When I Was Your Age

No way is this real. No freaking way.

It can’t be.  A 10-year-old girl?  No.  Not even if her mother is, as she claims, one of the founding members of Bust (which, by the way, has gone significantly downhill in the past two years because a) it’s expensive as shit and b) it’s always about arts n’ crafts and kissing some minor celebrity’s ass).  It reads like a grownup woman’s idea of what a 10-year-old girl sounds like.  It’s how I would write a blog if I were pretending to be a 10-year-old.

This made me think about how I wrote in my own diary.  I got my first diary as a gift from my grandmother, who probably bought it at the Ben Franklin store.  This store was on Grand right next to Sears, which used to be a gorgeous old department store building but has since been torn down to make room for a discount ghetto furniture store (not unlike the below, which cracks me up every time because its twin is right down the street from my house) and apartments for old people who are clearly too demented to care about their new shitty neighborhood.  The Ben Franklin store building is still there, by the way, only now it’s an Afghani grocery store that Graham says sells amazing flatbread but I’ve never been inside.

Man, I really wish that Ben Franklin store was still there.  My grandmother would take me there once every couple of weeks, and my favorite part was putting a dime into the machine full of plastic eggs and a chicken.  You’d put the money in and the chicken would cluck and spin around, and then an egg would drop down the chute.  It was always holding some crappy plastic toy, but in a town where I was angry about never having seen a Zoltar machine, the clucking chicken would have to do.

Right, the diary.

My grandmother bought me my first diary for a birthday gift.  I had to be in fourth grade, because this is when I first started liking boys and because the Internet did not exist back then (at least not in any form that anyone I knew was even remotely aware), I had to write about it somewhere.  The cover was plasticy blue cardboard with a kitten on it.  A fucking kitten.  Seriously.  It also had a lock with a little key, but it wasn’t very secure because I lost the key in about a month and broke the lock apart with my bare hands.  My super strong, skinny girl, fourth grade hands.

I probably wrote sort of like The Life Of a 10-Year-Old Girl, but I’m pretty sure I used more commas.  Also I used page breaks, which seemed logical to me but probably didn’t matter much considering the diary pages were just slightly bigger than playing cards.  While I sort of wish I had that diary to read again, I’m mostly glad I don’t, because the amount of cringing I’d have to do would likely warp my brain into a psychological meltdown.

Hey, 10-Year-Old Me, let me break it down for you…

That boy you like?  He likes you back.  Don’t get too excited, because he only likes you back as much as a 10-year-old boy can like you back, which means he’s still going to invite you to play hockey and tag and he might try to kiss you a couple of times (although you will be too terrified to reciprocate) but that’s pretty much it.  By the time he starts liking girls in a different way, he won’t like you anymore.  Well, not like you want to be liked.  Instead, he’ll like the slutty burnout girls who steal their dad’s weed because their dad is an alcoholic who’s never home and thinks nothing of all the kids coming over to party in his hot tub.  (You’re not missing anything by not going to these parties, by the way.)

There’s no point in writing about who’s dating who in your grade, because – and trust me, I struggled with being this callous towards someone who thinks she’s at the absolute height of her maturity – nobody knows ANYTHING about dating at your age.  All those conversations your parents try to have about the difference between “going out” and “dating?”  Yeah, you’re just as clueless as they are.  There is no difference, and the people who get married to the people they started dating in junior high are going to have future affairs with people they meet on the Internet.

You are going to love the Internet.

But why am I saying this?  You’re only concerned with that boy.  Okay, fine.  I did say that the boy likes you back in a sort of innocent, jejune, not-at-all-knowledgeable-about-sex-no-matter-what-he-says way.  And I did say that he’s going to be way into hoodrat girls within the next couple of years.  BUT you should also know that he’s going to be into you someday, in the way that you want him to be, and that someday will be in adulthood, at which point you will sleep with him…and be underwhelmed.

SO all those pages where you wrote agonizingly about how he’s “dating” a friend of yours and you’re really truly “happy for them” (you liar)?  Guess what.  You get to sleep with him and she marries someone and has three kids.  Who wins that game?  YOU WIN THAT GAME.

Getting married and having kids is stupid.  Don’t ever do it.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
This entry was posted in Letters to My Younger Self, Nerd It Up, The Internet is My Boyfriend, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to When I Was Your Age

  1. Becky says:

    I found one of my childhood diaries not long ago. Wow. It was a very entertaining read. Even though it was slightly disturbing, it was fun to see how my mind worked back then. Also, there is a Ben Franklin right up the street from my work. I had to go there for something one day and let me tell you….it doesn’t come close to the S. Grand location.

  2. Vern says:

    The clucking chicken machine at Ben Franklin was AWESOME! We would walk there all the time for that machine, penny candy (which no longer exists) and that toxic plastic in a tube that you blew up with a tiny red straw and play with for about 10 seconds before you passed out from the fumes. There’s still a Ben Franklin out on Tesson but its no where near as cool as the old South City one. Thanks for the memories! 🙂

    • erineph says:

      AHHHHHH, the toxic slime and the straw! I LOVED that stuff! Also if my grandma was feeling flush, she’d buy me one of those big balloons with the rubber band on the end that you could bounce on your fist forever and make your parents insane.

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