Dear Diary

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Minna dreamed of meat. Dylan had a summer fling. And more.


The last Friday pep rally we had, I went into my school’s basement and hid. I go there a lot, via a semi-secret stairway, to be alone and read a book while my classmates dress up and shout things like “I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE WE WILL WINNNNN,” or “GO UGH UGH UGH!” Even though the space is really dark and damp and lonely, I can hear the entire pep rally from down there without getting trampled and smothered by the sweaty kids. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be a cheerleader who wears sparkly blue knickers and enjoys football and pep rallies. I then think about sparkly knickers and cry in horror.

All of which is to say, I don’t belong. I have this teacher who has a board on her wall filled with former students’ senior portraits—little cards with kids leaning against that special tree they lean against every day and smiling generically. This past Thursday, one of the girls in my class gave her photo to my teacher, and when I saw it, I teared up. My teacher asked me what was wrong, but I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t tell her how beautiful and natural the girl looked, and that I knew that my senior photo looked nothing like that. I had straightened my hair and put on eyeliner for it in the hopes of looking like my pretty, carefree classmates, but I looked as uncomfortable and out of place as ever. I knew that when I put my picture next to this girl’s on that wall, it would be obvious to everyone that she belonged and I couldn’t. After class, in study hall, I ran into our school theater (another favorite hiding place), nestled down backstage, and cried.

It’s not like anyone’s gone out of their way to make me feel unwelcome. Last year, one of my brother’s friends, a recent graduate, came back to visit and talked to me. She looked me in the eye and said, “So, I hear you’re kind of popular this year.” It was half true. At the beginning of that school year, I was straight up kicked out of my circle of friends with a statement along the lines of “You’ve changed a lot this year, and we really don’t like it.” I was fine with it. My personality was changing, and I didn’t mind not having a regular group to hang out with. I started becoming friends with this girl in my English class who happened to hang out with a more popular crowd. She also liked to hide from pep rallies. So I didn’t really become popular, I was just now associated with a different group via this new friend. I hung out with her group, but I felt like an imposter. I always suspected that they thought everything I said was weird. Sometimes an uncomfortable “I love you” really means, “I have no idea how to respond to your telling me you want to have Tina Fey’s babies.”

If this were an essay for English class, this is where the conclusion would go. This is where I would write, “Actually, I find that I do belong,” or “GET ME OUTTA HERE OMG CAN’T STOP CRYING.” I would then lose 10 points from a certain snarky English teacher for using “omg” in a paper. I think the real conclusion will come much later, when I’m able to choose where I want to be. I also think that the girl with the beautiful senior picture probably feels like she doesn’t belong either. ♦


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  • Angie Bitchface September 28th, 2011 7:28 PM

    Dylan — I can’t believe you even let him come over, let alone put up with his annoying shit for days. I can’t imagine hooking up with someone I had no feelings for (all the times I have I’ve been extremely drunk, haha)

    Naomi — I’d say that about half the time random people who you fall in platonic-love with turn out to be even more awesome than you thought they would be, and about half the time they turn out to be totally disappointing.

    Katherine — I know how you feel about being “out of place.” in high school and the first year and a half or so of college I was kind of ashamed to even be in public, that’s how much I hated myself. once your hormones stop raging though you’ll start feeling MUCH better about yourself. you’re definitely right about that the other girl probably feels bad about herself too…have you ever seen that episode of My So-Called Life?

  • puffytoad September 28th, 2011 7:31 PM

    I don’t belong anywhere either! OMG I too feel like people can tell I don’t belong just by looking at me.

  • puffytoad September 28th, 2011 7:32 PM

    Who is Minna and what variety of meat did she dream about?

  • natalie September 28th, 2011 8:08 PM

    Naomi: ah you are just me, in an other body. Your whole entry was a giant gpoy to me.

    • Naomi Morris September 29th, 2011 2:08 PM

      ah that’s sweet

  • Jamie September 28th, 2011 8:25 PM

    Dylan I think you totally did the right thing. Sometimes you are just over a phase in your life and you have to take the initiative to move on, even if it feels shitty. I had a boyfriend from like, January through August and I dumped him in August and felt better about it, but also like a huge asshole because we had that same giant disconnect about what our relationship even was.

    The feeling passes. <3333

  • Jamie September 28th, 2011 8:29 PM

    @Katherine- I hate pep rallies. one time in my high school the cheerleaders and the football players made an effigy/puppet thing of the other school’s mascot and proceeded to beat the crap out of it in the middle of the gym floor. all of the teachers just nodded and were generally gung-ho about it. it felt so brainwashey to me.

    I can’t manufacture pep for an institution that i was arbitrarily assigned to based on my address.

  • junebuglove September 28th, 2011 10:13 PM

    Katherine- At least you have a place to go when you have pep rallies. I have to sit on the gross bleachers with kids shooting spit-balls into my hair and kids poking me in the sides so i jump. Also we don’t have a basement so when I kinda start to cry in class I have to go to the bathroom and be that girl that always cries in the bathroom.

  • lauren September 29th, 2011 1:06 AM

    Katherine, I absolutely love this piece. Especially your conclusion. I may have to steal this sort of idea for my english assignment :) thanks for being awesome.

  • viciouscirce September 29th, 2011 9:37 AM

    I like how you have a tag just for “meat”!

  • jeanette September 29th, 2011 2:05 PM

    Naomi – I live in England too (South-East London) and I feel the same way about how disconnected everyone is with each other here. When I get a smile back in the street, I’m so surprised let alone having them talk to me.. I see cool people and I just think about how I’d like to know more about them instead of actually working up the courage to find out. I’m gonna try and speak up to them as well!

  • Naomi Morris September 29th, 2011 2:06 PM

    i’ve never had meat dreams, probably because i am a vegetarian.

  • Whatsername September 29th, 2011 3:03 PM

    Oh my god, Naomi’s article totally hit home. I’m like, freaking out. I see so many people who remind me of myself that I just NEED to talk to but I just know if I try to talk to them I’ll fuck something up. I always feel like I’m missing out on something for not meeting people.

    @Dylan, I feel so bad for that guy! What an awkward misunderstanding.

    • Naomi Morris September 29th, 2011 3:45 PM

      yes! it’s the missing out feeling i hate the most

  • puffytoad September 29th, 2011 3:43 PM

    @Naomi I’m a vegetarian and I just had a dream last night that I accidentally took a big bite of beef. I kept trying to spit it out but there was always more left! I definitely think that dream was inspired by this post.

    I’m still wondering if I’m the only one who doesn’t see anything written about meat dreams here though…

    • Naomi Morris September 30th, 2011 7:03 AM

      haha, that’s amazing!

    • Anaheed October 6th, 2011 2:57 AM

      @puffytoad: Take another look at Minna’s entry…

  • back2thepast September 29th, 2011 10:56 PM

    Naomi: I swear that the best couples in the movies always meet for the first time at some random coffee shop or something coincidental like that. But when normal people walk into a coffee shop and see some hipster reading a novel and sipping a latte, we don’t approach them and say, “My name is __ and I’d like to know you.” If only we were all so social! Even at school I ignore people. I will see someone that I basically pass every day and not say a word. Because you’ve inspired me, I will write myself a goal-reminder on my hand: say hi to that really tall guy that I pass on my way to English.

    • Naomi Morris September 30th, 2011 7:04 AM

      do it! i’ll try and say hi to someone too

  • back2thepast September 30th, 2011 7:06 PM

    Hahahaha I did it! I had a conversation with my school locker neighbor! I told him I liked his hair, cuz today it was all spiked up in the center and his fringe was nicely flared out. Then we ended up chatting for 5 minutes after school. He’s a nice kid! He’s in a group labeled ‘the druggies’ (even though half of them have never even seen a drug before) but he’s really sweet! Maybe we’ll talk again tomorrow :]

    • Naomi Morris October 1st, 2011 6:31 PM

      arhhh well done!!!

  • Margarita September 30th, 2011 9:13 PM

    @Naomi: I feel that way too, except with a certain person in school. We barely talk, but he seems like a really cool person. Hopefully one day I’ll have the courage to try and strike a conversation with him!