Friday, November 27, 2009


August 5, 1984

Dear Ophelia,

Hi, I'm in California. I still don't know my punishment for getting drunk. A few nights ago Daniel, Mike, Luke and I went out together. Mike and Luke are brothers. Well they had Pot and, of course, I smoked some. Surprised! I'm not. 

They said that you usually don't get stoned the first time and I didn't. Hopefully next time I'll get totally stoned. I hope so. We also had some California Cooler. I didn't have much because it started to make me feel sick. 

Well, I've been seeing Lara a lot. I don't know why. Tomorrow we might see a movie. Lara likes Luke. 

Lara is in a youth group. Two brothers, Mike 15 1/2 and Ben 14, started the youth group. Well, while they were in Foster City they stayed at Lara's house one at a time. They are both fine but I think that Ben's the finest. Unfortunately, nothing happened.

One day I went to Lara's when Mike was there. We were going to go swimming but Lara couldn't make it (baby-sitting job) so just Mike and I went. We were all alone at the pool. Then we took a shower together because the women's shower was cold. When I think back, all I had to do was kiss or touch Mike and we would have made out or something. But I didn't. I don't know why I didn't.

Dad and I don't get along very well. I yell at him a lot and he makes me really mad. He's really mad at me. He won't take me on horseback riding trips or teach me how to drive. I really can't stand him. He blows his nose without a Kleenex and he makes little noises and stuff and he drives me crazy. I can't stand it.

A couple of weekends ago, Dad, Daniel and I did go horseback riding. That was really fun. We went all day for only $25 each. We could go anywhere we wanted without a guide. I rode a horse named Emily. Dad rode Geronimo and Daniel rode Nixon. I have pictures. It was real fun. 

So far for my birthday I got a Cyndi Lauper album, She's So Unusual, from Dan, a Walkman from Dad and two stuffed animals from Ilana. Mom is sending a little present to tie me over till I get back to Alaska. Becky sent me a present too. I'm sending a present to her a little late. Shannyn got me a present too. I'm going to get really tan before I go back to Alaska (I hope). 

I had a lesson with Carol. It went really good. She said my leg looked better but I still haven't mastered the art of steering while jumping. But that's because I haven't jumped a lot in Alaska. Well I gotta go. Love ya, Jennifer."

Just five months earlier, Jennifer wrote that she would never take drugs. Surprised that she did? I'm not. But I am surprised that Jennifer wasn't surprised! So many kids vow never to smoke or drink or even to kiss the opposite sex--and then one day those things stop being scary. What happens? Is rebellion hormonal or environmental? 

It didn't hurt that she saw her older brother and his cool friends drinking and smoking. Jennifer turned 14 in California. Still straddling the divide between childhood and adulthood, Jennifer's attraction to her brother's lifestyle encouraged her to step further away from childhood. Also, she wanted to be cool.

Kudos to the youth group boy for not trying to kiss Jennifer! I know why she didn't kiss him though. Jennifer doesn't make the first move--ever. She might throw herself in a boy's path, she might stare at him, she might take a shower with him--but she wouldn't dare touch him! She craves affection, her body vibrates like a bee hive whenever a boy comes close to her, but she hides it. Jennifer is waiting to be noticed. 

It's dangerous though. Jennifer doesn't go after who she wants. She is hoping that her true love will find her. She throws herself out into the world, using herself as live bait, in the hopes that Prince Charming will be the one to bite. Unfortunately, this makes her easy prey for the not so charming. 

  Jennifer on Emily!

Daniel on Geronimo

Jennifer's dad on Geronimo
(They all traded horses but Geronimo was their favorite!)

Jennifer's dad took them to the Sierra Mountains to ride these horses. Jennifer is very close to her dad and brother now. They still talk about this day. Jen's dad can never remember what the horses' names were. Good thing she wrote them down! 

Jennifer did most of her horseback riding in arenas. Getting out on the trail in such a beautiful place created a memory for her that she still cherishes!

What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Top Songs of 1984
Borderline, Madonna
Like A Virgin, Madonna
Sweet Dreams (are made of this), Eurythmics
Here Comes the Rain Again, Eurythmics
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
Van Halen's Lost Weekend
Legs, ZZ Top
Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
 People Are People, Depeche Mode

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