Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Diary; Blogging A to Z Challenge


I've always kept a diary of some kind as far back as I can remember. I've always loved writing, so jotting down my thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences on paper just felt like second nature to me. I suppose its obvious that I chose "Diary" as part of my blog title. This diary is open to all of you to read. It's not private and that's my choice. I want to tell you about a different diary and how it felt having my privacy invaded and that choice taken away.

This is me in 8th grade, one of four students chosen to learn on this new thing called a computer. #atozchallenge

That's me on the flute, Christmas 1985, post-diary tragedy. #atozchallenge
It was the summer of 1985. I had just graduated 8th grade and was preparing to start high school that fall. I was almost 15. We were living in an old farm house, complete with barn, so I decided to have a good old-fashioned barn dance party and invite everyone from my eighth grade class. To my surprise and teenage delight, many of the "popular kids" showed up that afternoon. (I was, and always shall be, a huge, proud, nerd-band-science-math-geek!) We had Cokes and snacks, hung out in the barn, and I was thrilled when my best friend Sherri showed up.  There was music and lots of innocent fun until...

Sherri was dancing, spun around too fast, tripped and fell right on her face. Blood everywhere. I wasn't embarassed, I was concerned for my friend. My mom called her parents and herded my party guests into the house to hang in the kitchen. That was the idea anyway. While we were busy tending to Sherri and waiting on her parental unit to arrive, my "friends" decided it would be fun to go upstairs and sift through all my belongings. (Can you see where this is going?)

Once Sherri went home, I went upstairs to get my friends and try to salvage what remained of the party. My mom was making snacks downstairs in the kitchen. I go upstairs, turn my doorknob, and...IT'S LOCKED. I knock on the door. Someone asks, "Who's there?" I tell them it's me. There is much whispering ang giggling, then silence. I kneel down and look through the keyhole. I can see everyone sitting in a circle on my bedroom floor and one of the girls is holding my diary and reading it quietly to the group. I am mortified. Shame, fear, then anger wash over me. I start beating on the door, yelling at them to put the diary away and unlock the door. They laugh at me. Finally, I am so humiliated and sad I just cry. This makes them all laugh even more. My mom hears me crying and comes upstairs. She asks me what is going on. When I tell her I am locked out of my room and they are reading my diary and laughing, she changes. Quietly, her face turns red and she goes to my door. With three powerful bangs she pounds on my door with all the ferociousness of the FBI on a raid.

(Thanks to my dad, a police officer, for showing us how to do the "triple knock of terror".)

After the power knocking, my mom shouts to all of them to open this ******** door RIGHT NOW! Someone runs over and quickly unlocks it.

My mom marches in, looks around, and tells the whole room, "You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Everybody downstairs right now. This party is over. Take turns and call your parents to get a ride home or I will be happy to call them for you. You're not welcome in my house again, none of you. Go. Now!"

I have to admit, I was pretty proud of her. I was glad she threw them out. I don't know why I thought they were so cool to begin with. Real friends wouldn't behave that way and I knew they were only at my party because, well, it was a summer party.

Since that incident, I've been paranoid about what I write on paper and where I leave my journals. It didn't help that I later dated a man who routinely went through my things and afforded me zero privacy (his own insecurities). Today, I'm happy and confident (and happily single!) with what I write and where I leave it. It's taken me many years to get to this place of confidence and ease.

I could try to summarize and moralize this story but I'm not. It was just my memory of a time when some really selfish kids did a sh*tty thing to me at my own party.
I'll end by saying the most important part of the whole story:

My mom rocks. 
Thanks Mom.