Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Mortified"

Hailed a "cultural phenomenon" by Newsweek and celebrated for years by the likes of This American Life, The Today Show, Esquire, The Onion AV Club, Daily Candy, Entertainment Weekly, and E!, Mortified is a comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids. Witness adults sharing their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more. After all, where else can you hear grown men and women confront their past with firsthand tales of their... first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi. *** So I happened upon this comical performance art type thing called "Mortified." People submit their diaries, letters, and other bits of pubescent angst and read it for audiences. At first, I couldn't fathom sharing my diary. But then I went and pulled my diary out of its "hiding place" in my dresser. And it is really pretty freakin' hilarious. I was given my diary as a Christmas gift in 1985. I was 11 years old. 6th grade. "I also adore (underlined 6 times) Anthony S. ____ and Bradly C. ____. Actually, they are probably drooling over me." Apparently... I had some real hatred towards my girl friends in 6th grade. Oy. "The other day, Metal Mouth Melissa, Atomic Fart Amy and I all got in a fight. Triple M vs AFA & me. Stuck up Stephanie, Snotty Sharon and Talkalot (more like fightalot) Tine, tried to stay out of it. They didn't do very well at trying." This one starts out sweet but... as a parent who now truly knows what it means to value every minute of sleep... it's really laughable. "10/13/86 My parents are not telling me everything. I found out that they have marriage counseling every 3 weeks. I'm really scared, what if they get divorced?" "10/15/86 I hope my parents do get divorced! My dad woke me up at 5:30 a.m., I'm supposed to get up between 5:45 and 6:00! Every minute matters!" Spectrum was a singing group I was a member of in junior high. I obviously wasn't one of the popular "prep" kids. "Spectrum picnic was awesome! I never realized that there are only 5-7 preps in Spectrum! Everyone else is a blow-out! It's great!" And if you ever need a plan to escape... and need to make a contract with yourself in order to get your point across? "Jan 21, 1990 I have $33, so if I must leave I have enough for a bus to somewhere!!
Contract for:
The Silent Treatment
1. I shall speak when spoken to, but I shan't volunteer information.
2. I will always be polite and never get snooty.
3. If worse comes to worse, take a walk to calm down."
And I signed it. In cursive. Because it was, you know, a contract. With myself.
***
I wasn't a regular diarist. I skipped years at times. I have 2 journals. The first started at the end of 1985 and the second was last written in at the start of 2002. And now I blog daily about little bits and pieces of life.
My diary is filled with crushes, school dances, bad grades, angst, hate towards my parents, passion, dreams, favorite quotes, and even lyrics (none of my own).
I've not laughed so much at myself... and gained such insight into the trials of puberty... and I hope I can hang on to these diaries and the, dare I say, wisdom contained within so that I am better prepared to understand my daughter when she hates me, when she is obsessed with love and dating and hooking up, when she is fighting with her very best friend.
Jeff never journaled. So I guess we're just SOL on insight when it comes to Zach. Poor boy.

11 comments:

Hit 40 said...

I use my students at school to bounce off of when I don't understand my boys. They always have excellent ideas for fun things to do or how to discipline them!!

Eternal Lizdom said...

That is hilarious!! How fantastic to have such a resource!! LOL!

Jim and Garret said...

I loved: Jeff never journaled. So I guess we're just SOL on insight when it comes to Zach. Poor boy.

Funny! For a short time I kept a journal. I've reread it here and there and am amazed at how petty problems are so major for a 18 year old. Ugh.

C. Beth said...

Those are awesome. You were a fantastic writer, even then!

Jackie E. said...

That's so funny! I used to journal in high school as well and I've come across them from time to time over the years. Good grief! is all I can say! Thank goodness those days are long over. I mean it was fun and all, but those days of insecurity and uncertainty are definitely not missed, lol!

Flartus said...

"shan't"? You must have been quite an interesting child to raise...

My journals, even less frequently written in than yours, are still at my parents' house. I've always found them too embarrassing to think of, but your blog has given me a new perspective on them. I am not, after all, the same as my 13-year old self. Mostly.

Eternal Lizdom said...

It's really rather freeing to share them with people. All of my deepest secrets came out in more serious ways so it's not like my diary contained anything really juicy from my 34 year old perspective! 10 years ago... I'd have been so embarassed, though!

Joanie M said...

Oh Liz! That is so funny! I LOVE the names you gave the girls you were fighting with! I wish I had my diary from when I was a kid.

Jim and Garret said...

Flartus, funny you pointed that out! LOL. I thought what the heck but by the time I got to the comment page I forgot to mention that.

Girl With The Golden Touch said...

That's hilarious, really made me smile!

Mrs4444 said...

That is hilarious! Wish I had kept that journal...