September 1978 - April 1979
Age 20-21

"I'm happy. I'm moving into my first apartment day after tomorrow. I'm hung up on a great guy.
I'm alive. I'm 20 years old. I'm going to live forever."



Sunday afternoon
September 24, 1978

This is the state of my life on a crowded Sunday afternoon in late September, 1978:

I am happy and sad
I am positive and negative
I am decided and confused

This weekend has been incredible ...

Friday night Bruce and I double-dated with Rhonda and Scott Wolf, and it was a very long night! First, the four of us sat at Rhonda's apartment, drinking Mai Tai's, smoking Columbian, snorting a little coke, eating speed and doing a lot of general talking and relaxing. It was raining like crazy, but we were more or less determined to go downtown and see Rocky Horror at midnight, rain or no rain. Scott drove like a crazy person - I am surprised we're all still alive - but we made it to the show in one piece, and it was great.

Afterwards we went to Scott's apartment in Redmond, and on the spur of the moment Scott and Bruce decided to fly to Hawaii for the weekend. Can you believe that? So they called and made airline reservations, and the next thing I knew we were all piled back into the car heading for Bruce's house, so he could pack. The whole situation was totally unreal!!

Their flight wasn't until 8:30 a.m., so while Scott drove Rhonda home, I stayed with Bruce for a couple of hours, supposedly to "keep him awake." It was our only chance to be alone all weekend, and we made good use of it (which I'll talk about later). Anyway, I drove myself home from Rhonda's and got home at 6:30 a.m.

I slept until noon, but even after I finally dragged myself out of bed I'd lost every ounce of energy. I was burned out, tired, and depressed because Bruce going to Maui sort of fucked up the rest of the weekend for me. Grandma was at the Puyallup Fair all day so I had the house to myself. I ate some more speed and started doing things to take my mind off of Bruce ... I did a gigantic laundry, straightened up the bedroom, washed some dishes, sewed buttons on some blouses, etc. etc. Little domestic things. Later in the afternoon the speed started to hit me in an unpleasant way, and all I could do was put a Moody Blues album on the stereo and sit on my bed and look out the window.

Last night I was so tired, I just wanted to crawl into bed and get some extra sleep, and that's exactly what I would have done except that Rhonda called at 8:30 and asked me to come over and help her babysit her two nephews. We sat at Renee & Jeff's until midnight, watching TV and reading magazines and smoking a joint of Columbian that Bruce gave to us.

When I was driving home, my car died on Des Moines Way, right in the middle of the road! I was scared out of my mind -- it was dark and late and foggy, and I was stoned, and there was no help in sight. Finally a couple of guys I know (Tony Delorenzo, Larry Roberts) stopped and helped me push my car off the road, and then them drove me back up to Renee and Jeff's.  Jeff came down and gave me a jump and I got home OK. Today I took the car down to the service station, and thankfully it was just my fan belt that needed to be tightened and not a dead battery, which I was afraid the problem was. It was fixed in minutes and runs just fine now.

I was supposed to go to church with Grandma and Grandpa and Gim this morning, but I overslept. I think I really needed the sleep. Today is Gim's 90th birthday, and we had an open house at Grandma & Grandpa's -- a real houseful, including Uncle Paul and Aunt Elva, Uncle Vaughn and Aunt Leona, Linda and Stan with Dawna, Sean and Shannon, Kenny and Kathy Naff with Heather and Aaron, Dad, Johnny and Gail Naff with Michael and Nathaniel, Elva, Irene and Kirby Naff. I stayed for a couple of hours and told the story of my new job over & over, but the houseful of little kids started to wear on my nerves after a while so I made my excuses and left.

L-to-R: Cousin Linda (holding baby on her lap), Cousin Elva Naff, me
(more family reflected in mirror)

Now I'm home. ("Home," for now, is still Grandma St. John's.) I'm sitting in the living room watching "American Graffiti" for the fifth or sixth time ... Grandma, Mom, Ken and Les are noisily playing cards at the kitchen table ... Debby is wandering around restlessly.

I'm happy because we'll be moving into our apartment in a little over a week. I'm happy because I've lost more than ten pounds. I'm happy because I'm in love.

At the same time, I'm depressed - maybe I'm just over-tired - but this whole thing with Bruce has got me down and I don't know what to do about it. He is everything I've always wanted in a man - supremely self-assured, easy to be with, perceptive, sensual, considerate. Making love with him is the greatest. Whenever I'm with him, I just let it all go. I haven't yet learned to discard all inhibition the way he does, but I'm learning. He can be so tender and so aggressive at the same time, and it drives me out of my mind. No one has ever made me feel like this, and that includes all of the supposed "great loves" of my life.  With Bruce, there is passion and there is tenderness, instead of only one or the other, the way it's always been in the past. I can have it both ways!

The depressing part is knowing that I can't really have him unless I'm willing to give up my job. I'd be fired in an instant if Kirk ever found out Bruce and I are dating. That just burns me up. It's so unfair. Why do I always reach for the unattainable, in love anyway?

But would Bruce ever love me anyway? What am I to him? Just another "thing," or someone he could really care about? In the quiet after our lovemaking there is always a silence that just begs to be filled with an "I love you" or something similar. We'll be laying there together, and inside I'm screaming "LOVE me! LOVE me!"

Bored. Lonely. Restless. I got in the car and drove past Rhonda's apartment ... Bruce's car is still there (he left it at her apartment for the weekend while he's in Hawaii, which disturbs me somehow) but Rhonda isn't home. I went to McDonald's and bought myself a Coke - sat in the parking lot and had part of a joint and worked on my Coke. Then I drove home. Everyone is still here, but even a houseful of people doesn't ease this vague feeling of being completely alone.

What will my life be like two weeks from right now, living in my first apartment? What will I be doing the Sunday evening after my first weekend on my own? Who will I be with? What will I be thinking about?

You know, the six months I waited to get the car seemed to go by in no time, but these two weeks of waiting to move are taking an eternity to pass. This is not "easy waiting," either, but very difficult waiting.


Traces of a beginning headache. I've been taking speed every day for almost two weeks. I've lost ten pounds and barely eat anything anymore, but my head hurts sometimes and my face is breaking out. (I didn't know that speed promotes acne, but Rhonda mentioned something about that tonight.) I want to lose ten more pounds and then I'll knock it off.

Everyone has left. Ann got drunk and struck up a screaming argument with Les in front of Mom and Ken and Grandma and I, and soon afterwards they gathered their coats and went home. Now Grandma is upset ... she's cleaning up the kitchen, wordlessly. I am in the living room, half-watching "Battlestar Galactica," ignoring my headache, ignoring the vague hunger pains, ignoring the fact the work tomorrow is going to be a real pain without the pleasant distraction of Bruce in the office ...

(Every time I hear a plane rumbling overhead, I wonder if it's Bruce coming home.)

Think I'll take a bath and go to bed. What a weekend.

I have just now realized that I haven't yet explained to you how this whole crazy thing with Bruce began. Unusual for me, since I ordinarily have every detail of every love affair carefully recorded and preserved for posterity! ... but at the time we were beginning to be interested in each other, I was still technically going with Scott and I couldn't write about Bruce, for fear that Scott would read my journal and find out. Now I'm 100% free and clear to write exactly what happened - every terrible wonderful detail - and who gives a damn who reads it?! This, then, is ...


To begin: Scott and I went with each other for 2-1/2 years, and I have to admit they were good years. We had a warm, intimate, mutually caring relationship, and for a long time I was happy with him. It was a nice secure feeling to have Scott to lean on. But after the first year, it got to be more of a habit than anything else, at least as far as I was concerned. There was still tenderness and intimacy, and yes, I loved him, but the passion, and the excitement - the thrill of being together - had long since faded away.  I didn't enjoy our sex life.  In the beginning it was nice, and even exciting to a point, but after a while I started to really hate it. I made up excuses and lied and did everything I could to change my feelings, but that was impossible. The really awful part is that he probably thought everything was OK. He was satisfied, and I did such a terrific job of making him think I was satisfied too, he never questioned it. And the whole time, little pieces of me were dying every time I gave in and went through the charade, knowing that there had to be something better for me, somewhere.

 After I moved out of Dad's house and got the job and the car and everything in my life really started to move, something inside of me changed. I knew that it was insanity for me to stay locked in a dead-end relationship. I would end up old and hard and incapable of passion ... or, worse yet, married to a man I didn't really love.  How fair would this be to either one of us? Realizing this scared the hell out of me, but I didn't know how I could ever break up with Scott. I felt stuck.

Then I saw Steve again, which was a major mistake. I had myself thoroughly convinced that I loved him again, but when he still hadn't called after two months I realized I'd been "had" again and let it go at that. Chalk up another value lesson for Terri V.: Steve  is incapable of loving me. I can't bleed for him. I won't bleed for him.

A few weeks ago, I started noticing Bruce around the office. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, which is sort of out of character for me ... all I know is that suddenly he stopped being one of the salesmen in the office (and a rather arrogant one, at that, who irritated me more often than not) and became a very attractive, charming guy that I wouldn't mind dating. I would sit at my desk and watch him bouncing around the office, all energy and vitality and life, and I would plot little subtle ways to get him to notice me. (Dabbing sexy cologne behind my ears and then walking over to his desk with a "question" about an order, leaning very close to him.) All the stupid little things that women do to attract men. It wasn't working, though. He was very friendly, but it was strictly business. I was growing more and more powerfully attracted to him every day, and it was frustrating as hell.

In the meantime, Scott and I were still plodding along ... bickering constantly, mainly because he sensed me drifting away and he wanted to prevent it from happening. The harder he fought our break-up, the more I pulled away.

It got to the point where I was living to see Bruce. The high point of my day was coming to work in the morning and seeing him. Maybe it was his inaccessibility that made him so attractive - the "thrill of the hunt" that made me want him so much. I've always been like that - wanting what I either can't have or what is hardest to get, because it's more exciting that way. At any rate, I wanted Bruce, and I was determined to get him.

Once, at lunch, Bobbi and I were talking about guys and dating and the whole business, and I decided to tell her. "I've got a terrible crush on somebody," I said. "Is the feeling mutual?" she said, and I shook my head with a he-doesn't-even-know-I'm-alive expression on my face, and inside I was dying for her to ask me WHO? But instead she just said, "Is it someone here in the office?" and I nodded and we just left it at that. I think she probably figured it out, though.

It's funny, but I sort of knew that I would end up going out with Bruce eventually. Intuition or something. I'd look at him, sitting his desk, and imagine what he would be like away from the office, and I knew that someday, something was going to happen between the two of us.

Everything happened, finally, on Tuesday the 5th. After work, Randy & Tom (a couple guys from the warehouse) invited me to go to The Boardwalk with them and have a beer. I sat with them and talked for about an hour, and after three beers I was feeling no pain at all. When I was walking out to my car to go home, I saw that Bruce's car was still in front of the office and the lights were still on inside the building. I decided to take a chance. He was still working at his desk, alone. I walked in and made some phony excuse about needing to use the phone -- made a quick call to Rhonda, just to make it look good -- and then, with a courage I didn't even know I possessed, sat down next to him and said "Would you like some company?" He wasn't at all annoyed - he seemed pleased, actually - and we sat and talked for over an hour. It wasn't on a business level, and it wasn't exactly on a personal level ... it was just a friendly conversation between two people getting to know each other. Actually it was the first non-business conversation we had ever had.

Somehow or another we got onto the subject of getting high, and when he asked me if I had any drugs with me, I thanked the Powers That Be that I had a little stash of great Columbian and little cocaine outside in my car!  We sat in the office and got high while he finished his work.

I was really coming on strong, but we were both a little high so I don't know if he noticed right away or not. We got very comfortable and relaxed with each other, right away, and before I knew it he asked me if I wanted to go out and get something to ear. We drove (in his car, leaving mine at the office) to VIP's and had an omelet for dinner. He was very attentive and polite, and he carried the weight of the conversation. That's the sort of person he is. The whole time I was on Cloud 9, but I tried to be real cool about the whole thing.

After we ate, I hinted around a lot about how I didn't really want to go home yet - not very subtle, admittedly, but hell! this was my golden opportunity! - and he picked up on it and invited me to come to his house with him. It was already late and we both had to work the next day, but this was the chance of a lifetime and I couldn't pass it up. He lives on Mercer Island in a house with two other guys, Craig and Tom. My first impression of the house: magnificent view of Lake Washington. BIG house. Expensive. Beautiful. Craig was in the living room, sitting in front of the fireplace reading. We sat down on the couch and got a little higher and watched a movie with Craig. The whole time, we were sitting fairly close together, but he didn't so much as lay a finger on me. Frankly, it was frustrating as hell!!

Finally, at 11:00 when the movie was drawing to a close and I'd come to the unhappy conclusion that he just wasn't interested in me "that" way, he half-turned toward me and said, "Well, you about ready to go?" and leaned over and kissed me. Just like that. I didn't have time to react because then he was kissing me again, and the next thing I knew we were in each other's arms. I didn't leave until very, very late. Of course we didn't sleep together - I wasn't ready for something like that - but things were really intense anyway. It was like we broke all the barriers with lightning speed. No one had ever made me feel quite that excited, and it was incredible.

The first time we slept together was the following weekend - the night that Bruce, Kent, Rhonda & I went out to dinner and then went to Bruce's for drinks and to get high. I'm not going to write all the details, but I will say that it was the polar opposite of any sex I've ever had before  ... it was beautiful, tender, exciting and satisfying. I'm hungry for the man just THINKING about it.




Tuesday night

September 26, 1978

Back to the present. Dead tired. The weekend is only now catching up with me; think I might go to bed early tonight, for a change. I could certainly use the extra sleep. Last night I spent the night at Rhonda's - Bruce and Scott came home from Maui at 3:30 a.m., and I slept on Rhonda's couch so I could answer the door when they arrived (Bruce's car was still there at Rhonda's, and I had the keys). I was in my nightgown and I looked like hell, but he kissed me and was very sweet and nice. It was GOOD to have him back in the office today - the place is like a tomb without him. Rhonda and Scott and Bruce and I all went out to lunch at Perino's.

Good news. Rhonda and I will be moving into the apartment this weekend, instead of in the middle of next week as originally planned. Naturally, I'm very happy about it, but I'm so tired that I can't seem to get excited about anything except a hot bath and a shampoo and bed, and maybe a joint if I can scrape up some papers somewhere.

After bath:

Only 8:30 ... I can't go to bed yet! (Can I?) Still obscenely early. Still too many things I should write about.

Moving out on Sunday. TERRI V. IS MOVING OUT ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1st, INTO HER FIRST APARTMENT.   I'm moving out!  Strange - I can write the words, and know what they mean, but they don't have any impact on me. Yet. Maybe they will, when I wake up on Sunday morning ...





Thursday morning before work

Quickly. Yesterday was a tough day at work. I was very tense, had a lot to do. After work Bruce left a note on my car ("I'll talk to you in a bit - Bruce") and later he came up to Rhon's. The three of us snorted some coke, had a couple beers and got very relaxed. He left too early, but hell - at least he came by.

More later.


"Later" is now. Sitting at my desk with a cigarette and a can of diet orange pop. I hate myself - I lost ten pounds and was doing terrific, and then last night after I left Rhon's I made a Taco Time run. Now it's back to speed & starvation until I lose another 10. I'll stop at 110. Any less than that would be emaciation.

The state of things today ... feeling very positive. Getting a lot of work done today. Kirk has been a little easier on me the past few days, which helps. I'm still accused any time something comes up missing or incorrect, whether I'm actually responsible or not, and he still treats me in an offhand way, like I'm not really very important, but I can handle that. All things considered, I like my job.

About Bruce: I've sorta reached a conclusion. I care about him very, very much, and I'd like to have a long and satisfying relationship with him, and the only way I can make that happen is to take things SLOW and EASY. He is obviously not interested in rushing into anything too involved, so I guess the only way for me to handle it is to feel the same way. Or at least pretend to. One of my problems is impatience ... I want everything RIGHT NOW, whether it's a car or an apartment or a relationship. I can stand in a grocery store line for half an hour and never bat an eye, but when it comes to the important things - changes, events, people - it's got to happen immediately or I go crazy. Bruce and I got very intense, very fast - at least physically, and (for me) emotionally - but now we've got to slow everything way down before it burns itself out just as fast.

I know he feels the same away about this, which (I admit) hurts my feelings a little. I don't even know how he feels. In fact, I don't honestly think that he's taking it seriously at all. There have been no words. I'm the one who has gone overboard, while he remains cool and in control of everything.

Oh well. I've been in this position so many times before, I know all the lines by heart.


What do I still have to do? Pack the stuff downstairs - clothes, dresser top stuff, records mainly. GET BOXES. Drag everything down from the attic. Locate a temporary bedspread. Get my furniture from Dad. Secure ample transportation and a couple of big strong men to help me move. Help Rhonda pack. Call the Goodwill to cart off my junk.

NEXT PAYDAY: Bedspread or comforter? ($20) Ruffle ($8) Pillowcases ($10?)

Bedside lamp - Bedside table/nightstand






Friday afternoon, home from work.

The weekend begins.

I'm hoping like crazy that Bruce and I go out tonight, but we didn't have a chance to talk in the office today and I stayed at my desk during lunch, so I have no idea what his plans are. All I can do is sit here at the kitchen table and wait, I guess. God, how I hate waiting.


This is something I haven't done in a long time ... just sitting in my room getting drunk alone, listening to old 45's ("Love Is Blue"), relaxing. It feels terrific. Bruce didn't want to go out tonight - he said he's "got an early one tomorrow" - and Rhonda went to Glacier's Homecoming game with her mom, so I just said fuck it all and decided tonight would be a good time to start packing for the big move on Sunday. I put on an old flannel shirt and tied my hair back and jumped in, and I got everything done in an hour. Now I'm just sitting here on the floor with a wine flip and a roach, feeling good. Bruce and I are going to do something tomorrow.

On Sunday -

1. All the junk down from the attic

2. Pack all my "immediate stuff" in luggage (tote bag & overnight case)


I'm happy. ("Blankets and bedclothes/the child of the morning..") I'm moving into my first apartment day after tomorrow. I'm hung up on a great guy. I'm alive. I'm 20 years old. I'm going to live forever.





Saturday 1:00

Final day of September. Final day before moving out.

Sitting at the table with my nth cup of coffee of the morning. Listening to the radio. Grandma is eating bacon and eggs and waffles, which I'm trying to ignore - I weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 118. Only eight more pounds to lose.


Bare feet.

Laundry smell.

Feeling very, very good. Rhonda just called and I'm going to head over to her place as soon as I've finished writing this. We're both packed and ready to go. I still haven't lined up anyone to help me move tomorrow, which has me a little worried.

Hoping I'll see Bruce tonight.

Hoping about life.


Wondering ... what is beginning now? And what is ending?

Late afternoon:

Judy Collins on the record player. Freshly bathed and shampooed, I am perched on the bed in my bathrobe, wondering whether I should bother doing my hair and making up my face. Am I going out tonight, anyway? Bruce hasn't called, and I'm sure as hell not going to call him again, the way I did last night.

Rhonda and I finished emptying out her apartment today, and then we drove out to our new apartment to give the manager our first rent check.

We're all set!

We drove around the Kent valley a little but, sort of getting a feel for the place. It's so peaceful down there ... good for the soul.

7:00 p.m.

Well, it's 7:00 and still no word, so I've pretty well resigned myself to the fact that Bruce and I aren't going out. Sigh. I really despise my inability to remain uninvolved emotionally. I leap before I look, in ALL things, and someday it's going to cause me a lot of pain. Hell, it already has.

I'm not in love with him. I would LIKE to be ... and I probably COULD be, with the proper encouragement form him ... but he's made it abundantly clear that any sort of commitment is out of the question. I can't fault him for that, but I hate myself for expecting things of him that he's not prepared to give.

This is so fucked up. I should be so happy and excited tonight - I'm moving out tomorrow, something I've dreamed about for years - but instead I'm depressed because some jerk hasn't called me. Why do I let men take priority in my life? Why are all my moods - my ups & downs, my highs & lows - based on whether or not a certain guy calls, or whether I go out on Saturday night, or whether the person I'm involved with pays me enough attention? Why does every facet of my life revolve around my love life? It's not healthy! I've been this way for as long as I can remember, and it's caused me nothing but needless pain and ceaseless worry.

And what's really strange is that once a guy does love me, and get into the middle of another secure relationship, I start looking for ways out.

I'm not happy without it - and I'm not happy with it.

Saturday night: Bruce decided to go out "bar hopping," so Rhonda, Kim, Wanda and I got some wine and went downtown to see "Rocky Horror."




October 1, 1978

Sunday night

Very, very tired after one of the longest and most hectic days of my life.

We're all moved in!

My furniture is still at Dad's and my bed is in Grandma's shed, but most of my other stuff is here. I've spent most of this evening sorting, putting things away, throwing junk away, arranging, etc. etc. I think it's going to be nice when we're finished. On the whole, the apartment is bigger than I remembered, particularly the combined living room-dining room area, although my bedroom is tiny. I don't care. It's my first apartment and I'm in love with the whole idea of it.

I moved one carload this morning by myself (and it damn near killed me), and then later in the afternoon Bruce came by to help. After we hauled all my stuff and Rhonda was gone for about an hour, we had an interesting close encounter of the intimate kind.




Wednesday night


Nothing to do. I have all this newfound freedom, but haven't yet figured out what to do with it. What do I expect out of life, anyway? Once I finally get something I've wanted, I don't know what to do with it.

Evening. Rhonda is at work and I'm sitting in the apartment, alone, drinking and listening to the stereo ("Rocky Horror"). I am bored out of my skull. The apartment is beautiful, I am completely free to do as I please, and all I can do is sit here and blow my nose and get high and try to keep myself from beating my head against the walls.

Terri to Rhonda:

"Some guy with a gun broke into the apartment tonight and threatened to shoot me if I didn't give him the sofa cushions - what could I do?


Rhonda to Terri

"Dear Me -

The guy who stole the sofa cushions will return them shortly cuz they smell and need to be cleaned.

You sure slept through a wild party last night. Couldn't you hear the stereo blasting. This place holds about 100 cats. Boy do they like to get loose.


P.S. Please tie up the bread when your done, cuz it will go stale if you don't."




Thursday night

October 5, 1978

Randy W. just called - he wanted to come over with some coke, but Rhonda and I are both deathly ill with the flu and all I want to do is wash my hair and swallow some more cold pills and go to bed. I think Randy and I might do something this weekend, which I have mixed emotions about - I'm still hung up on Bruce, but part of me says I should just go ahead and go out with other people, in an effort to fight my feelings for him.

After washing my hair:

Not depressed anymore - maybe I never really was - it was just because I was coming down with this cold that I've felt so low. Today I reached a conclusion. I am now completely and utterly free to become whoever I want to be. I'm living on my own and supporting myself, there are no longer any real emotional ties to any one guy, and although my social life may be a little slow right now, things are bound to pick up. I can be whoever I want to be.




Sunday morning

October 8, 1978

Sitting bathrobed and ponytailed on the living room floor with a cup of coffee. Mulling over the events of the weekend ... which were next to nothing. Rhonda and I wound up sitting home alone on both Friday and Saturday night, getting high, listening to records and trying not to think about men.

Our social lives have hit a definite standstill. Whether this is temporary or not remains to be seen.

As I expected, Bruce didn't call me all weekend, and I feel terrible about it. Not so much sorry for myself as ashamed of myself for getting so involved with someone like him. He's slick and he's smooth and he knows all the right lines, and I was sucked in just like all the other girls he's known and used, probably. I can't believe I was so gullible.

Now I've got to find SOME WAY to get him out of my system - preferably with another man. Unfortunately that's easier said than done.

Where do you find men? HOW do you find men? And what exactly is it that I want? A more sincere version of Bruce Mitchell, I guess ... the charm and the sensuality with sincerity ... not calculated polish.




Monday evening

Rhonda is at work, so I'm home alone, getting high & listening to music. I mixed myself a stiff drink, smoked a bowl and am now listening to music at wall-shaking volume. I feel good, but I know it's just because I'm almost-high. Underneath it all, things are as low as ever. Bruce all but ignored me at the office today, and the vibes tell me it's all over. Nothing has been said but I just know. In the meantime, Randy W. is coming over tonight. Who knows .. ? Just having someone to TALK to is going to be a welcome relief.


Still waiting for Randy.

Hoping that I'm not getting into the drinking habit again.

(Written shortly before passing out on the couch.)

October 10, 1978

Randy never showed up and I just fell asleep, waking up four hours later when Rhonda came home. Needless to say I am hungover as hell today, but SUCH IS THE PRICE YOU PAY. Randy said today that his car broke down last night and he "couldn't call." It didn't faze me in the least. Actually, I was relieved he didn't show up - I was drunk enough and lonely enough to do something stupid. I like Randy and I enjoy all the friendly flirting that he & the rest of "the warehouse animals" do with me, but I'm not attracted to him in any way special.

Bruce took me out to lunch today - his invitation, not mine! Just when I think I have the man figured out, he does something unexpected to screw up all my nice neat rationalizing. I still feel like it's over between us. The glib conversation and phony relaxedness didn't change my feeling about that. Like I said last night - I just KNOW that it's over. He mentioned something about "cooling it for awhile," but I wasn't paying much attention to him at that moment so I sort of lost the context of the remark. I don't know if he was talking temporary or permanent.

Do I even care? Right now I'm not so sure I do. I'm strongly attracted to him physically, and I would like to have a committed relationship with him, but all things considered I'm not sure it's worth it. We're just too different. Our lives are polar opposites of each other.

All I know is that I want to find a man. The anticipation is the best part; the waiting is the worst part.




The era of The Balding Aluminum Sales Guy begins.

October 17, 1978

Tuesday morning lunch

 One week later, and the waiting is over.

So much has happened in seven days, I am completely at a loss for words. I don't even know where to begin telling you about it.

To begin ... I wish that I could just rip out the things I've already written in this journal and begin all over again.

An hour later:

I left work early and came home ... now I'm sitting in the apartment with a glass of wine, listening to the stereo ("Agents of Fortune" at the moment). I have the whole afternoon to relax and be alone and get my thoughts together.

Anyway ... what I was starting to say is that I regret the way this journal begins. I'm tempted to pull out the first few pages and start all over again. Today is Day One of my life, as far as I'm concerned.

I NEVER should have allowed myself to get involved with Bruce. He is a very special person and a good friend, but it just wasn't meant to be and I knew it all along. I guess I was just looking for someone, ANYONE, to provide me with an excuse to break up with Scott, and Bruce gave me that, at least.

Anyway. Something important has happened. I'm in the middle of another intense, light-speed relationship, but this time it's different. This time it's right. Last Thursday night I went out with Scott W.  Originally we planned to go out to dinner, but when we were at his apartment we just started talking & really opening up to each other, and the next thing we knew dinner was forgotten. It was incredible. I've never opened up to anyone so quickly and so completely, and after the depression I've been going through these past couple of weeks, it was a great release. Maybe it was my loneliness that allowed me to talk to him so freely, but whatever it was, it was great.

What's strange about it is that I'd sorta been avoiding going out with Scott, because I was almost afraid of him in a way. He's very intense, and he's always come on so strong, and I thought that a date with him would be an evening spent fighting him off. He's always been so blatant. That's why it was so strange - he actually isn't like that at all. At least, not with me. He's currently in the process of divorcing Pam, so that whole thing is very much on his mind. There he was, sitting there telling me the whole story like we were lifelong buddies, when actually we'd been together for less than two hours.




Friday after work

October 20, 1978

Sitting on the floor listening to the stereo and nursing a drink. Rhonda isn't home at the moment but all signs indicate she just stepped out for a minute & will be back shortly. I am tired. My energy level has reached an all-time low. I'm not getting to bed until 2 or 3 a.m., and then I have to get up at 5:30 a.m., plus I've been getting all kinds of high every night - more than ever - and it's beginning to wear me down. I haven't spent the night at home in a week - I sleep at Scott's apartment every night.

There's so much I want to write about, but lately there is just no time.

I'm in love with Scott W. It's strange, but there it is. I know myself well enough. It all happened so fast, but some of the best things that have happened in my life have happened (literally) over night, so I'm not totally unaccustomed to it. I didn't exactly WANT to start caring about him as much as I do, but some things you just can't fight and it's pointless to try.

A thought just occurred to me ... for most of my life, when I've tried to imagine true love, or what sort of person I could be happy with, I have always pictured someone very much like Scott. He fits the picture I created? (What exactly? Intelligence - confidence - experience - sensitivity - maturity - a certain recklessness - someone I can talk to?)  We've been together every night for the past week, and I have to say that never have I felt more at ease with anyone. Of course there are still a lot of hang-ups on my side. Never capable of total ease? But for the most part I feel more completely comfortable with him than with anyone before. I would like to just totally let go and be completely myself - I can't yet - but the encouraging part is knowing that I probably will, with him, given time. He's just that sort of person. I have the potential to be something good with him. He brings that out in me.




Saturday night

October 21, 1978

Still so much that needs to be written, and so little motivation (or time).

A thought that occurred today ... someday I will probably be looking back on this exact period of time as one of the very happiest. So much in my life is changing. It's as though my life is finally starting to begin, after several years of mild-to-severe depression. I'm happier, more consistently and more completely, than I've ever been before. Not just an occasional "good mood" or a temporary feeling of optimism, but a consistent undercurrent of peace with myself and my world and the way things are happening. Even when I'm low now, it isn't nearly as low as it used to be.

Maybe there's hope for me after all.

Right now I'm sitting in the living room of Scott's apartment - he's doing some paperwork at the desk next to me, I'm stretched out on the couch. "Stealers Wheel" on the stereo - fire burning in the fireplace across the room - companionable silence between the two of us. Completely at ease, as though we've known each other for years and years, when in fact it's been a little over a week.

I am hardly ever home anymore - I've spent the night here with Scott every night for nine days. Rhonda is starting to think of me as the "Phantom Roommate." On those rare occasions when I do make it back to the apartment, it's usually just to pick up some more clothes or to kill time until Scott comes over. I can't tell if she's angry; I know she gets lonely, spending so much time around the apartment with no one to talk to. But tonight she's out with Bruce (!) so at least her social life is picking up a little.

I'm probably going to be moving in with Scott within the next couple of weeks. He actually asked me the first night I was here, but I didn't begin to take him seriously until a day or two later, when it dawned on me that there was no reason in the world why I couldn't. It was a totally amazing realization. The strings are gone, and the restrictions, and I hardly noticed them go.

Of course, it's going to be hard to tell my family. My God, Grandma V. might not survive the shock of me MOVING IN (gasp) with a 26 YEAR OLD (gasp) MARRIED (gasp) MAN (gasp) with two young daughters (GASP!) If it's at all possible, she might not even find out about it. I'll undoubtedly conceal it as long as I can.

There's also the complication of work, and again it comes down to the standard problem of Kirk & Herb and their policy of no personal relationships within the company. I'll be fired in an instant if they find out I'm dating him, let alone moving in with him. I've more or less reconciled myself to the idea of looking for another job before too much longer, which is too bad because I was just starting to feel comfortable and useful at Lusk Metals. But Scott makes me so happy that I don't doubt it would be worth it. I don't doubt it for a minute.




Late Sunday afternoon

October 22, 1978

One quick word - because there isn't time for anything else - but the happy feeling continues. We are waiting for our steak and lobster to cook ... waiting for Bruce and Rhonda to show up ... we're going to the 10CC concert at the Paramount tonight. Scott and I went shopping a little while ago and bought me a semi-sexy nightgown, then went driving around looking at houses.

Too happy to even write in my journal. Sorry.



Friday night

October 27, 1978

Sitting alone with candles and Cat Stevens albums and quiet. Scott is still at the office - this is inventory weekend - so there's no way of knowing how late he'll be.

Kirk fired me yesterday. I didn't take it easily, and I spent the afternoon vacillating between uncontrollable hysterics and resigned depression. But now I've come to the conclusion that it was the best thing that could have happened, and that ultimately it will be more blessing than curse. I loved my job, and I particularly enjoyed the people I worked with (except for Kirk!) and I don't believe I was fired for any valid reason. Kirk said he thought the "job pressures" were too much for me, which is total bullshit. But it's over now, and I start my life from Point One again.

I'm living with Scott now. We broke the news to Rhonda yesterday afternoon, and while she obviously wasn't thrilled, she was very nice about the whole thing. I'll pay her my half of the rent until she can find a new roommate, and in the meantime I'll probably move all my stuff out this weekend.

As for a job, I think I'm going to enjoy one whole week of being entirely lazy & unmotivated, and then start looking seriously.

How do I feel right now? Slightly hungover - last night Scott and I met Bobbi and Bruce for drinks at Perino's, and after a couple hours Bruce followed us back to the apartment and the three of us got higher still. I haven't been that completely bombed in a long time. I have a huge bruise on the back of my leg from where I fell into the bathtub (!?). I couldn't even get myself out of bed until 4:00 this afternoon, and even once I was up it was all I could do to take a shower and clean the apartment and eat something. Scott won't be home until 10:00 at least, so I have three hours to kill.

I'm totally in love with him, and I have been since the third night we were together. I've plunged headlong into another intense, intimate relationship - something I swore I wouldn't do - but rather than regretting it, I'm loving it. Just sitting here alone in his apartment, looking at his things, cleaning, cooking my dinner in the kitchen, listening to his albums on the stereo ... silly little inconsequentials ... makes me feel more alive and more aware than ever before. The last thing in the world I expected to do was move in with a guy this year, but the unplanned things are what make my life interesting.


I've never had this kind of relationship before. I've certainly cared before - there have been three other people in my life with whom I built a certain level of intimacy and love - but I have to say, quite honestly, that it never even begins to approach the level of caring Scott and I have. With Phil there was the spiritual intimacy of sharing a Christ-centered relationship. With Steve there was blind passion. With Scott S. there was intimacy born of habit. I loved them all, to one degree or another, separately and individually and in completely different ways, but each time I always felt that I wasn't caring quite as much as I should be. It felt like something was holding me back. There always seemed to be something missing - some vague, imperceptible quality in the relationship that should have been there but wasn't. Maybe that's what distinguishes absolute love from imperfect love. (No love is perfect? But it should be? Or could be?)

At any rate, I am now in the middle of the best relationship I've ever had, and it IS beautiful.




October 29, 1978

Sunday night

Tired. Full of thought but incapable of writing much. I'd rather just THINK about it all. We moved two carloads of my stuff over to Scott's apartment this afternoon - his car and mine - mostly my clothes and my albums. He asked me, "Do you feel moved in yet?" and I had to say no because I don't. I'm so unsettled inside my head that it's hard to get settled into any physical space. I still hurt about losing my job, and about letting Rhonda down by moving out of the apartment after only four weeks, and about not calling Grandma, and I think Scott thinks I'm somehow dissatisfied with our relationship, when that's not the case. I'm characteristically so afraid of hurting people or stepping on any toes that it's hard for me to loosen up completely and enjoy an experience. In this instance, it means that I think I should feel guilty about moving in with Scott (because of Rhonda and Grandma), so I do feel guilty about it, and the guilt is inhibiting my ability to just let go and relax and enjoy this new development in my life. I guess I feel obligated to feel guilty, if that makes sense.

Besides which - and I have to admit this, almost in spite of the fact that I know damned well that Scott is going to be reading this - I'm NERVOUS! This is the most intimate and intense relationship I've ever had, and because I rushed into it I left myself no time to get "emotionally prepared" or whatever. No "pre-wedding jitters" or the equivalent (in this case) because there wasn't time. So I'm having my attack of nerves NOW, when they can't possibly do me any good and they just put a strain on everything. Terrific. I'm scared to death that he's comparing everything I do or say to the things Pam said and did, and that there's no way I can measure up - even stupid things like cleaning up the kitchen, the way I act in the supermarket with him, etc. The rational part of me knows this is ridiculous, he loves me the way I am & knows that no two people are the same, etc. - but my all-around insecurity about myself feels that in some crazy, ridiculous way I'm in competition with Pam. I'm absolutely insanely in love with him, which I believe he knows, but it might take me some time to loosen up and relax enough to enjoy the experience of living with him - something I want to do with all my heart.

(In case you were wondering, Scott.)

Maybe I'm in more of a writing mood than I thought. The words are coming a little easier than usual. Maybe my creative block is giving way, finally. I could probably even write a poem tonight.

(This is now - sitting on opposite parts of the sofa - he is engrossed in a book, barefoot, feet propped on the coffeetable - I am hunched over my notebook, scribbling - an all-time favorite on the stereo ("Only Living Boy") - fire in the fireplace - very quiet, very relaxed.)

I just want to think, I guess.




Monday early afternoon
October 30, 1978

Scott is at work; this is Day One of my "vacation from life." I got up around 10, had my customary bowl of Alpha Bits and milk, took the elevator downstairs and put three loads of laundry in the machines, came back upstairs and took a shower and mopped the kitchen floors. I know it all sounds nauseatingly domestic, but actually it's just the sort of activity I needed most .... humdrum, unexciting little things that keep me occupied. In fact, I'm enjoying it. I can't see myself doing this for any extended periods of time - I wasn't born to be a housewife - but until I find a new job, I'll just kick back and enjoy doing relatively nothing, keeping his (our?) apartment clean, cooking for him, being here when he comes, loving him the best way I know how. He's done more for me than he probably realizes - he's "fed my spirit" (K.L.) - and it's hard to know when you've repaid someone "enough." I suppose with real love that isn't necessary ?




Friday evening
November 3, 1978

Evening alone - stereo is playing. Scott is at the Lusk Metals company dinner, to which I was pointedly not invited. I was upset about that for a while, especially since Rhonda is going (with Bruce) and the whole thing seems somehow unfair. I did work there for three months, after all. But my rage has subsided. Scott will be home early and we're going out after he gets home, possibly to see "Rocky Horror" (although it is pouring down rain and I shudder at the thought of standing in that long line).

This week has been wonderful for me. No tension, no real pressures. Yesterday I drove down to Kent and single-handedly moved the rest of my stuff out of Rhonda's apartment. Today I spent a couple hours arranging it and putting it away here. I have to admit, I'm getting to be an "old hand" at moving ... this is my third move in four months. I've got it down to a science.

One serious point about moving, though - I'm wondering if I'll ever feel a sense of "roots" again. Will I ever find a place that is really 'home' again? Could this be the place?

Terri to Scott

"Hi -

Thanks for the Alpha Bits message this morning - itreally made my day. It's too bad that I can't tellanyone about it, though, because that would be likeadmitting I actually EAT Alpha Bits ...

I have a staggering amount of things to do today andI seriously doubt that I'll be here when you come home. HOWEVER, wherever I am or whatever I'm doingat 5:00 p.m. (or thereabouts), I'll call and let you knowwhat's happening.

I'm thinking about you - I love you too.


P.S. I have to warn you ... for your own peace of mindand sanity, DON'T look in the spare bedroom.

P.P.S. (And if you do look, don't say I didn't warn you)"




Monday morning 10 a.m.
November 6, 1978

Monday morning after an incredibly long and tiring weekend. Friday night Scott and I went to Rocky Horror after he got home from the company dinner, so naturally we didn't get to bed until 3 a.m. or so. Saturday morning we met Bruce and Rhonda and Kent for breakfast, and then Scott and I went out shopping - he bought me a new dress at Nordstroms to wear that night - we had dinner with Randy T. and Lenae B. at Stuart's at Shilshole, and then came back to the apartment and got high with them until 2 a.m. Yesterday we picked up Scott's daughter Brittany and went around visiting various members of my family - we went to Grandma and Grandpa V.'s - Dad was there, too, so it was like killing three birds with one stone. And then later in the evening we took Mom, Ken and Debby to dinner at Terero in Burien.

I'm understandably pooped this morning. I woke up at 8:00 and Scott had already left for the office, so I took a shower and made some coffee and am only now beginning to actively feel any signs of returning life and energy.

Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to spend this day the way I would choose - finishing my book, listening to music, recuperating - because Grandma V. called here this morning and wants me to drive down to see her. I guess Mom gave her my phone number (which sorta pisses me off), so now she KNOWS, for a fact, that Scott and I are living together. From the sound of her voice I can tell that she's not exactly pleased. She wants to "have a talk." Shit!

Shit (again). What is it with me, anyway? The things that I've been writing in this journal sound so one-level ... I'm merely recording events, not feelings or thoughts, the way I used to. I'm impatient with myself right now. Do I have to be in the middle of some kind of crisis in order to write the way I want to? (need to?) Does my world have to be falling apart before I can pick up a pen and put it all into words?

What about the GOOD things - the GOOD feelings - that I've been filled with this past month? Don't they deserve words, too? Why can't I write about how good it is to be loved by Scott? How it feels to sit next to him in the car, or watch him at night when he's sleep next to me? Or what I'm thinking about when I'm making the bed in the morning, or when I'm folding his socks? Even the silliest, most trivial things deserve some mention when they make me feel so good and so alive, and yet it takes a death in the family or something equally earth-shattering to wrench the words out of me. I'm up against some creative block and it's frustrating as hell. I want to preserve all the good things, too!

I'm going to Gram's in half and hour and I'm prepared for the worst ... the inevitable showdown, I suppose. Somehow I've got to convince her that I love Scott with my whole heart, and that I see nothing wrong with our arrangement, and that her worries, whatever they are, are unfounded. Easy. Why, then, do I feel like an unwilling soldier preparing for the battlefield?




Tuesday morning
November 7, 1978

Waiting for my coffee. Sitting on the sofa, bleary-eyed from a nightful of strange dreams. I didn't fall asleep happy last night, and that usually guarantees I'll wake up tired and run-down in the morning. Scott and I are having some problems, and we went to sleep last night without attempting to resolve them. When I woke up this morning his side of the bed was empty. I knew that something was bothering me - that something had happened last night - but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Now it's all coming back to me, and I feel very strongly the need to write about it this morning. Perhaps not so much for the sake of keeping a written record so much as the need to figure out exactly what's bothering me. Maybe writing it out, however clumsily, will make it easier for me to talk about it with Scott when he comes home tonight.

It is cloudy and gray this morning. I keep forgetting that it's November already and when I step outside the feeling in the air surprises me - that bitingly cold, prelude-to-winter feeling in the air. There has been a feeling of timelessness inside me since I stopped working; it is an effort to remember what the date is. Everything has more or less come to a standstill.

Grandma V. called me again this morning. She and Grandpa have accepted Scott as a fact - even the fact that I'm living with him - or at least they seem to have. I can never completely tell with Grandma. I'm surprised that she accepted it so readily, with so little protest, but I suppose I've reached the point in my life where I can pretty well do anything & it wouldn't surprise them. They can be hurt, or disappointed, but not surprised.

Anyway. Back to the subject ... or, at least, trying to figure out what the subject is.

We've got a problem. Largely it's a communication problem - we're not reading each other the way we could be. It seems like we're continually misinterpreting each other. Maybe I'm not secure enough in the relationship, because I can't seem to totally relax ... I'm always on edge, waiting for the let-down. Ideal relationships scare me because (basically) I don't believe there IS such a thing, and until recently our relationship has been so close to "ideal" that it scares me. I guess that what I'm doing is anticipating some kind of major problem because my experiences have taught me that there usually is one. And so even if nothing actually arises, I will create a problem just by anticipating it.

My God. That doesn't make any sense at all. Total gibberish. Let me try again.

I've got to relax around him. For the most part, I have. I feel very comfortable with Scott most of the time - when we're sitting on the couch talking, or driving, or grocery-shopping, or other non-threatening activities. At those times I feel completely at ease. But once it gets past a certain point, I freeze up, and that's where the problems begin. He expects complete and total intimacy, I think ... not only sexually, but in all other things, and for some reason this is something I can't offer him yet.

Will I ever be able to?

Part of me thinks I can, given time.

Um  ...  I believe that this was basically about oral sex, which twenty yr. old Terri had a HUGE problem with.  But of course I wouldn't come right out and admit that in my journal.




November 13, 1978
Monday noon

I never finish what I start, do I? Nearly a week later ... remembering that the worst day of my life was on this date, five years ago. I was devastated that day. Now it doesn't matter at all, because I'm so far removed from the person I was that day. I can remember the pain, but I don't feel any of it anymore. What does that say about us? We recover. We remember, and in some ways we're better because we do remember, but we recover. Bear that in mind, Terri  ...

Cold, clear day. Scott is at work and I have just finished cleaning the apartment. "The" apartment? Scott's apartment? Our apartment? Still feeling rootless. When does a place start feeling like home? My heart is here, if not my furniture ... maybe that's all that counts. My heart is here because Scott is here. I love him so much. We are here.

I spent some time this morning leafing through a couple of old journals - mostly the ones concerning Steve and Phil and my first year at Highline College. It was a revelation. God, how I've changed ... did I ever really feel that way? Or write that way? How do we change? When does it happen? If you blink you miss it, I guess.

Sitting on the couch listening to an old Simon & Garfunkle album, waiting for lunch to cook. Two o'clock in the afternoon. It's been almost three weeks since I lost my job, and I've spent a lot of time sitting around this apartment doing exactly what I'm doing right now. I feel the same way I used to feel during those long, uneventful summer vacations, when everything comes to a standstill and it's an effort to get out of bed in the morning. I'm not depressed in the least ... there's too much in my immediate future to look forward to, which (perhaps) is what's saving me. Scott and I are driving to Bellingham on Thursday morning and coming back on Friday; maybe I can talk him into driving over to Firwood. I would LOVE to see the camp again; my happiest summers were spent there on the lake. And next week we're going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving weekend, and after that there's all of December to enjoy, with my 21st birthday and Christmas and everything. So I'm in good shape emotionally, as far as the immediate future is concerned. As long as I have definite things to look forward to, I'm OK - I don't mind a little boredom. These past couple of weeks have been good for me. The pressure has been lifted, more or less. I've just let it all go.

There are, however, a couple of things that are bothering me. I've tried to ignore them, hoping they'll "go away" or that I won't worry about them, but unfortunately they're not the kind of problems that can be wished away. They've got to be tackled, and that's the part I'm not looking forward to.

First is the matter of finding a new job. Shit. I hate job-hunting with a PASSION - probably because I haven't had a lot of experience with it. Both of my past two jobs were more or less handed to me, with practically no effort on my part. I've got to find a job, and I don't actually mind the idea of working ... it's the hunting that I hate. It's so degrading.

I'll start looking seriously at the end of this month, when we come back from Maui.

The other problem is that my period is five days late and I think I'm probably pregnant. Isn't it amazing how casually I include it in my list of problems? "Scott and I aren't communicating ... I'm sort of bored ... I need a job ... oh yes, and I'm pregnant." Well. There's no point in getting all carried away about it, because it's not the end of the world. I'm not contemplating slashing my wrists or anything. Frankly, at this point, all I feel is a sort of numb, vague concern. No panic. Nothing in the way of emotion, really, except wondering what to do. Scott knows about it, of course, and it has been a considerable source of friction between the two of us, but we've come to some kind of understanding finally, I think. Or at least I have.

This is how I feel: At this point and time in my life, I'm not equipped emotionally to commit myself to much of anything. Too much has been changing too quickly, and I don't feel stable. I don't mean (my relationship with) Scott - I feel very comfortable with him, and more of less capable of commitment, to a point - largely because we won't be married for a year at least, and living together is about all the "commitment" that Terri V. can handle right now. Taking it in stages is the best way. The only way, in fact. We completely skipped over the preliminaries. I spent the night with him on our first date and (literally!) never went home again. We went from first date awkwardness to living together within 24 hours. Now it's time that we start taking things in stages. I'm not unhappy about the way things happened, and I don't regret it for an instant, any of it. Some things just happen fast. But as far as having a baby is concerned, that's one stage I'm not ready for, and I won't be for a long time. I'm only now learning what I need to give myself - how in the world could I give a child the things it would need?

Of course, I'm not at all thrilled about the alternative. But there doesn't seem to be any other feasible way out.




Wednesday afternoon
November 15, 1978

Scott won't be home until late tonight - 10:00 at the earliest - he has to take a customer out to dinner - and since it's only 3:00 in the afternoon I'm just sitting here alone in the apartment, feeling at loose ends. Jerry B. called a while ago and he helped cheer me up, but I've been down in the dumps since last night. The really frustrating part is that I can't put my finger on what it is that's got me down. Discontent with myself, I guess. I don't know. Worrying about being pregnant, too, although I can't talk to anybody about that yet, not even Scott -- it's too private a pain.


Still alone, but better. I took a nap for two hours, drove to the store to buy some dinner and an evenings' worth of magazines, and settled down on the couch to relax. And think. I'm not sure I'm really in the mood to write about this, but I'm working everything out. Talking to Jerry today helped. Thank God for friends. I explained to him some of the things that have been bothering me, and he straightened me out. He wasn't exactly kind, but he was honest and that's what I needed more than anything. More than bland condescension, anyway.

I've been putting on weight and my face is all broken out. I feel sloppy. Not ugly, but not attractive, either. I've been going through a slump - emotionally? physically? - whatever. I'm not TOO concerned about it because my "slumps" are periodical and more or less predictable, and they pass. The only problem is that they're hell until they do.

Question: What exactly is a "slump?"

Answer: I haven't the faintest idea.

Q: Why do I get them?

A: I haven't the faintest idea.

Q: How do I get rid of them?

A: ... (what do YOU think?)


Took a bath - washed my hair - and am now snuggled on the couch with a pillow and an afghan, watching TV. This will sound strange (I realize) but a thought occurred to me as I was taking my bath, and "suddenly" everything was crystal clear. It happens that way occasionally. I'll be depressed about something and not really know why, and suddenly it'll snap into place. I've defined my slump. Or at least, I think I know why I'm slumped. I'll tell you about it later.

Later (again)

This is going to be clumsy, but I've got to write about it now while it's still uppermost in my mind. First, I thought about this: where was I one year ago? I was locked in a little room with no windows and no doors ... leading a narrow life. No job, no money, no car, not even a Drivers License yet ... living completely under Daddy's thumb, dependent on him for everything. I was depressed all the time and I felt like nothing was ever going to change soon enough. Then, in the past six months, EVERYTHING has changed. I moved out of the house. I got my license. I bought my car. I quit my old job and got a new, better one. I broke up with Scott S. I moved into my apartment. All of a sudden, I was completely in control, and for six months I felt on top of everything ...

... And now I feel like I'm back at Square One again.




November 18, 1978
Saturday night

Briefly. (Neither the time or the desire to be anything but.) Late evening - fire in the fireplace - first snow of the year, outside - Scott and I are sitting here with Coffee Nudges, watching TV. Quietly, completely happy.

Had to share the feeling with you. That's all!




November 21, 1978
Tuesday morning

Sitting on the sofa with my second cup of coffee ... clean wet hair wrapped in a towel. Feeling overwhelmed. We leave for Hawaii in the morning and I have so much to do. The apartment is a mess and I have a million little things I've got to buy before we leave.


There are no real journal entries written while I'm in Hawaii, although I did manage to scribble a brief itinerary of the things we did/ places we went:

Wednesday: Flying most of the day. Vague depression at Honolulu airport. Hotel @ 9 p.m., fell asleep and slept straight through the night.

Thursday:  Woke up to find myself in paradise. Scott and I breakfast at Whaler's Market; shopping for shorts and sandals; back to hotel to change. Bruce and Craig came over to our hotel room, got high with us. Fell asleep, awake at 10:30 p.m. Hungry! Thanksgiving evening but most restaurants were closed already! Finally had a ham sandwich at Drysdale's, heard "Place In The World For A Gambler." Sat on beach getting high.

Friday: Breakfast (omelets and Bloody Marys) at The Organ Grinder in Lahaina. Drove to Hana and back, took all day. Scott got drunk and surly. Went to dinner at Chuck's with Scott, Bruce, Tim & Mike. Scott got pissed off and disappeared, I went to a party with Tim and Bruce.

Saturday: Brunch at Drysdale's, nap. Sat on beach late in the afternoon, drinks at The Blue Max, then dinner at Nimble's. Champagne and Maui Wowee on the beach.

Sunday: Brunch in Kanapaali; drinks with Bruce and Tim; Scott bought me a pearl ring as a surprise. Driving around with beer, taking pictures. Flight home.

With the BASG in Lahaina



Tuesday morning
November 27, 1978

One week later. Transplanted back into a gray, sullen Seattle morning after five days in Heaven.

How in the world can I tell you about it all??



Continued the next day:

Scott is in the office all day today and I am, as usual, alone in the apartment, listening to music, passing time until he come home. This place seems so big and empty when he's not here.

I tried to clean the apartment a little bit this morning, and I started writing a letter to Sparky, but my energy level has reached an all-time low. I'm vaguely depressed - a case of the post-Maui blues, I suppose. That place is so beautiful. Sigh. If I believed in reincarnation, I would believe that Terri V. lived a previous life in Lahaina. The place just felt like HOME. I didn't want to leave.

Thanksgiving night was one of the most perfectly beautiful evenings of my life. Scott and I had been drinking steadily all day long, so late in the afternoon we decided to take a quick nap in our hotel room so we could be "fresh" for that evening. We both fell sound asleep, though, and when I woke up and looked at his watch, it was 10:30. I was so pissed!! I felt that the whole evening was shot, and to make things worse we hadn't eaten anything since morning and we were both ravenous. We got up and sat at the kitchen table and moped a little bit.

Went next door to the cafe

The restaurant was closed but Scott talked them into making us cold ham sandwiches because we'd missed dinner and it was Thanksgiving

"There's A Place In The World For A Gambler" came on the radio

Love on the beach in the moonlight

A million stars in the sky

All the world was beautiful





December 5, 1978

Again a week later.

Sitting on the floor of the spare bedroom, hair in rollers, listening to the radio. I think Scott is sitting out in the living room, but it's so quiet out there that he might have left while I was drying my hair. We're having problems. Or maybe it's just me who is having the problem. I feel frustrated, bitter and angry.

A line from a poem keeps running through my head ... "The idyll now is shattered; in the end we have only ourselves." I'm not sure it applies, but I can't shake it. He's pressuring me to get a job, and for some reason I'm balking at the idea. You grow accustomed to laziness, I guess. All my motivation has shriveled up and blown away. I don't feel ready to start the humiliating process of job-hunting, but the longer I wait, the harder it gets.

Also - the withering comment he made this morning about being "bored" with our sex life. God, that hurt. That was such a blow, especially since I thought things were getting better. Just thinking about that comment makes me so sad I just want to disappear.

A minute later:

I was right ... he did leave, and I didn't even hear him go. No note, either. I guess it's for the best: I need some time to be alone and sort everything out.

Maybe I shouldn't have moved in with him. It was too soon - we hadn't seen the bad sides of each other, only the attractive sides - and now it's a shock to see just exactly how ugly we both can be.

I don't feel trapped, exactly, but I do feel like I have no place else to go. Actually, this is the only place I want to be, but it's got to get better between us or else it won't work.


I'll never cease to be amazed by the ease with which I fuck up my own life. He's two hours late and the dinner I made is stone cold. I know I sound like a complaining housewife but I'm thoroughly pissed.

11:30 p.m.

I was wrong ... he didn't skip dinner intentionally. He called and little while ago - and so did the Tukwila Police Department. He and Bruce got fucked up at Perino's and now Bruce is in jail and Scott is over at Craig's. I don't even want to write about what they did because it's so incredibly juvenile (They got drunk and smashed some lights in the restaurant's back hallway: the charge was 'malicious mischief') , but at least I know he's OK and that he still loves me. He assured me of that. He said that he's determined to make this work out, and I feel like a TON has been lifted from my shoulders ... in that respect, at least. Now all I can is sit here & wait & smoke & wait some more, until he calls back and tells me what's going on.




December 6, 1978

Wednesday night

Sitting on the sofa watching an old Bob Newhart re-run ... Scott is sitting beside me, his nose buried in the evening paper. Everything is more or less straightened out and I'd prefer to forget the whole ugly mess. Scott bailed Bruce out and as far as I know everything is back to normal ... even in our relationship. I am very confident of his love at the moment. I only wish I could be this secure all the time. It would make life so much easier. My insecurities are really going to get me in trouble someday.

A thought: Why aren't I feeling Christmas yet? We drove to Fred Meyer tonight to pick up our Hawaii pictures and I heard Elton John's "Step Into Christmas" on the radio for the first time this year, but even that didn't do it.

Scott (after reading some of my poetry): "I'm afraid that you're going to outgrow me."




Friday noon

December 8, 1978

Still wobbly from an incredible hangover ... difficult to even hold a pen ... my fingers feel thick and heavy, and my head is pounding. But it was worth it! Believe it or not, all this morning-after agony is REALLY worth it, because last night was SO nice.




Monday night/Tuesday morning

December 11, 1978

Late at night.

Scott is flat on his back in bed, sound asleep ... but I felt restless and decided to come out to the living room and try to get sleepy by forcing myself to be up. Bruce was over for dinner tonight (my famous pork chop & potato casserole, part of which is heating in the oven at this very moment as a "midnight snack"). Too bad there's not a good late movie on tonight.




Monday morning

December 18, 1978

Another week later.

Scott's mom is staying with us this week, and since Scott works all day it's up to me to keep her "entertained" ... and I think I'm going to go insane. The tension (real or imagined, mutual or only on my end) is unbearable. She's nothing like I expected - certainly not the tyrant of my nightmares! - actually she's a very nice lady. But I can't think of anything interesting or amusing or witty to talk about, and she must think I'm the dullest, dopiest girl Scott could have picked.



Wednesday afternoon

December 20, 1978

Late afternoon ... growing dark and cold outside. I am perched on the counter with a (diet) beer ... Scott's mother is curled up on the couch, napping. The Christmas tree lights are plugged in and the entire apartment looks clean and festive. I wrapped some presents - Ken's sweater, Rhonda's diary, wine for Jerry and Jody, Dick and Ann.  Phyllis and I went out to lunch at Denny's this afternoon, and she talked about Scott and Randy when they were little boys. I'm no longer so uncomfortable around her, although I'm still at a loss for words sometimes. I desperately want her to like me. I want her to feel that I'm good for her son. (Am I?)

Things have been strained between Scott and I the past two nights ... I'm not sure why. Last night I fell asleep in tears because of something Grandpa V. said on the phone (which I'll talk about later), and because Scott apparently had no interest in making love.

Interrupted - Jerry B. called



Thursday morning

December 21, 1978

Scott and I have been tense and brittle with each other for the past couple of days, but last night we managed to more or less resolve it.




Friday afternoon

December 22, 1978

Waiting for Scott to come home from the office party. We're taking his mom back to Pam's today ... thank god. We got a long better than I had anticipated, but there is too much tension in the apartment with the three of us there. I've found Scott's Christmas present - a large photograph of a sailboat, mounted in a huge wormwood frame.




December 27, 1978

10 a.m. Friday

Christmas has come and gone and I never even mentioned a word about it. This journal is sadly incomplete.




Tuesday morning

January 2, 1979

1979, and one of my resolutions for this new year is to write more consistently in this journal ... too many important things are happening to let life go by unrecorded.

Preparing to leave for my typing test at Micro Soft and my second interview at Unit Process. Who knows ... by this time tomorrow, I may be employed once again. Nervous. I've never taken a standard typing test before, and I'm miserably out of practice besides. God knows how I'll do.

Sick. Sore throat, fever. Maybe it's all in my head. More later.


Wrapped in layers of clothing and blankets, laying on the couch ... REALLY SICK tonight. Can't seem to shake this cold or flu or whatever it is, and now the virus has spread to my right eye - it's all puffy and red and bloody looking. My typing test  was an abysmal failure. No surprise: I'm so out of practice. But I went on another interview later in the afternoon at a place in Redmond, called Ridgway Packaging, and I'm extremely optimistic. I want to work so bad I can taste it, and everything about the position at Ridgway is perfect for me ... minimal typing & lots of phones, a five minute drive from our apartment, pleasant working environment, good salary and benefits. I could go on & on, but I'm making a point of NOT getting too excited too soon. I don't want to set myself up for a big disappointment.




Friday lunch

January 5, 1979

Well, I got the job at Ridgway and I'm very pleased about it - and I'll probably write more about it when I come home this evening (I'm home for a quick non-lunch at the moment, and have to head back to the office pretty soon), but at the moment I've slumped into a vague depression. Scott left for Las Vegas this morning and will be gone for the whole fucking weekend, and I'm already so lonely for him I can't stand it. This is the first time we've been separated for any length of time, and the apartment feels incredibly empty without him. I'm not looking forward to this weekend at all.

Pick up tonight: Stationery (plain white) - beer - reading material

Write to: Dee Dee, Melinda, Teri, Sparky, Ron, Dave, Beth, Marie, Karen, Tammy, Becky

Scott to Terri 1/5/79

"Dear Terri -

I felt real bad about it later in the morning when I realized that I only left you $10 for the weekend. Here is another $20.  I really wish you could my being away for a weekend a little better, but I guess that it is the first time we have been apart at all.  With $30-$60 worth of c., you should be able to do something this weekend. I love you. Please don't forget that. You make me almost sorry that I'm going at all.



Home from work and I'm so depressed I can't stand it. This is ridiculous. If I were a normal person I would be calling Rhonda or Jerry or ANYBODY, trying to find something interesting to do tonight, but instead all I can do is sit here and miss Scott and cry and feel totally miserable.




Saturday morning
January 6, 1979

Went to bed last night at 7:00 and slept straight through until this morning. I feel a little better this morning (emotionally) but am still unused to Scott's not being around. Lonely. Wondering what to do with my time today. The apartment is a mess and I have some good books to read, but somehow that doesn't quite do it.

Thinking about: Scott. Where is he right now? What is he doing? (Sleeping with his ex-wife in Las Vegas.  But I don't find out about it for a couple of months.) Is he having a good time? Does he think about me? Does he miss me?

Our first date was on Thursday night, October 12, and since that first evening I have never really left this apartment ... or, more accurately, I've never really left SCOTT, since we've gone to Bellingham and Hawaii since then. Maybe that's why this separation is so tough.


Taking a momentary pause. I'm now up and starting to do things. I've finally concluded that I can either sit here and mourn all day, or I can determine to MAKE this weekend entertaining. Or at least useful. Already this morning I've read an entire book and started to straighten out drawers and such around the apt. Still a ton of things left to do.




Late Sunday afternoon
January 7, 1979

Quietly happy. Scott is on his way home; the apartment is clean and beautiful; I've managed to do a lot while he's been away. I've missed him incredibly, but at the same time (I admit it) I've enjoyed my time alone. A year ago I would have killed for an entire weekend all to myself, and once I got over my initial loneliness for Scott, I began to appreciate this time spent being myself. For the first time in a couple of months I feel completely together. Having the new job helps ... knowing that in the morning I have a reason to get out of bed, and that I'm able to make a financial contribution, and that my life has a certain degree of direction. That's important to me. I can't stand feeling purposeless.

In the meantime, though - this evening - I'm sitting here in happy anticipation, waiting for the sound of his key in the door. He'll be tired and cranky, no doubt, but just having him home is all I care about. Waking up in the middle of the night and feeling him next to me in the bed is the most comforting feeling I know.




Monday morning before work
January 8, 1979

Putting on my makeup, getting ready for work. Happy. Scott came through the door at the stroke of eight last night and his "homecoming" was everything I hoped it would be. The world has started turning again and everything is back to normal.




Thursday night
January 11, 1979

Scott is out to dinner with a customer tonight and I'm alone again. Had some KFC for my dinner; wrote a couple of letters (Becky Bear, Tammy Cooper). Now I'm on the sofa with a screwdriver and sloppy clothes, relaxing.

My body is slowly but surely adjusting to a working schedule again. Getting up at 7 a.m. is hell after two months of sleeping till noon every day, but other than that the job is ideal. I'm beginning to get the hang of it, I think. There are still procedures that confuse me, but overall I'm pleased how quickly I'm adjusting.


Rhonda just called and we talked for half an hour. She's got bronchitis and feels shitty, plus she still hasn't found a new roommate and can barely afford to eat, let alone pay the rent. I almost hate to talk to her anymore. I feel SO guilty. Why do I feel like I've let her down? I didn't plan to fall in love with Scott and move out ... it certainly wasn't intentional.

She also told me that Kevin is getting married. KEVIN IS GETTING MARRIED????!!?!?!?!  Apparently he tried to get hold of me last night at her place, to tell me. I can't believe it. I guess I honestly believed he would be in love with me forever. Of course, that love was never returned, but it was flattering and comfortable all the same. My God. Things really do change, don't they?

For so long nothing changed. Reading my old journals - even those from just seven or eight months ago - reminds me of how stagnant my life was, how trapped I felt, how firmly convinced I was that life was never going to move in a forward direction. And now .... everything is changing so quickly I can barely keep track of it all. A year ago, back in January 1978, if someone had told me that within a matter of months I would have my Drivers License (an important and seemingly unattainable goal at the time) and a car, would be working at my second office job and living in my second apartment, living with the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with ... I would have thought they were toying with me. Now that all these things have happened, though, I don't know how to feel.

I'm pleased, of course. Things are moving along, right on schedule. For that I'm thankful - stagnating is no fun - but it's happening too fast. At the tender age of 21 I'm beginning to fear growing old, and considering how fast everything else has been happening, it'll probably be only a matter of minutes before I'm checking into the nursing home ...

First things don't move fast enough, then they move TOO fast. God. What's the point??




Tuesday evening 6:30
January 16, 1979

Quiet after another hectic day at work. Waiting for Scott to come home. Watching stupid old re-runs on Channel 11. Listening to the McGowan's stereo throbbing next door. Shuffling through an old pile of Redbook magazines. Nursing a screwdriver.

It occurred to me today that I need to cultivate some new interests to fill my evenings. Part of life is busier now that I'm working, but coming home - however relaxing - is almost a let-down. Scott and I make love all the time - even this morning before work, when we were both already dressed - but somehow that doesn't qualify as a "hobby." Recreation, maybe. Hobby, no.

Scott just called from Lynnwood ... he's on his way home now and we're going out to dinner.




Thursday lunch
January 8, 1979

A fairly serious argument (serious to ME, anyway) on Tuesday night at dinner has left me down in the dumps all week. Things have got to be clarified once in a while, I guess, but he always picks the most inopportune times ... like when we're sitting in a public restaurant.




Saturday night

January 27, 1979

Don't know why I'm writing because I have nothing to day. Yet another argument with Scott last night, after we went to see "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers." Both of us too high, screaming at each other, Scott stalking out of the apartment at midnight and coming home smashed at 4 a.m. Just a miserable evening all the way around. Neither of us willing to listen to the other, neither willing to compromise. It's all blown over tonight, of course. One thing we do seem to have in common is the inability to hold a grudge. Things have been very loving and good between us lately with the exception of these occasional blow-ups.




Groundhog Day 1979
Friday evening

Tired. This has seemed like a much longer week than normal. The plant was closed again on Thursday and today so things should have been slower, but I ran myself ragged and now I'm pooped. I re-did all of the carton and label cardfiles today and that took several hours. Scott and I went out to dinner with John & Kerri E. - we went to The Turning Point in Lynnwood. Had a fabulous dinner (the best teriyaki I've ever had in my life), but I was in a bad mood - yesterday was my appointment with Dr. Campbell and I was still unhappy about that - Scott and I ended up having another screaming argument when we got home. We made up immediately, of course, but these huge emotional upheavals are becoming entirely too routine.

Right now: Brittany is sitting on the couch eating the sloppy joe I fixed for her, drinking her orange juice, absently kicking the coffee table. Scott is puttering around in the kitchen, pouring himself another glass of wine, getting me another beer; he is bathrobed, hair rumpled, energetic after the two hour nap we all took this afternoon.

Saturday night: Scott put Brittany to bed, then we brought the silk comforter off our bed into the living room and spread it on the floor in front of the fireplace; a relaxed, loving, intimate evening together.

Sunday: after a breakfast of ham and eggs and hashbrowns, we bundled up in warm clothing and took Brittany up to Snoqualmie Pass for an hour or so of intertubing on the slopes. Stopped in Auburn for doughnuts, before dropping Brittany off at home; then Scott and I had our typical relaxed Sunday evening of TV and early bed.




Monday noon
February 5, 1979

Sitting at my desk ... half an hour to kill until my lunch hour begins. I typed a machinery quote for John Rea and another letter to CCA for Bob, and now I'm at loose ends for awhile. All that intensive filing I did on Friday cleaned out my "IN" basket, and now I have nothing to do.

Last night it stormed outside our bedroom window - rain and wind so violent, I was sure it would pick the ducks up right off the pond and blow them away. The noise woke me at 3:30 this morning, and I went over to the window and watched the storm, and then I crawled back into bed and rolled over next to Scott and fell asleep with my arm flung around his waist.

This morning we drank our coffee together in the kitchen - he in his brown pinstriped suit and me in my bathrobe - before he left for the office. It was still raining when he left. Why does rain in the morning make you feel so tired?

Evening of the day:

Scott is thinking about buying a condominium for the two of us.

Am I going to be moving again??




Wednesday lunch
February 7, 1979

Home ... drinking my lunch today, half a can of beer. Not exactly nourishing, I know, but the cupboards are empty and I'm so sick of Campbells Chunky Beef Soup I could throw up.

Scott is in Woodinville. He just called to remind me that we're driving down to Bill V's and then to Harris H's tonight after work.

The pace at the office has picked up today ... I'm busier. It helps keep my mind off the things that are troubling me.

Last night we went and looked at the condominium that Scott bought. It's right here in the 6001 complex, so moving (on March 1st if all goes according to schedule) shouldn't be too rough.

Depressed. Scott really hurt me last night at dinner ... unintentionally, I realize, but nevertheless I can feel my whole attitude has changed and things aren't going to be the same. This is his place we're moving into. Not ours. I don't really have a home.

Everything is so fucking temporary. Any roots I was beginning to put down have been pulled out and trampled.




Monday evening
February 12, 1979

Evening, post-dinner, pre-bed. Sitting, both of us bathrobed, on the living room sofa watching TV. Feeling rundown but in a tolerable mood. My period has started (finally) and I've got my billionth cold of the year, so physically I'm below zero, but we've got some coke from the guy next door and that helps. Plus I had a terrific weekend, and that helps too.

Scott and I left on Friday night to spent the weekend in Wenatchee with Harris and Marsha H. and another couple, Jim and Cathy something. Originally the plan was to stay the weekend with them in a condo, but the plans changed when we discovered that there were only two bedrooms and three couples. Scott and I started to have second thoughts ... we started thinking it might be more fun to take off on our own, just the two of us, and explore Eastern Washington. We felt bad about just leaving Harris & Marsha with no explanation, but the prospect of being on our own was too enticing! So we spent Friday night in the condo (Scott being smooth enough to finagle one of the bedrooms for us) and then we packed and left on Saturday morning while the other two couples were skiing. We bought a six-pack of beer and looked at the map and just took off ... two free souls, able to go anywhere and do anything we wanted.

We wound up in Leavenworth, that great little Bavarian village that I visited during the '74 Bus Caravan. This time, though, it was snowing, and nothing was the way I remembered it. It was BETTER than I remembered. The sloping green hills were covered with snow ... the unbearably stifling heat of summer 1974 was now deep cold 1979 winter. It was beautiful. We decided to stay there for the rest of the weekend, which meant we needed a room for the night. We went to one hotel in town that looked OK on the outside, but inside it was horrible and tacky, run by two ancient old ladies. (We asked them if they had a room with a fireplace, and one of the women said, "No fireplace, but one room has a heater that glows red. Maybe you can pretend?")

The second place we tried, a hotel located above a restaurant, was only slightly better. We might have taken it, but we decided that just this once we would be picky. It was our weekend now, and we wanted to go for the best. We walked around town a little, eventually stopping in a clock shop, where the owners told us of a place just outside of town, The Haus Rohrbach. We drove out to look at it, and it was like a dream ... a little Bavarian pensión, nestled in the snowy hills.




February 15, 1979
4:50 Thursday afternoon

Scott was turned down on the condominium and he's really upset about it. I'm sitting here at my desk, preparing to leave, and I'm almost afraid to go home. Maybe I'll stop at the store and buy him some little thing to cheer him up.




February 16, 1979
Friday lunch

Perched on the kitchen counter with a bologna sandwich and a Rainier Light, listening to the stereo. Thinking. Three day weekend coming up ... isn't that beautiful? Monday is Presidents Day, and an extra day off is just what I need. We're going to have Brittany over for the weekend, and possibly Mindy too, and when we take them home on Sunday we'll still have one whole day left to recuperate. I think that's excellent timing.




Tuesday lunch
February 20, 1979

Rollers in my hair, munching peanut M & M's, scribbling a word or two. Scott and I have to go out to dinner tonight with one of his customers and his wife, and if it's anywhere near as boring as the last such dinner (with the Easterbrooks), then I'm in for a less-than-exciting evening.

Scott will be gone all night tomorrow night - he'll be in Bellingham. And then this weekend is Inventory at Lusk Metals (AGAIN!) so he'll be gone Friday night and most of Saturday. I guess that means I'll pretty much be on my own, and at the moment I'm not looking forward to it. I HATE it when Scott is gone. It reminds me of how basically lonely I am, underneath it all.

Rhonda and I aren't speaking anymore. I refused to give her any money for this month's rent, and that seems to have more or less ended our friendship. I feel rotten about it, but I think that my financial obligation has reached its limit and I just can't afford it anymore.

Grandma V. and I are estranged, too, and that's what hurts most of all. I hung up on her Saturday night when she started with the accusations again, and I haven't talked to her since. I wake up in the middle of the night and remember the whole nasty conversation and I feel just sick. I know I should call her and make amends, but the pride in me won't let me.

For that matter I should call Rhonda, too, and Dad, and Mom -- all the people that I've been cut off from or offended -- but at this point it all feels beyond my control and I don't know what to do about it. It seems like I always step on the people I love, in the end, and I never really mean to.

Thank God things are so good between Scott and I. I don't intend to make him the focus of my life - at least, not permanently - but it's good to have one solid, complete relationship to build on.

Terri to Scott:

"Hi -

If you're home before I am, would you please check and make sure that my rollers are plugged in? I certainly want to look lovely for our big dinner date tonight.

Love, Me."


Ready to go out. Waiting for Scott to finish showering and dressing. My lunch hour "gloom and doom" mood has passed; Scott and I are both in light, buoyant moods. We're going to snort something called a Black Molly ... I ate one this morning but it did next to nothing for me, so maybe this way will be better. I kind of hate to kill my appetite, though ... we're going to The Turning Point again, and they serve the most luscious teriyaki steak I've ever eaten.


Dinner was fine. Norm M. didn't bring his wife after all, so it was just he & Scott & I. Afterwards was when everything got fucked up. Scott drove 120 miles an hour for most of the way home, and he couldn't understand why I was crying. Now he's slammed out of the apartment once again, undoubtedly out drinking somewhere, and I'm so fed up with his lack of understanding and his arrogance that I wish he would just STAY out and never come back. How am I supposed to deal with someone who is unwilling to even listen to my point of view? He said, "I listen to some people" -- making it entirely obvious that I'm not among those chosen few. Fuck him.




Wednesday lunch
February 21, 1979

Things are resolved once again. Our arguments may be brutal, and they may be petty, and they may be entirely too frequent lately ...  but at least they're brief. Neither one of us holds a grudge for long, and for that I am truly thankful. Life is too short.

Scott left for Bellingham this morning, and he'll be back tomorrow afternoon. I'm missing him, of course, but I'm in a better frame of mind today than I was 24 hours ago, and I plan to use this time alone to its fullest advantage. The whole apartment is MINE and I have the whole evening ahead of me to do whatever I want.

I'm really bouncing around today ... these beans are OK. I feel like writing poems or something.

Oh ... Rhonda called last night. We sort of skirted any "touchy" subjects (like money) but it sounded like things might be alright. I don't expect that we'll ever be as close again as we were last summer, but I certainly wouldn't want to lose her friendship permanently.

Possible Fun & Exciting Things To Do Tonight!

1. Water plants!
2. Wash underwear and pantyhose!
3. Dishes!
4. Look for Tammy's address!
5. Softletter!
6. Finish writing letters!
7. Photos?
8. Poetry stuff? (bring home stapler and envelopes)




Saturday morning
February 24, 1979

Geez, this is a feeling I haven't had in a long time ... the old "Saturday" feeling I used to enjoy when I was still living at home and Dad was at work and I had the house to myself for the whole day. That's the way I feel right now. Scott is in the office for Inventory, and I'm alone in the apartment. What a pleasant feeling. In a few minutes I've got to hop the elevator and go downstairs to put the laundry into dryers, and then I probably should run the dishwasher and dry my hair and get things together before he gets back. We might be going to a movie tonight ("Superman"? "Heaven Can Wait"?) but for now I'm just savoring this warm, pleasant Saturday feeling.

5 p.m.

Well, this day has certainly gone by in a flash. I got all hopped up on beans before noon, then had a couple of beers to "knock the edge off," and then I fell asleep on the sofa for four hours. Now it's 5:00 already and I'm starting all over again. Scott still isn't home - dammit. He called right before I fell asleep and said that this is the worst Inventory they've ever had and that it'll probably drag on a lot longer than anyone expected. All day, and now it looks like all evening, too. Shoot.

Drizzly, gray outside; the apartment is warm and well lighted. I washed the bedding so there will be clean sheets tonight ... Scott likes that feeling. (Geez. How domestic of me.)




Sunday night
February 25, 1979

Sitting in the waterbed with the man I love, watching TV, sharing a joint, listening to the wind and rain outside our bedroom window, arguing over covers ... life tonight is tranquil, and slow, and easy. Work and Monday morning are a million miles away: all that matters at this moment is Scott and I.

We've had a lovely Sunday. We slept late, then went to Wendell's for a late breakfast ... went and looked at a house in Redmond that Scott's thinking about renting ... then drove to Kirkland and walked around the waterfront, had a couple drinks at The Flame. Tonight we took a shower and now we're in bed with a million pillows and the smell of cocoa butter and baby powder everywhere, watching TV. Our relationship is so good these days, it's frightening ... he is the calm, quiet place in my life. When things are crazy all around me, or in me, he's the stable thing I can always come back to. Every woman should have a couple of men just like him.




Monday lunch
February 26, 1979

Quickly. Scott left me a note on the counter - actually, it's a caricature of himself that he must have drawn this morning - red bulging eyes, blue mustache and a twisted coathanger to represent his glasses, with "HI" scribbled in the corner. What a nut.

Work today is HECTIC.




Tuesday evening
February 27, 1979

Randomly. Today is Dick's 20th birthday, wherever he is. Scott is on his way out to pick up a pizza and a few odds and ends from the store; I'm about to take my nightly shower and slip back into bed. Buzzed and tired, but definitely on the upswing.

Got a letter from Karen in California ... she's coming up for a visit March 12-19. Scott's Dad, and possibly his stepmom Marie, are coming from Erie to spend a week with us next week.  Scott is so excited about having his dad here.  (We've gotta buy a BED for the spare room!)

Shower time.



Friday lunch

March 2, 1979

Oh, THANK GOD it's Friday! And the weekend is ahead again. Tomorrow we'll have both Brittany and Mindy for the day and night, so it won't be an entirely peaceful weekend, but just so long as I can get away from Ridgway Packaging for two days, I'm happy. I'm on my diet again, thanks to massive amounts of Benzedrine, and little things have become BIG irritations this week. My nerves are shot. The incessant ringing of phones is driving me right out of my mind ... Garry Brewster and his Express Mail every day are enough to make me scream ... and so on & so on. Two days away from that is going to be heavenly. We're going to do our "spring cleaning" this weekend, in preparation for Scott's dad coming to visit ... I've got the itch. I want to get rid of a lot of the useless junk I've accumulated over the years. I feel bogged down by possessions, and now's the time to toss it all out.

Gotta get back to work. Bye.



Sunday evening

March 4, 1979

End of the weekend, and nothing really turned out the way we planned. Scott's father had to cancel his trip because of a new job, so our big weekend of apartment-cleaning sort of fell through ... Mindy and Brittany didn't stay with us, either. Friday night we went out drinking with Bruce and his new girlfriend Karen, and last night we just spent a quiet evening at home.

Good news, though: today we went out apartment hunting and we found a totally gorgeous, two bedroom, two bathroom apartment at the Lochmoor Shores (not too far from here, and closer to my office than I am now). I think we're going to get it - we'll know tomorrow. I really like it a lot.

Before dinner (barbecued chicken, herb & butter rice, now cooking): Very happy. Woke up in a terrible, grumpy mood, snapping at Scott for no reason, but this day has been pleasant & successful enough to snap me out of it.



Saturday morning

March 10, 1979

Perched on the kitchen counter, my usual spot, while Scott and Pam are seated on the couch a few feet away, doing their taxes. Brittany and Mindy are staying with us this weekend, so it's Mommy and Daddy and Brittany and Mindy. And me. And the tax man. What a lovely family group.


Sunday night

Writing through a blur of tears: I can hardly see this page in front of me. When things are down, they're really down. It's like my very last bastion of security has been cannonballed into nothing. I found out tonight that when Scott was in Las Vegas for the weekend a couple of months ago, Pam was with him. (She followed him down when she found out he was there & I wasn't.) I can't believe how fucking naive I am - how willing to put all my hopes and trust in one person. The whole time I was sitting here in our apartment feeling lonely for him and writing in this journal and hoping he was fun, he was with her, eating dinner and gambling and God knows what else.

He's passing it off as "no big deal," just a simple gesture of "friendliness" on Pam's part, but there are a lot of things that just don't make sense to me. Flying to Las Vegas is a "simple gesture of friendliness"?? And why didn't he tell me about it if it was really "no big deal"?

Pam has called here in tears three times today, begging Scott to get back together with her and threatening to commit suicide if he doesn't. What makes her think she's got a chance now, six or seven months after their marriage broke up? Something must have happened in Las Vegas to raise her hopes ...

I can't stop crying. I can't even stand to look at Scott. I'm furious and crushed and desperately scared of losing him, all at once. It's difficult enough for me, dealing with the fact that he's been married & his divorce & Pam's sudden renewed interest in him, without suddenly finding out that they went to L.V. together, as "friends" or anything else. I feel betrayed and stupid and all alone.

Monday morning

The next morning, and I am still as hurt and upset as I was last night. I thought a good night's sleep might ease it somewhat, but if anything I feel worse. I keep picturing the two of them in Las Vegas together, and me not knowing the whole time, and I feel like the prize fool.



Tuesday lunch

March 13, 1979

Brilliantly sunny day. Spring has sprung in Redmond, however temporary it may be. The inside of my car is like an oven and it's too warm for a coat.

I left Scott a five page letter on the counter yesterday afternoon, explaining how I feel about him and about our relationship and why this Las Vegas thing upset me so much. At the end of the letter I asked him to meet me at Idylwood Park, on Lake Sammamish, at 5:00 so we could "talk." He was already there when I arrived, and once again we've managed to patch things up. Actually, we never really talked about the thing with Pam, but sometimes words aren't necessary. I know he cares about her and always will, but he loves me. I trust him, and I trust his love. I feel sorry for Pam. I'll never really like her, and I'll never be entirely comfortable when she's around, but I feel bad for the pain she's making for herself.



Wednesday lunch

March 14, 1979

Another spring day, but cloudier. Cooler. Buzzing from the beans I took this morning. Sitting on the kitchen counter, small glass of beer, waiting for Scott.

Thinking about: No cigarettes in the whole apartment! Ducks on the pond outside. Moving - to the apartment? Or to a house? Wanting to divest myself of all the junk I've accumulated over the years ... no more "pack rat" ... start out clean in our brand new home. My possessions are weighing me down. Feeling FAT. Wanting to hear the McGuinn-Clark-Hillman song, "Don't You Write Her Off Like That," which has been running through my mind for days. Scattered, random thoughts. Nothing cohesive. Feels like Friday and it's only WEDNESDAY ...



Thursday lunch

March 15, 1979

Vaguely depressed and I don't really know why. Raining today ... spring has temporarily been cancelled, I guess. Scott and I are meeting Karen at Southcenter for dinner tonight - she's here until the 19th. I haven't seen her since graduation, almost three years ago. It will be interesting to see how we've both changed since then.




Wednesday lunch

March 21, 1979

I'm "back," after a temporary leave of absence. Dinner with Karen was very nice. Scott and I took her to a nice Mexican restaurant and we had a good time, talking and laughing over old times. Neither one of us has changed as much as I feared.

Coming home that night I got sick in Scott's car and stayed home from work the next day with a violent case of stomach flu. Back to normal by Saturday.

Scott and I had another serious blow-up on Sunday. I'm not sure if I want to write about it, but BASICALLY it was over the fact that Scott doesn't want to ever have any more kids. He's thinking about a vasectomy, in fact. I'm all torn up about it. The idea of never having a child is terrifying to me, but even more painful at this point is the idea of never having a child with Scott.   At the beginning of our relationship he said that someday it would be nice to have a family with me; now that's changed, and I don't know why. I always assumed that in five or six years we'd be married and start thinking about a baby of our own ... a vasectomy pretty much rules that out.


Feel like writing today. Things on my mind ... nothing in particular and everything, all at once. Another gorgeous day. Today is officially the first day of spring 1979.

The things that are troubling me:

1. The rift between Grandma, Grandpa, Dad and I

2. Scott getting a vasectomy

The things I feel good about:

1. The sunshine

2. The way I look today

3. Jethro Tull, "One Brown Mouse"

4. My new rag doll (?)



Thursday lunch

March 22, 1979

Yesterday I mailed a letter to Grandma V., in an effort to somehow close this gap between us, and as a strange coincidence she chose last night to call me after two months of noncommunication. Grandpa is very sick and has been in the hospital for ten days. He's home now, but she says he'll never be the same. What does that mean? Is he going to die?

God, I've got to find a way to get down there and see them both. Life is just too fucking short to let petty quarrels divide people who love each other.

March 21, 1979

Dear Grandma -

I've started to write you this letter a hundred times in the past two months, but I always give up because the words don't sound the way I want them to.  This time, though, I'm simply going to write what's in my heart - quickly, without second thoughts - and then just as quickly toss it into an envelope and mail it before I have time to change my mind.

I want you to know, first and most importantly, that I love you and Grandpa like my own parents, and I always will. Nothing could ever change that. There is no way in the world that I could begin to repay you back for all the things you've given both Dick and I - not only as children, but in the past few years as well - and I want you to know that it doesn't go unappreciated.

I may be unthinking, but I'm not ungrateful.

Secondly, I apologize with my whole heart for the things I've done and said to create this rift between us. I've been rude at times, and unfeeling, and I haven't been as close to you as I have in the past, and for these things I'm sorry. I don't think, and I pay for it by hurting those I love.

Please accept my apology for the childish and rude way I acted on the phone, and for missing Christmas with you, and anything else I've done that has hurt you.

And finally, as for my living with Scott - I know this is what has hurt you most of all. You were tolerant of it at first, but I know that my choosing  to live with him has been like a slap in your face. It wasn't intended that way, by any means. I didn't move in with him to hurt or offend you or anyone else in the family; I didn't do it out of rebellion, or anger, or desperation. I moved in with him because I love him, and because it was the right thing for my life. It was right when I made the decision and it's still right, half a year later. I haven't once regretted it.

I'm not going to try and convince you that "my way" is "better,"  because there's a difference between us in morals and beliefs that can't be changed. I respect that. I won't ask for your approval because I understand it would be impossible for you to give it. I won't challenge that.

All I want to convince you of is the fact that I'm still Terri Lynn, in spite of my new address, in spite of the lifestyle, in spite of any of the peripheral things that have changed. Inside, I'm still me. Scott hasn't changed me. No one has. Any changes in my character, good or bad, are my own doing, but deep inside I'm still the granddaughter who loves you very much and who can't live with herself until this gap between us is closed.

It may be too late to make you as proud of me as you once were, but is it too late to forgive and go on from there?




What a sense of relief ... the rift is mended. For months I've been sick with shame and worry about the silence between Grandma and I, and now it's over. Maybe I'll sleep the night tonight, without those dreams about her dying before I've had a chance to apologize ...




Saturday night in bed

March 24, 1979

Totally buzzed from wine and coke ... I can't seem to stop writing, so I thought I might as well write something in my journal, since I'm running out of people to write letters to, anyway.

Mindy is asleep in the other bedroom, Brittany is snuggled up in a sleeping bag at the foot of our bed. Scott and I are laying in bed with all the pillows in the world, watching a TV movie ... wine, coke, weed, warmed-over chicken, all the elements of an indecently decadent evening. The kids were screaming all day and this is the first time the apartment has been almost completely quiet.

Thinking about a hundred different things at once. Dinner with my sixth grade teacher and his wife on Tuesday. Mom's birthday. Not moving into the new apartment after all - at the last minute Scott has gotten cold feet & decided we can't afford it, so we're staying here at 6001 until possibly this fall. Dick being in jail again, this time for car theft. Teri Bement calling me long distance from Tempe, Arizona this afternoon. Sparky asking me to send him money in the letter I got today. Happy, mostly. Buzzed, definitely.

Wanting desperately to write about something, but unable to choose a topic that's important enough. Love? Sex? Scott? Drugs? The state of the world? Life in general?

Life in general is easy. Compared to this time last year, I'm sitting in the lap of luxury ... secure relationship, beautiful big apartment, steady (if not exactly challenging) job, my car fully paid for, most of my needs taken care of (financial & otherwise). Life one year ago was confining, routine, dirty, noisy, depressing ... life today is clean, neat, organized, relaxed, quiet ... and easy. My problems come and go, but the center of my world is so easy that I almost feel guilty. Everything changed so fast, and I feel like I should have had to work harder for all of it, instead of everything just falling into my lap the way it has.

Most things considered, my situation with Scott is nearly ideal. We have our problems, and we have our differences, but we love each other and our relationship is a good one. All past relationships pale in comparison. We're like two pieces of a puzzle that interlock and fill in the missing places in each other.

The only thing that bothers me, at times, is wondering what would happen to me if the relationship ended. Beyond just feeling bad that such a good thing was over, I wonder where I would go ... how I would live ... what I would do. Basically that worry isn't much different from the way I felt a year ago, living with Dad. I don't want to call it being "trapped," but it's still a feeling of having no alternatives. No game plan.

But I don't want to think about that tonight. I want to spend my life with him. I hope that's how it ends up. But for now I just want to watch Saturday Night Live and think.

Scott has been out in the kitchen with Ray M. for an hour now. When he starts to talk, there's no shutting him up ... something that I'm still not completely used to. Scott loves to talk, and he's good at it, but he tends to monopolize the conversation a lot of the time.

Dick called me tonight - he's in jail again, and this time it could be for a year to 18 months, depending on how things turn out. This is his story: a few weeks ago a friend of his sta friend of his stole a GMC pickup and ended up parking it in front of Dick's house. Dick panicked, got into the truck and drove it three or four blocks away, parked it and walked home. The neighbors saw him with the truck, and that night both he and his friend were picked up for auto theft. Dick was out the next day. Then last weekend Dick was driving his car on Meyers Way when he ran out of gas. He decided to smoke a joint before he walked to the gas station, and as he was sitting in his car a police car came by and stopped, checked Dick out, informed him that he was wanted for auto theft and hauled him in. So now he's back in jail again, and that's all I'm going to say about it because it's all been said before. If he's determined to self-destruct, there's nothing I can say or do to change him.

What a pair of wonderful kids we are ... he's in jail most of the time, and I'm living in sin in Redmond, Washington. Who would have ever thought that the two neat, well-behaved V. kids would turn out like this? No wonder Grandma is sick all the time. We must be a huge disappointment to her.

It's been 90 minutes now since Ray knocked on the door. I wish they would hurry up.



Tuesday night

March 27, 1979

Mom's birthday. I sent her a card and called her at work to wish her a happy birthday.

Tonight Scott and I were supposed to go out to dinner with Mr. Iverson and his wife, but he called about an hour ago and canceled. He felt really bad about it, and so do I ... I was looking forward to it very much. But at least that means a quiet evening tonight. It's "snowing" tonight, but quietly.



Monday night

April 2, 1979

Temporarily out of sorts. Scott was supposed to be home at 7:00, so when he called at 9:15 with the customary bar noises in the background, something inside me snapped and I hung the phone up in his ear. I didn't even bother to listen to his explanation. I'm disgusted with him for having so little regard for my feelings, and I'm disgusted with myself for coming off like a nagging housewife. I'm not trying to put chains on him, but I can't stand sitting here alone in this apartment waiting for him.



Saturday afternoon

April 7, 1979

I just realized how few pages there are left in this journal, and it made me feel sort of funny and hollow ... so many wonderful things have happened in the nearly half-year since I started writing in it - so many startlingly important changes - that it's going to be tough to write "The End" and buy a new notebook and start all over again. As though the notebook itself were charmed & was the cause of all the changes. I know how silly that sounds, but I get very attached to my journals, particularly if they accompany me through an especially eventful or happy period of my life. At times like that, when everything is happening at once and writing about it is joy, the notebook becomes less an inanimate object and more a friend. A confidante, maybe. I reach for it in good times and bad times, and when the pages are filled I feel the loss of a friend ...

This is my 24th journal, I believe - I'm not exactly sure - technically they're all one journal ("The Continuing Saga of Terri V., Twentieth Century American Girl"). But in spite of their relative continuity, they seem separate entities to me. Individual chunks of my life. Each one is unique and different and individual, the way the varying stages of my life have been.

I will be sad when I've finished this journal because these six months have been very special and important to me, but I'll go out and buy a new one right away and keep writing. It will never end.

I started my first real journal when I was thirteen years old. That was only eight years ago, and in the face of all time it's a mere drop in the bucket. (When I was starting my first journal, Scott was marrying Pam. Not so long ago at all.) It seems like a lifetime. Considering how much I've changed between 13 and 21, though, it HAS been a lifetime. I can clearly remember the way I thought and felt at age 13, but I feel disassociated from that Terri now. Reading that journal is like intruding into the journal of another person. Everything about me has changed, as it must, I suppose - physically, mentally, spiritually, mentally, morally. You give up some things, while other things remain constant. The child becomes a woman. All of those years of evolving - of becoming a woman - are painstakingly recorded in the 24 volumes of this journal, where I can always go back and re-live them. Even when my memories aren't as clear as they are now, I'll be able to go back and read about them again and again. That's not dwelling in the past so much as using the past to build the future, I think, and I'll never again feel neurotic or ashamed of keeping a journal. I'll treasure them and love them until the day I die, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I regret some things, though. I regret skipping over parts of my life without writing about them. I regret my overzealous censoring a couple of years ago, when I went back and ripped out pages and crossed things out and wrote phony entries to fill in the blanks. I regret censoring myself while I was writing, too ... being purposely inaccurate, afraid that someone would read & be shocked. I wish I could go back and put all my journals back the way they were - tape the torn pages back together, fill in the missing words. It's too bad that I can't. I feel like I've cheated myself somehow.

But back to the present ... or at least, the more recent past. These past six months in particular. What has this journal witnessed? The tail end of Summer 1978 ... living at Grandma St. John's, breaking up with Scott S., the brief and blind fling with Bruce that ultimately led to better things. Moving into my first apartment with Rhonda and then moving out again in two weeks. Getting fired from Lusk Metals and spending four months in unemployed limbo. The trip to Maui ... my 21st birthday ... Christmas 1978 (sort of). Getting the new job at Ridgway Packaging. Conflicts with the family that had always been so dear to me, and the resolution of some of those conflicts. Dick in jail again, Grandpa V. in the hospital, seeing Karen again after three years. And more than anything else - meeting Scott W., falling in love on our first date, moving in with him a week later, and building a new and different life with him. The most important change of all, in many ways, because it has changed the way I feel about myself, and about love, and about sex, and about so many other things. I've already written pages about how I feel about him, how much I love him, how much he's helped change me ... I don't want to repeat myself. I don't want to sound like I'm in a rut. For a while I worried that too much of me was centered around him, that it was an unhealthy attachment. I've done that before in relationships and it dehumanizes you. You feel less half a couple than an extension of someone else, and your own identity gets trampled. But that's not the way it is with us. I've realized that. It was just that moving to Redmond completely transplanted me from the area I grew up in - it "uprooted" me - and I felt the loss of family and friends and depended on Scott to help ease the loss. I never blamed him for the loss of friends and relatives I had known all my life, because the separating started a long time before I even met him. My own gradual desire to separate helped it grow, and moving to Redmond only finalized the separating process. The loneliness, the clinging to Scott, was only the pain felt when you finally leave the nest for good and make your own way out into the world. I have happy memories of the friends I have known, and I look forward to a life of meeting new friends, and I don't regret leaving part of the past behind. That's what growing up is, I guess.

These six months with Scott have been good things because they've changed me. He has helped to change me, and it's the kind of change that makes you stronger. I like myself more than I did a year ago. I certainly feel more accomplished. Life is going forward at a more regular pace, instead of standing still and going nowhere. I can see the progression. Sometimes that makes me sad because it means I'm not a teenager anymore & I never will be again. But I think that all things considered, I would rather progress than stagnate.

Before I end this journal, one last word portrait of myself ... where I am and who I am and what I'm thinking about, right this minute. Saturday afternoon, growing late, early April 1979. I'm sitting on the sofa, notebook balanced on my lap, feet propped up on the coffee table. My hair is dirty and I feel like I need a shower and some baby powder and some clean clothes - but that will wait. It was sunny this morning, but as it approaches evening it is growing cloud and cloudy. The sliding door is cracked open a little and I feel cold on my bare arms. The stereo is on behind me, and old Eagles song - I don't know the name of it but I've always liked it. Brittany, wearing a long flowered dress and a leather bracelet, is drawing pictures on a piece of paper on the floor in front of me, chattering and singing to herself. She made a scene at Pam's this morning and almost didn't come with us when we came to pick her up, but Scott and I coaxed her into a tolerable mood and she's cheerful now after her nap. Mindy is still asleep in the spare bedroom but will probably be awake shortly. Scott is sitting at his desk, hunched over paperwork, hair rumpled, feet bare, sniffling. We're both buzzing from the coke he picked up today, but later tonight when the girls are in bed we plan to turn it in the other direction with some mesc & weed. I'm not taking beans anymore because I've been intolerably nauseous all the time lately and beans make it worse. On Monday night I have an appointment at Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test. I honestly don't think I am pregnant, but I want to know why I've been so fucking sick lately. I also want to go back on the pill. Scott isn't talking vasectomy anymore, thank God, so I feel somehow obligated to take the responsibility for birth control into my own hands. I very much want to have a baby someday. The maternal urges in me rise up every once in a while, reassuring me that I'm normal. But it WILL be someday. Hopefully when I'm prepared in every way. Scott knows that now. We had a gut-level talk about it the other day, and he is now reassured that I'm going to drop a baby on him until we both want it. The thought of having a baby someday with Scott - Peter Lee? - is very special to me. I look forward to it wholeheartedly ... but there's too much I have to do first. I feel at peace about the whole thing now.

We talked about marriage, too, and came to an understanding we both can live with. That's all I'll say about it, because the remaining pages are precious and there are other things to say.

Basically I'm quite happy. My life with Scott is good, and my life with myself is good. I've worked at Ridgway for three months and I feel more established (in a job) than ever before. I enjoy my job, and I enjoy the people I work with (the only exception at present - redneck Jerry F.). I like answering the phones. Some of the other office duties are a drag sometimes, but at least I know what I'm doing now. There's nothing confusing about it. I can't imagine being a receptionist for the rest of my life, but it's a start and I could be doing a lot worse. I could be waiting tables at Sambo's or taking tickets at a movie theater or something.

The novelty of the first car has worn off and the reality has set in ... the cost of gasoline, the broken driver's seat, the scratches on the windshield, the screwed-up transmission ... and I wonder how in the world I could afford to fix it or replace it. I worry because I have no insurance, and because I never had the registration transferred, and because I don't even know how to change the oil.

I worry a LOT about the way I look. I weigh more right now than I ever have, and my clothes don't look good on me. I want to lose weight but I can't seem to do it without beans, and I can't take beans because they make me throw up. I know I'm not fat, but I hate being too chunky to comfortably button the top button of my pants, and summer is right around the corner and I wouldn't be caught dead in a bathing suit, looking the way I do now.

I worry because I don't have a bank account and my money disappears through my fingers like sand, usually with nothing to show for it. I got three new pairs of shoes last week, which I desperately needed, but my wardrobe is a mess and I worry about it. Patti and Max and Leslie at work are always so well-dressed, so polished, and I come off looking like a model for Value Village. I wear the same things over & over and I'm sick of my clothes.

I worry about my family. I haven't seen Grandma & Grandpa since November, Dad since December, and I know they've probably long since written me off. For the first time in my life I don't feel any strong family ties, and while it's a relief in some ways, it's a pain in other ways. I feel like The Prodigal Daughter/Granddaughter, and I'm fighting the guilt all the time.

I suppose I shouldn't worry so much. So many things are going well, but I overlook that and concentrate on the problems and feel awful about it. I work myself into guilt and despair, when I should be looking at all the good things, and thanking God I am where I am. It could be so much worse.

Scott is now in the kitchen, surrounded by his daughters while he fixes their hot dogs and Tater Tots. I'm sitting on the couch in the near-dark, watching him, listening to the verbal exchanges between he & Brittany, thinking how much love I have for the man. And how much love he has for the people in his life ... his daughters, me, his brother, his father. Often terse, often insensitive to fragile moods and delicate egos, he still loves, and he loves honestly.

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