This entry from my junior year of high school is dizzying in its roller coaster of moods.
COLUMBUS DAY – No school
I’m starting to perk up. I mean, it really is up to me, you know. [Yes, Sheila, we know.]
I got up at 9 today, took a shower, dressed in my new sweats and sweatshirt and came up to my room and did aerobics. [You took a shower first??] It sort of gets the blood going – instead of curling up in a corner by the window and just looking out at the sky. [I honestly don’t remember ever “curling up in a corner by the window and just looking out at the sky”. Methinks I was exaggerating for effect.] That’s my major problem. I let myself get so so so so depressed and I wallow in it. I mean, I don’t enjoy it but I don’t do anything to get out of it. Why am I like this? Does Cris D. ever get depressed?? [This is hysterical, in retrospect. My friends will know why. “Cris D” comes up a lot in these journals. She was the goddess of the high school, and actually a friend of mine because we both were in the Drama Club.]
All in all, I’m feeling pretty good.
On Saturday I met Beth at Kingston Pizza. We ate and talked. She passed a few compliments on to me, from others – and it made me feel good. She’s good that way. Like Cindy – this girl on my bus – I really like her -we sit together on the way home and talk about General Hospital and boys. [And that sentence alone encapsulates adolescence.] I was afraid she might have a gossipy mouth but I like her – and I don’t think she blabs. We were talking about the Sadie Hawkins dance and she asked me if I was asking anyone. (Cindy always seems to have a boyfriend.) And I said, “Nope. I’ve asked guys for 2 years in a row and they always say No. So no, thank you!” She leaned toward me. “Who’d you ask?” I murmured, “Oh … T. …and last year I asked …” (with a roll of the eyes) “JW.” And she gave me this scorning look and said, “Well … JW … I mean … Don’t worry about him. He’s too stuck on himself for anyone else.” Which is more or less true. [I love how Cindy was like this wise-talking woman of the world at … what … 15?] She was a very comforting sort of person. I mean, I doubt that she has ever spent a Saturday night at home, by herself, like I do, but she doesn’t automatically suspect that a guy could never like me like other people do. [Ouch. Sheila, you’re killing me.] She didn’t think it was out of the question that a guy could say Yes to me. She got frustrated – said, “Sheila, if you ask someone, they’ll say yes! Of course they will!” I said, “Cindy, no. I have been rejected twice now. I won’t do it again. You … sorry, Cindy, but it seems like you’ve never been rejected.” She bolted up, her eyes wide. She shouted at me: “SHEILA! That’s NOT true! I’ve been turned down! Believe me! Like the time when —” Long pause. “Wait a minute. Maybe I haven’t been.” I burst out laughing. So did she when she realized what she sounded like. [This is adorable. I don’t really remember it, but that’s the beauty of writing this stuff down.]
So anyway, back to me and Beth. Beth said that Cindy said to her, “Sheila O’Malley is the most huggable person in SK.” That is so nice. She was a really comfy person to confide in.
The cast list is going up tomorrow. Oh, I hope Mere gets in! [Mere, sorry to bring up the disappointing memory of the show that never was …] That would be SO COOL to see her as THE LEAD in the school play! Of course I hope I get in too – but it would be a dream come true if we both got in together. [Actually, the words “dream come true” has FOUR underlines beneath it. I just am unable to get that effect with my computer. ]
I am not going to think about J “The Truck” W [apparently, this JW person had a nickname of “The Truck”. No memory of this.] Did you know he hasn’t been asked to the Sadies yet? I am never going to ask anyone to that stupid dance ever again. [And I didn’t. I’m no fool.]
You know, I honestly wonder: God, why do you give some people popularity, boyfriends, and leave other people nothing? I mean, maybe there is a time for everything – to be born, to plant, to harvest, to sacrifice, to die – [I am LAUGHING OUT LOUD right now. “To plant”??? “To harvest”??? Harvest what? You don’t live in an agrarian society, Sheila … what the hell are you talking about? Also: “to sacrifice”, “to die”???? WHAT? How about “there is a time for happiness, for celebration, to get married …” No. In my world view, you are born, you plant, you then harvest, you sacrifice, and then you die. JESUS. No wonder I got depressed.]
When will my time come???? [Seriously. Don’t ask that question. You do not want to know the answer.] I have waited a long time. I am almost 16. [hahahaha.] I have no experience. I have never been on a date. No one has ever looked at me, and decided to go after me, pursue me. No one has ever “liked” me in that way. Kate says, “Sheila, think of all the guys that you have liked and they never knew. For as many times you’ve done that, there’s a shy guy out there who has liked you but hasn’t told you.” I don’t think it’s totally the problem of the guys – I mean, it CAN’T be just them! What am I doing wrong?? What is it about me? I think about JW a lot – and how much I felt for him. Maybe – this is a huge maybe cause I’ve never even talked to the bum – but maybe JW somehow knew how MUCH I really felt and that sort of scared him. [I really don’t think that was it, sweetheart, sorry to say. What it really was was that he literally did not know you existed.]
I’m just trying to make sense of this whole she-bang. Cause I can’t figure it out! It’s sort of scary. I mean, if anything had happened between JW and me – if he had said yes or whatever – I feel like I would have done anything! At the time I honestly didn’t know where I was because I liked him so massively. But I can’t figure him out. I want to know: what am I doing wrong? Honestly! I mean, I’m not doing ANYTHING. Maybe that’s my trouble.
God, I get so frustrated sometimes!
2:35 It is freezing today and really windy. The air is crisp and cold. I spent the afternoon curled up on the couch with a glass of Coke and Wrinkle in Time.
I feel sick to my stomach whenever I think about the cast list. I’m not gonna get in. I KNOW IT!
3:15 – Here’s my French composition. I got an A! [I copied it as best I could – My handwriting is so damn teeny that I cannot tell what word is what at times. I could kind of make sense of the story told in the composition – and I actually remember that night very well!]
J’aime mes amies. Quand je suis avec mes amies, je m’amuse merveilleusement toujours. Je me souvienes d’une belle nuit en hiver quand Jayne W, Meredith W et Dolores T sont venues chez moi pour aller au Edwards Cinema avec moi pour voir Les Raideurs d’Arche Perdu. [HAHAHAHAHAHA] La route au cinema était fantastique – rirant, parlant, et glissant sur la rue glaciale. Nous sommes allées au Tarte Italienne de Kingston. Nous avons mangé trop de tarte Italienne! Quand nous sommes allées au cinema. Les couleurs du ciel etaient du la rose et du la lavende. Le clair de lune et incelait sur la neige. Il existe le sentiment spécial entre nous. Jayne et moi adorons Harrison Ford mais Mere et Dolores ne l’aimons pas, donc, pendant le filme entire, pendant que Jayne et moi nous nous evanouions. Mere et Dolores nous ont ris. Après le filme, nous avons attendu mes parents. Il a beaucoup neige et naturallement nous avons commencé une grande bataille criant de neige. Mon frère Brendan et son ami Brian nous ont joint. Nos habits sont devenues trempès. Quel combat hysterique!
I smell the popcorn downstairs. Bye.
DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN BY ROLLER COASTER EMOTIONS? I HONESTLY DON’T KNOW HOW MY BRAIN WORKS! I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH MY STUPID SELF!
6:25 Just had a great conversation with JL. How comforting to talk to someone who feels the way I do. We talked the entire time about sex. We laughed about how, while working in the library [we were both “pages” at the local public library] we would sneak back to peek at The Joy of Sex. We talked for so long about our fears, and our hopes. I’m a fish out of water. I swear, until I looked at that book – I thought sex was simple and beautiful – but they’ve got all these positions – and they tell you what to wear – It makes me feel like a real prude, but I really don’t think I am! I think that the people who wrote that book are weirdos. [hahahahaha Funny how tame that book seems now. It’s the tamest sex book in the world, frankly.] But what if they aren’t the weirdos? What if they represent the whole population? How can people have been doing that for so long and I’ve never known? J and I were talking about our wedding night. [How adorable and innocent. “Wedding night”. Ah, youth.] I mean, if sex is that, and if my husband looks like that bearded ikky man in Joy of Sex – then I will not ever be able to concentrate on the walk down the aisle. I will be thinking: “Oh God, dear God, please help me through tonight!” I don’t want my wedding night to be humiliating. That doesn’t seem like a good start to marriage. [You’re right, Sheila. It isn’t.] I want my future husband to be a virgin too. I don’t want it to be like I’m just learning from him because that would be just Ew. J and I were laughing about that so hard! “Wait a minute here! Where did all your experience come from! I want their phone numbers, eye color, vital statistics!” Seriously, though, I get really scared. I mean – birth control? I don’t know anything. I don’t know anything about anything. That’s one good thing about maybe having sex before the wedding night. Then there wouldn’t be so much pressure. Sex just seems kind of massive to me. I’ve read articles where it says – wait a minute – let me find the article. OK: “Sexual sharing between two people who care about each other, who know their bodies and how to give and receive sexual pleasure, generally needs no chemical enhancement.” “When you choose freely and responsibly to share sexually with another, you will not need chemicals to enhance your pleasure and joy.” [Okay, again, I am laughing out loud. What the hell kind of article was I reading?? “How to wean yourself off of heroin and have an intimate relationship”? What the HELL is going on with the “chemical” talk? How would that have been relevant to a 16 year old virgin person? hahahahahaha] “A virginal female who has been sufficiently aroused, physically and emotionally, generally offers no great physical or nervous resistance.” Hmmmm. We’ll see about that. I know I want it to be on my wedding night. I want it to be special. I mean, I watch Hill Street Blues – in every episode there’s a sex scene between Furillo and Joyce Davenport – and they finally get married – but whatever. Their wedding night after all that sex must have been like – nothing! They’ve been doing it for 3 years already! [Furillo and Joyce Davenport. Man. What a blast from the past]
Where is my future man right now? What is he like? What does he think about? [Again, you probably don’t want answers to these questions. He’s probably thinking about Elvis. But that will mean nothing to you at this stage in your life.]
I swear, I have a huge problem. I NEVER stop thinking about boys.
Cast list up tomorrow.
[hahahaha “I never stop thinking about boys. Cast list up tomorrow.” Uhm, Sheila … does the cast list have anything to do with boys? No. So … you actually DO think about other things.]