I declared myself as a "writer" early on in my childhood. This meant I was doomed to receive, at a minimum, five diaries and/or blank books a year as gifts. I mean, I liked writing in a diary and all, but COME ON! I was no Anaïs Nin, people. For one thing, I was 11! There was no way on God's green earth that the trivial details of my life could fill five diaries a year. But the trivial details of a fictional character's life? That's an entirely different story. A story called My Diary.
Here's what the preadolescent promo material has to say about it:
Jenny gets a diary to write all her feelings down in. She has a lot to write. Her best friend, Sarah, is home with pnemonia, she had a fight with her friend, Gretchen, and her friend, Abby, is scared to death of Gretchen. And she has to walk her six-year-old pesty sister home from school. Her parents divorce is final and her dad is moving to Maine. Then her grandpa she hardly knows has a heart attack and her whole life changes. She spends a lot of time in New York with her cousin, Ellen. Then her mom decides to move and Jenny is pulled away from her friends to a place where the only people she knows are her family. Jenny doesn't thinks she fits in at all.
Sorry, by the way, if I misled you with the title. For my (real) diary you have to go back a few entries. But the book HAD to be called My Diary because, well, that's what it said on the cover:
And OF COURSE I set out to create the most authentic fake diary the world had ever seen, switching up my writing implements for the various entries (I'll try to vary the font color here so you can get the full experience) and giving ol' Jenny a handwriting style that was, once again, eerily similar to Stacey McGill's.
Seriously, did anyone actually dot their i's with hearts? ANYONE?
A diary! I swear I have always wanted a diary! Someplace to write my feelings where no one else can find them out. So here goes nothing, Diary:
My name is Jennifer Ann Scott. My best friend is Sarah Betsy Alton.
There were so many nicknames that confounded me as a child. Jack is a nickname for John? WHY? It's not even shorter! And it makes sense that Maggie and Meg are nicknames for Margaret—but PEG?! What? the? hell? It looks like we can add "Betsy" to the list too. Liz and Beth I was familiar with, yes, but apparently I believed Betsy to be a name in its own right.
I like to write. I swear I do. Sarah likes to draw. She is really good. I swear she is. I have wanted a diary ever since I read the diary of Anne Frank. I swear that was the best book. So now I am so, so glad Sarah bought me this for Christmas/Hanukkah. (She is Jewish)
Nope, Alton doesn't sound Jewish to me either.
I swear I will get her a better present next year. So in Anne Frank she named her diary "Kitty". That was so, so cool! So I am going to give you a name. ASHLEY. That name is so, so pretty. I swear, that is the best name. Good bye, Ashley!
Ashley! That is soooo 20 years ago. Now the diary's name would be Madison. Or Ava. Or maybe Isabella or Sophie.
Yesterday we went to see a play. My brother, Anthony, was in it. He was good. I swear he was! Gosh, I didn't tell you about my family, did I? Well, my parents are separated. They have been for 3 years. I swear they have. They are going to get a divorce soon. I live with my mom. She is so, so nice. Much nicer than dad. He deserted us. "US" is me, 10½, Anthony (TONY), 13, Lucy (LUCILLE), 6, and mom. We visit him every month. He never sees us for the holidays, but he sends us Christmas gifts and stuff on our birthdays. Sometimes I really miss my dad. He was so, so nice. And grouchy. I swear he's the grouchiest person ever.
My parents are still together, so I was pulling this divorce stuff out of my ass. That may explain why Jen sounds like she has a personality disorder when she talks about her dad.
Mom just told me I have to walk Lucy home when school starts! YECH! I swear I will die. Lucy is such a pest! She is so, so pesty!
I am so, so ripping off the BSC. At least Lucy doesn't call anyone a silly-billy-goo-goo. I hope.
"Scott" is dad's last name. His name is Jason Scott. My mom's name is Edith Fields. She used to be Edith Scott. Now she hates the name Scott. I say we should have named Anthony "Scott". The he'd be "Scott Scott". Mom just says "HA HA" like it isn't really funny at all.
I'm with you, Edith.
It really snowed today! We went outside and froze up. There was no Hot Chocolate when we came in either. Mom was really mad. She blew up and started saying how no one ever appreciates what she does.
I suspect this may have been inspired by real-life bratty hot chocolate demands and my mom's subsequent outrage.
I think she was just mad because the roads were blocked and she was stuck here with us. Lucy wanted her to read to her all day. I swear, she is such a pest! I was so, so cold. Anthony hit me in the face with a snowball. I swear, I will kill him. He is so, so dumb to mess with me!
I know we haven't had a good talk yet. I want to tell you about boys. They're no new discovery. Yep, they've been around.
Jenny = No Magellan.
Some are so, so cute, too! I swear I have never like any of them as much as I like the one I like now. He is so, so perfect I can't believe I didn't notice him before. His name is Todd Swartz. He has brown hair that is cut so, so cool.
I can only imagine what that would look like. Considering our frame of reference in 1988, we could be talking about this:
Or, MAN ALIVE, even this:
But brown, of course.
He has blue eyes. I swear they are bluer than blue. He is nice. "Maybe even too nice", my friend Gretchen says. She is so suspicious. She wants to be a detective. "He may be plotting to use us." I ignore her then. Sarah says she is only teasing, but she is so, so annoying. I swear she is terrible. Really she is. I don't see how I put up with her! And Ashley, you can call me Jen or Jenny. Everyone does. There are too many Jennifers!
And NONE of them go by Jen or Jenny. Absolutely none! Although the idea of the diary "calling" her anything is deeply flawed to begin with.
These are my New Year's resolutions:
#1. I will get out of walking pesty Lucy home from school.
#2. I will go with Todd Swartz by the end of the year.
#3. I will make Gretchen stop teasing me somehow.
#4. I will buy Sarah a better gift for Christmas.
Shouldn't that be Hanukkah? What did she get her, anyway? A cassingle of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? Actually, I would have been pretty psyched about that gift in 1988. Never mind.
#5. I will try out for the school play this Spring.
#6. I will get a better grade in Science.
#7. I will get even with Miss Litzco, the Science teacher.
#8. I will write a truly great piece of writing (Poetry, story, etc.)
#9. I will go in the boys' bathroom with Sarah and Gretchen.
#10. I will get Anthony for good.
I swear I will do all these things. Even the ones that are so, so gross.
My friends and I also accomplished Goal #9, but sadly, it was not nearly as gross as we had imagined.
I slept over Sarah's. We watched them drop the ball from wherever they drop it from on New Year's eve.
I was a deeply cultured child.
The year has gone by so quick. It didn't even seem like Christmas this year. Except for when we opened presents any way. Sarah said she feels the same way. So do Gretchen and Abby.
This was based on real-life sentiment. I later realized it didn't feel like Christmas because it was the first year we didn't get toys. We had offically entered tweendom, and it was kind of lackluster.
Abby is another good friend of mine except she is so shy. She is also FAT if you ask me, but we don't say anything because her main resolution is to lose weight. She is on a strict diet.
Because it's okay to be fat ONLY if you're self-loathing and trying NOT to be fat. Got that?
I love January and December. My birthday is on January 23rd. I cannot wait! Sarah is visiting her aunt for 3 days, starting tomorrow. I am visiting my father tomorrow. We are staying overnight. I can't wait to see my father. I swear I haven't seen him since last year (HA! HA!)!
Thank you, thank you! Try the meatloaf! I'll be here all week!
It is so, so fun visiting dad.
Sorry I couldn't take you to Dad's house, but I swear I could not find you. Mom SAID she found you under my mattress. I don't believe her. That excuse is so, so flimsy. I know she wanted to find out my innermost feelings. Too bad she doesn't know where I hide the key! Dad took us out to dinner at McDonald's. I swear he could live there. He always takes us to McDonald's.
Well. If I lived at McDonald's, I'd be pretty grouchy too.
We played Pictionary. I was on Tony's team. Lucy cannot draw. I swear she can't. We watched this movie on T.V. Julie Andrews was in it. She was so, so good. We went to Denny's for breakfast. I swear they have the best food. It was so, so "yummy." "Yummy" is Pesty Lucy's word. Dad brought us home. Then Tony and I watched Lucy while Mom and Dad settled something with the lawyer.
Sarah is not back from her aunt's like she is supposed to be. We are supposed to be going to the movies tomorrow to see TWINS. "It's so, so good!" people tell me.
They are so, so wrong. I swear.
I swear I will kill her if she doesn't get back in time. I went skating with friends today. Tony likes this girl. He kept showing off at the skating rink. Abby kept falling over so then Gretchen got mad and said get off the wall so Abby started crying but she wouldn't get off the ice. She just sort of collapsed. Gretchen kept saying what a baby Abby was. I think it was Gretchen's fault but I didn't tell it. Was it Abby's fault she wasn't steady on her feet? NO!!! Then Gretchen started calling Abby "FATSO" and stuff. So I got really mad and said, "OH shut up and shove it! You're so nosey and you're always picking on other people. JERK!"
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
We aren't speaking to each other anymore.
Pink Pen, Pink Paper. I swear I have been looking all over for this pen. But pink isn't my favorite color. Blue is. A lot of pens have blue ink though. I like wearing blue because it brings out the color in my eyes.
Oh yeah, do you guys want to know what Little Miss "There Are Too Many Jennifers" looks like?
My favorite thing about this picture? No, it's not the suspenders, or the triangle belt, or the Mallory Pike-y apple print shirt. It's not Jen's lopsided face, her over-application of blush, or the fact that she has the hands of an infant. What I like is that it wasn't ME who drew this. NO—according to the monogram in the corner, this stunner was created by one Sarah Betsy Alton.
It snowed real bad out here. Sarah is stranded in some restaurant in the middle of no where. Her aunt was driving her and her 3-year-old brother Adam (he is so, so sweet and cute) home. There was a real bad snow storm. A BLIZZARD!!!!! This old guy found them and let them stay at his restaurant. He lives above in an apartment.
Imagine Sarah's great disappointment when she FINALLY gets stranded due to a blizzard... and ends up in some old dude's restaurant instead of at the house of her beloved. Oh, the humanity.
Her parents called my mom about the movies. I feel so, so sorry for Sarah. I swear I will be nicer now that I know some of the things she's gone through. I don't know if I could've made it safely!
Jen totally would have perished in the old dude's restaurant. Thank God Sarah is so strong! She's a veritable ROCK, that one.
NEXT TIME: The rock gets pneumonia (not so tough after all, eh, Sarah?) and Gretchen gets bitchier.
1 year ago