I just finished reading a book that inspired me to dig up my journals from high school, and hoo-boy, I’ve hardly stopped shaking my head since. I’ll write up my review of the book soon, but for now, there’s this: selections from how I poured my heart out on paper all those years ago. I have to limit my sharing to a choice few bits, because back then I wrote pages and pages every day. You’re welcome.
Here are the main things you need to know about me in 1985:
- I was 16 and in my junior year at an Adventist high school, which I loved. I was a church-y girl.
- I frequently went on “seminars,” which were basically a bunch of us kids putting on a church service somewhere in Oregon—sometimes they required overnight trips, sometimes they were just on Sabbath mornings in the Portland area. I sang. I rarely missed these semi-monthly events, not because I yearned to be a missionary but because they were really fun and sometimes involved bases.
- My junior year a bunch of us created a club and called ourselves “The Ravaged Five.” Yep, we were the five boy-craziest virgins you ever knew. Our senior year April was welcomed into the group and we changed our name to “The Sexy Six.” Our logo—because OF COURSE we had a logo—was the number six inside an upside-down heart. Why? Well, the shape of the butt on our primary object of affection was an upside-down heart. Duh. We spent many hours talking about that butt. It was a good butt. Twenty-some years later, when I realized that butt and the guy who owned it had a kid at my kids’ school, I drew upon my best evasive techniques to avoid him every day at 3pm.
- Parties! Planning parties, attending parties, crying about not being invited to parties… parties were a huge deal.
- I lived with my dad. Those were not our best father-daughter years. The parties might have had something to do with that.
Jan. 3, 1985. Yesterday AH called me and we talked for two hours. Why does he have to live so far away? He said his friend DK thinks I’m cute. They might drive over here for church next week. I hope NS is there so he’ll maybe be jealous. I think we’ll invite them to the party when Dad’s gone on the 28th.
Jan. 29, 1985. Last night with NS was weird. He was flirting more than he used to, like when I wanted him to. He kept trying to hold my hand. I loved it but it mad me sad too. I wish he went to [my school] and I could see him every day.
I can’t quote this because there are just little bits here and there, but it seems that my dad made me give him one of my contacts as a punishment. Since I was blind as a bat, I can’t imagine how this was a good idea. Given that my dad’s buttheadedness knew no bounds, it’s hard to know if what prompted this action was even a big deal.
Feb. 3, 1985. I’m fat and I look pregnant. I think I’ll tell everyone I’m pregnant so I’ll have an excuse for being fat.
Well, that’s just a super idea, Jen.
Feb. 5, 1985. Yesterday in history class, TW told the whole room I was pregnant. I was so embarrassed, but I just went along with it. This is what I decided to say if anyone asks: I can’t say who the father is, and if he goes to [our school] or not. I’m two months pregnant, due in September.
Feb. 6, 1985. Today I told KW I’m pregnant. It took a while to convince her, but she believes me. I’m singing [Amy Grant songs] for seminar this weekend.
Feb. 11, 1985: Mike D actually smiled at me today. I think he was laughing at my hair.
Feb 23, 1985: In chemistry yesterday I was talking with Tracey and [the object of our affection—we referred to him as “Mr. Cute Ass” or “MRCA” for super-secrecy] and I said that I would be home alone so Tracey said, “Well, I’ll come over and keep you company.” And I said, “You’re not exactly the person I had in mind.” Then [MRCA] started asking me who I wanted to come over. I kept stuttering and finally I just said, “Well, if you get really curious why don’t you just come by and see?” And he said, “OK,” like he really would. But he didn’t.
Of course he didn’t. Because I was ridiculous.
Soooo... which part of that day was fun?
Feb. 24, 1985. Today was pretty fun. Mike D was nice to me. I think I flunked my history test. [MRCA] thinks I’m pregnant. I think it’s funny, but it wouldn’t be if he tells everyone. I had to work in the cafeteria today and broke three of my fingernails.
Feb. 25, 1985. [I was dieting…] All I ate today was a donut and mashed potatoes. I wrote an essay on neon clothes. DK told AH to tell me he thinks I’m “sexy.” I wish he lived here.
Mar. 2, 1985. Tracey, Deani, Kari, Rissa, Yvonne, and Kim are coming over tonight. We’re going to read erotica books. I hope it’s fun.
Mar. 3, 1985. I am so in lust with Huey Lewis and Ray Parker, Jr. They’re both so sexy! And then there’s NS, DK, [MRCA] and Mike D.
Mike, I bet it makes you feel reeeeal good that I put you on the same sexy pedestal as Huey Lewis and Ray Parker, Jr., huh?
Mar. 5, 1985. I am in love! Todd was at the party. He is GORGEOUS!!!!! He’s 6’4” and blond. The one problem is he’s a year and two months younger than me.
I do not know this “Todd,” nor do I remember anything about the party to which I refer. I love what’s considered an obstacle in my 16-year-old brain: that he’s a much, much younger man.
Mar. 7, 1985. Today we wrote [MRCA] a note that said: “Dear [MRCA], we love your sexy body. We’ll be your private dancers and do what you want us to do ANY time you want!!!!!! We lust after your gorgeous physique!!” We put the note on his windshield. Nobody saw us do it.
Terrible, terrible paraphrasing of Tina Turner there. I’m so ashamed.
Mar. 17, 1985. I went to seminar at [local church] today. Mike B was there. I kissed him three times. My songs went pretty well.
WHAT was I doing kissing a guy at church? I remember kissing Mike B, but it certainly wasn’t at church. (I shared those details here, along with the sad direction Mike’s life took in recent years). I also love that I go from reporting this kissing thing right into a review of my singing performance, like it was just like every other seminar.
Mar. 24, 1985. I’m sobbing and I’m not sure why. I thought it was because of [a boy] but now I think it was my hair.
Mar. 26, 1985. Today in Bible class Margaret volunteered me to read. I was so mad at her, but I read anyway. I’ll get her back for sure.
Mar. 29, 1985. Tomorrow night The Ravaged Five is going to the Van Halen laser light show at OMSI. I can’t wait!!!!
May 19, 1985. I wrote a really perverted story last week and Tracey and Kari said they’d buy me a milkshake if I gave it to Mike D to read. I did, and he thought it was “pretty wild.” The thing so embarrassing was that the initials I used were “J” and “M.” I know he thought it was about him.
I feel like maybe it totally was.
May 22, 1985. Today was the last day of school. I can’t believe I’m almost officially a senior!
[At graduation the juniors walk down the aisle to be introduced as next year’s seniors.] I’m marching with GW. He’s cute so I’m glad. [GW didn’t show. I WONDER WHY???]
Jun. 10, 1985. Today when I got home there was a VCR on top of the TV!!!!! I’m going to have lots of movie parties this summer!
Aug. 27, 1985. We found out that the girl Mike D was with at Camp Meeting is his cousin AND his girlfriend. Kinky.
Sep. 3, 1985. Today Margaret kept telling me to turn around and shut up.
Nov. 15, 1985. We wrote CS a note. I said I loved his hair and wanted to run my sprained fingers through it.
Guess what? This stuff just goes on and on and on—I kept a journal for 15 years. Aren’t you already looking forward to the next installment of this pathetic blathering?