Dear Diary

December 12, 2012

Sometimes life hands you lemons with no ade.


Last Hanukkah I wore a navy-blue floor-length dress my mom picked out for me. I’m an atheist, and Hanukkah’s the only Jewish holiday I ever really cared about, because it meant being with my family and exchanging gifts with them. We always had a “Hanukkah shrub,” which is what Jewish kids get when they really want a Christmas tree. We put the presents under the tree each day and then took turns opening them at night. There was a cool draft running through our old, creaky house, but I nestled under my mom’s thick wool cardigan as I sat beside her on the couch. My parents weren’t fighting. And the kids were laughing. It was nice.

On Saturday, the first night, I got almost every present I’d asked for. There was a fire going in the fireplace, which actually worked because the new house is new. If my mom had been there she wouldn’t have needed a cardigan at all. My sister got a cell phone and my brother got a Furby, and they were very very happy. My dad got slippers and wine and a bathrobe and was not (but he looked like he was). I looked at my new house and my new family and wasn’t sure if I was or not. ♦


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  • chloegrey December 12th, 2012 7:16 PM

    OHMYGOD Katharine you are literally telling my life right now. Like seriously.
    I feel bad that there’s some kind of distance between me and my friends because we don’t share that common experience, which is weird cause I’m not anti-pot-booze-n-shrooms at all I’m just… busy! So I guess I am subconsciously somehow a prude but my friends really make fun of me for it. And the dating thing is way worse cause my school is tiny so everyone knows about my, like, lack of experience and it’s sometimes really not pleasant. I feel silly for caring about it so much (and ranting, gee willikers) but there it is.

  • chloegrey December 12th, 2012 7:20 PM

    and Britney old stuff is the best stuff! You don’t listen to the haters, young lady :)

  • Imogen-Rose December 12th, 2012 7:21 PM

    Britney, your writing is amazing! No offense to your friends, but they are obviously ignorant in the ways of talented writing and the 21st century. More than half the population like vintage stuff! Don’t let them get you down <3

  • 9ql December 12th, 2012 7:32 PM

    aw Katherine, I feel you.

  • HollinsCollins December 12th, 2012 7:33 PM

    *Hugs*, Nandie.
    Life, why u so odd?
    (Also, Florence + the Machine is like the best band ever.)

  • eireann December 12th, 2012 7:35 PM

    Katherine! I always love reading your diary entries, because I can relate to them so much. Especially this week. I feel you gurl. <3

  • landlockedblues December 12th, 2012 7:39 PM

    There was something very Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower in Ruby’s entry. Maybe it was the honesty? I’m not sure.

    Anyways, happy holidays to you all! I hope you get the rest and happiness you deserve. :)

  • Girl Attorney December 12th, 2012 7:40 PM

    I’ve been trying to form a coherent response to your piece Katherine but so far have failed spectacularly to put my feelings into words. Maybe I’ll try later. For now, THANK YOU SO MUCH. It was like reading my EXACT thoughts. The Shoshanna reference actually killed me, in it’s total agonising accuracy to my life right now. Katherine, you absolutely rule and knowing that someone else on the opposite side of the planet is experiencing, or rather feeling like they are not experiencing, something in the same way that I am, has made me feel a whole lot better about my life. I want to hug everyone xx

    • chloegrey December 12th, 2012 11:04 PM

      my feelings exactly :)

  • abigail December 12th, 2012 7:43 PM

    Britney – Middle school is literally the worst and I’m sorry that it sucks as much for you as it did for me (and just about everyone else). High school is 1,000 times better, I promise. Just one example: a got a snide remark about something I wore every single day in middle school; now that I’m in high school, I’ve heard nothing bad. It’s like people magically mature in that summer between eighth and ninth grade.

    Ruby – Your diary entry was so well-written and beautiful and FEELS. By the way, happy Hanukkah, fellow chosen one!

    Nandi – The way that you present your diary entry is really unique and I love it; I’m looking forward to reading more of your entries in the future.

    This is my fave segment.

  • Clairese December 12th, 2012 7:45 PM

    I completely understand what you’re saying, Naomi. School’s been so tough this past month for me because I can’t fathom why some things we’re taught are important. I mean they are, but to certain people who are into different things. It feels like there’s no room for the things I like when I’m at school. Sitting in a drafty room being lectured at sucks. Best of luck with your essay!

  • peppermintmoo December 12th, 2012 7:45 PM

    Katherine- People always apologize to me too whenever the conversation turns to something our elders would consider “bad.” Then I act awkward because I don’t know how to explain that I don’t feel uncomfortable, so the others brush it off like I’m still a goody-goody. I don’t know if I seem motherly or what. I’m not about to go all Sandy Olsen on them and completely change, but I also want to be cooool.

  • Clare December 12th, 2012 7:53 PM

    Britney. I wish mere words could help you in an actual tangible way, which they can’t especially from a stranger on the internet, but I’ll try. I’m the same age as you and I’m pretty sure eigth grade is like the worst thing ever invented?? Yeah. But as Willa Cather said: most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. There are some days I have to recite this to myself over and over for HOURS to stay awake/alive, but no matter how stupid life feels, we have to live it so we can write about it later. Oh, the cliche! But cliche is based on truth.
    Also, if this helps more: last night I had a dream where I was complaining to someone about how dumb I am (as usual) and the person just looked at me and said, “Yep. You’re stupid. You are really dumb.”
    And…….we’re all really dumb. How dumb are we? We like arrange symbols on a page and expect people to read them and weep. Who are we?
    So yeah… you’re really dumb Britney! But you are creating things that will make other people less dumb. Which is weird, but good, and I think your writing is good and has made me slightly less dumb.
    Thank you for that.

  • raggedyanarchy December 12th, 2012 8:10 PM

    Oh, Katherine, how is it that I relate to you so much? I mean, just today in Journalism everyone in my class was talking about some party that “like, literally, everyone. Like, EVERYONE” went to that Saturday and how wasted “that guy” got and how baked “Carl” was at that football game a few weeks ago. And I was just sitting there, writing my article and thinking “WELL I SAT ALONE IN MY ROOM DRINKING TEA AND WATCHING THE BREAKFAST CLUB ON SATURDAY NIGHT BUT OK FINE.”

    Sometimes I have to seriously consider whether or not I’m an actual fifteen year old, or if I’m some Orphan-style midget with no memory.

  • Blythe December 12th, 2012 8:15 PM

    Oh Katherine, you are literally me. I just had to tell my newly-acquired boyfriend a few weeks ago that I literally have no idea how to kiss. Definitely getting the hang of it, though!

  • rhymeswithcat December 12th, 2012 8:17 PM

    Katherine, we are the same person.
    I constantly tell my friends that I am a Shoshanna desperate to find her inner Jessa.

    Thank you for always writing something I can relate to <3 <3

  • carogenous December 12th, 2012 8:20 PM

    Oh geez, if there’s one thing that will just completely turn me off for a friendship is when they talk about sex/drugs/alcohol and then immediately apologize for ruining my perceived saintly glow or something. Even more irritating now that it still happens after I’ve been there, done that. innocent 4eva I guess

  • Maryse89 December 12th, 2012 8:29 PM

    Katherine!!! reading your diary entries is like going back in time 5 years for me…I WAS you in college. My whole freshman year I felt like I had to lie about how ‘experienced’ I was…I made up like five different first kiss stories and I could never keep them straight, and I’m so sure that my new friends saw through them but were just too nice to ever call me out. It’s funny now, but at the time it was stressful…

  • hiimhannh December 12th, 2012 8:31 PM

    catherine we are twins!! i ask what my friend does over the weekend: parties, kisses boys, gets drunk, etc. she asks me what i do: watch 15 episodes of arrested development on netflix uh

  • noquierodecir December 12th, 2012 8:33 PM

    Nandi’s contributions continue to be splendid.
    Really glad y’all added her to the diary team!

    • elise December 12th, 2012 9:13 PM

      Nandi can combine the hilarious and the profound in a way so few manage to accomplish. I am always looking forward to her entries.

  • coolgirl December 12th, 2012 9:06 PM

    caitlin that picture is freakin awesome

    and there’s nothin like procrastinating my school work by reading rookie….

  • lacecat December 12th, 2012 9:11 PM

    “MY love has concrete feet. My love’s an iron ball!”
    Extra super giant hugs to Nandi <3
    plus a chocolate bar.

  • coolgirl December 12th, 2012 9:13 PM

    katherine we are literally the same person. i have not kissed anyone and i am sixteen and i feel like a freak but a part of me is like “go at your own pace” but another part is like AM I A TEENAGER? I FEEL LIKE AN OLD LADY but chill its ok everyone cares about themselves and i have never smoked either and i dont care about parties all i wanna say is keep being yourself and its and you will be ok and so will i

  • Graciexx December 12th, 2012 9:26 PM

    Can I be there to hold your hand and bring the nutella and tissues Nandi? Your diary entry was beautiful and I love your style of writing. Sometimes you need to fill yourself with something a little more substantial than lemonade, so I suggest you try making lemon slice. Merry Christmas!

  • Faith December 12th, 2012 9:49 PM

    Oh gees, Katherine, I may or may not be the 1,oooth person to tell you this but I feel the same freaking way!! Jesus Christ, EVERY TIME! Someone says a funny joke with an obvious perverted, demented meaning behind it, and usually I don’t laugh along cause I don’t laugh when thing aren’t funny…. because, I just don’t. So then people will have to PITY and explain the whole thing to me, meanwhile my blank expression that’s completely oblivious to their laughter was purposeful, ya know what I mean? So their all, “Oh, your so innocent! awwww!” I mean, What the hell you guys!! Ha, and I love where you asked if you reeked of innocence! That’s how I feel!! But I hate those vibes where people make it seem like there’s something seriously wrong with you, if you are innocent. Because there isn’t!!!!

    And Britney, for me and many others I believe, eighth grade was the WORST! I hope it doesn’t get any worse for you though!! I was terrified what high school would be like because I used to think if middle school was so darn dramatic and emotional, how much more would high school be??!! I was wrong, thank God, and it’s gotten better. Those “friends” will be just a leaf in the wind, seriously, GONE. And for those who you thought were your friends who know about your writing on Rookie need a MAJOR MENTAL CHECK. Anyone who writes for Rookie has got some serious writing talent, gurrl! Stay strong!!

  • wiltedrues December 12th, 2012 10:01 PM

    Nandi, your entry was great! I love your writing style. Hope you’re doing ok

  • Tavi December 12th, 2012 10:05 PM

    Britney, I obviously think your writing is wonderful. I’m sorry anyone is trying to get you down about it to the point that even the thought of it makes you sick. Like you said, it’s a part of how you’ve always been, and they can’t take that away from you!

    I wanna give heart-shaped Nutella jars to all you guys this week. <3

  • TessAnnesley December 12th, 2012 10:18 PM

    Omg the Florence lyrics made me shriek

  • claire_eliz December 12th, 2012 10:26 PM

    Britney, I know how you feel girl. 8th grade was AWFUL. But, I can honestly say it gets better. It can help you to discover yourself more, since everyone is always trying to change ya. Try not to let it get you down, and keep doing what you love to do! I love your writing personally, and frankly, that one “friend” probably doesn’t have that great of taste in music anyway:) I know you’ll find some friends who truly support you soon! Keep on doing what you’re doin’ girl <3

  • sophiethewitch December 12th, 2012 11:11 PM

    Britney, things get better in high school. Things get so, so much better in high school. People are just all jerks in middle school (definately not excluding myself from that, just to be clear). By high school, people seem to care way less about this stuff. Also, I used to pretty much only listen to classical music (Now I like almost everything.).

  • sophiethewitch December 12th, 2012 11:11 PM

    Nandi, I love how you write!

  • unicorn December 12th, 2012 11:37 PM

    Britney :(
    I feel sad for you and I don’t even know what to say!
    Just hang in there, I guess!
    Old music is cool, your interests are valid, your writing is awesome, and while I don’t know what happened with your friend or how it will turn out, I just hope it goes well.

  • dandelions December 12th, 2012 11:38 PM

    Britney, I felt the same when I was in high school, even with those ones I though were my best friends. But you must show to everybody at school the you are strong and different, and that is a good good thing. Stay strong as Nandi said.

    • dandelions December 12th, 2012 11:42 PM

      *those one I thought
      *that you are

      My terrible grammar mistakes. English is not my native language, sorry.

  • umami December 13th, 2012 12:23 AM

    naomi, it has been such an amazing experience reading your diary from the beginning up until now….your journey working through your anxiety has been truly inspiring and reminds me so much of my own personal growth and how much i have left. i love reading your diaries even more since you re-started at reallivehighschool; it chronicles the best and the worst of this crazy whole new experience you have and is such a contrast to before (even the most mundane parts of life are given a whole new breath after living in state of anxiety and depression). it’s the best and i hope this comment made sense, i was just totally overpowered for some reason after reading today and wanted to say you are amazing <3

    • Naomi Morris December 13th, 2012 12:43 PM

      thank you so much wow

  • karastarr32 December 13th, 2012 5:24 AM

    Nandiiiiiiiiii. Can I just give all of the diarists this week just, like, masssiiivveeee bear hugs?

  • Pen Elope December 13th, 2012 5:59 AM

    Katherine, I felt exactly like that a few years ago. It seemed everyone around me was living their lives like in one of those cliché music videos about being oh so young and free (you know, where they go skinny dipping at night, everyone makes out at night, runs around at night…do stuff at night). They got drunk, puked in busses, dated the weirdest and sometimes toxic guys and surely had a great time.
    I felt like I didn’t know anything about THE LIFE – how to smoke weed, what a pipe looked like, how to mix drinks, how to kiss someone. Now that I am in my mid-twenties I realise none of that matters: So there are some things you have not experienced (yet) – so what! There is no shame in saying “I have not done this yet but I sure would like to try today/sometime. Can you show me?” The same goes for not joining in if you don’t want to. 90% of the times people around me smoke weed I don’t, I just hang with them.

    So no, there is nothing wrong with you. Because THE way to live THE life does not exist. People who are worth spending time with, will never judge you about having done or not done something, so be confident about who you are and how you came to be this person.

  • Abby December 13th, 2012 8:01 AM


  • onandon December 13th, 2012 10:39 AM

    britney, when i was younger i only liked old things – old music, 90s tv shows, 80s teen movies, vintage clothing.. and had the attitude that everything about my generation sucked. it doesn’t.
    it’s like when you get comments on youtube videos of old songs like “i’m 14 and would rather listen to this than justin beiber”, like yes you may do but don’t dismiss everything about your own generation. i’m not saying this is how you feel, i don’t know you! i can just relate to that habit of wanting to live in the past, but i realised i was going to grow up and have no knowledge of anything that happened in my own time. have you watched midnight in paris? the film describes the feeling so well.
    there are plenty of exciting things going on right now, and i think rookie has a good mix of nostalgia for old classics and enjoyment of newness.

    ps i also got told (by my sister no less) to try and fit in more, which i was very offended by and rebelled against. i think the best decision is not to try and fit in, but to open up more. in hindsight, i came across as a snob which is not who i am at all! there are so many things i look back on and can see so much clearer now.

  • taste test December 13th, 2012 11:29 AM

    jesus, katherine, ever since august I swear we’ve been experiencing a lot of the same things. it’s encouraging and shitty at the same time (encouraging because You Are Not Alone Yay and shitty because it’s kind of sad to know I’m not just a freak accident for not having a fabulous time in college yet, that this actually happens more than anyone tells you).

  • bird December 13th, 2012 11:32 AM

    Hey Katherine! I know it isn’t really my place – but please can I just say that I used to be you and desperately hankered after a more exciting social life. Then I got the ‘excitement’ and I can honestly report back that it really really REALLY isn’t that great. As in, love triangles, stupid embarrassing drunken actions, weed brownies and all that stuff is actually just scary and messy. I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if only I was more prepared for it… but I used to spend all my nights with Ben and Jerry and Tom Cruise and now I am WAY out of my depth. So, yeah. Just be careful what you wish for. And Naomi – this is the worst time of year for British schools! urgh me and all of my friends are like zombies. So. Much. Coursework. Feel better soon you guys! :)

  • barbroxursox December 13th, 2012 11:52 AM

    Gahhh, Naomi, I feel exactly the same way! All this schoolwork is overwhelming and exhausting, and now I don’t have time for creating anything for my own good. I will all of my schoolwork was actually interesting so that I somewhat enjoyed it.

    • barbroxursox December 13th, 2012 11:56 AM

      AND KATHERINE I feel the same way… damn, I feel so connected to Rookie this week!

  • saramarit December 13th, 2012 11:57 AM

    Katherine, I had the quintessential teenage experiences and people still treat me like that! I guess it’s because I don’t drink any more but still…I’m not exactly a nun.

    I feel like William in Almost Famous when Lester Bangs says “there is nothing controversial about you”.

  • pinnedtothepage December 13th, 2012 1:32 PM

    Katherine, I didn’t drink or smoke until way late in my life, but having the stoner lingo down thanks to my brother kind of helped me feel a tiny bit less lame around stoners. I love this group of people, because they’re down to sit around and talk and do basically nothing together, haha. So here are some key things: you’ve got shwag (low-quality, cheap, used for rolling joints and stuff. You can buy a bunch for like $20) and dank (high-quality, smoke “bowls” out of a pipe/bong, usually purchased in grams, like $20, or eighths, like $50/60). It was cool hanging with stoners in college/high school, but I’m glad I wasn’t one, because I think I might have quit/definitely would have gotten more Cs :P

  • pinnedtothepage December 13th, 2012 1:39 PM

    Ah Nandi, that was soulful! Enjoyed reading, though sad to hear you are blue.

  • sugarandspice December 13th, 2012 3:10 PM

    omg yes Britney. I wouldn’t say these exact scenarios have happened to me, but I understand the writing-and-friends fiasco. Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing, yet I feel if I were to show my friends (people I’d trust with my life, yaknooww) they’d judge me… suhqindjskanfhcsk frustrating.

  • iamrachii December 13th, 2012 4:20 PM

    Katherine I totally get how you feel, and it’s so encouraging that so many of the comments on this post are the same. I’ve never drank or smoked anything in my life and I don’t ever plan to and my friends in high school would hardly ever invite me out at nights if they were going to be partying (I had more than 1 group of friends & they were all like this, apparently they thought I wouldn’t want to be there if they were drinking… as if I didn’t want to have friends or something). I don’t feel like I missed out as such cos it’s my own decision but people definitely treat me differently, between that and the fact I don’t wear make-up etc people think they can treat me like a child and I’m 20 next month and it’s just not okay! It’s nice to come on here and see that other people have similar sorts of issues.
    Also Naomi I just want to hold you <3

  • GlitterKitty December 13th, 2012 5:16 PM

    Katherine, I feel you girl. I’m at the age now where smoking and drinking and partying have become THE thing to do over the weekend. It always seemed like this stage was way far off but now it’s here and I don’t like it. I really have no interest in any of it. I tried to explain this to a girl who sits next to me in class and she was shocked. She couldn’t believe that I LIKE staying home on the weekend and watching TV movies. It’s encouraging to know that there are other people who feel this way.

  • Ariella95 December 13th, 2012 7:05 PM

    Katherine, I totally get what you mean about the apologizing thing. Like i’m someone’s little sister who they forgot was there.

  • Dylan December 13th, 2012 8:41 PM

    lol Katterin, Jessa is NOT CHILL! I would not chill with her if my objective was to chill!!!

    I would hang out with you but that’s duh-obvious

  • la fee clochette December 13th, 2012 10:59 PM

    breathtaking post, miss ruby

  • Erin. December 14th, 2012 12:39 PM

    Katherine, I get you. This has been my experience since I went to my first high school party when I was 15. “You don’t drink? You don’t smoke? Are you sick? Is something wrong with you? Maaaan, you need to chill! Just relax! Just have fun! Chiiiilllll!” Thanks random stoner guy who I’ve never spoken two words to.

    I can’t tell what’s worse: the random people telling me to chill or my best friends apologizing to me every time they talk about sex. We aren’t 12 anymore: my virginity does not embarrass me nor does your sexual activity.

    It probably doesn’t help that I do have a prudish face (I don’t know if you do), but what I think it comes down to is that it’s not us with the problem; it’s them. Some people just have a difficult time with accepting different people, especially when they think those people are judging them.

    PS: thankfully, not everyone who drinks or smokes weed is like this. In high school I was good friends with a stoner who loved me for my “weird prudishness.”

  • justsomeone December 15th, 2012 3:05 AM

    Hey Brittney :) Life can be so cruel beautiful, but if it is any consolation all, I think your diary entry is emotional and perfect, because it does not matter, to me anyway, how you put what you have to say, it was said with heart-felt sincerity that I found so…so right and I could relate to it. And that, Brittney, is why I think you should be proud of it.

  • .caroline. December 19th, 2012 5:02 PM

    Ugh Katherine I totally agree about the being too “innocent” thing. I’m a college sophomore now and somehow it never happened last year, but this year my friends think they have to treat me like a little kid. They’ll be talking about something and then I join the conversation and they stop talking and are like, “Oh you can’t hear this, we’ll corrupt your innocence.” It is getting so annoying! Just because I haven’t necessarily done things doesn’t make me any less mature and it doesn’t mean that I can’t hear them talking!