Thursday, January 2, 2014


A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend who I shall protect by not naming names who said that she had come upon some teenage writing. One piece was a journal she kept when her aunt took her to Italy and Greece, and she wondered what her teenage self thought of all the monuments and culture. Reading it, she was mortified by her own shallowness and rather than talking about the sights, she would talk about the cute boys.

I told her I had a similar experience many years ago when I came upon a stenographer's notebook that I used as a journal in high school. I didn't realize I had kept it, and when I started reading I was likewise mortified. The one passage I remember (as I remember this in real life) is being on the morning school bus and at one stop this boy I had a crush on would get on the bus. I would sit there all perky trying to catch his eye in the hope that he would acknowledge my existence. Really, that's how low the bar was. On the days he would nod or grunt my way, I was thrilled. I ended up throwing the notebook away -- this was pre-shredder days, but I wished I could have shredded it.

However I may have acted too soon. I just read about a new reality TV show called "Mortified" which consists of grown people reading aloud their high school diaries. If money is involved, I'd be willing to humiliate myself by reading the school bus incident.

I felt even more mortified when I saw Carol King at the White House as part of a Library of Congress award ceremony on PBS with various singers doing her music. As it turns out, Carol King wrote one of my favorite songs -- Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? -- when she was 17 years old. Really remarkable.

Tonight you're mine completely... oh yeah.


Mary said...

I shudder when I think about what I wrote in high school, and college wasn't much better.

Pat said...

Mary had this newsletter we did in college as part of our plan to save the people living in the "ghetto" -- it makes me squirm and shudder all at once. Our hearts were in the right place, but "patronizing" doesn't even begin to describe it.

Barbara said...

My sister always has had a diary, saying it "keeps her honest." There's something to that. I don't have a diary, but have been appalled when running across an old school paper or such in a file, only to see some horrid misspellings. For who I became, that's CRINGE-WORTHY!