Genuine/ly embarrassing diary entries from 40 years ago

A few weeks ago my friend Hannah came over with her daughter, Libby. Libby told me she likes to explore, and while Hannah and I were talking, Libby found my diary from 40 years ago. It was high on a shelf, and she had climbed up the library ladder and in just minutes found the most embarrassing tome in my home–hey, that even rhymes! Some background. After I graduated from high school, I immediately started college, and at the very first dance, met Mark. Mark was a California boy whose family had a lot of money. By November of that same year, we were engaged (I didn’t say I was particularly smart at that time of my life. And I WAS only 18.) Mark was not really a good husband choice, as my diary entries make so glaringly clear from a distance of so many years. But I figured it out myself by April of that year, and we got unengaged. Aside from the fact that he was gay (and I was so naive that I didn’t notice), he also wasn’t particularly motivated to go to school or study–things also embarassingly obvious from my entries–which I think at the time I saw as documenting our great love affair. So here are some of them:

Nov. 5, 1970

I have a lot to do tomorrow to get ready for the dance–flowers, stockings, etc. I’m very jealous of Kris, so I want to look good when she sees me. I can hardly wait for tomorrow!

[note: I have absolutely no memory of who Kris might be.]

Nov. 6, 1970

Today was the happiest and most exciting of my life (to date). I wore the brown lace dress and it looked great even if I do say so myself. After the dance we went down to Jimba’s. Mark stalled the car on the way down and we had to call Daddy too push us to start it. I had garlic bread–of all the stupid….

[note: Mark’s inability to do anything mechanical, and my reliance on my father seem pretty telling from this vantage point. My anxiety about the garlic bread is self-explanatory]

Nov. 7, 1970

Mark ate dinner with us and then we took his car to the gas station. We went for a drive after, and he told me that last night (Fri.) was the first night that he knew for certain that he loved me and wanted to marry me. I want to. We can’t very soon though. By the time he’s old enough to get married he probably won’t want me.

[note: how pathetic that I was young AND had no self esteem! Further note that he was still having trouble keeping his car running!]

Nov. 19, 1970

I baked Mark a cake for our “5 month anniversary” of knowing each other.

[note: yes, apparently I was one of those.]

November 26, 1970

We went to Knott’s Berry Farm to eat Thanksgiving Dinner. We had our family talk that night. Mark’s father thought he should wait a while. We discussed extensively all Mark’s problems–how depressing. We drove up Sunset Strip. It was beautiful.

[note: see how quickly I went from “all Mark’s problems” to Sunset Strip?]

Nov. 29, 1970

We got to church late because Mark took such a long time to get ready after he wouldn’t get up.

[note: really, now–wouldn’t you think I would start getting a clue?]

December 21, 1970

This morning we went to Brereton’s to get 2 new radial tires. It took forever. He left about 1:30. He was supposed to call–he didn’t. I’m mad at him. I hope he has a good excuse.

Well the whole thing dragged on for several more months until I finally called the whole thing off. I’m going now so that I can put the diary back on the top shelf.

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4 responses to “Genuine/ly embarrassing diary entries from 40 years ago

  1. Wow, that was entertaining! I’m so curious about this ‘Mark’ now. I can’t believe you were engaged at 18! I’m pretty sure, though, that if I had gotten engaged at 18, I would have never wised up, and I’d have done it anyway. Who knows where I’d be now.

    • No, Sarah, I have more faith in you than that. I can tell you more Mark stories when you come for Thanksgiving. Grandma H. really liked him! I forgot to mention that he LOVED all things Barbra Streisand–that comes out in my diary as well–that we went to “On a Clear Day” and “The Owl and the Pussycat.” I hate it when sterotypes are sometimes true!

  2. I love this! Can you post more diary entries?!?!

    • I don’t know–I’ll have to give it some thought. The entries make me cringe! Apparently there’s a bar somewhere where you can go onstage and read from your past diaries. I heard about it on a “This American Life Episode.” Maybe that’s in my future!

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