I’m writing in my diary, not a journal (I am trying to make myself comfortable with the word “diary”) in first period, regular U.S. History. I write during that class almost every day. It works well because no one sits behind me, and most of what we are learning was covered in the President’s Day presentations I had every year in elementary school; a crash course on pilgrims, Native Americans, and presidents.

Today, there is someone sitting behind me, because she wants to take notes with her friend in the very back row of desks. Except they are not taking notes. One is telling the other how she is going to her boyfriend’s house after the football game tonight, because his parents are gone for the weekend. It’s a scenario I have only heard in ’80s movies.

Giggle giggle giggle. Her friend laughs that all-knowing laugh. They know a lot of boys, they are kind of popular. Popular like all the other blonde girls who wear striped T-shirt dresses and booties, and put dark streaks in their light hair.

As much as I feel uncomfortable about hearing girls my age expend all of their words on how they plan to get hook-ups, I start to self-evaluate.

I remember, like, 50 years ago when I watched Prom with my mom. She thought it was sweet, but I thought it was exciting. I was totally under the impression that people were going to be such adults in high school, and that I would most definitely be asked to a dance. Now I am dipping my toe in the dull waters of junior year where the only guys who might ever ask me to anything are boys who I was nice to, while the others stay in the platonic playpen.

And it’s starting to wear on me.

Am I listening to them because I might want to know…how? How to get boys to like me, despite the fact that I have never colored my hair and refuse to wear those T-shirt-dress hybrids?

God, of course not.

Maybe. ♦