interesting. I wrote:

I wouldn't mind being married. Sometimes I just want to get away from it all, from my parents, from all the things I do around here that I wish I didn’t have to do. (Obviously I had getting married confused with taking a vacation to Disneyland. Hello, when you get married you have to do all that stuff you wish you didn’t have to do plus some. I guess I thought elves came to pay the bills and stock the fridge.)

I wish I could get away from school and all its popularity groups and the struggle for boys and all the homework. (Okay, granted, I had a point about that. I don’t miss junior high.)

My sister looked so happy, so peaceful. (Of course she did—she no longer had to spend all of her time planning reception details.)

Then I went on to talk about my cousin, Jill’s wedding reception—luckily without the details about every food on the table or what color the napkins were.

Jill looked absolutely radiant! It was then I really decided that I was really going to look forward to my wedding. I even started a wedding fund which I now have a little over 10 dollars in. (I have no idea what happened to that fund. I probably spent it on chocolate in later years when I grew more cynical about men.) I wonder what it would be like to be with a man, have his children, and live together for the rest of our lives, forever. It’s a big step getting married. I hope I find the right guy. (I did, and it’s wonderful—even if I didn’t get ribbons on the poles to mark off the dancing area for the reception. Come to think of it, I didn’t get a band or a dancing area. I think I should show my journal to my parents. They owe me some ribbons and a band.)

By the way, at Jill’s reception I caught the wedding bouquet and then afterwards one of the waiters who worked there asked me to marry him. He was just kidding. I said, “Yes!” That was fun! (No wonder my parents worried their children getting married too young.)

12 comments:

Laura Moffitt said...

My best friend and I loved going through my old journals because I never made sense. I have journals from elementary school and those are priceless, well at least when I can interrupt the spelling. I am still not so great with that.

Sara said...

That's hysterical. I started a journal when I was around 6 or 7, and I have some pretty awesome entries, let me tell you! ;-) There is the one when I was 8 (when I had my tonsils out) where I said I felt like a rag doll who's head had been cut off and reattached with a dirty needle - a total classic. (Yes, I had a flair for the dramatic as a child. I have no idea where that went)

I love re-reading my journals. You forget so many things until you do!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Hey, Janette, you've got a novel in the making with your journal entry from 13 years old. That's hysterical.

(I still read your blog religiously even though I haven't commented in ages. AND I finally got my own copy of MY FAIR GODMOTHER! YAY!)

Weston Elliott said...

I kept a journal when I was thirteen -- right up till I came in and found my sister reading it. She didn't even apologize, she just looked up and said "you don't have to be embarrassed" and went right back to reading it! That's the point at which I decided if I wrote anything down ever again, it was going to be for the whole world to read. So here I am, an author...

Janette Rallison said...

Yes, I think there is a direct corralation between journal writers and authors. I think in the back of my mind I thought I would be another Anne Frank or something.

Asenath said...

hahahahaha.

Remember that time we read your old journals together? We laughed so hard...

Valerie Ipson said...

So funny! Sounds just like my journals. I started when I was 13 as well.

Rachelle said...

Love this! You are so funny. It is super-hilarious to go back and read some of the things I thought were so important back "then".

Stacey said...

Ha ha! I have gone back and read some of my journal entries from high school and I was VERY dramatic. Makes for good entertainment and book ideas!

Rachelle said...

I just gave you an award on my blog--come and get it! :)

Celise said...

That's so cool that your friend is doing this project. I was writing diaries back then, but I don't have them anymore.

Julie Wright said...

That is seriously cute. I read over one of my journals and wow--what a goon I was! No wonder I didn't have any friends in high school . . .