Adolescent Angst
Excerpts from seventh grade diaries and journals

“Sometimes I just don’t know why I’m alive. I really have absolutely no reason to be here; I’m no good to anyone.”
Undated - age 13

“My Dad’s a really great guy. No one understands me like he does. He just seems to know what I feel like and what to do about it. Take the time my dog died. I called him - I had to tell somebody - and he rushed right over in his little brown Rambler, picked me up and took me over to Burien. Or the time when I was in the big parade. He took me there, admired my outfit, talked to me, etc., but the most important thing was the fact that when I rode by, feeling embarrassed and foolish, he waved and smiled casually. He didn’t laugh, or run up and down the street (taking my picture) like my grandmother did. He made me feel confident and sure of myself.”

“It’s hard for me to identify with others because I think I’m different from others. Sometimes I get so disgusted with myself, I cry.”

“I think one of the reasons I act so childish is because I am treated like a child at home. I’m laughed at, teased, guarded and protected like an infant. I don’t like it. That’s not to say I want to be laden down with responsibilities and allowed to go free and wild. All I want is to have a little more respect and freedom -- freedom to dress and wear my hair as a I please, to be allowed to go to games and dances ...”

“In junior high, being an A student isn’t the greatest thing a girl can be. Here, everyone judges you on your looks rather than your personality. Am I more mature in my feelings than the rest of the kids? Having good looks is a nice asset for anyone, but having a nice personality is better. Maybe I say that because I myself am no beauty queen. But I really like people for what they are inside.”

“Braces ... what a miserable word. When I first found out I had to get them, I bawled. And bawled. And bawled. I was really miserable. In junior high, looks really count, and I thought ‘Everyone will be looking at me ... and pointing. And then pretty soon my friends will leave and the boys won’t pay any attention. And then my grades will slip and I’ll die, an unpopular freak.’ I guess I’m over that, a little bit. What’s a year or two? But I’m still not the happiest girl in the world. And the food I have to give up ... no nuts, popcorn, peanut brittle, ice, lemons, tacos, Fritos, taffy, gum, Sugar Daddies, corn on the cob. Nothing hard, gooey, chewy, sweet, starchy, crunchy, munchy or cold. In short - nothing good!”

“For Pete’s sake, who do I think I am? I have absolutely no tact. I just burst out and say the first thing that comes to me. One of my friends looks kind of dismal today. I come up to her and holler, ‘Whatsa MATTER?’ No answer. ‘You don’t look too happy!’ I say. All I get is a cold, stony look. For crying out loud, what did I do? She’s ignoring me now, as I sit beside her in the noisy lunchroom. No one pays any attention to me. I could calmly announce, ‘My hair is on fire!,’ and no one would hear me. It’s awful. Here at this school, this huge expanse of cement and brick and great masses of people, I am a complete unknown. Last year I was the most popular girl in the school. Then ‘poof’ and here I am - an unknown.”

Assorted March 1971 Entries:

"Wow, what a groovy day! At school during 6th period English we threw a surprise party for our fave teacher, Miss Langlitz. There was all kinds of cool stuff to eat and drink, presents, etc. Also, we played records (real loud) and wished the boys would ask us to dance. Oh, the cutest, nicest boy in the world, Ken Bostick, asked me, but like a klut I said no. I don’t know how to dance!"

"In English class I was assigned to explain a book report to him. He kept watching me, but he didn’t say anything. I think I blew it."

"Today in English Ken was still bashful and not talking, so Kim went up to him and said, 'How come you never talk to Terri? She thinks you don’t like her! You DO, don’t you?’ He ducked his head inside his coat, smiling and red, and nodded real fast ..."

"Today in English when I gave my book report, I had this code: right after I gave the title, if I coughed, I don’t like Ken; if I put my hands behind my back, he’s OK; and if I cleared my throat, I REALLY like him. I did the last. Then Kim and Penny went and told him! I was so embarrassed.

Ken waited for me after class, and he walked me to my locker. His locker is No. 66, across from mine."

March 12, 1971
"Everyone in the school knows that we like each other now ... everyone teased us in English. Afterwards he and I went to the school dance. I didn’t get up enough nerve to dance until the last 45 minutes, but then I had a blast! He was really nice, and sat and talked with me most of the time.

When I got home, Grandma said that I can’t go to any more dances in junior high."

March 13, 1971
"I was so shook up about Grandma not allowing me to attend dances that I wrote Dad a letter, stating my point of view. I hope he understands."

March 14, 1971
"Tonight Grandma said, 'There will be no more of this silly boy business.’ Why is she so straight?? At this rate, I’ll be the most unpopular girl in school."

March 15, 1971
"Dad probably got my letter today. I didn’t call him tonight because I’m scared."

March 16, 1971
"A very satisfactory day. Ken was so nice. He walked ‘n talked with me, and I was so happy! He’s so polite and nice. A song on KOL, called “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” expresses my feelings x-actly!

Dad got my letter and he was so understanding. Happy, happy."

March 22, 1971
"Things are getting better ‘n better. Walking me to classes is now a ritual, and he has a note for me everyday. It sez today:

Dear Terri:
Sorry about your braces. I’ll try not to talk to you very much. Tell me when you get them fixed. I think you look good in braces (you look good anyway). You don’t look stupid and you don’t look like a freak! I liked those pictures you drew! They’re good!! Love ya always, Ken. P.S. What’s your phone number.

Ken -n- Terri = Love 4 ever.

Isn't that neat??"

March 23, 1971
"Ken called tonight. He was really nice. Luv ‘im!"

March 25, 1971
"Ken came back to school today, and for awhile I thought he was mad at me because he didn’t have a note and he didn’t talk to me. But it’s OK now. I don’t know what I’d DO if he stopped liking me."

April 1, 1971
"Dear, dear Ken. He is so wonderful, so sweet, so nice, so everything. Tall; ash blond curls; green eyes; dimpled chin; sweet smile. Great baseball player. Good student, band member (baritone sax), great sense of humor. He’s perfect. Hmm, I wonder how long this will last! I know my Danny Kent crush lasted five months."

April 5, 1971
"All I can think about is the dance on the 16th. I want to go so badly. Anything to be with Ken. If I do go, I’m going to SLOW DANCE. That’s when, during the slower numbers, the couple holds each other close, the guy with his arms around your waist, you with your arms around his neck, your head on his shoulder, dancing in time to the music. Oh, it’s so dreamy."

April 7, 1971
"I have simply GOT to ask Grandma about the dance, but I don’t have the nerve. It’s all I can think about ... all I want."

April 9, 1971
"Applause, applause! I finally did it! I asked Grandma. My heart was pounding so hard, but I took a big breath and DID it!! She said she’d THINK about it, but I think I’ve got a No. 1 good chance. Finally, I can relax."

April 12, 1971

"I never thought I’d say it, but Ken and I are finished. First he ignored me all day and gave me dirty looks, and then my fears were confirmed when Jose said ‘Bostick’s finally come to his senses.’ What have I done??? Why doesn’t he like me anymore?"

April 13, 1971
"I have never felt this way before ... so sad and lonely. It’s kind of funny, my first heartbreak and we were only together 38 days. Once or twice I purposely caught his gaze, but he’d always break it. Oh, love is blue and so am I."

April 15, 1971
"Ken hates me. Kim is now Penny’s best friend, and vice versa. I am ugly, my braces hurt, my hair is stupid looking, I’m unpopular, my grades are going down the tube, Grandma won’t let me join Pep Club, I hate the piano, I’m overprotected, life is dull, I hate school ... life is awful. I wish I was dead."


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