Dear Diary

June 6, 2012

Other people. What gives?


My goal in life is for there to be no valid reason for anyone to dislike me. You know, except if they be jealousssssss. That makes my ambition twofold: to be as awesome as possible, and to stay out of any gossip zones or touchy situations. I don’t want anyone to be able to back up their negative opinion of me with something I did to them. If you don’t like me because of my high-pitched voice or how I laugh at my own jokes or how I post a lot of stuff on Facebook (even though I’m GREAT at it), that’s your deal. I just don’t want anyone to ever be able to say, “I don’t like her because she talked shit/spread a secret/stole my foxy boyfriend. WHATTABITCH.”

Therefore, I’ve taken strides in my youthhood to avoid shit-talking anyone, which has helped a lot in the hotbed of gossip that is all-girls high school. Staying neutral is staying safe, and I left enemy free. Now that I’m well out of high school, though, I’ve been more…open about talking about people, since my social world is bigger and more complicated and worth the conversation. Truthfully, I’m uncomfortable with how much I’ve been talking about people behind their backs lately. I feel like I’m breaking my own code, but I wonder if it’s really that much of a problem? When is talking about someone specifically “shit-talking”?

There have been more than a few times in the past year when people close to me have put me on edge. Passive aggression drives me insane, which I know is ironic, because I’m telling you about my secretive venting, but it’s been an issue with family, friends, and even some Important Adult Figures. My way of dealing with negative feeling about friends has been to go to another close person and vent about it. Other people must talk about me, too. Venting is OK, right?

I’m cautious about my reputation, I guess. Not only do I want to avoid opportunities for anyone to think of me as that kind of person, but once I catch myself being gratuitously analytical, I feel super shitty. I worry that I’m being a bitch and that anyone might have reason to be mad at me. I guess the moral of the story is if I’m going to talk about anyone in private about something that’s bothering me, I should probably speak with them directly at some point. That, and be damn sure that I don’t give anyone anything to say about me. I mean, unless they’re just jealousssss. ♦


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  • moonchild June 6th, 2012 7:12 PM

    RUBY YOU CAN ALWAYS TALK TO ME. I don’t know how that’s possible.

    Leave a rambling comment on my blog?

    hehehe love,

    • moonchild June 6th, 2012 7:17 PM

      Also, wow Naomi. What a beautiful piece. I less than three it.


      • moonchild June 6th, 2012 8:31 PM

        This is a complement, in case you don’t understand! Rereading it, it sounds really negative but…


  • MikaylaT June 6th, 2012 7:44 PM

    Ohmygosh. RUBY! You went to the Music in the Parks festival too?! MY SCHOOL WENT TO THAT. :O I wish I could have met you haha. If you heard of the Cooperative Middle School, that was my school(:

  • Celiabow June 6th, 2012 7:56 PM

    Ruby your article is the most relatable piece I’ve read on rookie so far. I completely understand what you mean. I’ve moved schools a fair bit and get what you mean when you said that you have at least a few tolerable friends and people like you but you just want a real friend who understands you and someone you share common interests with. I wish I was at your school then we would hopefully be friends :)

  • Tyknos93 June 6th, 2012 7:56 PM

    Katherine first CONGRATS on graduating! It’s been a year since my own and I just came back from my cousin’s this weekend.
    I get that alienated feeling as well. While everyone was crying and reminiscing I sat between to of my good friends and traded candy the entire ceremony.
    I don’t want to say college is better, but in many ways its a fresh start. Do try to reach out to people, but not in a way that it feels forced. I’ve been really shocked by some of the new connections I’ve made. I couldn’t quite…deal with high school, but so far college is alot better. Though not entirely without its faults!!!

  • meghanj June 6th, 2012 7:57 PM

    I think my favourie part of the rookie dear diary thing is the one line description on the main page. “Other people. What gives?” I lol’d.

  • lylsoy June 6th, 2012 8:01 PM

    Hi Ruby, your post really touched me.. that’s exactly the way it was when my mother passed away.. the awkward thing was, suddenly everyone feels so bad for you, or at least pretends to. And I shamelessly took advantage of teachers feeling sorry for me. I didn’t do my homework for 1 month at least, but had 5 As on my report card.. However, the most annoying thing was, that everybody kept making excuses for me. If I’d stay in my room and listened to music all day, it was ok, because I was an orphan. And if I’d wear “crazy” clothes, get lost in books, not eat, go shopping a lot or even color my hair in a “terrible!” color, it was all kind of ok and normal, because that’s just what’s happening or so. But, hello? I don’t want to be treated special, because I am in a situation I didn’t even choose! However, people generally do not know how to handle death, especially of young people, and it’s not like it’s something normal (at least in western countries) so I tried to excuse them, for not knowing how it felt. Also, I moved to a place where nobody knew much about me….

  • lylsoy June 6th, 2012 8:02 PM

    sorry for writing so much.. It’s probably not even very useful .. SORRY!

  • ThePuNkR0ckeR June 6th, 2012 8:33 PM

    RUBY: can we be ROOKIE PENPALS please? I really need someone to talk to as well. I dont have any friends.

  • missblack June 6th, 2012 8:35 PM

    Oh, gosh, Dylan and Naomi managed to perfectly verbalize everything I’ve been feeling/thinking this week – sometimes I am just astounded by how timely Rookie is. I especially liked Naomi’s piece; it’s gorgeously written.


  • kaylafay June 6th, 2012 9:10 PM

    Naomi, I’ve been feeling the exact same way for the past month or so. I jokingly just call such ignorant people “stupid,” but then I realize just how many people think the same way and it makes me wonder if there’s even any point in trying to make a difference. Plus, it’s so easy to forget how many ignorant people are out there when I’m reading Rookie and Jezebel and feminist blogs every day.

  • lula June 6th, 2012 9:15 PM

    hi ruby, i’m fourteen and i live in a little town in texas, you can come live with me and i’ll be your at least one built-in friend, and you can be mine, because i don’t seem to have any. we could have lots of fun and take millions of harry potter quizzes on


    • lula June 6th, 2012 9:17 PM

      i’m being serious by the way. i need a friend.

  • Abby June 6th, 2012 9:22 PM

    Ruby… Even though I can’t even begin to know what you’re going through, I just wanted to share that I felt the same way after my sister tried to kill herself. My whole church, most of my school, and some of my teachers knew, and everybody wouldn’t leave me alone. I just wished everyone would stop feeling sorry for us, because it really made me uncomfortable, especially when people from my church asked to pray with me. Um… no. But anyway, I just hope you know we’re all here for you!! <3

  • Catie June 6th, 2012 9:27 PM

    When my dad died without warning a year ago it created an immeasurable divide between “before” and “after.” I could tell people were acting weird around me, like they wanted to say something but didn’t know how. It felt hard to relate to some of my closest friends at the time. I didn’t know how to feel, or how I should feel. I was graduating from high school in a couple months and all the festivities surrounding the years end just seemed to mock the pain I was feeling.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s really hard. I denied myself the right to write and create for a long time because I believed anything I made couldn’t compare to the emptiness I felt. I didn’t want to deal with suicide, and I pretended it didn’t happen whenever I was having a bad day.

    Don’t give up on yourself, or what you have to say. Write. Create. You have a great voice and your mother knew you loved her dearly. Sending you my love from Wisconsin, xo.

  • whatnaomiloves June 6th, 2012 9:34 PM

    Dyaln: Sometimes I start feeling bad about talking about people behind their backs (not in a gossipy way, but in that same analytical way as you) and get paranoid that they somehow know all the things I’ve said about them, AND just like you I want everyone to like me. But I usually do this all to my best friend; which, I think, makes it okay because I trust it’s not going anywhere and it’s not good to keep things bottled up. So, in conclusion, don’t feel bad because venting is OK. A OK.

    Naomi: Lately, actually ever since I’ve graduated high school (2 years ago), I’ve been living in a dream world of my own. One where, I too, am who I want to be, doing things I wish I could do, and having conversations with people who have wronged me that I should have with them in real life. Pretty much the topics you dream about, I dream about (which is ironic because we’re both Naomis – maybe we’re having the same daydreams?) My daydreams keep me going in reality.

    As for people’s mindlessness… I live with a mindless being. This being is my brother. It is so incredibly frustrating how people can be so much absorbed in themselves to not realize their impact on others and on the world. Or even how they behave in relationships – I’m dealing with this in a certain relationship as a matter a fact, one that I think I should let go of.

    I say keep on daydreaming, but work to make some of them a reality. And continue giving mindless beings dirty looks.

  • Mim June 6th, 2012 10:08 PM

    Is there any way that rookie mag can coordinate an email pen pal group for readers? It seems like so many comments are asking for friends to talk to. Or is there no way to avoid creepy people taking advantage of it?

    • Anaheed June 6th, 2012 10:38 PM

      This is gonna happen! We’re working on it.

      • ivoire June 7th, 2012 6:38 AM


      • tallulahpond June 7th, 2012 8:00 AM

        You’re serious! Wow, that would be fantastic. I really need Rookie reader to talk to- I have some lovely friends but none who read Rookie, are fierce feminists or understand how insulting it is to say that something’s “gay.” please, get this working as soon as possible!

      • RhiaSnape June 7th, 2012 3:17 PM

        Wow, that would be so awesome!

      • GlitterKitty June 7th, 2012 3:39 PM

        Ahhhh this is going to be amazing!!

    • lula June 7th, 2012 10:44 PM

      just hinting.

    • rayfashionfreak June 14th, 2012 2:36 PM

      Ahhh!! So excited, can’t wait to talk to Rookie readers from around the world :D

  • Mags June 6th, 2012 11:37 PM

    Dylan, I totally understand your dilemma. Sometimes you just have to vent to maintain your sanity. When I notice that I’m doing it too much though, i.e. saying the same thing about the same friend to several different people, then I know I’ve gone too far.

  • FlaG June 7th, 2012 12:08 AM

    Katherine, I know what you mean. By the time I graduated high school I was more or less over the whole thing and everyone in it. In the Valedictory assembly I just sat in my seat and kept to myself. At the end of it, after the rest of the school was dismissed, all the sixth formers gathered around each other and cried and hugged while I stood to the side with a few other people wondering why we weren’t in floods of tears or SO DEVASTATED to be leaving. Eff that noise.
    I ended up not going to my last sixth form prom because I had no reason to. I was happy enough to be done with the place, frankly.

    Go on and have a good life from here on!

  • SweetThangVintage June 7th, 2012 12:13 AM

    Dylan I FEEL YOU.

  • hollysh June 7th, 2012 4:08 AM

    Ruby, going to a new school will help a lot. One of my good friends in middle school lost her dad in 8th grade. Things were really weird for her the rest of the school year so she decided to go to a different school from the big public school most of our grade was continuing on to. I think the change of atmosphere really helped her deal and move on without it having to be this big weird thing.

  • alix June 7th, 2012 6:50 AM

    I can relate to ruby a bit here. I actually am moving to a new school next year. There’s nothing wrong with my firends its just that we’re not really friends, we seem to get along well but we just hang out, talk about nothing. They don’t really know me, I sometimes feel like I can’t be myself around them because they’ll think i’m stupid or annoying. So we all just continue our boring coversation about desperate housewives while I sit and pretend I’m interested (I don’t even watch desperate housewives)

  • the millionth Nicole June 7th, 2012 2:53 PM

    Ruby, I can completely relate to you about your friend situation. I seem to be generally respected at school by my peers, and yet, I have no close friends.

    All year (I’m a junior — er, I guess senior now?), I sat with these kids at lunch in that sort of mutual tolerance you speak of. I did feel foolish for trying to distract myself from my loneliness by in that way, but in the moment, sitting with gray people felt better than being alone. But then I got into an argument with one of the kids, who then brought the rest of the group onto her side against me. So now I can’t sit there anymore, and I don’t know where I’m going to sit next year. The situation is so embarrassingly childish, and I try not to care, but it’s exhausting. Luckily, though, school just ended for me, so I don’t have to think about this for a while.

  • RhiaSnape June 7th, 2012 3:15 PM

    Dylan – I totally get what you mean. I don’t want to give people a reason to dislike me, when I know that I’m a good person on the whole. But yeah, I have an issue with talking behind peoples backs too sometimes, and it’s not because I’m trying to be a bitch, it’s just that I’m not confrontational, and would rather vent my anger in a more civilised manner. But the truth is, that it’s not actually very civilised, so I think I will join you in the anti-bitching movement!

    Ruby – I guess people just don’t know how to deal with your situation because they don’t know how you’ll react, so they kind of automatically put on the puppy-dog-oh-i’m-so-sorry face. I understand how you’d want to leave all of that. Good luck :)

  • GlitterKitty June 7th, 2012 3:44 PM

    I understand how you feel Ruby. Although I’ve never had a parent die or anything nearly as sad, I understand the feeling of tolerating people. I don’t really have any super close friends but lots of people that I tolerate being around. Sigh. Although there’s always next year. I hope all goes well Ruby.

    Gah why do these posts always make me want to spill my guts?

  • farawayfaerie June 7th, 2012 4:58 PM

    Ruby I can really relate to your piece. When my friend died, I felt really alone, I still do sometimes. It’s really hard because people look at you all sympathetically, but you don’t feel like they understand…death is such a personal thing. Some times I’ll blurt some random thing about my friend, just because something reminded me of her, and then there’s just silence and I wish I’d never said it. I’m sure this feeling is amplified to about a thousand for you, and I really am sorry you have to go through that. I hope you find someone t talk to, who can just listen and not look ‘guilty’ all the time. <3

  • BrightonRose June 7th, 2012 5:35 PM

    i totally understand where you are coming from, i am a nice person but sometimes even the people closest to me just get on my tits and i feel the need to vent like a heinous bitch but then feel awful!! think i’m just too much of a wuss to say it to their face but everyone should be allowed to let off steam right?

    BR x

    • Dylan June 13th, 2012 2:57 AM

      I agree and I think your word choice is totally top-notch.

  • RockHatesMiriam June 7th, 2012 6:51 PM

    Naomi- You got tickets to the Justin bieber gig :o Take me with you!! ;)

  • nausicaaofthevalley June 8th, 2012 7:23 AM

    Oh this is so relateable. I too have a few friends who are good friends and all and i love them. But none of them get every side of me. I don’t feel like any of them fully understand me and write off my views on femenism or social justice as ‘just one of her quirks’. This is why I can’t wait to go to university and meet people who care about real things. y’know?
    Also thankyou Naomi :) it’s nice to feel like someone else has these problems too.

  • Bishi June 8th, 2012 12:18 PM

    It’s so comforting to know that there are people who somehow feel the same way as I do. :)

  • Lynvine June 11th, 2012 10:51 PM

    ………justin bieber….. ?!

  • bohemianlady_ June 19th, 2012 5:42 AM

    Naomi, I can relate so much to your diary post. Sometimes you just need to escape, and thinking about an alternative life is the sweetest escapism ever. I’m pretty much fond /obsessed/ with self-improving, so everytime I think I try new ways to grow more creative and to fulfill my dreams. Everything I think and I do is in the name of an ideal future, but I’m also frightened by not living the present – that’s why I try to enjoy every sunset, dawn or starry night while thinking.
    However, Rookie Penpals would be the most awesome thing ever ~ Love from a Pizzagirl to Pizzaland, a.k.a Italy (or the infamous ‘HAHA! ITALY? PASTA! LASAGNA! BERLUSCONI!’ … ).

  • quirkflower September 7th, 2012 10:00 PM

    DYLAN. Okay I know this was written like three months ago, but you totally described my feelings for the past year. I feel bad because people don’t treat me well, so I vent about them continuously, and then I feel even more awful because I’m the one being bitchy! But it’s not like you can just keep it bottled up or be super confrontational all the time. Ugh, I don’t even have anything productive to say, but I FEEL YOU.