LAST TIME: Ashley the Diary had listen to Jenny (or Jen) go on and on about her really exciting fifth grade life. Jenny's parents' divorce at long last became final, and Jenny's dad was all, "YESSSSSS! Now I can ditch these bratty kids and gorge myself on McDonald's... in Maine!" Gretchen and Todd kissed, and I threw up in my mouth a little. Jen scribbled some passive-aggressive poetry on Gretchen's cast, and that dirty britch responded with crutch violence. Jen, Sarah, and Abby formed the "US" club to plot their revenge, because they have nothing better to do, with a capital N. Jenny's mom said she had a surprise, and Jen was POSITIVE it had to do with her 6-year-old sister being a mass murderer—and not the fact that they've been spending every weekend in Brockport visiting their ailing grandfather and other relatives. Surely not!
And now, I'm sorry to say, we have the final installment:
I am really mad at my mom. Guess what her surprise is? We are moving too! We're moving down to where Ellen lives, a street away! It's so we can take care of Grampa. So he can recover.
I know it sounds like Jenny's confusing a heart attack with a stroke or something, but my own grandma had heart disease and she definitely had some periods where she was pretty effed up.
And my mom feels safer down here in New York where she grew up. She likes being down here with her two sisters. My other aunt is Aunt Mary. How can she do this to me!?! She already bought the house, so there is no backing out. We are going to see the house tomorrow and then we're going to Aunt Mary's so I can see my other cousins, Lisa, Eleanor, and Eddie. Eleanor is my age, too. My new school is called Friendship. Ellen told me. She says there are a lot of cute boys in the neighborhood! Ellen doesn't understand how I feel about leaving Sarah and Abby. I don't want to leave. I don't want to lose Sarah and Abby.
I have a kitten! I have a pet. That probably makes no sense. Well, we went to my Aunt Mary's yesterday. They are rich! Eleanor is like super-nice and they gave me a birthday present, a kitten. A calico kitten and guess what I named her? I almost named her Ashley, but that would be confusing for you.
Yes, PLEASE don't confuse the diary.
So I named her C.C. because I like the way it sounds. It stands for calico cat, I guess, if nothing else. And Ellen gave me the present from her. Guess what it is, a fancy writing notebook, 2 4-color pens, and some earrings. The earrings are pencils.
How Claudia Kishi! Well, if one were a pencil and the other were a notebook, maybe?
Eleanor is so, so lucky. She has an electric typewriter! [Man! Those rich kids get all the good stuff!] I tried it out. I wrote my name, "Jennifer Ann Scott". Eleanor said, "I thought your last name was Fields." I said no that it was my mom's last name. Eleanor looked embarrassed. Oh, well. Guess what, we couldn't see the house because the owners were moving out, but we'll see it tomorrow.
I saw the house today. There are 3 bedrooms. Grampa has one, mom has one, and Tony has one. Then there's the attic. I have to share a room with Lucy, Snob Force member. If she tries to brainwash me, she dies. Our street is called Evergreen Ave. Our address is 925 Evergreen Ave. I don't want to move. Ellen is so excited that I can't tell her and I want to, but she would never, never understand. She thinks it's great that I'm moving. My room is big and my mom is an interior decorator. She has a studio in the basement. Mom is going to help us fix up the attic. Guess what, there's a bathroom, too. Lucy is so, so excited about having her own bathroom where she can leave her underwear on the floor. I said not as long as I was here too.
Lucy is rapidly becoming my favorite character in this book.
We are going to pack tomorrow. We're leaving today. C.C. is staying with Eleanor. How will I break up the "US" club?
I'll tell you one thing, it wasn't fun to break up the "US" club. Abby is so upset that I can't tell if she's mad at me or not. She spent almost the whole day in the school bathroom. Sarah isn't mad at me, she's just mad... and sad. Me too. All three of us were crying our eyes out. Mom said they can come visit me not this weekend, not next, the weekend after next.
Egad, who's the chauffeur? Assuming we really were in Cleveland to start with, that's at least a 4-hour drive... each way!
By then our room will be done. Our room will be painted sky blue. Lucy wanted it pink, but I absolutely refused to have my room PINK. Really. Her bed spread is pink. We divided the room in half. I have the half by the 2 windows. I picked frilly off-white curtains. My bedspread is off-white, too with small sky blue and pink hearts on it. We are going to get an off-white curtain to go across the room so it can be private. I miss C.C.
I'm writing in pink because today is Valentine's Day. And guess what happened. Todd dumped Gretchen! It was in her valentine from him. Now he goes with this girl in our class named Brittany.
He's a class act, that Todd.
Gretchen was crying her head off and she threw up in the bathroom. Mrs. Enite asked me to walk her down to the nurse's office. Can you believe that? So I was trapped. I walked her down and I had to wait with her until the nurse came, about 15 minutes later. You'll never believe what happened! Gretchen apologized! She said she was sorry about calling Abby fat, about me walking Lucy home, about Todd, and about kissing and trying to hit me with her crutch. So I said I was sorry about what I wrote on her cast. So now we are friends again. I wonder what the "US" club will think about another member. How will I tell Gretchen I'm moving?
They're FRIENDS again?! Did I really write this? Are we in Bizarro World?
I wonder what C.C. is doing.
My money's on napping.
We are officially moving on Saturday. I'm going to Abby's for the "US" club meeting so I won't be in the way. Guss what, Gretchen is in the "US" club! And on Friday, the "US" club is going to the school at 5:00 to go in the boy's bathroom, even Abby. I have to because it was one of my resolutions.
She is so, so sticking to all of those resolutions. I swear she is!
We are packing, packing, packing! I wrote dad a letter, telling him about the house. Our rooms are done being painted and the downstairs is getting done. Aunt Sue called mom to tell her what was going on. And guess what, dad knew we were moving before we knew! How unfair. And mom knew dad was moving before we did. The world is so unfair. I swear it is. I told Gretchen I was moving. She was crying and said that I couldn't since we just got to be friends again. She's coming to visit.
Tomorrow I'll see my little C.C. We went in the boy's bathroom. It's like the girl's bathroom except they have no mirrors (we have two) and they have those things called urinals or something. How sick. We were hysterical.
This is based entirely on fact! Apparently 10-year-old boys don't need to know what they look like.
All my stuff is packed except for tomorrow's clothes, you, a pair of shoes, my pens, and my notebook. I'm all set for the "US" club meeting. It's hard to believe I'm leaving... and not coming back. On Monday I start school. My new school, Friendship. Friendship is a cool name for a school. Ellen said they built it over the summer because the old school burnt down. Guess what else, there was a flood the first day of school! It rains a lot where we're moving to.
If I remember correctly, it's more that they have problems with sewage backup where she's moving to.
I'm almost done writing on your pink pages, Ashley.
The first third of the diary's pages are pink, the next are yellow, and the final third are blue. We ALMOST make it out of the pink.
I can't wait for tomorrow's "US" club meeting. Abby bought another friendship bracelet for Gretchen.
So we moved. We packed, we moved, and now we have to unpack. I am a teensy bit nervous about sleeping in this strange house. I didn't see C.C. She is coming over tomorrow so she won't be in the way while we unpack. We spent most of the "US" club meeting crying. I can't wait until Abby, Sarah, and Gretchen come to visit me. Wait until they see my room. We are putting up the curtain tomorrow. I can't wait. Our room looks great. The bathroom is lavendar. Can you imagine? A lavendar bathroom? Well, it could happen to anyone.
Sager words were never spoken.
There are two storage spaces in our room, one on each side of the room. Each one has a big picture on the outside wall. How weird! But if Lucy lives here, it has to be real weird. Grampa is moving in next weekend. I'm kinda nervous about meeting him. I mean I'll live with him, but I won't know him!
WOW! You will never guess what I found today! We were cleaning and Tony pushed me into the broom closet in the kitchen. What a jerk! Well, I got slammed into the back of the broom closet and guess what happened! The wall fell out. Well part of the wall in the middle of the wall. There was an open square space left. I stuck my hand in. I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't see anything. It was so, so dark! Well, I put the wall piece back in. You couldn't even tell it could come out! There are two wood pieces that go around the length of the broom closet, 2 feet from the top and 2 feet from the bottom. It must be a secret passage. It can't be a storage space. Who's ever heard of a hidden storage space... in a closet. I mean, get real! I'll get a flashlight and check it out after school tomorrow. C.C. is here. I love C.C.
Dude. Who the hell can fit inside a broom closet? And we know Jen isn't skinny. I mean, she's not fat, but she's not skinny either.
I'm not in Eleanor or Ellen's class! There are 4 5th grade classes. This girl named Rebecca showed me around.
That's Rebecca Smith, who lives with her single mother and 12 siblings. Clearly she doesn't have enough to do.
My homeroom and math teacher is Mr. Matthews. My Reading teacher is Ms. Dunn. Mr. Matthews teaches me Health, Science, and Social Studies. Eleanor is in my Math and Ellen's in my Reading class! But they already have their own friends and I felt left out. Guess what, it is a secret passage!
Well, of course it is! If my stories continue for long enough, a secret passage will inevitably be discovered.
I went in afterschool when everyone was gone. Tony went to Janie's, Lucy went to Aunt Sue's to see Beth, and mom went grocery shopping. I stuck my leg in and felt ground, so I got in. Inside, there was a latch to close the wall piece! I shone the flashlight around and behind me, I saw a ladder! So I climbed until I came to like a landing. It was a tiny room, about twice as big as a nice sized closet! I saw a small hole so, I looked in. I was looking into Tony's closet!
Tony's closet? Who knows what kind of awesomeness that could hold!
I got out of the room and kept climbing until the ladder stopped. I saw another latched wall piece. I unlatched it and climbed out. I was in my storage space! I looked at the wall piece on the floor. It was that big picture. I wondered why it was there.
The house we moved into in fifth grade also featured an attic storage space with random paintings hanging inside. (Yes, paintings INSIDE the crawl space. Really.) Unfortunately, the explanation was that one of the former tenants was a bad artist, not that we had a secret passage. Though you better believe I thoroughly tested the broom closet for hollow walls.
How cool! A secret passage in my house! I wasn't going to tell anybody. Not even Ellen. I would show Sarah, Abby, and Gretchen when they came to visit. The room could be our clubhouse. I'm so, so glad I found the secret passage. I fit the picture back in. You couldn't tell at all!
The entry inexplicably ends with a cat illustration:
It's hopeless. I think I'll never have any friends. Ellen and Eleanor have their own seperate groups. Eleanor is really, really popular. Can you believe it? Well, it's true.
If you haven't realized yet, Eleanor is Eleanor Jefferson, the Queen Bee of Friendship Elementary in spite of her old lady name and old lady cardigans. Or, hey, maybe she's just a trendsetter. By the mid-'90s dressing like a grandma would be HUGE!
The curtain is up. Lucy is littering the bathroom with bath toys. She has about 9 different bubble baths. The curtains are up and they look great. My bed is in between the window and the curtain. The bedspread looks great! My desk is across from my bed on the other side of the room. My typewriter and pens and pencils and paper and stuff is over there. My dresser is against the wall, between the windows. My kitten poster is above my desk. Nothing is blocking the storage space. I found a phone jack on my side of the room! Now all I need is a phone.
Yeah, that might be helpful.
Grampa is coming on Saturday. I can't wait for the "US" club to get here. It'll be the best sleepover ever!
Guess what!?!? Today these three girls, Gloria, Sara, and Regina ate lunch with me? Can you believe it? They are VERY nice. I'm SO, SO excited. I'm making new friends. WOW! The girls, you know, Gloria, Sara, and Regina, were really nice.
They would be Gloria Gilford, Sara Doone, and Regina Grubble, stars of the unwritten Don't Be Yourself; Me, Super-Girl (and its equally unwritten sequel, Super-Girl Flies Again); and One of the Best Friends You Ever Had, respectively.
I still feel kind of stupid listening to everyone talk about the boys and other stuff that has happened at school. I know it's not my fault I wasn't here, but I still feel like it is. Oh well, one thing's for sure, I won't feel left out when the "US" club comes to visit.
Are the extraneous quotation marks and needless capitalization really "IRRITATING" anyone else?
They are coming on the weekend after the weekend Grampa gets here. I'm nervous about having Grampa come. What if he doesn't like me? What if he's really old-fashioned? The possibilities are practically endless!
You guys, Jenny's already living in the attic! And she seems to take an unhealthy enjoyment in watching her brother get it on with the ladies! DANGER! DANGER!!!
Oh well, life goes on, I guess. I hope!
Today I got a letter in the mail from dad. He said he's all settled in his new house. I have to write and tell him we are all settled in ours. Those girls, Gloria, Sara, and Regina didn't sit with me today. They sat with their other two friends. Everyone here has their own tight little groups. Ellen said I have to give it time. I don't see her and her friends being nice to me. It's because snotty Michelle doesn't like me, I just know it!
Her second-best friend won't even sit with her at lunch? You're about to get demoted, Ellen.
My only friends are the "US" club. I can't wait 'til they get here next weekend! It don't fit in at school. I can't believe it's called "Friendship". There doesn't seem to be any left for me!
Grampa will be here tomorrow. Thank goodness it's Friday!
♥ Jen ♥
And that's all we've got. Sorry to end this one on a downer! But don't worry—the Friendship Elementary Master Clique List (okay, it's really just titled Groups) reveals that Jenny-or-Jen eventually befriends August Brokenhoff, Stephanie Pepper, and Elaine Foster. You can rest assured they had many fun times together creating more "CLUBS" and hanging out in all of Jenny's various closets.
NEXT TIME: Especially for Valentine's Day, a real-life tale of love as my family celebrates my grandparents' 40th wedding anniversary by tricking them into renewing their vows.
Yeah, that's right, I'm going to get two posts up this week if it kills me!
2 years ago