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February 23, 2001: He loves me, he loves you not

Hello, again.

To make up for my prolonged absence, (I just started a full-time internship and consequently have even less of a life than I did before) I give you a very special and the first of (unfortunately) many editions of: Diane’s Poetry Corner.

In case you didn’t already think I was a complete tool, I will now reinforce it by giving you the half-written poem from mid-February, 2001.

Back when I wore bedazzled jeans and karma beads on a daily basis, I used to think of myself as Quite The Poet. I had a lot of Feelings, and I thought I should express them in stanza form. I rarely rhymed, because rhyming was for conformists who cared more about getting syllables right than expressing their inner angst. A few brushes with perceived classroom success (my poor teachers!) made me think I was The Shit, and so I took every opportunity to stare out the window and brood, scribbling bits of ridiculous metaphor on notebook paper instead of paying attention.

I remember I was picked to be part of a county-wide writer’s workshop. After taking my ego up about ten more notches, I proceeded to pick my best poems and adhere a fake nose stud to my face. Earlier that week, I’d conveniently picked up some fake crystals to put on my nails (don’t even judge me) and proceeded to use some of the nail glue to place one of the larger crystals where a nose ring would be.

I walked around like that alllll day. You know I was awesome.

I probably wore something like this to the writer's workshop, picked especially to coordinate with my fake nosering.

I remember being particularly impressed when some blue-haired guy (oh god, bad choice mini Diane!) complimented my poems. I remember we discussed poetry afterward and it was quite possibly the greatest thing ever. He probably just wanted to hit it. I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering I attracted the fake chain necklace and fake Japanese dragon shirt-wearing dudes even then.

Those writer’s workshops went on throughout the year. I remember loving them, because it proved there were other artsy/fake-goth/ridiculous kids in my area. I desperately wanted to go to one of the alternative high schools in the city, so I could be with others who ~understood me. When I took acting classes in ninth grade, I so badly wanted to be part of the tiny, artsy school located in a renovated warehouse behind one of the city’s teen centers. However, it’s a really, really good thing I didn’t end up there because I completely turned my shit around by mid-10th grade and I would’ve gotten my goody-two-shoes ass beat by some girl in eight-inch platform shoes and a Jack Skellington hoodie. Sigh.

Anyway, enough about my almost-life as a mini hipster.

Here’s “My Poem” (yes, that’s the only title – and it’s scrawled in cursive while the rest is in print):

2/23/01

My Poem

I’m always in the shadow,

Looking to the light.

Watching you across the room

Until the time is right.

I never know what to say,

or think or feel or do.

All I know is my world fades

When I’m standing next to you.

Here we have a rare rhyming example! We can obviously assume this poem is about David B., given the stalker-sounding phrases. Other than that, there’s not much to say except that it’s humiliating and I suck at poetry.

Don’t worry, we’ll have many, many more intricate and awful examples to come! Just wait til the summer between eighth and ninth grade. I had way too many feelings and way too much free time. There’s a little black notebook just filled with these gems. Get excited!

Also: before you judge my poetry too harshly, let’s take a look at Billboard’s top 10 songs of February 2001.

TWO TOP 10 SONGS BY SHAGGY. TWO.

I bet my eighth grade self knows more about rhyming than Shaggy.

And Dream, oh Dream. I did enjoy them. I remember listening to that song in BFF Emily’s van on the way to Border’s. (Where we were likely picking up the next Simon R. Green novel.) The fact that they were dancing around in iridescent pink pleather pants did not seem unusual to me.

Oh, 2001. You were kind to no one.

February 21, 2001: The Laws of Physics

Gym class with David B. was the most awkward thing ever.

First of all, even in the dead of winter, the gym was always about 100 degrees. It’s hard to look sexy when you’re forever wiping sweat away from your forehead, while your carefully-placed body glitter melts in the heat.

Another problem was my wardrobe. At least 70 percent of my clothing was black, leading to all-black gym ensembles that were the opposite of comfortable. Because I was desperate to maintain my over-accessorized punk chic aesthetic, I refused to take off my jewelery, leading to numerous occasions where I almost killed another runner as my paperclip necklace flew off my neck. I know, more than once, I almost stabbed people in the eye with errant jewelry.

It didn’t help that the most popular athletic pants in the late 90s were of the saggy, bulky, swishy variety. I will never forget the sound of 30 pairs of black Adidas swooshy pants circling an indoor track. I don’t know how kids in the 90s ever sneaked up on anyone. You could hear people coming a mile away. Between swooshy pants and windbreakers, we were pretty much fucked in terms of secrecy. I remember trying to make sure my pants had the appropriate amount of sag, and that I observed the proper shoes-to-pants ratio. (Which, for girls, was about 1/4 shoe to 3/4 pants. Only the top of your shoes should be visible beneath your bellbottoms/track pants. For boys, the further down your ass your pants could be, the better.)

gym outfit

This paperclip necklace is by Martin Margiela. Mine was pilfered from Mrs. Brion's office supplies cabinet.

I remember a lot of sweaty, awkward, hormonally-charged moments in gym. One in particular will always stand out in my mind. We were playing volleyball, the only sport I didn’t completely suck at. I had decent aim and hand-eye coordination, and it didn’t require any running (always the bane of my existence). I was on a team with Cherry and Lisa, and we were scrimmaging against some of the unpopular girls.

I was poised to send back a serve from one of the Stefanies, when I noticed David B. walking on the other side of the court. Pretty much any time he entered my general radius, I became awe-struck. It’s like I had this sixth sense about where he was in relation to me, and I was always trying to remember my most basic functions should be cross my path. That day, I remember him strutting past us, stopping to high-five one of his friends. He stopped, ran one hand through his brown bowl cut, turned, and shot me one of his famous half-smiles.

I completely missed the serve. The over-inflated school-issued volleyball landed square on my hand, right on the last joint of my right thumb.

I couldn’t properly move that thumb for weeks.

It was awesome.

2/21/01

Dear Diary,

Today i was talking to Kit online. I told her about David and she said that I should ask him out. Also, she said that she noticed the chemistry between us. And that she noticed how strongly we reacted to each other from the first day of class! I’m glad that someone else noticed this. S and S are completely oblivious to the whole thing. I’m just really confused about everything, I’m so lost, I don’t know what to do!

Sometimes I feel like I want to kiss him, and other times I want to hit him. It is so——————————————> weird. With RF, it was never like this. Actually, it kinda was, but more like a “good friends” thing than a flirting thing. How can I, Diane Lorraine, like David? C’mon he’s some boring old (home town) boy! He’s certainly no Treize Khushrenada, or any smart, cool, and confident world leader. Instead of a Lady Une x Treize, it’s more like Han Solo x Princess Leia, with occasional Gene x Melfina moments. It’s a strange kind of “every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction” deal. Mostly we disagree, and flirt like that. But then we have these sweet lapses when no one else is around, in which we have quiet talks.

When we interact, it’s like we pay attention to nothing else but each other. Austin, Elliot, Dustin and Neal are my buddies, but we never react that way.

OK, I’ll be honest, some of this was hard to type. Especially the parts where I compare my romance with David B. to other fictional couples. Good Lord. (I believe Gene and Melfina are from the anime Outlaw Star in case anyone was wondering/cared, which I am sure you weren’t/don’t.)

Everything I learned about sexual tension, I learned from Han and Leia. I’m not sure if this makes me really awesome, or really lame, but there it is. At 14, I truly believed that they, along with my fiction OTP (“one true pairing” for those of you who didn’t spend their teen years reading fanfiction on the internet) Rhett and Scarlett, were the perfect couple.

I also like where I’m too lazy to write out all the o’s in “so” so I just draw a line indicating the level to which I am frustrated.

As I’ve said before, I think it’s funny that all a dude has to do to garner my interest is be a douchebag. It’s funny, because this continues to be true today. Though it’s interesting to note that the first guy I ever dated did not banter with me until much later in the relationship.

That particular banter didn’t even happen until a strange, end-of-summer week where we hadn’t been able to spend any time alone. He had friends visiting, and I had emptied my bedroom (including the bed) in anticipation of moving. We ended up airing our sexual tension at the local all-night diner in the form of a loud, long, ridiculous argument in front of all our friends. The argument was resolved with us running outside and kissing.

It was awesome.