Diary Friday: “He took requests so I asked for Devo, The Clash, J. Geils, Adam Ant, Loverboy.”

I am 15 years old here. A sophomore in high school.

Fri. Jan. 21

Tonight was a Hawaiian dance. I tell you, I was not looking forward to it, because the last dance was a disaster area. I didn’t go Hawaiian, but I did borrow a lei when I got there. It wasn’t even half-way full, but practically everyone was Hawaiian. [Sheila, I don’t understand that sentence structure. Why the “but”?]

Travis had on a grass skirt made out of garbage bag strips. And Joel had a grass skirt and man-hole-cover sized glasses. Betsy had on a long wrap-around skirt with huge blue flowers, and the DJ had on all white, a white top-hat and a white ruffled suit and this blue light was on him, so he sort of glowed. And he took requests so I asked for Devo, The Clash, J. Geils, Adam Ant, Loverboy.

[I love that I listed all of the band names. Total time-travel hilarity]

God, I love music!

And when he put on Stray Cat Strut, I did my tap dance. [Oh my God, you DID YOUR TAP DANCE?? And then you WONDERED why no cute guys asked you to dance??? Meredith: if you are reading this, you will know exactly the tap dance I am referring to.]

All those great songs – I go WILD. We all do. We SWEAT! [Right, Beth?] It is so fun. The minute I hear the beginning notes of “Jerkin’ Back and Forth” or “Rock Lobster” or “Workin’ for the Weekend”, we all race out onto the floor, going INSANE. I dance until my throat is dry and my legs ache.

I’m not fooling myself. I had an awful time. [Hahahahahahahahahaha] I loved the music, but John was there. I saw him come in and I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and then Betsy grabbed my arm and said sternly, “Forget him, Sheila!”

Betsy went on sternly, “He has on a girl’s headband. Please forget him.”

[Best putdown ever]

Then we walked off, arms around each other, and for a while I did forget. [Little did I know that I eventually would forget so completely that I would read over this entry decades later and think, dimly: Who the hell is John? ] I talked to Mr. Hodge, and some good songs came on, and there were some songs that Mere and I had to make fun of. We would strut around, eyes closed. [Uhm, girls? That’s how you make fun of the songs? You strut around, eyes closed? I’m not sure I get the joke.]

Oh, and a TV cameraman was there for some reason, and he was filming us, and he took close-up shots of me charleston-ing to “Goody Two Shoes” [How unbelievably embarrassing. CHARLESTON??? Sheila, please, I beg you, join your own decade.], he also filmed me and my friends going WILD to “Rock Lobster”. He filmed all of us going “down … down … down…” onto the floor. The entire gym full of kids falls down onto the floor at the end of “Rock Lobster”. Anyway, I asked him later what the film was about, and he said that it was for a special on teenage alcoholism. [Hahahahahahaha]

What? I said to him, “I’m not drunk!” And he laughed and went, “I’m not going to say you are.”

John was dancing with another girl and when he knew I was nearby he kissed her. [Sheila, are you sure of your facts here? Are you sure that it was because of YOUR hovering presence that he kissed her?]

So I’m really proud of the way I handled myself. I didn’t look at him, or look jealous, or even acknowledge him, and I danced like I never danced before. [Flashdance?] I feel like I looked pretty bubbly, with my mini skirt, sweatshirt, tie, white tights, and skips, [Your TIE??] and with my – ahem – peripheral vision I knew he kept looking over at me. My heart cracked in two and all I wanted to do was sob, but I danced and laughed – Man, it was hard work. I wanted to cry. I HATE MYSELF FOR LOVING SO MUCH. [Get used to it, girl.]

So I acted “up”. I was crazy. I felt insane. I had no control. After cavorting madly to show John I didn’t give a fuckin’ shit about his buns [Oooh, tough!], I went over to sit down cause it was a slow song, and Patty sat beside me and said, “I’m really sorry. I tried to warn you, but I feel bad for you.” I said to her, “What has it been? 3 girls in 2 months?” And she said, “Well, just be glad you weren’t one of those girls.” I nodded.

So I sat through the slow song, chin in my hands, staring out at the big silver ball twirling above. I felt kind of bad. Kate hugged me. I just sat staring off. Why do I STILL like him, even when he’s been a bastard? Probably cause I know that underneath he’s really a nice guy. [And here the womanly pattern begins. Falling in love with an asshole’s hidden potential.]

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6 Responses to Diary Friday: “He took requests so I asked for Devo, The Clash, J. Geils, Adam Ant, Loverboy.”

  1. Sharon Ferguson says:

    I love your Diary entries – I wish I had known you in high school – I think I am one of those people who isn’t so desirous to deny my 80s child (and I know by your entries you arent either, but so many people are so quick to pretend they actually lived that era and loved it.) I loved the 80s, all the music, the fun, the so-not-the-60s vibe that was prevalent then. So when I read your entries from that time period, its like revisiting my own youth, and I wish I could have back the joie di vivre that I had then, the utter happiness of looking forward. I fell in with a great group of people my junior year that helped open me up – I wish I had written a journal during that time period so I could revisit it the way you revisit. Can I live vicariously through you? LOL

    Anyway, I enjoyed this!

  2. Sharon Ferguson says:

    * I should say “quick to pretend they DID NOT live it and love it”

  3. tracey says:

    //I feel like I looked pretty bubbly, with my mini skirt, sweatshirt, tie, white tights, and skips//

    Oh, Sheila. Your tie. Your bubbly tie.

    //I dance until my throat is dry and my legs ache.//

    I laughed out loud at this because I’m not understanding the dry throat — unless young Sheila is constantly screaming while she’s tap dancing and Charleston-ing. Which is possible, yes? ;-)

  4. sheila says:

    Yeah, I wondered that too. It’s a frightening image: someone tap dancing, wearing a tie, and screaming nonstop for 5 minutes.

  5. tracey says:


    And Betsy’s putdown is really the best ever. I mean, I seriously wish I could steal it, but how often do you see a dude in a girl’s headband??

  6. sheila says:

    He was imitating the lead singer of Lover Boy. I mean, I’m just guessing.

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