Dear Diary

April 11, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back.

Katherine

The emergency wing of the hospital at midnight is possibly the scariest place I have ever been. Lights flicker on and off as you walk through rows of ailing patients, waiting on beds or stretchers for a room. Not to be melodramatic or anything, but walking to my brother’s room, I felt as if any second, the hands of death and doom would reach out and try to strangle me. Hospitals are SCARY.

When my dad and I walked into Davis’s room, my mom was already there. We all chatted and joked around while listening to the people in the next room fight about someone hitting someone else. Davis was having his appendix taken out, and we were there to keep him company while the hospital figured out when he’d have surgery. We watched One Direction perform on SNL, I performed multiple interpretive dances for my family, and Davis’s appendix SPOKE TO US (through him, of course). It cursed all of us out and was generally a bully. When I asked it to describe its life philosophy in three words, it said, “I…HHHHAAATEEE…DAVISSSSSSS.” Appendixes are mean and nasty beings.

At one AM the nurse came in and said the operation would be early the next morning. Davis said, “So I guess we draw hypodermic needles to see who has to stay the night with me.” (No one drew a needle. My mom stayed).

As my dad and I started to say our goodbyes, Davis gazed lustfully at my thick wool socks and said that his feet were cold. Because he was wearing the saddest puppy-dog face, and despite the fact that I hate most dogs, I decided that I would give my brother my socks. As I was putting them on his smelly, cold, gross, hairy boy-feet, he complained that they were sweaty. SWEATY. The socks that I was giving him OFF OF MY OWN FEET. So the ONE time I ever do something sort of almost nice—because generally I am a selfish, lazy, spoiled brat—I find out that I have gross sweaty feet. I’M NEVER HELPING ANYONE AGAIN.

I guess I learned a lot in that emergency room. I learned what laparoscopic means. I learned that my mom had her first kiss in seventh grade on a hay ride, and that my dad once had appendicitis but never had his appendix removed. Also, appendixes look like little peppers! Who knew? FURTHERMORE, because I learned that I have sweaty feet, I will move into a cave at the top of a mountain where I will never love anything or anyone again. I will adopt a dog named Max to keep me company and spend my days thinking about how much I hate dogs and lamenting the fact that, because of lack of exposure to sunlight, my skin is turning green. I will live forever in misery because my feet are gross. Or I will stop wearing socks while it’s 80 degrees outside. I’d rather live in a cave. Heat is gross. ♦

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48 Comments

  • MissKnowItAll April 11th, 2012 7:06 PM

    Ruby, you go girl!

    • April 11th, 2012 7:49 PM

      I know that was so inspiring! congrats on standing up to the mean girls, Ruby;)

    • Marguerite April 11th, 2012 8:34 PM

      WOOT! WOOT!

    • Gabby April 13th, 2012 10:58 PM

      You’re like a legend now. Ruby, the girl who dared bring insolent bathroom wall opinions out into the light of day and was not booed for this breach in insulted girl protocol. ( I think you’re expected to run away and cry).

  • Jes April 11th, 2012 7:30 PM

    Ruby- That sounds wonderful. I wish my school gave us that opportunity.

  • emilyland April 11th, 2012 7:32 PM

    I think you’re missing what a huge part of growing up is- sacrificing your own desires for the good of others. I realize you want a lot of things for yourself right now, and that’s reasonable and healthy. But your mom has a serious financial need for you to be home. Being an adult often means making those sacrifices.

  • LermWorm April 11th, 2012 7:35 PM

    Dylan- that is an immensely tough decision, and a huge burden to be put on you. But I’m sure whatever you decide to do will work out in the end. Good luck!

    Ruby, I’m dying to know the gist of what you said! Dang, gurl.

    • Maddy April 11th, 2012 8:37 PM

      I know! At least some of the inspiring phrases! I wonder if there are teachers there? Ruby? Or is it just a circle of kids. It’s so cool to be speaking loudly and clearly and just sensing that everyone is listening. We’ve had to do some poetry recitation this year and my first one…well I rocked it. I made it to the school finals, but didn’t win. I could feel that it was good. My second one…not sure. It was silent, because I know I was projecting, but I don’t know if the acting was “on par”.

      • Dylan April 11th, 2012 9:24 PM

        I so know that feeling, though, Ruby! Its like you have something brave/important to say and its risky and nerve wracking that you kind of just let it spill and are all spinning around in the moment. What’s important is that you were a bad ass, though, so it doesn’t matter anywayzzz.

  • unicorn April 11th, 2012 7:38 PM

    Does anyone know what a secret slut is?

    • Marguerite April 11th, 2012 8:35 PM

      I’m guessing they think she’s a slut just they can’t prove it

  • Kathryn April 11th, 2012 7:45 PM

    I’ve been in the emergency wing of a hospital at midnight also! It was about a month ago. I thought I had appendicitis, but it turned out to be an ovarian cyst. I was so freaked out by the idea of surgery that I was shaking. they made me drink like a freaking gallon of this weird liquid before I took the CT scan. I was there until nearly 4 in the morning and it was not a fun experience but also kind of a fun experience because I am rarely injured. BUT ALSO IT WAS REALLY SCARY BECAUSE I HATE BEING INJURED.

  • meels April 11th, 2012 7:48 PM

    woo go ruby, sounds so ‘movie like’, definitely a deleted scene from a teen movie

  • bookworm123 April 11th, 2012 7:50 PM

    Yeah, Ruby! You go girl:)

  • Sterling87 April 11th, 2012 7:50 PM

    That is such an awesome story. Whoever wrote that stuff on the wall is a fool. You go girl!

  • Mustachefan April 11th, 2012 8:09 PM

    Ruby, you are my role model.

  • Celiabow April 11th, 2012 8:23 PM

    Ruby is such an awesome and inspiring role model. You go girl!!!!

  • ezingz April 11th, 2012 8:38 PM

    Ruby I also go to a Quaker school and, even though I am Quaker, I have always been too afraid to speak during my school’s meeting. I have always felt uncomfortable speaking in front of so many of my peers and am afraid of their possible judgement.

    I wish I could have heard the message you gave!! Bringing an entire school to applause, especially during a Quaker meeting, is AMAZING.

    Maybe one day I’ll be as brave as you (:

  • yael April 11th, 2012 8:42 PM

    Dylan: I believe you must do what is important to you before you can do good things for other people. Regardless of what your mother’s financial issues are, if being in California for the summer is important for you, you should stay. You are her daughter after all, mothers are supposed to care for their children, not the other way around.

  • Juniper April 11th, 2012 8:58 PM

    Wow! That’s insanely brave Ruby!

  • Corcey April 11th, 2012 9:13 PM

    So cool! You go Ruby!! :)

  • rhetoric April 11th, 2012 9:16 PM

    Ruby, you totally inspired me! :D

  • filmfatale April 11th, 2012 9:17 PM

    Oh man…the two kids at the diner table was on the front sleeve to ‘Victory Gardens’ by John & Mary, an album I loved when I was Rookie-aged.

    • Minna April 11th, 2012 10:27 PM

      Oh wow! That is totally amazing. I cut the picture out from National Geo (late 60s I think? I have too many…) The two children aren’t at a dinner table but in court, something to do with child welfare stuff or something. I liked how the boy obviously has this suit that is way too big for him, like it’s his dad’s or something.. so sweet. :)

  • starcollector April 11th, 2012 9:21 PM

    Ahhhh! Ruby! Such courage! :’) So proud of you! I could never do that… but you know what, I do the same thing when I speak publicly… my mind goes into a hazy trance and I just TALK. I don’t even remember exactly what I said either. Kinda weird but hey, at least I’m not puking or passing out, am I right?

    http://china-lily.blogspot.com/

  • purplebabaushka April 11th, 2012 9:25 PM

    Love these diaries each one is so interesting, and I can almost always connect to them – awesome

    http://purplebabaushka.wordpress.com/

  • Vesperstar233 April 11th, 2012 9:37 PM

    That. Is. Awesome Ruby!! I wish you had your strength!!!

  • Vesperstar233 April 11th, 2012 9:44 PM

    Dylan, to be honest, i don’t know what I would decide in your shoes. It’s a hard choice. I know that you could “ask” your mom to hold out a little, while you’re in Cali., or see if she can find somehow to pay for it herself… But the fact is, I think that becoming/being an adult is about thinking about others, and making sacrifices for others. Not choosing what’s best for you. That’s one of the crucial things to being an adult is to me. But i’m still a teenager, young and inexperienced. I hope that you make the right choice what ever that may be…

    Being Human is Hard <33

  • poppunkgurrrlx April 11th, 2012 10:08 PM

    dylan~what a tough decision to make! although i believe in most cases it is better to put others first, i think this situation is different, IMHO. you may not have more opportunities for summer internships and you’re at the perfect age to start networking and build up your resume. i think that if you go home this summer you may regret it later.
    ruby~mad respect for speaking at your school meeting. when i was in high school i was called names and talked about (as many many girls are during this time in life), and i liked to pretend it didn’t bother me, but it genuinely upset me. it’s tough to stand up for yourself, you should be proud. you go girly.

  • shjaron April 11th, 2012 10:20 PM

    Ruby, you’re my idol.

  • Kristen April 11th, 2012 11:14 PM

    Dylan, I can totally relate to your situation. I copied your sentence about living an artistic life into a word doc.

    I think it’s best for you to do the internship and continue your life in California. But man, decisions, decisions.

    When I started reading your entry, for some reason I was thinking “Oh, I don’t have to make that adult step for a while” …but then I realized that I’m 18. OH GEEZ.

  • Adrienne April 12th, 2012 1:26 AM

    Go Ruby! I cannot imagine how hard that must’ve been to stand up and talk. You are such an inspiration! And poop to those girls who wrote that.

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • LittleMissE April 12th, 2012 2:13 AM

    YEAH. You tell ‘em, Ruby. This is just… asfl;kjf. So awesome. I’m going to think of you the next time I’m too scared to stand up for myself or others.

  • Chloe Elizabeth April 12th, 2012 2:20 AM

    Way to go Ruby! By the way, I’ve wanted to name my child Ruby ever since I’ve heard the Kaiser Cheif’s song.

  • Yellie April 12th, 2012 3:17 AM

    Naomi, your post reminded me of this line from girl interrupted (the movie) for some reason
    the whole scene, but where Valerie says:

    “But I think what you’ve got
    to do is put it down. Put it away.

    Put it in your notebook.
    But get it out of yourself.

    Away, so you can’t
    curl up with it anymore.”

    <3

  • stphilippeduroule April 12th, 2012 4:42 AM

    dylan: i dont know your personal background, but I think it is obvious that letting the oppourtunity for a job/internship go is just inefficient, especially if money is an issue in your family. Staying in Seattle would only be a weak repair for a longterm problem really. I think you should realise that this internship isn’t all about your “selfish, personal interest” but also about your (financial) future. People are right: making sacrifices is a huge part of growing up but in this case I believe it is just stopping you from becoming the artist you want to become/being successful. In the long run your family will profit from that too. the thing is, i’m only a little older than you, but have lived abroad for quite a bit in my life and one thing my parents had to learn was definitely to let go because we are not getting younger. change is the only constant.

  • JennaF April 12th, 2012 9:50 AM

    Dylan, from the perspective of a mom, your mom should have had a plan B for this summer. It’s not fair for her to make assumptions about what you will be doing, especially when her financial survival hinges on those erroneous assumptions.

    I understand that she has a *preference* that you come home, but it sounds like she was making you responsible for paying her mortgage, which isn’t fair IMO. You’re 19, you’re off at college, it’s not automatic that you’d be home for the summer. That’s your choice.

  • irini April 12th, 2012 10:52 AM

    Dylan- I am 19 too and I know exactly how you feel, however the kind of situation I am in is my parents (especially my mother) trying to hold on to my “being a child” which is something I let go about a year ago, and she is in denial about it. I know it will sound selfish,but I believe at this time of your life you are the top priority. You have to work on your future and sadly this means putting yourself first, which however I don’t believe is necessary a bad thing. We only live once so we just have to make this one time worth living.

    Oh and on the same note: my mother has that fear of me getting hurt or something if I don’t come back home every night, a similar thing to what your mother has, do you think that is just the realization that we are growing up and that they should let go, or should we be seriously freaked out?

  • Pia April 12th, 2012 3:40 PM

    Dylan,
    As the child of a extremely needy, loving, and financially/emotionally unstable mother, I definitely feel your pain and face similar dilemmas all the time. After graduating college, I chose to move back into my mother’s apartment, with her and my 8 year old brother, to help her sort out her overwhelming situation. Now it has been almost a year since I moved back and though I feel like we have made some improvements, there is still a lot to be done. BUT, I am also done staying home and helping my Mom only to see her fall again and again due to her failure to maintain consistency. I am moving across the country with my boyfriend in a few month regardless of her state. My advice to you, as a person coming into this particular adult situation, is to really assess your mother’s need, think critically about the things that you can do that will ACTUALLY and EFFECTIVELY help her, give her love, and also know when you are being used… and at that point, walk away. Best to your family.

  • Emmi April 12th, 2012 4:55 PM

    I am also a Quaker, and I know what you mean about the weird silence thing. I’ve never spoken in meeting, that I remember, and the only people my age who go are my friends/people I barely know, and there’s only, like, three of them. I never really thought of my meeting as an outlet for things like this, and I haven’t really needed an outlet for that sort of thing, but for the future I will remember that. Thank you.

    P.S. You are awesome, and that took a lot of courage, and that was AMAZING.

  • nicolem April 12th, 2012 6:28 PM

    Dylan–That is a hard knot you are in. But there may be ways you can combine the two? There are lots of museums and galleries in Seattle, and given the art-school saturatedness of San Francisco it may actually be easier to get a cool internship in Seattle than in California–often you can have a bigger role in up-and-coming art scenes than in the more established and competitive scene of San Francisco. Speaking from many art-related-internships (and california) experience. I hope you can come to a decision that feels good for you AND lets you grow.
    Best,

    Nicole

  • DANNI April 12th, 2012 9:18 PM

    ruby– my bff courtnay love went to a quaker school. she was with some girls and they were rehearsing for some talent show-dance thing with one of courtney’s records, but the girls wanted to kick her out so she threw the record at them and got expelled. the girls probably didn’t appreciate her and thought she was an “emo-secret slut-weird freak” (or the 80′s version of that) i mean WE ALL KNOW THAT CLOVE IS IMPORTANT IN ANY AND EVERY SITUATION A TEENAGE GURL WILL GO THROUGH.
    (jesus i spend too much time on tumblr…)

    ANYWAYS– ruby i look forward to your diary entry every tuesday. ur mah favorite ILY <333333 middle skoooool buddiez GRRRLS THIS IS NOT A FACKING POPULARITY CONTEST TAKE YOU AND YOUR STINKY NO GOOD TOUCH SCREEN LIP GLOSS FAVORITISM SOMEWHERE ELSE BEOTCH no lololjkjkjk

    but yeah all y'all are aweome. i like reading diaries (back stabbing female cat i thought you were my friend)

  • OlyGirl_LAWorld April 13th, 2012 3:06 PM

    Dylan-

    I was totally there my Freshman year. I had decided to stay in LA for the summer for an internship and working on movie sets rather than go home to Olympia (Washington too! Weird, right?). This led to a tearful, almost-angry phone conversation with my parents. They probably felt the same way your mom did, like I was forcing them to bury their “baby.” But you know what? They were in a way burying their baby, but they were also letting me grow up.

    No one, not even your parents, can tell you what is best for you at any given time anymore. You have to make your own decisions. On the other hand I feel for your mom and your dog though. I think you should really, really think about what they’re asking of you versus what you’d be giving up. Will those same opportunities be available next summer? For me, I felt much as you do, that this was a turning point in my life that I’d be throwing away or holding back my growth. But I was kind of wrong. I’m a junior now, and all those opportunities didn’t disappear. I’m not saying I would change what I did that summer, but I do feel bad that I had made it THE BIG DEAL I had. Just remember, those grown up chances will always be there. You have your whole life to grow up. But you won’t always be able to go back to your family when they need you.

    Ruby-

    YOU GO, GRRRL.

  • Hedwig April 15th, 2012 1:01 PM

    RUBYRUBY!!!!!!!!!

    What did your friend say you said?

  • MissKnowItAll April 20th, 2012 7:25 PM

    Dear Ruby,
    I’m now adopting you into my internet family.

  • Ellie April 25th, 2012 3:52 PM

    Go, Ruby! That’s so rad!

  • loveyoufromafar May 9th, 2012 7:44 PM

    Ruby, you are so wonderful! You have so much courage and you just made life better for a whole lotta people by standing up and making it known that that sort of stuff is just not ok. You turned pathetic, childish and mean comments into something empowering and brilliant and ahhh – you are just unbelievably kickass.