Dear Diary: Why won't this ska boy notice me? Where is my Nirvana shirt? I have nothing to wear!
Once upon a time in the '90s, I was not the cool blogger I am now. I was just like any other teenager, barely existing on the Internet (save for being a third, observational party to my best friend's chat-room adventures) and living out my writing dreams as a reporter for my high-school newspaper, The George Washington Patriot. That was where I first began pushing my annoying opinions regarding the Spice Girls and local band Uphollow on anyone bored enough to read the publication during study hall.
Actual cover of my actual diary.
But beyond that body of highly professional work, I also kept a journal.
And that was where all of the vapid magic that you can now read daily on the Internet really got its start. In advance of this Friday's My Teenage Angst diary-reading session at The Bar, I've cracked open the Bree Davies archive -- though at the time, I was known by my not-yet-legally-changed pen name of Bree Kutz. Below are some excerpts from the dark emotional world of 1997 Bree, along with some present-day notes and analysis for your reading pleasure.
*Note: Some names have been changed to protect the adult relationships I have with these people (boys) who have no idea I was obsessed with them.
**Note: For total dramatic teenage Bree effect, all diary quotes should be visualized with lots of pre-Adore Smashing Pumpkins lyrics written around the entries in colored pens and pencils. If only I'd known then how much Billy Corgan would disappoint me, I probably wouldn't have cut out so many pictures of him from Rolling Stone and taped them to everything.
My navel-gazing thoughts written in my finest serial-killer handwriting.
February 3, 1997
I cannot hold it in any longer. I must spill about this certain boy. But I don't know if I really like him. Here it is:
His name is Jason and guess where he lives? You got it! Colorado Springs. He's 19 years old and lives with his grandma. He's a ska boy (he listens to punk and ska music. Ska is a combination of punk and reggae) and he dresses as such. He wears bowling shirts, white tank tops, suspenders and fedoras. He has blond hair that is extremely short and blue eyes. I've known him for about 6 months. I think I'm just liking him because I'm over Arthur and I need something to do. Also, it's probably because I LIKE BOYS!
Well, wasn't I just a super '90s fashion-forward know-it-all? But the fact that this poor Jason guy was out of high school and lived with his grandma should have been a sign that he did not have his shit together. I should also point out to straight men everywhere that this type of "liking" behavior still exists in adult women -- meaning, if we can't have our Jordan Catalano, we'll take the next guy in line who may or may not be your friend. Except the Brian Krakows and Duckies of the world. Those BFF-type dudes always get screwed over. Or grow up to be Ben Stiller in Reality Bites, not Ethan Hawke.
April 1, 1997
I know I said screw Arthur, and I probably should forget about him, but, April called me last night and got us tickets for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones show and guess who's going?
Should I be excited or should I be a total bitch to him? I don't know. April said he graduated in March. Gee, maybe now he'll grow up. Nah. Never.
April 2, 1997
I wrote a short letter to Arthur last night. It wasn't what you think. I wrote an article on his band, The Ska Sounds, in my school newspaper and I sent him a copy. I also sent him a letter explaining it. But at the end (I'm sooooo sly) I signed it,
Ya Ti Ba Lu Blue,
Now,"Ya Ti Ba Lu Blue" in Russian means "I love you" But he'll NEVER know what that means.
There are a few things adult me would love to tell teenage me, like, I shouldn't sweat this impending Mighty Mighty Bosstones show, as I would end up seeing that band play about 700 more times in my lifetime. Also, contrary to my popular belief, not all boys are dumb. This Arthur character could probably figure out my cryptic love note (which I would pay money to get my hands on and read now) and probably thought I was insane. Because I was.
My teenage idols: Billy Corgan and AbFab.
April 8, 1997
Blah, blah, blah. Today is the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, three years ago today. I was going to wear black, but I didn't have anything warm enough.
This entry should have clued me in as to why I never had a boyfriend -- I was too obsessed with my clothes. But what I really want to know now is: Why didn't I save all of the Nirvana T-shirts I bought at Musicland at the mall? I could sell them to Buffalo Exchange now for like ten bucks apiece, then complain about how grunge wasn't actually a movement after spotting some kid born in 1994 wearing my In Utero T-shirt at City, O' City.
I've learned a lot from this exorcism of the past, but the three biggest things? Ska was the best form of music I could have listened to as a teenager; being a clotheshorse means you may never get a boyfriend; and Billy Corgan still sucks.