"Yesterday, Cheri came over and we had a lot of fun. She gave me a pair of jeans that didn't fit her and some pictures of Christopher Atkins. Cheri just got back from New York. She was there for the Junior Olympics. She cross-country skis. She got sixth place. Yaaaa! Last week I got 3 A+'s on my spelling test. Yaaa. Here are my grades: typing A+, Math A, Social Studies A (I think), English B, P.E. A (I think), Health A. I am in the Honor Society and I have two honor rolls. I need to remember to talk to Becky on a tape. Please help me get a boyfriend. I gotta go, bye. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. We get Thursday and Friday off--no school."
For all of us who have grown to love sweet, little Jennifer, times are changing! The crazy girl whose best friend is her diary, who holds burials for wild animals, who loves horses, who gave mouth-to-mouth to her hamster and who lives off bread crumbs and cheese is changing for better or for worse. The following entry reveals her angst. The super powers that she used to wish for never came, but a different sort of power is now coursing through her veins.
I talked in an earlier post about super heroes and even about vampires (The Twilight Series). There is a common thread in fiction about people, usually young people, who are suddenly changed by special powers obtained either supernaturally or by aging into them. Harry Potter aged into his powers, Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider and Bella was bitten by her vampire boyfriend. The heroes are almost always average people trying to keep a low profile until the powers transform them.
Now imagine the montage scenes of the hero trying to learn how to use his or her new powers. Harry Potter and friends practicing with their wands, Spiderman bouncing out of control through the city and Bella subduing her new lust for blood. Learning to control the powers is vital to the survival of the hero. These hyper-aware individuals are now able to easily injure people and property. They must control and then apply these powers for the good of mankind. If they are successful, they are heroes. If they are unsuccessful, they are villains.
Jennifer is overwhelmed by hormones. They are transforming her physically and mentally. She remembers watching her body grow taller almost overnight. It is not unlike a Hulk transformation! She grew right out of her clothes, she developed a monster temper and she nursed a sky rocketing passion for all things male.
Times are changing....
March 14, 1984 Wednesday
"Yesterday Cheri, Shannyn and I went running. It was really fun. I got pushed into a snowbank now and then (ha ha). Here is how my day went. In typing I can type 47 words in two minutes (wow) with four errors. In math I corrected my homework. I got 2 100%'s and a 94%. I also took a quiz (semi-difficult). I will admit that I cheated on my homework. I should be getting a C in math, not an A. I am very ashamed. I can't even divide very good. In Social Studies I was bored. I did my math homework in class but I still paid attention to the teacher.
In English we saw a film and that's about all. We finished Parts of Speech and we started Public Speaking. Math is the only class I cheat in. I earn all other grades. In P.E. we just started volleyball. Yuck, boring. I am beginning to like it. Just a little. In health we saw a dumb film and we took notes and stuff, boring.
Anyway, last weekend Joel and I bought some cigarettes. Don't worry, I'm not addicted to smoking. Neither is Joel. I learned how to inhale, so did Joel. I just wanted to try it. I have done it before about 5 or 6 months ago but I just wanted to try it again.
Lately a lot of thoughts have been spinning in my head. Last night Mom talked to me about the family and respect. Her and Jeff think I should jump up and do whatever they say no matter what. They say I always forget my chores and stuff. I know I forget easily but I have something on my mind at all times. No kidding. I am still trying to find my real personality. Right now I'm trying to act cool and calm. It's not that hard. Well, mom thinks I don't act like I want to be in the family. I thought we were a family. I just have so many things to do and I struggle through every day. I never feel organized. I always feel in a rush and like I'm forgetting something.
I am going to tell you about my real self. Ok, I think a lot. I love to read books. I usually read books 2 to 3 times (not right after each other, just all spaced out.) I would most likely make-out with a guy on the first date (I've never had a date). I have tried smoking. I will never take drugs. People can usually talk me into doing things, like going running or something, that I don't feel like doing.
I am still trying to find a personality that suits me. I want to be flirty. Maybe I will be in high school. I am stubborn and I have lots of pride. I always want to look nice and my sex drive is turned all the way up. I want to be respected. I am terribly nervous about joining track. I always get terribly nervous before a race. I like boys with muscles. I am a caring person. I am nice to everybody in my school. People I don't like, I simply ignore.
I am a little selfish and greedy but I try not to show it. I can't wait till high school. I don't like people controlling me. But I would let my boyfriend control me in bed. I wouldn't mind at all if he is a little rough. All a boy has to do is touch me somewhere, like my stomach, and I get turned on. I can't wait until I have a boyfriend. I only wish boys knew that. One of these days I might really let them know. Maybe even tomorrow!
My temper can be terrible. When I am angry, I rarely forget it for a long time. I am not satisfied with revenge only. My anger is terrible to get rid of. I always feel so powerful when I'm angry and I can be devilish. I am proud of my anger and that I can control my anger. Revenge pleases me. But I have a loving heart (except when I'm mad). I almost tried to kill myself when Muffin died.
Let's get back to my anger. I think if anyone else had my temper, they would not be capable of controlling it. I can barely do it myself. I get mad over very little things but I can hold it in or use it against whoever I'm mad at. I love a good argument. Many times I have come close to screaming at Jeff. The only thing that stops me is what his reaction would be. I have no idea what he would do. I guess I love an argument because the other person usually says something they don't mean. Then I can use that against them. I can control my words when I'm mad. What a great skill.
I do have a loving heart. I love horses. I have lots of patience for animals but not for humans. When I get married, I will do everything possible to make my husband happy.
I am going to try to act exactly the way Mom and Jeff want me to. Even more. The only reason I will do it is to see if they still like me. As soon as I let them control me, my personality (that they know) will fly out the window. Rebellious, stubborn Jennifer, that they love, will be gone. I wonder how they will feel then. They might even like it. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up, maybe a day or maybe a month or two. I really don't know. The only problem is that I will have to swallow my pride and I don't know if I can do that. Oh well, I'll tell you how it goes.
I am still the same Jennifer that has always written in this book but now you know more about me. I have a hard time deciding how to act. Well I gotta go. Bye. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. I love you and me too."
Ah, I don't even know where to start. Okay, boys first. Jennifer's been craving a boyfriend for awhile, although her intensity about it is stronger now. She wonders why no one asks her out. She also wishes she was flirty. She wants an aggressive boy. My guess is that she's passive, she doesn't flirt, she doesn't put herself out there. She's not going to ask anyone out herself or take a risk. She is not comfortable being vulnerable. She wants a boy to take the lead. She's waiting.
She has never been on a date, never really kissed a boy, never danced with a boy or even talked on the phone with a boy. I have no idea where her ideas came from about being "in bed" with a boy. I blame her carnal knowledge on unlimited access to late night cable TV in Foster City....she saw more than she should have....
She's cheating in math because of the darn calculator her dad bought her in the first grade. She never learned the basics. She's a perfectionist. As ashamed as it made her, she cheated rather than produce a C. C's are F's in her mind.
Jennifer thinks she's powerful when she's angry, but really she's powerless. She might be able to harness her anger but she's not able to avoid getting angry in the first place. She is the Hulk. She remembers being angry a lot over anything that she thought wasn't "fair". Just hearing her mom say, "who told you life would be fair?" could throw her into a helpless rage. She craved justice. The problem is that none of us are qualified to play God, especially a teenage girl!!
I loved reading about Jennifer's threat to act perfect for her parents. It was similar to suicidal thinking..."I'll act perfect and do everything they say. I will be so different, they will miss me. That will show them!" But Jennifer was right, they probably would have liked it. She never found out. Jennifer couldn't keep up the obedient daughter act for an hour let alone a full day!
March 15, 1984 Thursday
"I got an A on my math quiz (no cheating). And on my spelling-vocabulary test, I think I got a double A+ yeah. Today we started impromptu speeches. I'll do mine tomorrow. I smoked three cigarettes this afternoon. They cost about a dollar a pack. Jeff is in Fairbanks. He goes there a lot for business.
Tomorrow I'm going to babysit a little brat named Erica. Her mom pays me a lot, 'thank God'. I tried being very self-confident today. It worked pretty good but needs more practice. Well, I gotta go, bye Ophelia. Your friend, Jennifer."
March 17, 1984 Saturday
"My life has changed drastically since Thursday. Well, on my spelling test I made one mistake that wasn't my fault. I missed the word mischievous. You see, Mrs. Ahrens wrote it on the board with an ious ending but that was wrong. The whole class except about 2 or 3 people missed the word. I am so mad. I'm going to talk to Mrs. Ahrens about it. The whole class complained but she didn't care. Now I'll have to take the final test. Yuck.
Also, I gave an impromptu speech about the worst thing that happened to me. Well I, like a fool, told about when Muffin died. Well I started to cry and I got a C on my speech. I am so mad at myself.
The very worst thing that happened is that somehow Pumpkin escaped. We still haven't found her. I pray that someone will find her. I hope that she is not dead. I love her and I miss her. I can't think what anyone did to deserve Pumpkin going away. There must be some reason. I hope that someday I'll know why. But more than that, I want Pumpkin back. I hope that Pumpkin even wants to come back.
Also, today I was riding my bike and I crashed. I hit my palms into the gravel and I really scraped them up. They still hurt. Two good things did happen. One, I got my hair cut and I think it looks nice. Two, we have coed teams in Volleyball and Mike is on my team. He is really nice. I like him.
Well I gotta go, it's 12:13am (midnight). Bye Ophelia. Your friend always, Jennifer the Sad. P.S. I fear my life is cursed. In less than one year, Muffin died, Chipper died, D.B. died and Pumpkin is now gone. Please bring her back. WE ALL LOVE HER."
It will take Jennifer over twenty years to stop trying to figure out why bad things happen. She used to believe that if something bad happened to you then you did something bad to deserve it. She was always racking her brain for past sins to explain why things went wrong in her life.
Jennifer is finally free of this belief!!!! Her new favorite saying is, "Life will be fair in Heaven." This is Earth. We have free will and separation from God. Good and Evil both reside on Earth. Bad things happen to good people every day and good things happen to bad people. God doesn't allow suffering in His home, but this isn't His home. Earth is where we make our choices. God can see us through our troubles. He can heal us. He can even perform miracles. But the place where God takes over and never lets another tear fall, never lets another person die--is the place where He reigns supreme. It is Heaven. In Heaven life will be fair.
In the meantime, there's nothing like a good haircut and some coed Volleyball to cheer a girl up!!
Located in Alaska's "Interior"
Founded in 1901
Gold was discovered in 1902
Winter begins in September and last until early May
The "northern lights" are visible in the Fairbanks area over 200 days per year
Productive gold mining continues today in Fairbanks
Called the "Golden Heart City"