September 1976 - January 1977
Age 19, first year of college

"Sometimes I wish life would just stay like this."



Next morning:

Dave's little "party" last night was OK, except maybe for the annoying presence of a very drunk Donna M. throwing herself at every guy in the apartment (including Scott) ... but I'm gradually learning not to let girls like her bother me. Only real problem was getting up for work 15 minutes ago .. I am DEAD TIRED. Oh well, such is being part of the "working world." This telephone sales job is so terrible, though, that I doubt I'll be able to stand much more of it. I'm already so damn sick of hearing about rug shampoo and upholstery cleaning and special 50% discounts that I could just scream.



Saturday afternoon
September 4, 1976

Lazy. Watching an old Shirley Temple movie, waiting for Scott to call. He and John are helping some people move this afternoon, but he said he'd call later. I spent the night at his house last night - it was "fun."

7 p.m.

Scott never called, and when I called his house awhile ago, his grandma said he'd "just left." Damn. Bored, listless. He must have found something "better" to do tonight, which leaves me at loose ends ... facing a long, empty Saturday evening with nothing to do.

(A few minutes later)

You know, one of my biggest faults is my tendency to wallow in self-pity and self-hate all the time. The words I just finished writing in the paragraph above are a perfect example. Scott hasn't called, and immediately I start feeling lonely and sorry for myself and bored. I start blaming Scott for "ignoring" me, and then I start blaming myself for being unnattractive and unappealing, and the next thing I know I've talked myself into feeling miserable. Which I am. I don't know why I'm like this. I just am. I guess that the whole mess boils down to the fact that I don't really like myself very much. I feel dissatisfied with everything about me, and the dissatisfaction turns to frustration, and the frustration to pure resentment when I realize what little I've been able to do to change myself. I've made weak, halfhearted attempts to change - to lose weight, to be more outgoing, to talk and smile more, to put other peoples' feelings ahead of my own, to be a better person - but in the end it all seems so pointless. I can never change. I'm doomed to remain the way I am: selfish, narrow-minded, subdued, quiet, moody, irritable, inhibited, stubborn, hard to get along with ...

That's why I'm always comparing myself to other people, which in the end never fails to leave me feeling even more frustrated and dissatisfied and unhappy than before. I never seem to measure up to what I consider my ideal - I always fall inches short. The frustrating part is that perfection is my ideal, and as long as I keep thinking that way, I'm going to wind up disillusioned all the time. Hmmm.

At least one thing gives me hope, and that's the fact that my idea of  what perfection is is continually changing. One day I'll wish I were one type of person, while the very next day I'm trying to pattern myself after someone completely different. At least I'm beginning to realize there is no such ideal as human perfection, but rather many many different ways of being beautiful. Not just in the physical sense, but in every sense - mental, spiritual, intellectual. If I can remember that, there will always be hope that I can change.


I used to know this old scarecrow
He was my song
My joy and sorrow
Cast alone between the furrows of a field
No longer sown by anyone.
I held a dandelion
That said the time had come to leave upon the wind
Not to return ...




Monday afternoon
September 6, 1976

Today is Labor Day, and no work for Terri Vert.  (Thank God. I can use the R & R.) Watching some old Joan Crawford movie on TV, thinking about dinner & Scott & school clothes & money ... unwinding and recuperating and being myself ... 

Trivial and childish as It may sound, one of my MAJOR  worries right now is getting money for some new school clothes. I haven't a single decent thing to wear. I desperately need some new pants and a new coat and some shoes. Where is the money going to come from?



Thursday afternoon
September 9, 1976

Hi Ledger. I'm so glad you're here for me to write to, because I'm feeling just a little bit lonely and I need someone to talk to.

I stayed home from work today with a sore throat, but now I wish I would have gone. The house is still and empty and quiet, and for some reason I'm not enjoying the solitude the way I usually do. Instead, this house feels like a vacuum  ... silent and forlorn, lonely and sad and empty, digesting my thoughts and my dreams and leaving me feeling just as forlorn and lonely and sad. I have so many things on my mind, but predominant among them is the same old crazy, nostalgic feeling I get every fall. The days grow shorter and the nights cooler, the air cleaner and criper, and I find myself deluged with memories. This time of year ALWAYS makes me feel this way ... nostalgic and wistful for the past.

This morning I took out my senior yearbook and started leafing through the pages, reading what my friends wrote to me, and for no explainable reason it suddenly brought a gigantic lump to my throat. I realize how much I really did enjoy high school, in spite of the bad times. I would love to be able to go back & re-live those days. "Those days" were less than a year ago, but it seems like a lifetime has passed since I was shuffling my way through those crowded hallways. The present and even the future seem, in comparison, bleak and empty.

"Terri -

It's been a long time since our Martian club in fourth grade. It's strange how much things can change in eight years. Well, have a fun life and I wish you all the best always.


What Starla wrote in my annual this year was, without a doubt, the most concise paragraph I've ever read. In just those three short sentences she managed to convey more meaning than a full page of scribbling. She says it all when she says simply and wonderingly (and without malice), "It's strange how much things can change in eight years."  Eight years ago Starla and I were best friends and bitter rivals in Mrs. Fairchild's fourth grade class. We battled for the same grades and for social standing and for the attention of the same boy (hi Ron) but we were still best pals through it all. In junior high everything changed. In junior high, you either go one way or the other ... you either fight your way into the "in" clique, or else you find yourself standing alone and outside of it. Starla made it in. She had a good personality and a great sense of humor, and she could pretend like she was always happy.  I couldn't.  I was unhappy a lot of the time, and I couldn't conceal it.  Junior high scared me to death. The competition was too much for me, and I retreated into myself. I did OK ... I hung around on the fringes a little bit, I was elected to offices and stuff like that, but I was never really popular. Finally in high school it changed again. The clique system wasn't completely abolished, but it was enlarged and it included different kinds of people. Being popular meant different things in high school. I grew up and developed a nice figure and started going out with a lot of boys, while Starla was junior class president and captain of the girls swim team and a Waskowitz counselor and all that. But it's funny, because I never once envied her or regretted the way things had worked out. I had my friends and interests and she had hers, and it didn't matter that they were worlds apart and on entirely different social planes. But when she wrote that in my annual - "It's funny how much things can change in eight years" - what struck me was how final it was. Everything that I did and said and felt during my twelve years in school, all the things I experienced and all the changes I went through - they're all OVER.

"Terri -

You are a beautiful and extremely talented girl. I know you will be successful in whatever you do. I am glad to have known you for so long, and you will always be a friend. I know this. When I asked you to go out with me this year, I guess I knew you wouldn't. I was just trying to impress someone else. It's hard to be mere friends with someone like you, as beautiful as you are -- it's difficult to keep from falling in love with you. I love you Terri and I always will. Good luck in the future and I hope to see you.

Mike Baxter"

Dear, sweet Mike  ...  my true "bud" since those long-ago junior high days at church ...  I'll never forget him.  (When I read what he wrote) I gave myself a mental kick in the rear for standing him up for that date. He forgave me for my insensitivity, and if you don't think that was a jolt, think again!

But probably my favorite signature in my yearbook was from my English teacher, Mr. Folsom. Mr. Folsom had wisdom, humor, sensitivity and strength, and that amazing ability to look inside a student and see that student for what he or she was.

"My Dear Miss V.,

More than any other, I wish I had known you better. I think that there are things worth knowing that I could have given you, but in the shuffle we missed each other. I think that I didn't look quickly or carefully enough - I didn't catch a glimpse of what you were in time. A compulsive teacher regrets the loss of such opportunities. I sometimes wonder which of the many ways open to you to make your fortune you will choose. You have it all, but having it all is hard to handle. I will remember you.

R.B. Folsom."


 5:15 a.m.

So pissed I can hardly write. Dad has kept me awake ALL NIGHT, with his screaming on the CB radio and his drunken friends barging in and out all night. I haven't gotten more than a half hour of sleep since I first went to bed at midnight, and now I'm so fucking mad at him I could just SCREAM.




Sunday morning

I'm so depressed now, I can barely think. Dad has broken another promise to me, leaving me in a total financial mess. How the heck am I going to pay for my tuition, AND a new wardrobe, AND textbooks, AND my English placements, if all he's going to give me is $100??? He originally promised me $200 - then last week it was down to $150 - and now today he begrudgingly said he might be able to squeeze out $100. That may sound selfish or ungrateful on my part, or like more money than I need - but in the face of all the things I have to buy, it doesn't even begin to cover it. What am I going to DO?? God, I HATE being so concerned about money, but right now it's my basic preoccupation. Where is it going to come from??


So much on my mind. The house is quiet and peaceful, I feel clean and relaxed from a long hot bath, and things have slipped into a little better perspective. I went to Grandma and Grandpa with my money problems - I was really upset - and they couldn't have been more loving and understanding. Grandpa wrote me a check to cover my tuition, and next week Grandma is going to take me to Southcenter to buy me a coat and two pairs of shoes. With those things taken care of, I can use the $100 Dad gives me this weekend - plus $90 of my own - to buy the clothes and books I sorely need.






and irritable and short-tempered all day long. I got into a major row with Dad, a minor one with Scott, and I couldn't seem to control myself at all. I'll be glad when things go back to normal.




Friday afternoon
September 17, 1976

A nice feeling to have the house all to myself again. I'm glad that I'm not working (at the carpet cleaning place) anymore. It was an easy way to make some money, but I'll be glad to have this week of rest before college starts.

Dad left a note on my pillow when I got home from Scott's last night. I suppose it was a feeble attempt at an apology, but in typical Dad-fashion he manages to apologize without backing down (I'm sorry, I apologize, but I'm still right & you're still wrong):


Of course you'll have your $100 this evening. I know how important it is to you and I wouldn't think of depriving you. However, you must realize that insolence and insults will no longer be tolerated. There are things that are important to me, too. Respect for my position as head of the household I work hard to support is one of them. You may stay here for as long as you want to, and you are wanted, but you must conduct yourself as a member of a family - not as a person whom this household is being maintained for.

Love, Dad

I thawed a few degrees when I read his note, but I'm still angry. In a two-person household like ours, it just isn't fair for one person to have total dominance over the other. Of course he's my father, and the head of our so-called "family," and he deserves all the respect and support I can give him. But he still hasn't the right to expect me to keep my opinions and my bad moods entirely to myself. When I'm having a bad day, I don't particularly care to listen to him harrass and needle me, and I have a right to say so without being called "insolent." I should be able to say "Stop yelling at me" without being called a "smart ass."

Oh, scrap the whole thing. I'm starting to sound just as ridiculous as he does. It's no big deal. Hopefully I won't have to live here with him all that much longer, anyway. It's just not even worth the time to write about.

Tomorrow (I hope) I'm going to go and do my clothes shopping. I have $126 of my own to spend, from my paychecks and allowances I've saved, and then with the $100 Dad gives me tonight I should have more than enough. I'm excited - it should be fun to get a whole new wardrobe, after a year of wearing the same old, sloppy, ugly things. A whole new wardrobe!! Woopee!!!!

And then - there's more - next Thursday I've got an appointment to get my hair cut and styled. A whole new me!


My College Schedule

9:00  FREE

10:00 Newswriting (MTWF)

11:00 Culture & Man (every day)

12:00 Intro to Lit (MWF)

1:00  Intro to Mass Media (daily)








was nothing more than a way of passing time, of filling up empty days and nights with a "nice" guy who took me to dances and basketball ganes and movies.

And then there's Steve. I loved Steve - that is, if it's possible to love someone you hate ...

And now I love Scott - more deeply, perhaps, than any other - but I've been hurt and disillusioned so many times in the past, I mustn't allow myself to believe this one will last forever. Oh, but I want it to be, I really do!! I love Scott so much it hurts inside, and I never want it to end. He is different, he is the only one I've ever really loved the way I do. If I could just believe that we could make it work, make it last ...





Monday evening
September 20, 1976

I spent the weekend doing my school clothes shopping. I'm not through yet, but so far I've gotten four pairs of pants - blue, brown, black and a great-fitting pair of jeans. I also got several new sweaters, two blouses, a corduroy jacket, a $132 leather jacket with matching purse, and a new pair of shoes. I still haven't gotten everything - I need another pair of shoes and another blouse - but it feels so GREAT to have new clothes. It may sound shallow, but looking good is essential to my sense of self-worth. If I'd had to wear those ugly, baggy, worn-out old jeans one more day I would have gone INSANE.

Scott and I went down to Seahurst tonight for awhile. We talked to John and Jerry, and I saw (to my relief) that Steve  has found himself a new girlfriend. Thank God. Now he has someone new to torment.




Wednesday evening
September 22, 1976

Scott hasn't called all day (it's 7:30 now) so I imagine he's found something better to do this evening. Oh well - at least it gives me a chance to relax and take it easy. I don't feel all that good: I've been bleeding HARD all day, and it's left me weak.

Yesterday Scott and I went to the Puyallup Fair, and it was one of the nicest days I've enjoyed in a long time. I think that going to a good old-fashioned country fair should be a part of everyone's growing-up experience. It was so exciting and uplifting, and it left me feeling happy. We went on rides - including my first-ever roller coaster - walked around and looked at all the exhibits, ate hamburgers with fried onions, french fries, scones with raspberry jam, barbecued ribs cooked over an open fire, corn on the cob, cherry turnovers, beef jerkey ... what a stomach-full!! ... went on the old-fashioned ferris wheel, had our picture taken together. I loved every minute of it. When (if) I have kids, going to the Puyallup Fair will be essential. When Scott and I were looking at the animal exhibits (the baby chickens and goats and cows and pigs), there were so many little kids running around, shouting happily or staring in wide-eyed fascination, and they were so obviously enjoying themselves that I can hardly wait to take my own children.

This is actually a photo from the 1977 Puyallup Fair, not 1976  ...
but you get the idea.


I don'‘t know why Scott hasn't called all day, but as usual it's managed to hurt my feelings. What's wrong with me, anyway? Don't I feel secure enough, or what? Why is it that Scott's not calling me is enough to reduce me to this - a paranoid, insecure, jealous girlfriend??

Let's think about something different - like getting my hair cut tomorrow afternoon. I'm a little nervous, naturally. My hair has been middle-of-my-back long for ages, but I just can't stand "the scragglies" anymore. Starting college is a good time to make changes, don't you think? Even if it's something as relatively unimportant as getting a haircut? On second thought, I'd better not think about that, either. I don't want to go to bed nervous about ANYTHING.


It was kinda strange seeing Steve with another girl down at Seahurst Park a couple of nights ago ... a little bit of a shock, to be honest. I know that the whole time we were supposedly "going together" he was going out on me, right & left - one time Joada and I actually caught him at it - but seeing him with that girl at the park really startled me. Steve with someone else?

Wait a minute. This isn't coming out the way I intended.

I'm not jealous. Yes I was.  I'm not hurt. Yes I was.  Actually, I really don't care who he goes out with. Yes I did.  He could take out anyone in the whole world and I wouldn't bat an eye. The thing that shocked me was that any girl would be stupid enough to get involved with him. That's what surprised me! Maybe it's because I finally learned, through long painful experience, what an absolute creep he is ... an insensitive, unfeeling, selfish, mindless clod. I cringe to think of any other poor girl having to endure all the things I endured.

Oh well. It's no longer ANY of my concern.

I remember a time, more than a year ago, when I sat alone in the church sanctuary, tears pouring down my face, and pleaded with God to take away all my feelings for Steve. Now look at me - I've never felt less about anyone in my life. My heart is totally devoid of any feelings for him ... not even fondness or regret. I don't even hate him. I just have NO feelings for him at all.

Several things helped me get over him. The first, of course, was Scott - going out with him and falling in love with him did more to rearrange my thinking than anything else. But another thing helped, and that was Steve himself. I finally got so sick of his broken promises and his narrow, selfish attitude that I found it easier to break clean of him than I thought it would be. In contrast to Steve and our miserable attempt at a "relationship," the six months I've spent with Scott have been the happiest of my life. Our first dates were kinda funny and awkward. For about the first six or seven times we went out, we had to have another couple along with us to ease the tension & awkwardness. We were almost scared to be alone with each other. The first time that we were actually together, alone, was one night during Spring Vacation. We went to a friends' apartment with Jerry and Joada, and I managed to get pretty drunk. While we were sitting there on the couch at Corey's apartment, Scott kissed me for the first time but I was too drunk to even remember it. (Something I've regretted ever since!) Later in the evening we all went to Scott's house. I was still too drunk to even walk straight, but I managed to make it upstairs to Scott's bedroom - where I promptly fell asleep! I sobered up and managed to wake up around 2 or 3 a.m. Joada and Jerry were long gone, and Scott and I were sleeping together in a chair, our arms wrapped around each other. He woke up at the same time I did, and we spent the remaining hours until dawn sitting on the floor of his bedroom, sorting through his record collection and talking. He kissed me a few times, but nothing more, and although he could have taken "advantage" of the situation, he didn't. The fact that he didn't only made me like him more.

May 14th was one of the most special evenings we ever had together, and one of my fondest memories. We went to S.I.R. to watch the high school drag races. We had some beer, and although I didn't get drunk I did get a little "happy." I watched the races and asked Scott questions about the cars & their drivers, but my mind was elsewhere. Scott's family was away for the weekend - no one was home but his father. Would he invite me to his house after the races? And would anything happen if he did? It was late when the races ended, and dark. The ride home was long and I rested my head on Scott's shoulder as he drove. I closed my eyes. "Do you want to go home?" Scott asked. I opened my eyes quickly and sat up. "No, not really," I said. "I thought maybe we could go to your house for awhile." The rest of the evening is a beautiful, personal memory that I would rather keep to myself. Some first encounters are awkward and clumsy, but ours was perfect and I will never regret it. Something that meaningful should never be regretted, no matter how "wrong" others would have you believe it to be.




Thursday morning
September 23, 1976

Just woke up a little while ago - I dreamed that Scott's mother walked into his bedroom and caught me standing there wearing nothing but a bath towel around my waist, and we got into a terrible fight.

I hope Scott calls me sometime today.

I just realized something --- today will be the very last day I have all to myself at home before school starts! Starting tomorrow, Dad will have a three day weekend - so today is my last day to have the house to myself. I'd better enjoy it.


Well, I went and got my hair cut today, and I'm really glad that I did because it turned out a LOT better than I expected. It really looks nice! The only problem I can foresee will be keeping it curly, since my hair is normally straight as a board.




Friday evening 6:19 p.m.
September 24, 1976

I'm happy, and I'm not even sure why. Sitting on my bed, sipping root beer, watching the Kelly family on "The Brady Bunch," waiting for my rollers to cool. I just feel content and happy and buoyed up, like something neat is just ahead of me.




Sunday afternoon
September 26, 1976

Lazy afternoon. I've been trying to clean my bedroom, but I have too many things on my mind and it's been going very slowly. I'd rather just sit here on the edge of my rumpled bed and think.

School starts tomorrow - my first day of COLLEGE, if you can believe that. Right now I feel more numb than scared. I can't really believe that I'm going. I guess it hasn't sunk in yet.

Also, this afternoon I'm going back to church to rejoin the singing group, and I'm VERY nervous about that because I haven't been to church in four months. I'm afraid my old friends won't accept me back.


It's getting late and I have a BIG day ahead of me tomorrow ... but, typically for me, I'm so keyed-up and tense that I can't sleep. Instead, I'm staying up late watching one of my all time favorite movies, "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid," and trying to relax with a few words in my ledger. I'll probably be dead-tired tomorrow at school, but I'll survive it.

I know I've said this before, but I just can't believe that I'm actually going off to college tomorrow morning. I guess it's just hard to believe that time could pass so quickly. Wasn't it only yesterday that I was starting out in grade school??? I can't help but wonder about all the things in store for me, these next two years ... the things I'll do, the people I'll meet, the changes I'll go through. In two years - hell, even in SIX MONTHS - I'll be an entirely different Terri V. than I am now. I'll know people that I've never even heard of right now. The things that will be important to me then haven't even entered my life yet. What a strange feeling that gives me! I can look now at all the changes I went through during my three years in high school, and I realize that it's all going to start again - the process of rebuilding and reshaping and remodelling, the adoption of new interests and ideals. What will those changes be? Uppermost in my heart is, how is college going to affect my relationship with Scott? I'll be riding to and from school with him every day, and we'll see each other after school and nights and weekends. But what I'm worrying about isn't whether or not we'll see each other as much, but rather what the exposure to all those new people will do. All summer Scott and I have been happily together, without anyone coming between us. That's because there hasn't been anyone else around, really! Except for an occasional party, Scott and I have been almost completely isolated. The only other people we've seen have been his friends (John, Jerry, Wayne, Don) and people at work. But now, starting college with 9,000 other students, we're both going to be exposed to a barrage of new faces. I'm just not sure I can handle the competition!! I'm AFRAID of it. All those good-looking college girls ... can I compete with all that? The thought of Scott - my Scott, the guy I love more than anyone in the world - ever being in love with another girl is enough to split my heart in two. I don't know how I'd be able to cope if he ever leaves me. Of course, I know it's healthy to meet new people, and I'm looking forward to it. I've felt so isolated and cooped-up this summer, and it will be nice to get out and circulate again. I'm looking forward to that aspect. But - and I honestly, truly mean this - I don't intend to so much as LOOK at any other guys. All summer Scott has been expressing his fear that I'm going to go to HCC & immediately find someone new, talking about the "cute, rich college guys" who are going to swoop down on me the minute I walk onto the campus. No way!! For one thing, I'm not the greatest looking girl in the world. I'd be the first to tell you that. And for another thing, I love Scott with all my heart, and frankly I couldn't care less about anyone else. All I want is for us to stay together, to grow together, and to keep loving each other the way we do now. I just pray that college isn't going to destroy that dream.




Monday evening
September 27, 1976

One very long and hectic day is slowly winding to a close, and although my feet are tired and my body aches all over (from all the walking I had to do), I feel happy and pleased about the whole day. My first day as an honest-to-goodness college student!




Wednesday evening
September 29, 1976

Getting adjusted to college life, plus rushing home each day to do the housework, is exhausting! I haven't even had a chance to tell you about anything, Ledger!  This evening, though, I have a little bit of time before I plunge into my homework, and I thought I'd use it to scribble a word or two.

School is a whole new world to me - better in ways I didn't expect, more difficult in ways I couldn't foresee. My first few days have left me breathless, wide-eyed and feeling just a little naive. A lot like the way I felt as a seventh grader, or as a sophomore at Glacier. There are so many people there who are so much older than I am, people who know their way all around the campus and who know all the answers to questions in class. Next to them I feel so out of it. I realize that it'll take time to admust fully to the college experience, but in the meantime I'm simply absorbing each day as it comes, learning little by little.

My first impression: the campus is SO BIG. I got hopelessly lost on my first day, trying to find my way through the endless maze of buildings. My first class, on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, is Newswriting 101 with Mrs. S. This is the class that puts out the college newspaper, The Thunderword, but I have a feeling that I'm going to be part of the "background," turning

(entry ends)




Friday night
October 1, 1976





Sunday morning
October 3, 1976

Last night Scott spent the evening with me - he came over to my house, where we listened to records and experimented with my new paint set and talked. Afterwards we went to Burien for a pizza. It wasn't the most exciting evening we've ever spent together, and it wasn't the most romantic, but I enjoyed it thoroughly in spite of that. There is nothing I love more than spending time with him, no matter what we're doing. I've spent some of the dullest evenings imaginable with other guys in the past, but with Scott nothing is really dull to the point of being unberable. Sitting home watching TV can be fun if he's with me. And even when we do get bored, it's not with each other. I just can't figure it out. We've been going together for seven months and still I don't feel the slightest shred of restlessness. (Yet.) I really do love him with all my heart, and I would be happy to stay with him for the rest of my life. I can't speak for his feelings, of course, but I think that he loves me very deeply too, and it's the greatest joy of my life!  At school there seem to be ten million guys - everywhere I look - but they are all faceless and nameless. The only face I see is Scott!







Thursday evening
October 7, 1976

Things have straightened out between Scott and I -- the friction between us on Monday and Tuesday has dissipated, and in fact things haven't been this smooth and uncomplicated in a long time. He's been treating me with tenderness and consideration, and I can feel myself slipping more deeply into love with him with each passing day. Corny and old-fashioned as it may sound, I've never been in love like this before. I can't even begin to describe it - this sweet sense of belonging to someone. It's incredible, it's beautiful, it's frightening, it's fantastic.

School is becoming a familiar routine. Anthropology is my favorite class, Mass Media is my least favorite (zzz). Money hassles are starting to get me down again - more books needed, money for this, money for that - and I know that I've got to start looking for a job. I feel back in touch with life again. After such a sedentary, blah summer, it feels good to break out of the shell a bit.

Think I'll have a piece of Dad's birthday cake (a small piece!), dry and set my hair, watch "Welcome Back Kotter" and go to bed early.




Saturday night
October 9, 1976

This is going to sound a little strange, so bear with me while I try to formulate my ideas into words.  I reached two conclusions today. Neither is of earth-shaking importance, but I think they're important enough to mention before I drop off to sleep.

First, I'm going to quit writing this ledger for other people. I'm not sure if I've been doing it consciously or not, but I've been making an effort to censor myself, to mask my real inner feelings, hide things that are important to me, because I'm afraid "somebody" (Scott) is going to read it and laugh. From now on, I'm going to write just exactly what I please, without inhibition.

The other conclusion that I came to is that I am a VERY hung-up person. I've been vaguely aware of it all along, but until this afternoon I hadn't realized it had reached the proportions it has. I have some very serious emotional and psychological problems, and I've got to do something about them, soon. You've got to be my outlet, Ledger.  I'm very inhibited, to the point where it's beginning to affect every area of my life. Emotionally, sexually, mentally, socially, physically - in every area I have these terrible, restricting feelings of inadequacy and inhibition. I can't express my love to Scott on the sexual level he wants because of my inhibition. I have so many hang-ups about my body that I find it painfully embarrassing to do anything the least bit "different." I can't even relax and be myself enough to do silly things like singing out loud in front of him, or dancing, or anything that would require me to "perform" in some way. What the hell's wrong with me??? God, I used to be such a ham. No one could STOP me from performing. Now, with the guy I love the most in the world, I'm too hung-up to act the way I really want to. I want to do the things that will make Scott happy, but I can't. I just can't. I don't want to be a phony. I don't want to look like I'm forcing myself into doing things I don't really enjoy. But I DO want to do these things!! That's the problem! It's not like I wouldn't enjoy trying oral sex or singing out loud or dancing at parties. I WOULD enjoy them, if only I could get over this problem I have.




Sunday night
October 10, 1976

It's really late, and I should go to bed, but I've made a little pledge to myself to scribble at least a word or two in you every day, Ledger.

Tonight at church I got a little book called "I'm A Good Man, But ..." by Fritz Ridenour, all about dealing with personal hang-ups and self-hate. I think I'll read a chapter every night before bed and see if I can figure out what's been wrong with me lately.

Spent the day with Scott and John out at the Midway Swap Meet - I sold some old stuffed animals, my old typewriter and guitar, and made about $25. It was really fun. We walked around looking at all the other tables, bought some records to add to my collection. Happy.




Monday afternoon

Today was an exhausting day ... Kathy F. gave me four hits of speed at school, and although I didn't really get off on it, it has made my body a little more nervous than usual. My mind is dead-tired and wants to take a nap, but my body is wide awake with nervous energy and won't relax. I have to clean my room, but I just feel so blah.




Saturday afternoon
October 16, 1976

Ledger: I haven't written to you all week. Sorry!

Right now I'm on a church retreat, at (appropriately enough) Lake Retreat, a small lakeside church camp outside of Kent (I think). This is the first retreat I've been on since the terrific Bus Caravan in July 1975, and it seems a little strange to be here with the same old gang of kids I've been going to church with since forever ... it's nice, though, in a way ...

I'm sitting in the lounge near a large picture window, overlooking the lake and surrounding woods. Debbie S. and I took a boat out onto the lake earlier this afternoon - helplessly paddling around in the middle of the lake. Now people are sitting around the fireplace reading ... a small group of kids are playing guitars and singing in another corner ... other kids are playing pool, ping pong or cards. The lounge is noisy, relaxing, pleasant. Smells of dinner cooking in the adjoining kitchen. Sounds of a piano, a flute, scattered laughter. I feel isolated, sitting here by the window all alone, and yet a part of all this. In my way I feel that I belong to all of this, even if I don't really. I've been hanging around with Debbie this weekend, and it has given me that wonderful sense of companionship & camaraderie that I've missed so desperately lately. The shared secrets, the open easy conversation, the companionable silences ... all the things I've longed for. Scott fills a part of the void, but only another girl can fill the rest of it. I've needed the companionship of a girlfriend. We took a walk down to the dock, to feed the ducks little pieces of apple and to take pictures; in our dormitory room with Nancy W. and Laura P., we spent an hour munching chips and talking about "girl things"; we took the rowboat out onto the lake, rowed to the middle and then drifted lazily, watching the sky and talking about boys; in the lounge, we curled up on a couch, wrapped in blankets, and read magazines. I haven't felt this good about myself in a long time.  I LOOK terrible - my hair is dirty, my clothes are dirty, my fingernails are dirty! - but I feel good. It makes me want to count all my blessings.  For one, I'm a Christian, and although me and God haven't really been all that close lately, at least I'm assured that I'm going to Heaven when I die. That's reassuring. Second, I have Scott as a boyfriend and that's another big advantage. Not only is he someone to love and to lean on, he's a security blanket. I love him and he loves me back and it's beautiful. There are other good things in my life, like being young and healthy and intelligent and having my whole life ahead of me, but they're all a part of this feeling of self-contentment and separating them isn't necessary. Everything all together makes me happy.


There's only one problem with retreats, and that's that I ALWAYS get over- tired, which ALWAYS makes me come down with something (cold, flu), which

(journal entry ends)




Wednesday night
October 20, 1976

I feel comfortable, relaxed, drowsy, soapy-clean, peaceful ... but before I unwind completely and snuggle into bed, I feel like writing a word or two.

The retreat this past weekend was an emotional letdown. Even though it gave me the female companionship I've so desperately needed, it only helped confirm what I'd been feeling in my heart ... how far apart I have grown from my old church friends, and even more painful, how very little I care ... 

I've changed. It's almost as though I've outgrown the church group. I've lost touch with them - their ideals are no longer my ideals.





I like gray kittens, saltwater taffy and jeans. I also like baked potatoes with sour cream, sleeping late, thunderstorms and the smell of the ocean; Pepsi on ice, collecting old records, secondhand stores, and walking in the rain; long bubble baths and rocking chairs.

I don't like getting up in the morning, overdue term papers, snoring, crew cuts, hot sticky weather, country western music, pork chops, leaky pens, dishwashing, nosy people, split ends, ironing, caterpillars or oatmeal.

I like brussel sprouts, prune dumplings and juicy pears; Gothic novels, sad movies, reading old diaries and bean bag chairs. I like Muzio Clementi, The Moody Blues, Roddy McDowall, Scott Shearer, Michael York and The Beatles.

I don't like Helen Reddy, lettuce in my tuna sandwich, being five pounds overweight, pimples, cliques, report cards, breaking up or TV game shows. I don't like being ignored, silent telephones, self-centeredness or garbage. I don't like darkness, wooden popsicle sticks or big dogs that bite.





Tired. I always seem to be tired lately. I never have the energy to do the things I want to get done - after school I come home and crawl into bed and sleep for two or three hours until dinnertime, and at night I'm asleep by 10:30 or 11:00. School is easy and (so far) no big pressure, but I still can't explain this continual weariness. It isn't just my body that's tired, it's my head, my mind. I feel so fuzzy and leaden and stagnant, unable to read or concentrate or will myself to DO things. All I want to do is sleep.

Fall weather ... cold, clear, crisp. Trees are laden with golds and russets and browns, the air has that exhileratingly snappy feeling. I love fall best of all seasons: I'm not sure why. Maybe because school has always been a time of beginnings in my life - school starting, for one thing - and that always makes me feel good.

School is progressing normally. My classes are unexciting, but almost pleasant in their familiarity. I like the feeling of being on my own that college gives me, so much less confining and restricting than high school.

Scott and I are getting along alright, with only an occasional bump in the road, usually over the amount of time he spends with his friends, but it's nothing to break up over. He calls me "Sweetheart" and walks me to my classes and calls me at night;  I call him "Scotters" and kiss his freckled nose in the mornings.

Everything at home is routine, smooth  ... unexciting, but again pleasant in its own way. The pattern is set - each day is the same. I am secure in familiarity and routine. Sometimes I wish life would stay just like this.

I used to think I was pretty, but I don't anymore. I don't like my face - it's too round, my eyes and my mouth are too small, my eyebrows are an odd and unattractive shape. I see all these terrific looking girls around school all day, and I'm developing an inferiority complex - a GIANT one.




Wednesday night

Today must have been the "high day" of my cycle ... for some reason I felt happier, more relaxed than usual. It was nice.

Several little things happened to make my day pleasant. First thing this morning I went into the college bookstore to buy a candy bar for breakfast (!)  As I stood in line waiting to pay for it, I suddenly saw a record album sitting on the record rack, right in front, standing out like some kind of omen ... an album that I've been going CRAZY trying to locate, "Abba's Greatest Hits." I've wanted it so badly because of one obscure, little-known song called "Honey Honey" that I fell in love with the minute I heard it played on an FM radio station two years ago. Since then I've been combing record stores like a maniac, looking for that song, and suddenly, BAM, there it was right in front of me!

Secondly, there is a very good chance I might get the position of Copy Editor for the college paper. The former Copy Ed, Steve N., had to quit, so I immediately applied and I'm not sure but I think I got it. I hope so!! I'll go into the journalism office tomorrow morning and find out.

Watching an old Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine movie, "The Apartment." It's terribly late at night, but Dad is typing across the hall and I couldn't sleep if I tried.




Sunday night
October 31, 1976

Watching "Life Goes To The Movies" on Channel 5 - a three hour look at the most important films made during the last 40 years. Fascinating. I used to think that I've seen a lot of movies, but this special has shown me how few I've actually seen. Oh well ... all of life is like that. Just when you think you've begun to accumulate a sizeable amount of experience in something, you're suddenly shot down to size. Then you're forced to realize just how INEXPERIENCED you really are.

Last night Scott and I went to a Halloween costume party at Debbie K.'s house. We both dressed as hillbillies (complete with corncob pipes!) The party was OK - not many people and a full keg of beer - but I managed to get too drunk and felt so awful that I had to have Scott bring me home and put me to bed around 11:00. Needless to say, I woke up this morning with a hellish hangover and a splitting headache to match ... felt like absolute SHIT all day long. Honestly, you'd think I'd learn, sooner or later. I don't even think that drinking is worth it. Sure, you feel terrific for a little while, but all the aches and pains you have to suffer the next day just aren't worth it. I'd almost rather take drugs. At least on drugs I didn't feel so crummy when it was over.


Hallowe'en 1976
Another "too-high" night for Terri

Scott was really sweet and understanding about the whole thing. I talked to him on the phone this afternoon, and I was afraid that maybe he was angry with me for getting so wasted last night ... but he couldn't have been sweeter. I think that he really loves me - not just a superficial, selfish "love," but that he really and truly loves me, and it gives me such a warm, glowy feeling in my heart. This afternoon when I was at Grandma's house doing my laundry, I happened to wash a pair of Scott's pajamas, which he loaned me while I was sick last week. As I took the pajamas from the dryer, all clean and warm and sweet-smelling, I pressed them to my cheek, feeling their softness and warmth against my face, and I was suddenly filled with an overwhelming sense of love and tenderness toward them, and towards him. They were Scott's pajamas, a small part of him, and I loved them with all my heart.

I must sound like a raving maniac, the way I carry on about Scott all the time. Imagine getting sentimental over a pair of flannel pajamas! But that's the way I am, I guess - sentimental and romantic at heart, always expecting life and love to be as exciting and thrilling as they are in movies and daydreams. Maybe that's why I love Scott so much. He seems to understand this, at least a little. He was the first boy who ever gave me roses, or an anniversary card, or took me to a Prom. And in my crazy way that makes him Something Special.




Thursday night
November 4, 1976

A quick word or two before I drop off to sleep.

This past week I voted in my first Presidential election, and what a surprise - I voted for all the winners! (Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale for President and Vice President, Dixie Lee Ray for Washington State Governor.) Beginner's luck, I guess.

There is something inside me that is just aching to be let loose, to be free and independent and on my own. I'm almost 19 years old. All around me, people my age - my friends and schoolmates - are getting married, going off to college, moving away from home into apartments of their own ... while I still don't even have my driver's license!! I don't have a job, I have exactly $15.53 in my bank account, and I still decorate my bedroom in Early American Teenybopper. How do I get OUT of this pattern?? And to make things worse, I haven't the vaguest idea what I'm going to do with my life. College is a very big, fat drag - I'm probably taking all the wrong classes, and I'm going to end up a college dropout. The terrible part is that I don't even care. I don't care if I flunk out - I don't care about college at all. I don't even know what I DO care about.




Saturday afternoon
November 6, 1976

Lazy. My bedroom Is a terrible mess again - clothes scattered all over the floor, the bed rumpled and disheveled, records and shoes and magazines and stuffed animals everywhere. I should clean it up, but I'm not feeling very energetic at the present moment. I just had a bacon-tomato sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk for "breakfast." Dad is home today, so I don't get my beloved Saturday-home-all-by-myself ... instead I've opted to hole up in my bedroom and hide out.

Last night Scott and I went and spent the evening at Jerry's house, watching TV, drinking wine, smoking weed. It was pleasant and fun, but Scott was tired and wanted to go home by 11:00.

It's 2:00 in the afternoon already, but I've only made an inch of progress ... I made my bed and put a clean bedspread on it. I just can't seem to make myself DO anything today. Grandma offered to buy me new bedroom curtains and a bedspread this Christmas, and I'm thinking about asking Dad for carpeting and some paint to do my room ... maybe light blue? Green? Anything but YELLOW.  My room at Grandma & Grandpa's was yellow for about eleven years, and I got so sick of yellow walls I could scream. I still have this unnatural aversion to yellow. Anyway, it sounds like a good idea to do my bedroom over. It needs it. I probably won't be getting married or leaving home for years, at the rate I'm going, so I might as well be comfortable.




Sunday night
November 7, 1976

"Gone With The Wind" is on TV tonight for the very first time ... and since I wouldn't miss it for the world, I'm curled up in Dad's big armchair, losing myself in the great classic. Right now Scarlett has just promised herself to Charles Hamilton, and all the men are riding off the join the war. How could she marry someone that she didn't even love????  Indeed.

Last night at 6:30 Scott still hadn't called me, and I was starting to get mad. I'd gone to all the trouble of setting my hair and putting on makeup, "just in case," but when he never even bothered to call I finally went out with Rhonda. We drove down to the Seattle Center, walked around the Food Circus, went to see Laserium. Met two really nice guys from Canada, Don and Rudy. Had a good time and (temporarily, at least) forget about problems. It was nice.

Things are not good between Scott and I. Lately it's all so superficial, and it's really starting to wear me down.




Tuesday night
November 9, 1976

I took a sleeping pill a couple of minutes ago. Lately I haven't been able to sleep so well at night. Sitting in bed quietly. The house is silent - the world is sleeping. I am smoking a cigarette, a half-hearted attempt to calm my jaded nerves. It's a new secret comfort, although I must be honest and admit that I don't enjoy it very much. No one knows that I smoke once in awhile except Rhonda. Saturday night when we went downtown, we sat at a table in the Food Circus, and we smoked and drank our Cokes and watched the people shuffling past our table with indifferent eyes.

Why is it that nothing seems to matter much anymore?

A secret fear, never before spoken or written or even realized ... do I really love Scott? At times I think I do, I'm sure I do; but at other times it's just like everything else in my life - it doesn't matter.

Ledger, there are all kinds of terrible things inside of me lately - terrible thoughts, things I wouldn't DREAM of exposing to anybody. I'm so depressed. I feel as though I'm never going to break out of this ... like I'm never going to DO anything with my life. I feel like I'm in an impenetrable cage, and that I'm going to be stuck in here forever.




Wednesday night
November 10, 1976

Things are a little more up today, mood-wise, although I was confronted with another sudden financial crisis: registration for Winter Quarter is on December 1st, which means I've got to raise another $83 fast. But in spite of that unexpected blow, I've come out of my slump a little. I do love Scott - I was just blue yesterday and doubted everything in the world, including my feelings for Scott.

Eugene called me tonight and asked if I wanted to buy a nickel ... hmmm?! I don't know if I want to or not, but I have a feeling I probably will. Damn.

No school tomorrow because of Veterans Day. Scott promised he'd come over and we might drive out to Goodwill to look at old records. Tonight he's busy, going out and getting high with the guys. Lately it seems as though he spends all his time with those damned friends of his. I've seen him ONE night in the last week. So tonight I'm stuck at home again, sitting in my bedroom, watching insipid TV shows and moping. I owe a letter to Georgia Ferrell, my new pen pal from Illinois. Fun evening ahead, ha ha.


I wrote a long letter to Georgia, telling her all about my family and Scott and school. She sounds like a really nice girl, and we have several interests in common. I think I'll enjoy writing to her.

I've decided not to buy any speed from Eugene. For one reason, I don't have the money, and for another reason his last nickel made me sick and dizzy. So why waste my money on junk like that, which I don't even need.




Thursday night before bed
November 11, 1976

Today was a school holiday. Scott came over this morning at 9 a.m., helped me do all my housework, and then we took the bus down to the Pike Place Market. We walked all around the Market, which was full of people and sounds and smells, fresh vegetables and seafood and handmade jewelry ... Scott bought me a pair of earrings for my pierced ears, silver bolts of lightning with a tiny turquoise dot on each side. They're really cute, a sort of "anniversary" present since we celebrate eight months tomorrow. I saw a lot of interesting things at the Market that I'd like to buy as Christmas presents - a darling wall plaque for Grandpa, and an old Beatles poster for Scott. I might take the bus there sometime before Christmas and do some shopping. Ate dinner at Scott's, then I stayed for his mom's jewelry party.

Tired. School tomorrow, yuck. What's happened to all my energy lately?




Sunday afternoon
November 14, 1976

Busy weekend. Friday night Scott and I went over to Wayne's house for a few hours. Wayne's parents were out of town, and besides the three of us, John, Jerry, Don E., Tracy C., Bill D. and Lori P. were there. We had a case of beer, sat in the living room drinking, listening to music, arguing about politics, talking. Around 11:30, Scott and I decided to go to Jack In The Box to get something to eat. Afterwards we parked in front of my house and just sat in his car talking. Just like old times.

Yesterday morning my period started. I felt horrible and crampy and irritable, so after I did a little housework, I planted myself in Dad's armchair with a heating pad on my stomach and spent the afternoon watching old movies on TV. While I was watching Hayley Mills in "The Trouble With Angels," Rhonda dropped by unexpectedly. She was a little upset because someone had defaced her car by scratching the word "hi" on the hood with a nail.




Tuesday night
November 16, 1976

Grandma Vert's birthday. Called her this afternoon to wish her a happy day. She told me that Dick is out of the Youth Center, staying with some people in White Center named Leavy.   Anita (Brown) B. had her baby today - I don't know if it was a boy or a girl yet. I've got to remember to take her baby present over to her mom's house tomorrow.

Got a long letter from Karen yesterday. She is "going crazy" living with her grandmother in California, but nevertheless I envy her, getting away from Seattle. Wish I could do the same. I'M SO FRUSTRATED!! Everything in my life is standing still. When will I start to really live my own life??!




Friday night
November 19, 1976

Scott got a new job with UPS, working as a clerk for $4 an hour. He worked tonight (his hours are 5:30 to 9:00, I think). Originally he planned to come over tonight after he got off work, but he called this afternoon and said he'd decided to go to the midnight movie with John and Jerry instead. I was disappointed, but at least there was a good movie on TV tonight, "I Want To Keep My Baby" with Mariel Hemmingway (sister of Margaux?) It was good, interesting - it kept me absorbed in something for a couple of hours, anyway. I took a couple of Vivarin this evening, and I've had a couple of cigarettes, so I'm not really tired enough to go to sleep yet. Sitting here in bed in my old flannel nightgown, hair loosely braided, surrounded by books, magazines, stuffed animals, old ledgers. To amuse myself for the past hour or so I've been reading my ledgers from ninth grade. Funny. They bring back memories of so many happy/sad days.

Today was an OK day at school. My period is finally over (yay) and I was in a lot better spirits. In fact, I actually felt "up" enough to go to all three of my classes, without the slightest trace of "skipitis." Mrs. S., my sweet, befuddled Newswriting teacher, is going to help me bring my grade up next week. Thank God. After school I went to Scott's house for a little while. We sat upstairs in his room and talked. He was a little peeved because lately I've been talking about my Anthropology class practically non-stop ("Mr. Campbell says this" and "Mr. Campbell says that"). He had to take his grandmother to the beauty parlor at 2:00, and then we came to my house for another hour or so. Boring evening, really, although it was relaxing. No school tomorrow.

Must get some shut-eye before I collapse.




Monday night
November 22, 1976

Depressed, as usual. Scott has been dropping a lot of not-so-subtle hints lately, about wanting to loosen up our relationship a little. He mentioned something about a "trial separation," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Then he quickly assured me that he was "just kidding," and that he still loves me, but I don't know. I can sense an undercurrent of discontent and restlessness. The worst part is that I can sense the same feeling in myself, but I'm unwilling to admit it. I'm beginning to feel stifled, but still the thought of breaking up sends me into a panic. What would I do with myself if we broke up? I'd be so alone. I don't want to be alone!! But still, I don't know how much more of this I can take. The constant bickering, the put-downs, the insults are starting to wear me down. It seems like I'm always crying lately, and I'm always worried that he's mad at me about something. That becomes pretty tiresome after awhile.  For us both.

Yesterday I went to McDonalds in Burien and filled out a job application. The supervisor who looked over my application gave me the impression that I'd probably get the job, but so far nobody has called me about it. If I don't hear anything about it by tomorrow, I'll call them and inquire. I certainly could use the job. Oh well. What's one more problem on my mind? Think I'll go to bed early and just forget about it all for a few hours.

Oh!  (They're playing my)  favorite song, "Living Thing" by The Electric Light Orchestra.




Tuesday night
November 23, 1976

Watching M*A*S*H.  Tuesday night is the best night for TV - "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley," "M*A*S*H," "One Day At A Time" and "Family." I'm generally not much of a television watcher (HA! HA!) but there are a few programs that I really enjoy, like "One Day At A Time" or "Rhoda" or "The Bob Newhart Show."  But I don't just sit in front of the TV for hours, like some people do (like DAD).  I'm not addicted.  Sometimes - in fact, usually - I'd rather listen to music.  I love music. I feel like a different, better person when I listen to music. A new song out by ELO called "Living Thing" is one of my current favorites. I mentioned that yesterday, didn't I? Maybe I'll buy the album.

I went to Fred Meyer after school and filled out a job application. McDonald's still hasn't called me yet and I'm starting to get frantic. I need a job so badly.





Shower - wash hair - wash face. Put on makeup, shadow, liner, brows. Towel dry and blow dry hair. Set hair on electric rollers. Mascara, blush, lip gloss. Dress. Brush out hair. Takes one hour and 45 minutes.

Amazing! Transcribing this 28 years later, this is STILL my morning routine.




Saturday night
November 27, 1976

Feeling really good. Scott is out with the guys - I'm sitting at home watching The Miss Teenage America pageant.  I'm FINALLY getting over that terrible depression that I've been suffering from for the past month or so. Right now it just feels good to be living, and to be happy. Things aren't perfect, of course - they never will be - but at least the heavy, crushing feeling of hopelessness is gone.




Monday night
December 13, 1976

You probably thought I DIED or something, Ledger ... it's been such a long time since I've written in you. I'm sorry about the unexplained leave of absence, but things have been so up and down lately that I haven't felt much like writing. The minute I finish writing out my feelings, they change again.

Right now I'm so depressed and so down in the dumps I can hardly stand it. Nothing, absolutely nothing is going right. Scott and I are falling apart, fast, and I have this sick sad feeling that it won't be much longer until we split up for good. The really rotten part is that I am almost entirely to blame. I've really blown it. I was an absolute bitch on Saturday night when we went to Nelson's party, and now Scott has been cold, silent, aloof and emotionless for two days. Nothing I say or do can snap him out of it. We've had these kinds of problems before, but nothing this serious. Everything adds up. Yesterday was our nine month anniversary, and Scott didn't so much as mention it. No card, no "I love you," no "happy anniversary." Today at school he barely talked to me, and when he did say something, he was cruel and insulting. After school he wordlessly dropped me off at my house, without coming in. He leaned over and gave me a quick kiss goodbye, and it surprised me so much that I couldn't stop myself from whispering affectionately, "You still my Scotters?"
I shouldn't have. He made a disgusted sound in the back of his throat and rolled his eyes contemptuously. Indignantly I said, "Well, don't sound so disgusted!"   He still didn't say anything. I kissed his cheek and slipped out of the car. When I got inside the house and well out of earshot of anybody, I burst into hot, angry tears and slammed my books onto my bedroom floor, shouting "FUCK him! Just FUCK him!!!" 

My rage has subsided now, but the sick empty feeling in my heart hasn't. The certainty is still there, and it won't be stilled. I disgust him. He wants to be free, I know he does ... free of me and my selfishness, my ugliness, my moods. My birthday is on Wednesday, and Christmas is in less than two weeks. We've already shopped for each other, and I think he's just waiting for the holidays to pass and the gifts to be exchanged before he drops the bombshell. I don't know. The whole thing is such a fucking mess.

Sometimes I wish I never would have gone to that party last March, the party where everything started between Scott and I. I wish we would never have started going out. I wonder if all the problems and heartache are worth it. It seems like I'm always crying, and I'm always depressed, and it always has something to do with Scott.  But still when I look back over all the beautiful things we've shared, the good times, the fun times, it almost does seem worth it.  Almost.

Am I losing him? Are we going to break up soon? Has he stopped loving me? I wish I knew. I wish I could see into the future and figure out where this whole thing is heading.



Dad - 2 sweatshirts (1 navy, 1 red), 6 prs. wool socks, hot lather attachment
Mom - "Touch Not The Cat," 2 Waylon Jennings tapes, Tabu perfume
Gram V. - Peach bubble bath, 2 dish towels
Gramp V. - Heavy work gloves
Debby - Ballerina Barbie, 2 sets of Barbie clothes, Candyland game
Gram S. - "Touch Not The Cat," "The Source"
Dick - 3 shirts (pullover style)
Scott - Paul McCartney 3-album set, digital alarm clock
Uncle Dick - "Shogun"



So often I get into the habit of berating myself, thinking that nobody loves me, everybody hates me ... that sort of attitude. That's not good. All that does is make me want to give up on life completely. There are so many terrible things inside of me, things that no one knows about - things too awful to even write in you, Ledger - and at those bad moments when everything seems to be going wrong and I feel miserable and worthless and thoroughly despicable, these terrible things within me, the faults and mistakes, seem to loom inconquerable. But everyone has bad things within themselves. Everyone has secrets and flaws and painful memories. Some of the things I've done in the past, especially in the last three years, make me cringe when I recall them. I've really blown it a few times. And some of the particular flaws in my character make me feel the same way. I'm not a particularly honest person, for one thing. In the past, my lies have gotten me into a lot of trouble. I'm not an especially considerate person, either - or a responsible one. I often think about myself and my own desires than I do about those of other people. Last Saturday night is a prime example!!

I think the "terrible" things I felt so guilty about here were the occasional shoplifting episodes, the secret drinking I was always trying to keep from Scott, the feelings of sexual attraction I felt towards one of his best friends. I didn't want to write about any of this stuff in my ledger because he was always snooping into my journals and diaries: I felt I had no privacy.

But tonight I took a minute to examine some of the good things inside of me - there are a few! - and I find myself encouraged. Maybe there's hope for Terri V. after all.





Thursday 12:54 p.m.

Staying up late watching old detective shows on TV ("Streets of San Francisco," "Dan August"). Just about ready to hit the hay, but I thought I'd scribble a word or two first.

Relatively happy. My birthday was uneventful but nice, pleasant. Scott came over around 11:00 in the morning bearing gifts -- the Abba's Greatest Hits album I wanted so much, two pairs of beautiful earrings, some candy from his grandmother, and two kinds of cologne, Jontue and Emprise from his parents and his sister. Grandma Vert dropped by for a minute with a birthday cake and a check for $10. Scott and I drove down to Seahurst Park, walked along the beach, talking & sharing & loving. He took me to lunch at Taco Time.  Saturday night he's taking me to see the Beach Boys at the Coliseum. I can hardly wait.

Today I slept in late - what a delicious feeling! - did some light housework, then grabbed a bus into Burien to do some shopping. I bought a present for Aunt Jody's baby shower on the 23rd, a sweater & bootie set, and I got a hot lather dispenser for Dad's Christmas present. Now I only have a small amount of shopping left to do - a book for Grandma St. John, and one for Uncle Jerry, and (if I can afford it) a couple of tapes for Scott. I've already gotten him a digital alarm clock and a $10.00 Paul McCartney album, but like I told him on the phone this morning, I would "buy him the moon if I could."

... Yesterday afternoon we sat side by side on a log on the beach, facing the water and the sky, our feet in the sand, and suddenly I felt a peace inside my heart, a contentment. The smell of salt air and sea breezes - the rustling of waves, the cry of an occasional winter gull - the quiet and the coolness and the companionship. They all acted as balm on my ruffled, worried heart. I felt more at peace and more content than I have in weeks. I know that someday, when Scott and I have split up and gone our separate ways, that these will be the times I remember ... the peaceful afternoons at the beach, the weekends at Lake Limerick, the times spent alone together. The quiet times when we enjoyed simply being together.

I know that someday I'll be married, to some man who I love every bit as much as I love Scott right now, and I'll have these same feelings for him that I do now for Scott.  I wonder who he'll be? ... what he'll be like?  Will he be much like Scott? Will he be sensitive and considerate, and will he appreciate fine, beautiful things? Will he know about Scott? How involved I was with him, emotionally and spiritually and physically? Will it matter to him?

Of course, Scott and I have problems. We have a lot of them. We argue a lot, and there are times when I could just strangle him. Scott can be insensitive to my moods, and sometimes he carries his teasing to the point of hurt.  On the other hand, I'm overly sensitive and think about my own feelings too much at times, and that has to be tough to live with. Together we have our flaws, and although they may sometimes seem irreconcilable, they haven't been rough enough to split us up yet. I hope it stays that way for a long long time.

Dad is drunkenly stumbling around in the carport outside my bedroom window ... I wish he would come in and go to bed. Speaking of going to bed, it's 1:34 a.m. now and I have to get up early and go over to Grandma's to trim her Christmas tree. G'night.




Sunday morning
December 19, 1976

Just woke up. Scott and I went to the Beach Boys concert last night. It was a good concert, and we had a fairly good time, except that Scott had a terrible cold and wasn't his usual good-natured self. And of course no evening with Scott would be complete without some sort of argument.

Later, 9:15 p.m.

Sitting here in bed, watching "Kojak" on TV, relaxing after a hard day. Dad and I put up our Christmas tree this morning, and I spent the rest of the day cleaning, polishing and scubbing until the house looks at least semi-nice. It's impossible for this house to look great, with Dad and the dogs (and my hatred of housecleaning) working against me, but it does look better, anyway. The tree is beautiful, shimmering, sparkling, magical. It almost makes me feel Christmasey ... but not quite.  Somehow - for some reason - I just can't seem to recapture that inner joy and expectancy I used to feel the day the tree was decorated. It's gone with the years, I guess. Maybe someday when I have kids of my own, it will become something special again, but right now it's just another ritual ... another feeble attempt at "celebrating."

Names I like (for future children): Holli, Denise, Valerie, Michelle, Kerri, Kasey, Kimberli, Shawna, Joel, Kyle, Ryan, Bryce, Jamie




Monday afternoon
December 20, 1976

Headache. I had a drink this morning when I was just sitting in my bedroom passing time, and now I feel awful. Today was nice, though - Scott came by unexpectedly this afternoon and stayed for a couple of hours. We layed on my bed, watching TV, "stuff," and he acted as though he really loves me ... but it's sad because I know that we're not going to stay together forever. Oh God, I wish SO MUCH that we could have started dating later, maybe two or three years from now. Then we might have had a chance of getting married and spending the rest of our lives together. As it is, we're barely getting along after nine months. We could never stay together for years.


Oh neat - a bathroom scale. What a great Christmas gift.

After years of me snooping around in Dad's bedroom at Christmas time, looking for my hidden Christmas presents, Dad finally decided to teach me a lesson.  That year he "planted" a brand-new bathroom scale in his closet, leading me to believe it was my Christmas present. The ploy worked: I was utterly deflated.  On Christmas morning I opened my "real" Christmas present - new carpeting for my bedroom, which is what I REALLY wanted.


Late (1:18 a.m.)

Watching "The Singing Nun" for about the millionth time, having a cigarette before I go to bed. It's terribly late at night but I'm still awake after a late-night "gabfest" (what a corny word) with Scott. He dropped by after work and we sat on the couch (sat? he layed with his head on my lap while I ran my fingers through his curly hair) and talked and talked about all kinds of things. We talked about private feelings and secret longings and feelings we'd had as kids.




December 22, 1976
Wednesday night 12:48 a.m.

Hi Ledger.  Sitting here in my bedroom watching the midnight special - are you ready for this? - "The Werewolf of Woodstock" with Tige Andrews and Michael Parks. With nothing else on TV, it's "Werewolf" or nothing. I'm not ready to sleep just yet. I just finished writing a five page letter to Dee Dee, all about Scott & Steve, and I'm still wide awake.




Sunday afternoon
December 26, 1976

Don't really feel much like writing, but I'm at loose ends with nothing to do this afternoon so I might as well scrawl a word or two.

Christmas yesterday was fun - I really enjoyed it. Dad, that SWEETIE, gave me a gorgeous new carpet for my bedroom, thick gold shag, and I LOVE it!! Scott gave me two beautiful pair of earrings, a Highline College T-shirt, some candles, and two terrific albums, The Moody Blues "Seventh Sojourn" and Al Stewart "Past, Present and Future."

Enjoying my groovy new Christmas carpeting
(with "Benji," my cat)
December 1976


January 15, 1977

God, Ledger ... it seems like I never think of writing in you anymore.


(And that, apparently, was the end of this ledger.)



Favorite Songs during this Ledger

"Rock 'n Me" - Steve Miller Band
"You're Still The One" - Orleans
"Don't Fear The Reaper" - Blue Oyster Cult
"It's OK" - The Beach Boys
"Magic Man" - Heart
"Say You Love Me" - Fleetwood Mac
"More Than A Feeling" - Boston
"Fernando" - Abba

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