Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Life in 1994 (part 1)

These excerpts are from the last semester of my junior year.

I think I'm starting to get more wordy, so I'll probably divide this year into more posts than usual.

I might do one month at a time....




We all stayed up all night. It was an incredible night. I think I like both James and Even. I wish I could have lived on the cruise forever. It was too painful to separate. In a way, I think Melissa and I are being overdramatic, but in a way, I think we are not.  (1/2/94)

You know how sometimes we think something is a huge deal at the time, and then later we look back and it seems silly.

I was thinking that this was NOT the case for that cruise. I look back and still feel it was special.

A part of me thinks we had some kind of spiritual connection with these people on the cruise. Maybe we all knew each other in a past life, and the cruise was a short, fun reunion.  

Another part of me thinks maybe it was special because I've not had a lot of intense social adventures. I did a lot of socializing in college. Yes. But it was rare for me to have intense, almost-all-night experiences. Since college, I've not had many at all. 

I go to bed early.

Since that cruise, I don't think I've ever stayed up all night to watch the sunrise.

I think some other people experience what I experienced on the cruise almost every weekend of their life. So to them, the cruise might be less of a big deal. 

I'm going to miss the family. I'll also miss Judd. I feel like he part of the family. (1/3/94)

It's nice reading that, because Judd IS part of the family now. He and my sister celebrated their 20th anniversary in February!

I want to marry James. He is who I want to marry. Melissa and I have a slight suspicion that he is gay. That would suck. I have nothing against homosexuality. But if the guy you like is gay, it puts a damper on things. (1/4/94)

Yep.

I miss Melissa a lot. I don't think I have any feelings for Russ anymore. I wish I could be with James. I hope he is not gay. (1/5/94)

Gay or not...we didn't end up together.

Today they tore the temple down. It made me sick. Sometimes I liked to look out my window and see that huge Star of David. It made me feel that I was not so alone. Now I look outside and I see broken bricks. (1/6/94)

I wonder what they put in its place. I can't remember.

I went out to dinner with Luke tonight. Then later Jennifer and Dana came over. We all watched Saturday Night Live. (1/8/94)

Dana is mentioned so often in these diaries. WHY don't I remember her?

I vaguely remember this one girl. She had wavy blond hair, maybe?  I vaguely remember not liking her at first, and then....

I don't know.

I remember maybe being jealous, and that would fit with the whole thing of Russ liking her while I liked Russ.

One thing I'm realizing is that the Dana mystery might be the solution to another mystery in my life.

In the past several years, I often have people in my dream that I don't know. I thought maybe they were extras in my life—people I glanced at the grocery store or while rushing through the airport, etc. Or I thought maybe they were from a past life or visitors from an alternate universe.  

But now I'm thinking, it's very likely they're simply the friends and acquaintances my conscious mind has forgotten. 

I hung out with Susan today. She annoyed me. We had separate conversations. She talked about Randi and I talked about James.

Then I told her I loved Pete's Dragons and that its songs were so meaningful. She said, "But is it didactic?" Then when I didn't answer, she said, "Do you know what didactic means?"

She insulted me twice. First she insulted my choice of movies and then she insulted my vocabulary. (1/10/94)

So...what's worse—asking someone if they know the meaning of a word or casually dropping non-mainstream words in a conversation?

I think didactic is fairly mainstream. But I might feel that way only because I know it's meaning. I'm not sure.

How about words, though, that are not common to the mainstream, but the speaker knows? Should they stop and explain the meaning of the word and/or ask if the listener knows the word? Or is it best for them to just say what they want to say and let the listener ask questions if needed?

For example. Which sounds better if I was talking to my sisters.

A) We saw a Bilby, and it was so adorable!

B) We saw this Australian animal—a bilby. It was so adorable!

C) We saw a Bilby. Do you know what that is?

I think B is best, personally. A feels like bragging to me—like instead of casual name-dropping, it's vocabulary dropping. C sounds condescending.

 BUT if B is used with more common words, it can look ignorant and condescending.  For example, if I said to my sisters. We saw this Australian animal—a kangaroo. It was so adorable. My sisters would probably look at me like I was insane and say, We know what a kangaroo is! Duh!  

My mom is calling the Fort Worth newspaper to complain because they inferred Jews controlled Hollywood and said Jews were misfits. (1/10/94)

Go, Mom! This is quite a change from when she didn't want me speaking out against the Swastika earrings at the Nashville fair. Did she change? Or was her dislike of me speaking out at the fair about a fear of danger? Maybe she felt it was safer to complain via telephone than in person.

I asked for Effie and Robert's advice about whether I should call James. They said I should call him. Effie says I should call Saturday or Friday. I think I will.

Melissa thinks I shouldn't so I can keep good memories. She thinks I might call and he'll be cold. Then I'll be sad.

But I'm sad now and the memory is fading. (1/11/94)

I can see merit in both pieces of advice.

I have had wonderful times with people that later turned sour in my memory because the long distance communications were cold and too sporadic.

On the other hand, if properly nurtured by both parties, something short could turn into something long...maybe even lifelong.

But the latter didn't happen with James, so I'm kind of preferring Melissa's advice.

He called! I was so excited. The only thing is, when he called I was out. Then when I called him back, he was gone. (1/12/94)

I had to look at an online calendar to see what day of the week that was. It was Wednesday, which is a few days before Effie's recommended Friday or Saturday.

Did James initiate all this thing, and my only contribution was hoping/wishing? Or did I call him first?

Or maybe I sent a letter and asked him to call?

I guess I'm just wondering if he called because he wanted to talk to me, or did he call out of obligation?

In the cafeteria, David came up and said Hi. He was super nice and I was a cold bitch again. I was just so embarrassed because of the card I sent him. I have to try to be nice to him. I'm not mean. I'm just sort of unfriendly. (1/12/94).

I can understand why I'd behave that way, but I also kind of want to scold my past self.

I left Eli in the bookstore. Is that awful of me or what? I miss the guy. He is so sweet. What if I can't find him tomorrow. (1/12/94)

So...Eli was probably not an insect. I'm guessing he was some kind of tiny figurine, maybe? Perhaps a bookmark?

My parents at dinner said they hoped James and I would get together. Melissa told me that. I don't see why my parents like James so much. They liked him the minute they saw him. Everyone loves James. I don't blame them. (1/13/94)

From that and from what I can remember, I'm going to infer that James was very charming and outgoing. Tim is that way, and my parents liked him from the very start as well.

Almost everyone adores Tim as soon as they meet him. The same is true about my dad. They're both very outgoing and charming.

I have the same problem with David. I can't make myself be nice to him. This is the thing: If I'm nice to David and Russ, they are mean to me. That hurts my feelings. (1/14/94)

Well...then I'm taking back my desire to scold my past self.

From my diaries, I see so much hot/cold behavior. And if the coldness is correlated with me being nice, I can't really blame myself for acting less-nice. On the other hand, purposely acting cold to bring out the niceness in someone is manipulative.

I'm wondering if people's moods just play off each other...naturally.

Sometimes it seems that Tim is nicest to me when I'm in a quiet mood. When he is suddenly in an outgoing, cheerful mood, sometimes it makes me feel...tired?

This morning we both seemed to be in an equally friendly, cheerful mood. That was nice. But it's probably not that common. A lot of times, it seems like one of us is friendly and cheerful and the other one just wants to be left alone.

Tonight I called both my grandparents. I was glad I did that. Grandma G annoyed me because she kept talking about Mike. She made me feel bad though because she said Mike's mom has breast cancer or something. I feel bad for Mike, but he needs to get his own life. I feel bad saying that. (1/15/94).

My grandmother was friends with my ex. Fun.

It's kind of sweet.

And I think it's kind of cruel to force family to distance themselves from your exes. Though there has to be boundaries. For example: No pushing you to get back together. No guilt trips.

I'm not sure if Grandma Goldie was purposely giving me a guilt trip. It could have been that just by her talking about him, it made me uncomfortable. Maybe it's best to say something like, It's fine that you're still friends with him. But hearing about him makes me sad, so can we talk about something else?

My parents want me to go to school with James. I'm afraid he'll think I'm following. (1/16/94)

WTF. I don't remember that at all! Were they really that much into James?

Did they want me to leave my university my junior year? Or did they mean for graduate school?

I still remember what school James went to...at least for undergraduate. But I don't remember his last name. It's kind of funny.

Susan's apartment smells terrible. I'm not thankful enough that she is back. I remember coming out of the shower last year and crying because her troll key chain was not in her door. (1/18/94)

Susan is an example of a relationship that would have been better if we left it on a high note. She was my best friend. She left. Then she came back, and the relationship went sour. It's too bad.

The other unfortunate thing is I put more energy into writing down the negative than the positive. I rarely wrote about her when we were best friends. I guess I just took her for granted.

I'm not speaking to Arenthia or Stacy. It's not like I'm trying to do the silent treatment. I just don't feel like speaking to them. What's there to say?  (1/19/94). My roommates.  I think things got worse and worse with them.

Sometimes I think that I'm not in "love" with James. Maybe I'm in love with the cruise and he's just a personification of the cruise. Maybe that's why I traded liking Evan for him. I knew James would keep in touch and Evan would not. I needed to latch onto something. 

I don't think that's true, though. I think I was so fond of James and then the like turned into love. (1/19/94)

I could go with either theory.

What I remember is that I had a crush on Evan, but he seemed out of my league. He gave me more attention than I'd usually expect from someone out of my league, so that was exciting. Then James, his best friend, is the one I felt comfortable with. We joked around. I felt relaxed around him. It was just a platonic feeling, but then it grew into something more.

I had fun in my adolescent literature class. We debated whether or not to teach the classics. (1/20/94).

I remember that!  If I had a list of the top five defining moments of my ACADEMIC college experience, this would probably be on the list.

I may have even written about it on my blog somewhere.

If you're teaching high school students, is it better to read Macbeth together or is it better to read something like Looking For Alibrandi or The Fault in Our Stars?

Maybe a mixture is best?

I also think it depends on the students. Are they advanced? Bookworms? Very intellectual? Nerds?  Then Macbeth might be good.  If they're reluctant readers, something more relatable is probably the better choice.

I just searched through my blog and found a post in which I talk about it.

There might be more....

I saw a cute guy at breakfast today. I'm not interested, but I want to like someone here just a little. I'd like to date people casually as I wait for James to call or write. (1/23/94)

Waiting for the phone to ring.

It's not fun.

I guess now it's about waiting for a text...or something along those lines.

I despise Arenthia and Stacy right now. I gag when they enter the apartment. Their faces are like the puke on the bottom of the stairs. You take the long way just to avoid them. (1/23/94)

I think that was my feeling towards most of my roommates.

Well...let's see. Who did I have so far?

The first year there was Brandi, Edie, and Sheryl. I think I hated them for the most part.

Then there was Jill, who I don't remember but I saw her mentioned in the diary.

There was Susan. I loved her in the beginning.

I also had Joy and Sami. I didn't mention them much in my diaries, but they annoyed me.

And in the diaries I'm reading now, I had Effie, Arenthia, and Stacy. It seems I liked Effie, but not the other two.

Total: 10.

Strongly disliked: 5.

So about half were like puke at the bottom of the stairs. The rest were probably like dead leaves and other debris at the bottom of the stairs.

Susan was a fallen delicious cupcake that had turned moldy...at the bottom of the stairs.

SO....

Guess what.

I went downstairs and searched through our photo albums.

I wanted to find Dana.

And I think I did!

I can't even see her face in the photo, but I remembered her by her hair! She's not the girl with wavy blond hair that I was thinking of. Dana had shortish platinum blond hair. That is...if I was looking at the right person.

This memory thing is strange. I can kind of understand forgetting the minor players in my life. There are people in our social groups that we talk to less than the others. There are people we talk to every so often in class. Maybe we go out with them once or twice. It sort of makes sense to forget them.

But Dana? I talk about her so much in the diary. It seems like really spent a lot of time together.

I'm trying so hard to hang on to the cruise memory, but it's hard to loose faith. Evan has not written back. I wonder if anyone will write. I was just thinking that I can't wait until summer. I just want to rest and be free. In a way, I wish we never got anyone's address or phone number. That way they could have been just left as good memories. Now the thought of them brings feelings of pain and rejection. 

My favorite part in Little Women is when Laurie realizes he is over Joe. And he is upset by that. I'm afraid one day I'll wake up and not even care about James anymore. (1/25/94).

These past few years, I've had feelings like that. I didn't realize I also had it back then as well.

I'm an obsessive person. I get obsessed with diseases, countries, animals, celebrities, religions, people I know, TV shows, movies, etc.

Obsessions are fun, but can be painful at times...especially if rejection is part of the picture.

But what I also have a hard time with is the worry/regret/guilt about obsessions ending. It's like I don't feel dedicated enough.

Sometimes I'll watch a TV show and be sad that it's ending. But I'm also sad knowing that in a few weeks, I'll be completely over the TV show. It bothers me, knowing, that I soon won't care anymore.

He still has not called, but I've decided to change my perspective. This morning I was beginning to hate him. I was thinking when he eventually did call, I'd not talk to him. Then later today, in my cognitive psychology class, I totally had a revelation. The professor was telling us how perspective determines how we see things and can influence how how something happens. 

For example, when Austin didn't call like he said he would, I got really mad and thought negative things about the future of our relationship, because I was upset.

When he did call, I was hostile. This upset him and our relationship was ruined. 

So, I thought, I have no right to be angry at James. He has done nothing wrong. He has not broke any promise. He gave no indication of disliking me. To doubt him is unfair. I can not guarantee that he has strong romantic feelings for me, but I know and I must have faith that we are friends. (1/27/94)

I agree 100% with what I said about James. I don't agree so much about the Austin thing.

Austin and I were in a relationship of sorts. If you're in a relationship, I think there are certain expectations. For example, if someone says they're going to call and they don't; it makes sense to feel and act a bit angry.

If a husband goes on a business trip and leaves his wife and young child behind; then doesn't bother to call and check up on them, I think it makes sense for her to feel resentful.

I think this is different from when we have romantic feelings for someone who likely sees as just as a friend.

And I don't think James ever promised me a phone call. I just WANTED a phone call, and I wanted him to want to make the phone call.

It's disappointing and a bit depressing when love is unrequited. But it doesn't give us a right to behave angrily towards the object of our affection.

I'm glad I managed to come to my senses about James. Or at least I tried to.

Though...I think I'd still end up making the same mistake with other people. I think there were times I behaved badly.

I talked to Corey, Arenthia's boyfriend. He is such a sweetheart and he's cute too. Arenthia and him don't match well in my opinion. Arenthia is great, but she seems to fit well with a different type of guy. (1/28/94).

Well...Arenthia was no longer the vomit at the bottom of the stairs. But it seems she wasn't good enough for Corey.

Let's see. This is what I look forward to: James' phone call, hearing the song, a letter from cruise people, spring break, the Jewish dinner, summer, visiting James, going to NYU, reading about religion, Academy Awards, getting published, making a movie, breakfast.

I was thinking the list is sad, because some of the things didn't happen. I don't think I ever saw James again. I didn't get into NYU. I never had a book published (outside of self-publishing), and I never made a professional-type movie.

BUT

It's better to concentrate on what did happen. I'm sure I got to eat breakfast the next morning. I'm sure I've read many more books about religion. I've been to several Jewish dinners.

I had more spring breaks, and I've had many summers.

And the song! At the cruise disco, they played this song that I loved so much. It took me forever to find out what it was. Back then, we couldn't Google lyrics or visit message boards.  I'm not even sure how I managed to find it eventually.

It turned out to be "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys.





Sometimes I get jealous of Melissa. It's weird. I feel like I tried to push Darren and her together. When I wrote Darren, I tried to encourage him to call Melissa. Melissa read me her letter to James. There was not one single reference to me. That bothers me. (1/31/94)

Melissa!!?? Rude!!

What would be funny is if she too had a crush on James and never told me.

I started off liking Evan. Melissa started off liking Evan's brother Darren. Maybe as I switched from Evan to James, Melissa did too.

Even though I find it amusing, I did have a negative feeling when I read that entry. It reminds me of something else that has happened. I can't figure out what it is, though. It's something like me doing something to try to help someone; feeling they should be doing the same for me; and they don't do it.

No.

That's not it.

Now I think I know what it is. It's about being talked about. In most cases, I think it's not so great. In others....

I think there are times where I've wondered if Tim's family knows certain things about me. Like the fact that I've been having body jerks...myoclonus, whatever you want to call it. Do they know I have neurological concerns? Because Tim talks to me about his family when they have medical issues that concern him.  He lets me know when he's worried about something related to his family. So a part of me thinks if his family doesn't know about my health issues, it might mean he doesn't care enough to discuss it with his family.

On the OTHER hand, it could be that he feels more comfortable talking to me about what worries him than he does talking to his family about such things.

So reading about Melissa not mentioning me to James made me think of that.