Sunday, February 21, 2010

When in Rome...

March 10, 1985  Sunday

Dear Ophelia,
"I think I did great on the Great Expectations test (A). 

Well, Friday I had a track meet. Luke was there for P.E. make-up so I got to see him a lot. He said he wanted to see me run but, right before my race, he had to go to his locker and he missed. A mile doesn't take long to run. I got 4th place (not sure of my time yet). I felt great during the race maybe because I stretched out a lot. I didn't feel like giving up or anything. I am well pleased with it.

After the race, Luke and I talked while we waited for my dad. I like him so much. It was a good talk. Last night he came over with Alex and they stayed for awhile. We wrestled and stuff, it was fun. I like to be close to him you know. I haven't really talked to Chris in awhile. I'm really glad that its over for us. 

Yesterday, I went shopping in some thrift stores (they're really neat) and to the Redwood City trading post. I got a wool army jacket, its really neat (I say 'neat' too much), 3 shirts, a skirt and some rosary beads. Today I got some gray nail polish, its cool looking. Well I gotta go, bye. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. I'm a little happier now."

No matter how one feels about clothes, clothes say a lot about us. Jennifer is trying out the vintage look and shopping at thrift stores. She might not be spending a lot of money, but she is spending a lot of time and energy trying to create a look that proves she cares nothing for fashion. The "fashionable" girls spent their weekends the same way--shopping for clothes, necklaces and matching nail polishes! Even when you try not to fit in--you still kind of do!

Jennifer, being raised outside of religion, did not even know the meaning of rosary beads. She knew they had something to do with the Catholic religion. Somehow they became associated with rebellion rather than religion. She wore them, not out of spite for religion, but out of sheer ignorance to their significance.

March 11, 1985  Monday

Dear Ophelia,
"Hi. Saturday I got some new clothes at a thrift store--great for mod clothes. I got some rosary beads too but I'm not religious at all. Well, I think Luke hates me and he's making fun of me but my mind could be making a big deal out of it (I hope so). I think he knows I like him. I hope he'll just like me for a friend you know. 

Today in track we had to do this eight times: a 440 sprint then rest for 3 1/2 minutes then another 440 sprint etc. It was hard. 8 times is two miles. Well for the majority of laps, especially the last four, I was in front and in one lap, Kris L. (junior) passed me. Usually I'd just say OK, I can't catch her now, but this time I caught her and beat her. I was so determined. It was really neat. Usually, I'm pretty lazy. 

Then we went to Coyote Point about 2 miles away and we went wading in the bay. We even swam a little. We got totally soaked and had to go back to school in wet, white t-shirts. It was so fun! Listen, I gotta go. Bye, love ya. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. Please don't let Luke hate me."

Gotta wonder about that track coach! He took his girls track team, dressed in white t-shirts, swimming! Well, it was probably innocent. Jennifer doesn't remember that ever happening again. Sometimes, people just don't think ahead! I wonder how many heads turned when that gang of female athletes in wet t-shirts returned to campus!

Jennifer and Kris L. would become track rivals. Sadly, Kris was nothing like Cheri. Cheri and Jennifer encouraged each other. Cheri was the better runner, but she congratulated Jennifer the few times Jennifer beat her in a race. Better to be beat by your friend and teammate than by a girl from another school!

Kris did not share these sentiments. Instead of bonding them, their skills divided them. Jennifer found that her success at track was alienating her rather than endearing her.  

March 12, 1985 Tuesday 

Dear Ophelia,
"Today I skipped track because I went to Mike's so he could cut my hair. Well, Luke was there and I don't think he hates me. I think I'm just sort of a friend. We play-fought for awhile (like me and Dan). It was fun.

Well, after Mike cut my hair, he though it would look good if I bleached it, so did I, so we did. And guess what, I have orangy-blonde hair now. I like it though. Dad doesn't but its not bad once you get used to it. 

I still have major insecurity problems but I've found a way to overcome them. I'm just going to be myself and just be nice and not worry what people think. Who can resist a nice person? I think it'll work, you know. 

We're having a track meet Thursday and Saturday. 

Well, I think if I'm just a real nice person everything will be fine. I wish I didn't have these dumb problems. 

I have a lot of homework. Not tonight, but I have to write an essay and an in-depth story for journalism. Well, I gotta go, love ya. Your friend, Jennifer. P.S. We're dissecting crawdads in biology."

I don't know why Jennifer had such problems being herself. Every time she changed schools and cultures (which was a lot), she studied everyone around her and tried to "fit in". Its a handy survival tool but it left her confused. She didn't have an established identity with her peers. She did not have this identity crisis at home with her family. At school, she found her peers' social customs to vary radically from state to state.

The things that worked for her in one state did not work for her in another. Girls want to fit in by nature (speaking generally of course!). Jennifer was completely normal in that way. She wanted to be accepted by girls her age. This desire to be part of a group is vital to human existence, but it just about killed Jennifer as an individual!

Jennifer trying to dress like the locals!

Coyote Point Recreation Area
670 acre park in San Mateo County
Acquired by San Mateo in 1942
Park juts out into the San Francisco Bay
Its located just south of SFO and is a great place to watch airplanes
The Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education was the first ecology museum in America
It is one of the Bay Area's major museums

Coyote Point

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading The Jennifer Diaries!