Wednesday, November 22, 2006

May 4, 1974
In which I fall in love


I haven't written since last Friday. Too much has happened to write about. But to briefly summarize my life last week: Vilma decided to move out. I met Jeremy B. I fell in love with Jeremy. Jeremy loves me, is speeding away from at the moment at fifty-five miles an hour. Soon he will be going at 600 miles an hour. He lives six thousand miles away. I will see him for three weeks in six weeks and three days. Then maybe never again. I love Jez. Jez loves me.

Last night at the school at 12 midnight was hell. I never let go of Jez 'til the bus moved away. I even gave him a last kiss up in the air. Dan T. held me up there. When Jez was gone I cried in Dan T's shoulder. I have never cried on a guy's shoulder before and now it seems to be a habit.

Nigel L. took my hand and said, "Bye Killer". I broke down again. God, how I love Jez. I feel like I am not really me. How can anyone love me as much as Jez does? He lives so far away. Why? Why? Why?

"God loves ya, Dona. I love ya too."


When I think back on this time, it seemed as if Jeremy and I knew each other longer than a week before he left. I know I met him earlier - when Sue brought him to English class. But then, I don't think I knew Sue that well at that time.

We went to a movie (The Sting), went to a party (where we kissed and Vilma said something like: "Glad to see you are normal"). How did we have the time to fall in love?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

April 26, 1974
I n which life goes up and down

Oh my gosh! I have neglected thee for so long! What a crazy entry I just read. What made me say those things?

Life has been going up and down this past week like crazy. I am now in a down period. Sort of - it is nice now though. At least I know Vilma and I are still going to be friends... What happened was last Saturday Jeff told me that Vilma felt like she wanted to live somewhere else. It made me very mad. I then decided to hate Jeff and Vilma and anyone else in the picture. I said something to Mr. Jenkins...


Have I even explained this whole thing yet? In the spring of 1974 a bevy of British grammar school students came to visit Larkin High School. We hosted them and they would, in turn, host us during the summer (with a few exceptions).

My assigned student was Vilma C. She was pretty, and tall and very mature. She worked with Jeremy's father at the library. She immediately attracted the attention of a few boys, some of whom I'd had my eyes on. First and forefront was Jeff. I'd had a crush on him since sixth grade and watched him hang out with other girls, but rarely me. He and I were beginning to get somewhat close until Vilma came. I went ballistic. (you laugh, but I mean it) I threw some major temper tantrums.

One day when mom was elsewhere, Vilma got a phone call from Jeff. I answered and he implied that if he and Vilma didn't get together he was going to kill himself. I didn't think to worry about his mental state. I just screamed "F**k You" into the telephone.

That must have done it for Vilma because she requested a change of host family. It also elicited a home visit from the assistant principal and a few other officials from the school. I'm not sure what happened at the meeting, but a question of my levels of rage was addressed. Whatever, it scared my mom.

I probably should have been banned from the trip -- I believe that it was up to me to find myself a host family, otherwise I would not be able to go.

I didn't know all of this at the time. All I knew was that five years of desire wasted when Jeff fell for Vilma.

I never told my mom that I said the "F-word" on the phone. It was so taboo it was unthinkable. (until a few years later when my dad worked for a trucking company and became part of the teamsters, but that's another story).

April 19, 1974
In which I am comforted by two guys at the same time

I really have so much to catch up on.

Yes, Vilma has arrived and so has Chris. Vilma and I began to get along. We are friendly and have so much in common. But I am angry, now a little bit. This afternoon Jeff left me and I bawled them both out. To make a long story short, Jeff and Vilma really are going strong. We just were at a movie and they were wow! at the end of our aisle. Anyway, Dan and Chris came in late and after the movie I was pissed at Vilma so I went with Dan and Chris. I told them how she and Jeff were carrying on and Chris put his arm through mine and we went to Dan's car. I rode with Dan and Chris. Chris was holding me first, then Dan, then Chris held my hand, then Dan the rest of the time. I have now decided I hate the kid of person I am and I want to have fun. Dan asked me to the dance. He said that everyone had to have something to drink. I will too, so what? I hate being so great! Chris is wonderful!


Oh my God. Was I that blind to not see what was going on? No, I think I was just selfish. Dan liked me. He wanted me to go to the dance with him. Yet all I could say in my journal was how much I liked Chris. How could that have made Dan feel? And it gets worse later on.

Dan hosted Chris, but could not go to England for his junoir year with the rest of us for some reason. He ended up going later I think. I hung out with Dan sometimes. I remember once going to a party where people were playing a Lord of the Rings game. I'd thought I was alone in liking that series. (this was after this journal entry - by a year or so).

I don't remember what dance Dan asked me to that year. I'm assuming it had something to do with the English exchange students though.

I hate the kind of person I was, I said. What kind of person was that? Probably a prude - someone who never did anything wrong, and looked down on people who smoked and drank and had sex.

I'd forgotten about this particular day - the movie and car ride with Dan and Chris. I have no way of knowing now if this was innocent and they were comforting me or if it was some sort of signal for something I knew nothing about.

March 20, 1974
In which I have lots to look forward to


9:20 pm

I just got home from work and I bought a pen. I wanted to try it out so I guess my journal is the best place for that.

Nothing out of this world great or bad has happened lately. I am going to an art festival next month about C. S. Lewis by the author of Images of His World. I was so excited when I heard about it I wanted to run home and tell my mom. I restrained myself until after sixth hour when I ran out of gym and asked Greg for a ride home.

As far as Greg and I go -- nothing. He's nice and I enjoy being with him. That is just about it. He looks at me like a friend, and old friend reunited, and I should do the very same. I thought he was going to ask me out once-- but I guess he had second thoughts.

I don't understand why I always like a guy if he pays attention to me. It's nice to kid around with others, but he and I are just friends!!!

Just think, only twenty-three more days until Vilma comes. I am really getting excited about that. I have so many things to look forward to:
  1. Vilma
  2. C.S. Lewis Workshop
  3. England
  4. Map of Narnia
  5. Visit with Mrs. Dyson
  6. and other, smaller things.
Oh yes! I forgot about Debbie coming Wednesday. That will be a lot of fun.


I looked ahead in the journal and it seems as if I never wrote about the festival where I met Clyde S. Kilby. I believe it was entitled Bilbo Baggins' Birthday Party or something like that. It took place at Dekalb High School in Dekalb, Illinois. I went with my friend Jeff and remember only a few things about the day:
  • Jeff doing an impression of a butler (or slave?) from a Shirley Temple movie, dancing up and down the marble steps at the school.
  • Eating poppy seed cakes
  • Listening to Clyde S. Kilby talk in the auditorium and having him sign my book afterwards.
Years later I dated someone who went to that school and was there that day.

I must have ordered the map of Narnia - I had it for years, but somehow lost it. That's too bad because it is a collectible now.
The Vilma fiasco will be described later, so no need to discuss it now.

I think Mrs. Dyson was the social worker at the school. I was considering becoming a social worker, and met with her to talk about what it took to become one. Because she was one of the few blacks on staff, I think part of my interest was to connect to someone of a different race than I was.

March 13, 1974
In which I am delirious


The last person to write with this pen was Greg!!! I have so much to say about him. Just today I was with him quite a lot. I was more bold too. I don't love him. I hope I don't. But he is so perfect. So wonderfully perfect. Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg. I am just swimming with love for him. He is wonderful. Great. Wow!

Dan said I was cute today. I don't know if he meant it -- but maybe. I love life! Right now I do. Maybe not in a while -- but I am delirious right now.


As I typed the first paragraph, above, I was embarrassed for my past self. That's all I have to say.

Friday, November 17, 2006

February 22, 1974
In which I no longer love Greg


11:45 am

I have a lot to write -- but not much time. I thought that my lifetime prolem of boys was solved when Greg came into my life. Why did I actually think something as crazy as that? He is a nice guy who I enjoy being with -- but that is all it can be. I thought that he was Mr. Right - but I forgot that my Mr. Right couldn't smoke. I have nothing against smoking really -- if someone wants to get cancerthat is their business -- but when others are presnet he should be a bit more respectful. Greg smokes and lets the smoke drift into my eyes and I become stinky. Why I didn't realize this before is easy to remember- I thought he was perfect. But now I can look at him through another's eyes. I am not writing this simply because he was at the game last night with Barb L.. I can see him in better light now that my eyes are not cloudy with "love".


See? I hated being around smoke.

Love the pentultimate sentence. Yeah, right.

Barb L. and I were friends in grade school, not so much middle school and not at all in high school, although she was nice enough to talk to. I remember seeing them at the game and being surprised and jealous. Amazing how I lied, even to myself in my journals.

February 16, 1974
In which I get my ears pierced


Boy has today been weird! Debbie K. pierced my ears today. What a strange experience!!! It was painful, but so fun. After she pierced them we went to Ben Franklin and showed everyone my ears. Then we went to the car wash. Deb got scared in the thing. Then her car started steaming. We went to Dan's house and saw his baby sister. I really had a riot today and found out that Debbie sort of knows Bob!!! He sort of liked her. I really can't believe that.


Debbie and I worked at Ben Franklin together. She lived near where my dad grew up and knew some people my dad and grandmother Patrick talked about. Years later I'd know about her through my in-laws who lived on the farm next to where she lived. I saw her about 23 years ago working at the Jewel Grocery Store in Elgin as a Flower Lady. My then boyfriend, now husband and I talked to her a bit.

February 14, 1974
In which I'm confused


3:54 pm

How can I explain my feelings to someone when I don't understand them myself? Why do I always make big things from tiny things? How I wish I knew Greg's feelings towards me. How much does he like me? How does he like me? As a friend -- or more? I know that I must like him more than just a friend because the fact that he smokes doesn't bother me.


As I've probably mentioned before, smoking disgusted me and anyone who smoked was someone I didn't want to hang around. I must have gotten to school smelling like cigarettes because as I recall, Greg smoked in the car and at McDonalds where we stopped for coffee and hot chocolate every morning. I let him treat me to the hot chocolate, probably thinking it was like a date.