Saturday, August 06, 2005

Insert Wavy Flashback Lines

You know it’s been a slow week when your pet crabs are experiencing more excitement than you are.

Here’s how I’ve spent most of my time since Monday: staring at the computer, trotting on the treadmill, twisting my hair (well, as bad habits go...).

In the same amount of time, Connick and Dave have moved into the penthouse of crabitats. That’s right, they’re shacking in an aquarium now, baby. 5-gallon (at least). Calcium-enriched sand carpeting. Two state-of-the art climbing logs. Coconut-husk exercise wall. If I could insert a little “Jeffersons” theme music in here, I would.

Since I don’t have much to offer in comparison, I thought I’d go vintage. I’ve kept a journal since 1994 (ninth grade), and though I don’t write every day, I did jot something on August 6, 1995 -- 10 years ago today.

A peek, if you promise not to judge:

“Jenny suggested I try a new hairstyle, and I’ve been fretting over it for the past few days. I like my hair, but change is often good. Grandmother K. bought me some cute overalls as as early b’day gift. My horoscope says new hairstyle + new wardrobe = guys, but the only guy I (think I) want doesn’t care one way or the other.

“I wish I was dating this summer. I think it would be fun. But I really only wish I was dating HIM. Oh well.

“After I get home, school will start. It won’t be so bad, but I need to do my summer book report.

“I think I’m getting obsessed with Lee, and that’s bad. I’ve got to learn to SHOP AROUND.”

Nevermind...go ahead and judge. What was I thinking with that subjunctive? Didn’t I learn anything in Miss Heffner’s 8th-grade grammar class?

And yeah, there’s the “hair and boys” thing. If you didn’t know me, you might think I was (were?) slightly, er, superficial as a young teenager. I included the line about the book report so you’ll see that I did, in fact, pay attention to my studies.

But I also paid attention to “HIM.” Here’s August 31, 1996:

“My birthday is soon(er)! Mom is planning a big brunch tomorrow, and we’ll have many relatives. Kind of wish I was having a boy/girl party, so Lee could come. But oh well. I’m keeping those “Sixteen Candles” fantasies in the back of my brain.”

More misuse of the subjunctive, and more Lee. I bet I still wore those overalls, too.

You might like to hear that Lee eventually asked me to prom and that we enjoyed a long, post-graduation courtship.

Only in my Molly Ringwald sponsored fantasies.

In reality, we both went north for college, and while I underwent boy-crazy detox at Wellesley, Lee began dating boys at Princeton.

Yes, it turns out that while I was pining for Tony in my school’s production of “West Side Story,” Tony had his eye on Riff. I found this out when Lee and I met up at Starbucks in Murfreesboro last summer. Talk about star-cross’d love.

If I had the oft-coveted time machine, would I grab my 15-year-old self by the shoulders? “Look, Jesse, the boy smells good, dresses well, and has a passion for Broadway musicals....get a CLUE.”

Well, I don’t know. Yesterday I got an email from a friend who said, paraphrasing, that with the time she’s devoted to love (unrequited or otherwise), she could have written a novel or trained for a marathon. I might have at least worked on that summer book report.

But then, don’t we all need a “Sixteen Candles” sequence? Some weeks are slow. The phone doesn’t ring. The mailbox is empty. The coconut-husk exercise wall seems more tedious than exotic.

When life gets stale, there’s nothing like a good obsession. After all, haircuts go out of fashion; novels wander into the bargain bin; and marathon-running hurts your knees. Obsessions last a year, at least. I wouldn’t mind obsessing right now. I wish I, um, were.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto on the boredom and the boredom I'm sure I experienced back in 1995. What was I doing then? I must have been at debate camp (or asthma camp, but shh! don't tell anyone about that, it's a dirty secret).

My week has been only slightly more interesting than yours. Work, drive, wash clothes, sleep, work, drive, work, work, work, wash clothes, Blockbuster, drive. The highlight of me week may have been discovering a thesis topic. -A

5:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home