Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Advice to self: Burn Journals

Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Over brunch this weekend, the topic of creativity spawned by teen angst came up. Specifically, angry, misguided poetry and journal or diary entries.

Now, I was a prolific journal keeper, from the age of ten onward. Now I blog, in part because my carpal tunnel makes writing a bitch, and also, do you know how long it takes me to find a good pen some days?!

Much longer than it should.

But I was no wayward poet in my youth. Instead, I cut other people's poetry out of magazines (Teen, Seventeen, YM...we're not talking literary review rags or the New Yorker or Vanity Fair or even Macleans here, people...) and pasted them into notebooks or those sticky photo albums. Then I drew squiggly hearts and lighting bolts and profound, cryptic initials and put stickers around them. Because I HAD NO TASTE.

We talked about how embarassing it would be to have one's children find their old diaries. Then we hatched an ingenious plan to do some intense editing work, destroying the mortifying passages about feeling like puberty was sucking you down, down, down, down into a spiral of doom where unicorns failed to fly and clearasil, tampons and lady bic razors were only rung through by the cute (male) cashier. In place of those awkward...ramblings...one would leave clever, witty commentary on society, thoughtful advice and bon mots about the process of being a teenager.

Oh, how we laughed.

It's a good idea, you know. But what is TRULY mortifying is that when I wrote those journals, I wrote them hoping that someday, my own awkwardly chubby, giant-headed, nearsighted daughter would find them and finally realize that her mother- yes, the Meg you all know and sort of love/tolerate- UNDERSTANDS HER.

Oh, how I was WRONG.

Next time I'm home, I'm lighting a bonfire. Because if there is anything I have learned in the years since I earned my high school diploma, it is this: parents of teenagers should HIDE AWAY their understanding of that spiral of unicorn death. It really helps with the "was I seriously that effing annoying?" bonding process that happens in one's mid-twenties.

Oh, and one more thing I have learned since then: If a boy is nice, cute, well dressed, smells good, likes the things you like and isn't trying to have sex with you at any and every given opportunity: He's gay.

1 comments:

Abbey Shaw said...

HAHA! You had me laughing that whole entry.
Someone told me yesterday to GO BACK and read entries of my journal.. I was like.. NO WAY IN HELL!!

"Oh, and one more thing I have learned since then: If a boy is nice, cute, well dressed, smells good, likes the things you like and isn't trying to have sex with you at any and every given opportunity: He's gay. "

So. Freaking. True.