Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home Alone...

February 10, 1985  Sunday

Dear Ophelia,
"Well, I'm in California. Sorry I didn't write earlier. I moved down here but Mom, Jeff and Joel are still up there. They are going to move down here later but they might move to Houston instead. Actually, they are still not sure where they're moving.

School is good. At first I didn't like it and I cried. Now I'm getting more friends so its not so bad. My classes are real hard though. I also joined track and its okay. I like it but I don't like staying after school so late you know. 

Daniel drives me to school every morning and, before track, he drove me home too. Nice, huh? Daniel is a real good brother. I guess I'm lucky to have him for a brother. 

Guess what? My dad went on a ski trip for an entire week and left Daniel and I at home. Dad is in Utah or someplace like that with his ski group.

Anyway, he left Saturday morning and last night Daniel had a party. Katie, Kim and Kristin came and we got along OK and they didn't ignore me or anything so I'm glad of that. Wes, Alex, Mike, Luke and Chris came too (plus Dan and I) so it was kind of small. They had coolers there and I got a little drunk off one bottle. But it just put me in a good mood and lightened my head a little. 

Well, I like Chris and we were talking in my dad's room (alone) and well, we ended up in each others arms. (yea!) Then we went back to the party and acted normal but he stayed the night. So after Daniel was asleep, we went to my dad's room and laid on the bed. We kissed and it felt so good. He made me so happy. Don't worry, we didn't go all the way. 

Chris isn't using me though like I was used before. He said that he feels guilty because I'm Dan's sister and because I'm a freshman and he's a senior. He wants to see me again tonight (that makes me so happy). He and I think we'll have to hide how we feel from everybody because Dan would probably get mad at Chris. And at me too. 

I wish we didn't have to hide it though. Chris is responsible and he knows what he's getting into. I like him a lot. I love it when he says my name. Well, I'll write more about him later. He's all I can think about right now. Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris, Chris...

Your friend forever, Jennifer"

This is straight out of a teen movie! Dad goes out of town for a week, leaves the kids cash and a car and the keys to the house. The first night he's gone, they throw a house party. Within hours of her dad's plane leaving, fourteen year old Jennifer is drunk and making out with a high school senior on her dad's bed! This is exactly what most parents think will happen if they leave their kids home alone! Except for Jennifer's dad, I don't know what he was thinking...

In addition to that, Jennifer wasn't even clear on exactly where her dad was. He was in Utah or "some place like that." Like what? Some place far away? I guess it didn't matter. Gone is gone. Jennifer and Daniel fed themselves, got themselves to high school every day and did their homework all on their own.

Jennifer vividly remembers attending San Mateo High School. It is a beautiful brick building located in the town of San Mateo. Jennifer was overwhelmed by the freedom the school facilitated. It was walking distance from homes and shops. A lot of kids walked home for lunch (and never came back!) or drove to get fast food.

The year-round moderate California climate made it easy to come and go by foot. Jennifer was used to Alaska. Her high school there was a converted and secluded prison building. There was nowhere to go on foot. It was dark, icy and freezing cold most of the school year anyway. She ate indoors. There was nothing to tempt her to leave the campus.

Jennifer was intimidated by the independence of the students at San Mateo High. Also, she wasn't exposed to drug use in Alaska (not that it wasn't happening). In California, wine coolers and pot were abundant. Maybe it was because she was now hanging out with an older crowd. Her brother was a junior. She hung out with him and his friends. They carpooled with Allen and Luke most mornings. In Alaska, she had been the oldest. Now she was the baby.

San Mateo High School

Jennifer had been craving a boyfriend for a long time. Chris fit the bill. She loved how he made her feel. He paid her a lot of attention. Jennifer lived in her own world. It was intoxicating to have someone who wanted to be with her, take care of her and get to know her private thoughts. And he didn't treat her like a child. He also didn't try to go any further with her than making out. She was ecstatic. Chris will go down in history as Jennifer's first boyfriend, but not as her first love. That title belongs to someone else...

San Mateo High school was torn down in 2001 and an earthquake-safe replica was finished in 2005.

The front doors!


Inside the building...

The courtyard...

1985
Ronald Reagan takes second Oath of Office
Median Household income $23,618 USD
First class stamp .20 cents
San Francisco defeats Miami to win the Superbowl (38-16)
Spend a Buck wins the Kentucky Derby
Best Song of the Year--What's Love Got to do with It--Tina Turner
Best Picture--Amadeus
An enormous hole in our ozone layer is discovered over Antarctica

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