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February 27, 2001: fangirl

Some days, I didn’t have a lot of time to write. I had homework to do, new hairstyles to attempt and anime to watch. But other times, I had a shitload of nothing on my schedule. Maybe it was a weekend and Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” wasn’t on the air (you know you remember that afternoon lineup featuring Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Gundam Wing, etc., from the time when anime was vaguely popular and socially acceptable.) Maybe my dad had kicked me off the computer. Maybe I had just seen a great movie and it made me want to wax poetic (this still happens.)

BFF Sara and I have been reading a lot of memoirs lately, mostly in the genre of “pretty white girls with problems.” This is accurate to our lives, since we are also pretty white girls with problems. (Say what you will about your life, but I know one of my biggest problems is that I used to feel superior and East Coasty knowing about guidos, and now every Midwestern fraternity is having Jersey Shore themed parties. Where were you six years ago when “True Life: I have a Summer Share” aired? I mocked guidos before it was cool!)

If you don’t know the reference, check out the Mad TV sketch here:

Anyway, one of my most recent reads is Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin. In a similar style to this blog, she follows her diary from age twelve to twentysomething. One of her themes was that you don’t write in your diary when you’re happy. You’re too busy having fun. What your diary is actually for is all the times when your life sucked. Or when you’re bored and you don’t realize that very important and life-changing things are happening all around you. That’s definitely something this diary shows, since most of my entries are OMG DAVID B. DOESN’T LOVE ME. It’s further evidenced by the fact that I stopped keeping a regular diary when I was 19, right before I went to work at summer camp. Working at camp was basically the freshman year of college I didn’t have the first time around, and after all the underage drinking and girl manipulation and boy drama, I reached a level of maturity that I’m not likely to ever leave.

Those times when I felt bored/depressed/flaily made for the best diary entries. This is definitely one of them.

My Dearest Diary – (hehe – i’ve been reading too many fanfics)

Everywhere I go and whatever I do, I’m always thinking about him. I read 11×13 fanfics and I wish we were 11×13, instead of D+D. + = friendship or a small crush, x = a relationship that is physical.

I didn’t get to see him at all today, because of the stupid field trip! rats! It’s like I feel really empty when he’s not around.

I see  his face in my mind, and his laughter in my ears. He’s such a strong presence, that I feel it when he’s not around. Even if I’m not talking to him, just knowing he’s there is a comfort to me. I wonder if I’m falling in love with him…

my symptoms are

* feel empty if he’s gone

* can’t sleep

* poor appetite

* blush at his name

* feel electricity at his touch

* I can’t go ten minutes without thinking of him

* major mood swings

* I spaz if he looks at me or gives me that smile of his

* I’m becoming a fanfic addict – reading at least four a day

* the world ceases to exist if I’m talking to him

* I am slowly going crazy … (^_^ hehe)

Something about his smile makes me go crazy? I want to just go up and embrace him right there in front of everyone. We’re so alike, yet so different. I can’t begin to describe how I felt the day of the post-it note thing.

It’s like this, kinda:

Diane: I don’t know if you know this, but you have post-it notes on your back

David: (laughs softly) Oh really? Take them off, please.

I slowly reach out my hand and touch his shirt, then get a hold of myself and remove the post-it notes. We were by a window, but all I saw was the brightest light. It was just him and me in the world. For a minute, I forgot who I was and where I was.

He looks at me, and I hand him the notes.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!! The evil side is yielding to the peaceful one, good grief!

I think this entry requires some explanation for those of you who grew up without the world of fanfiction. For those of you who also engaged in now shameful fangirl pursuits in fiction, art or message boards, you may skip ahead to the next paragraph. In the early days of the internet, in a time before Facebook and Youtube would forever immortalize our adolescent actions, nerdy teenagers everywhere formed fan communities to discuss their favorite shows. Usually, fan communities formed around anime or science fiction shows, because like myself and many of my friends – these attract the crazies. The various web sites, message boards and mailing lists were a way for fans to connect, either to form alliances or start internet arguments about their favorite character’s destiny, love life and true sexual orientation. Hardcore nerds decided to take it one step further, and write their own versions of the story. While fanfiction’s existed in print form since the Star Trek days, the internet meant the stories could spread quickly to a much larger audience. OK, lecture over. Let’s continue the throwback!

In this particular entry, I discuss my obsession with Gundam Wing fanfiction involving my favorite couple, Evil World Dictator Treize Khushrenada and his aide Lady Une. In the Gundam Wing fandom (fan community) pairings (couples) are listed by a numerical system. Each character had a corresponding number, and the relationship postulated in the story was indicated by a multiplication sign (they’re boyfriend/girlfriend) or an addition sign (they’re friends or it’s a one-sided crush). So I wanted my life to just be a 13×11, meaning I wanted to be a chick with a split personality (more on that later) who had a boyfriend who was an evil world dictator. Don’t blame my parents for this. I’ve always had a really bad case of villain empathy.

Again, I manage to incorporate a list. What can I say, my OCD tendencies manifested fairly early on. Though I wouldn’t make my transition from wannabe-goth to Annie Adderall (minus the pills, plus a healthy Lord of the Rings obsession) until 10th grade, you can tell I had total overachiever issues from a young age.

I love my little recreated conversation from the Post-it Note Incident. Did we really need a reenactment of that dialogue? Take that, Carrie Bradshaw. My ridiculous butterfly clip-wearing ass had a post-it situation long before you did!

The last line of this entry refers to Lady Une and her wonderful split personality. I made a papier-mâché sculpture dedicated to her insanity in art class that year, so obviously her character resonated with me on some weird level. (But last night I drunkenly defended Scar’s killing of Mufasa, so like I said, villain sympathies…) Lady Une had a peaceful side and an evil side, and I thought that I had the same thing. This is total bullshit, obviously.

(My ninth grade picture is an homage to Lady Une. I so don’t wanna talk about it.)

The list of symptoms is also hilarious. I think half of these are imagined from things I’d read in bad fanfiction set to songs like “Crush” by Mandy Moore. The other half were the result of self-induced hysteria. At home, I spent a good portion of my time scrolling through anime-related prose, at school, I fantasized about applying the fanfiction relationships to my David B. situation.

I also wrote my own fanfiction for a variety of shows and movies. But that, my BFFs, is a tale for another time.

July 5, 2002: Ready for this Jelly

This Thursday was my friend Kit aka “Bunny’s” birthday. I promised that I would revisit some of our bff-hood as her wedding gift (if you’ll remember, she got married last month). So today, I bring you a momentous multimedia spectacular that showcases some of our best awkardness.

When we were in ninth grade, Bunny and I had some complicated boy troubles. We decided to channel our frustration by making a list of 100 reasons y guys suck (yes with the “y” instead of the real word.) I’m not sure we actually took our own advice, but the list brings the lols nonetheless.

I used “Bootylicious” as the background music, since Kit and I basically wanted to be Beyonce. Sadly, we were short, white and hopelessly suburban. But damn did we try our best.

I’m going to pin this list on my wall at school, in all its early-2000s AOL printout glory. Note the pink font and our fantabulous screennames. Though we wrote this when we were much less cool, I think a lot of the items still hold true today. But in the advent of social media, I feel I need to add one last reason:

101.) Three months after your breakup, though you haven’t talked since that day, they still try to invite you to be their neighbor on pointless and confusing Facebook applications like FishVille.

(Yeah, true story.)

I love you, Bunny! Happy Birthday, and I’m glad you found a guy who doesn’t suck.

November 27, 2000: life-changing events

Today’s entry reflects on the tumultuous events of seventh grade and how they have ruined my life.

The short version of the story is that I had a huge girl-boner for Ryan since the sixth grade, and to show my love, I decided to write him a poem and give it to him during the Groundhog’s Day Dance. (We weren’t allowed to have a Valentine’s Day Dance, because our principal thought it would “encourage dating.” But I think invoking fat, furry animals in this story makes it even better.) Needless to say, it did not end well. Avoidance and extreme awkwardness followed, and I continually referred to this day as “the worst day of my life.”

Photobucket
This groundhog is mad that Ryan didn’t understand the subtle beauty of Diane’s poetry.

11/27/00

It’s drawing closer to the anniversary of the Grounhog Day Dance, and the terrible bout of depression that followed it.

The world seems so changed since those long-ago days when all that mattered was a certain person and my friends. Everything seemed like a big party, and when it all ended, I had to clean up the ruins of what had happened. Now that I have confidence and a niche in the round of life at (My town) Middle School, the months have flown by. But in the quiet, I remember the world that used to be. But had none of this ever happened, I would not be who I am today. Here are the events that changed my life.

  1. 6th grade class
  2. meeting Ryan
  3. <3ing Ryan
  4. Dance
  5. Depressed
  6. found “Gundam Wing”
  7. reunited w/Emily
  8. met J, R, B
  9. Me Today!

So everything has somehow lead to who I am now. But I wonder what would have happened had I not done one of those things if I had been in another class, where would I be right now?

Oh lord, maudlin Diane is maudlin. I love when things that were once tragic become hilarious in retrospect. I also love that I credit “Gundam Wing” as bringing me out of depression. However, I will always believe in the Power of Being a Fan, which is to say that being a fan of something (be it a movie or TV show or god forbid, anime) has helped me through some of my toughest times, as well as lead me to meet some of my greatest friends. Being a fan is a lifestyle, and it’s one I’ve had since the fourth grade, when my mom rented “Star Wars” for me.

Another hilarious sidenote: I have no idea who J, R and B are. I have a theory that those initials must be my friends Jessie, Rebbeca and Brittany, but it’s pretty weird that I would have credited them in this life-changing events list, considering I barely spoke to them before or after that year. I do, however, continue to have a friendship with Rebbeca (Becca). She’s still awesome, despite the fact that she apparently wasn’t invited into my ideal fantasy world.

I believe the Worst Day of my Life was a landmark occasion for one reason: it was the first time during my love life where I realized — moments too late — that I’d made a Terrible Choice. The second I gave Ryan the poem, I knew I shouldn’t have done it. (I believe I gave it to a friend to give to him, truth be told. That’s how we did things in eighth grade: note-passing style.) Right away, the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me this was a poor life choice. I’ve grown to remember this feeling, and I think every time I make one of these decisions, a little part of me remembers standing inside a darkened gym at four in the afternoon, watching helplessly as my feelings traveled toward their intended target on a piece of notebook paper.

I would remember this moment throughout high school, when I turned down a boy I actually did like because I didn’t know he was asking me out. I would remember it when I did my second and third confessions of love, both of which involved the internet instead of notebook paper. (One of these was to a gay man, so I’m not sure it was a total fail, just more of a “sorry, your genitals are on the inside of your body.”) I would remember during my freshman year of college, when a tiny lie grew out of control, and I found myself creating elaborate deceptions to get out of seemingly simple situations. I would remember this summer, when I tried to resuscitate a relationship that was already dead.

As funny as my 13-year-old self seems today, it’s disrespectful to deny the pain. Pain is something that’s irrevocably honest, no matter how hilarious its packaging. I won’t pretend that, almost ten years later, I handle romantic rejection and sadness any differently. In my heart, I’m still the same girl for whom friends, chocolate and a great hour of television heals all wounds.