February 20, 2001: “In America we like boys…bad boys!”

My friend Lisa and I thought we were so cool.

While the rest of our peers were freaking out about Freddie Prinze Jr., we were fangirling over Rhett Butler. Lisa was the only other 8th grade girl who shared my obsession with Gone With the Wind, which made us instant bffs. We were the only girls in our class who had grown up with Scarlett O’Hara, and this made us feel superior to practically everyone we knew.

In any American high school, there is at least one girl who dresses in vintage skirts and spends most of her time sighing over the good old days of black and white film stars. She usually gets to feel superior to everyone else because she wears cardigans every day and has seen every classic movie.

I desperately wanted to be this girl, except I got started way too early, at the age of 12. By the time I reached high school, adventure had stolen me away from the classic movie world. From ninth grade on, I spent most of my money on insanely large gold jewelry, clunky brown boots, and black eyeliner, desperate to achieve the looks of Rachel Weisz’s character in The Mummy. But to this day, I still consider myself a vintage girl. On an average day, I rock a style that combines the form-fitting skirts of Joan Holloway on Mad Men with the clunky gold snake bracelets of your average adventure heroine. Like Hannah Montana, I have the best of both worlds.

Though we were primarily concerned with the social machinations of the Old South, Lisa and I also loved 80s movies (during gym class, we wore our sweatshirts cut off the shoulder Flashdance-style) and for some uknown reason, we spent a great deal of time quoting and obsessing over the 1990 Johnny Depp movie Cry-Baby.

If you haven’t seen this John Waters masterpiece, it’s available for free on Hulu. But to sum it up, it’s basically Johnny Depp being a 50s badass, singing like Elvis, and being a tantamount example of Rockabilly fashion. It’s fantastic.

15597__crybaby_l

Shocking that I wanted to hit it.

This entry comes from just after my 14th birthday, in the thick of our Cry-Baby obsession. If I remember correctly, our favorite quote was from the Traci Lordes character, who is explaining America to the new foreign exchange student her parents plan to replace her with.

“In America we like boys…bad boys!”

Uh, yeah. I don’t even.

2/20/01

Dear Diary,

And the plot thickens. Last friday I had a dream I kissed David! We were at Emily’s house. We were just hanging out, until we got closer and closer, until we were hugging. He said something, and I said something (I don’t remember what) and then I said “kiss me” and he did! I’m not sure how I feel about this. Today, he was there in all my classes. In english, during a part in the Movie “Diary of Anne Frank” when Peter’s mom says, “Look at his little girlfriend” his eyes met mine! Then in art, me + Lisa were cleaning up the clay tools, when he shows up and starts bugging us. He reached over to clean a tool (he was standing next to me) and he was so close I could touch him. Lisa was talking to me about “Crybaby” but I didn’t hear a word she said! I gazed @ him and he gazed at me for what felt like forever. Finally, though, we left – and so did he. But I just didn’t get it! WHY! I’m SO confused? What’ll I do?

Oh, good god. Again, let’s reiterate that anything substantial that occurred between myself and David B. was IN MY DREAMS. Awesome.

This entry might win some sort of prize for “most inappropriate film association.” I doubt any romantic looks were ever exchanged during a viewing of The Diary of Anne Frank.

During 8th grade, we had this weird unit on the Holocaust that lasted most of the year. Almost all of our classes related to this particularly depressing topic, which quickly denigrated from being Serious Business into “good lord, this again?” I reached my personal Holocaust Limit when my art teacher suggested that I relate my clay project with Anne Frank. I then proceeded to make the ugliest, lumpiest, heaviest piece of pink crap ever created. Sorry, but that’s just completely ridiculous. Art is supposed to be a creative expression of yourself, not yet another excuse to shove an already-overexposed subject down my throat. Our year-long unit culminated in a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. My friend Breanna and I applied too much blue eyeliner on the bus, and the heat inside the building caused it to melt, making it look like we’d been bawling our eyes out the whole time. Our teachers praised us on our empathy. Awk-ward.

Art Class was a big fucking deal, because I got to sit at the badass girls table, which was next to the badass boys table, where David B. was. I remember fighting for that seat, squeezing into it at the last possible moment. Class seating was very important, because it could determine your social status for the rest of the trimester. My seating (in the back, closest to the door) meant I got to dick around, make frequent trips to the bathroom to touch up my butterfly clips/glitter lip gloss, and sing along to “Some Girls” by Pink on the boom box with the rest of the female class badasses. Yes, art class was awesome.

David B. and I had most of our greatest moments in art class. Blessed with a spacey teacher who spent most of her time on the pottery wheel in the back, I was able to spend 99 percent of my time throwing myself at  him. My hormones were on over-drive, and any time he remotely entered my personal bubble, I about died.

This particular incident I remember, because I think it was the first time in life I experienced that cliche, “everything around you slows down” moment when you are close to someone you like. I still remember where I was standing, the water running over my hands, the grey “Abercrombie Football” t-shirt he was wearing. It was probably (tragically), one of the most fantastic moments of my young life.

Sadly, I’m pretty sure David B. just needed to use the sink.

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About Diane

Hey, I'm Diane! I'm a writer and storyteller, currently living in Washington, D.C. From a self-composed how-to guide on being an adventure heroine, to an obsessive college crush on the vaguely-Harrison-Ford-resembling editor of the college newspaper, to sundry forays into erotic, historical fanfiction, my material comes from the tragic yet hilarious place where fangirl obsession meets modern reality. I like thrifting, watching NBC comedies, and getting emotional about fiction.

Posted on October 28, 2009, in The Diary Project and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I too remember many important interpersonal exchanges with young men during class movies. Mostly accidental grazings and shared laughs, but still important to a middle schooler (and … now).

    And, like Pink, I don’t want to dance if it’s not in my heart!

  2. Polly Burnette-Egan

    Diane,
    I can’t believe the details you remember from middle school. I’m totally loving reading this. It brings back a lot of memories. I totally remember the trip to the holocaust museum. I remember the holocaust unit. However, I still can’t figure out who these boys are. lol

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