Okay digging out all my old journals will probably be a bit of a task so don’t expect me to complete this entry to match yours’ immediately. I love that we both kept meticulous journals throughout life. I have a sneaky feeling that yours’ are much less . . . angry than mine. High school was an awful time period for me and my journals probably read as such. Also I don’t have any romantic gushy entries like August 27, 1999 because I didn’t have my first boyfriend until 2003!
I used to make it a habit to write when I was mad, often about people sitting in the room within my eye line. I liked doing it because people get so irritated when they know you’re writing about them. It got to be so bad that my Mum would joke that if I ever died in a sudden accident, the family would read my journals before deciding what sort of funeral I was to receive.
“We might decide to just throw you in a box and call it a day,” she once said with a morbid laugh.
Here’s an example of such activities. In 2012 I decided to fly to London to celebrate my 30th in proper style, in the same pub I celebrated my 21st birthday in. I stayed with my favorite pain in the arse, Matt. (He’s actually one of my best dudes but he’s also a proper pain in the arse, just so there’s no confusion). Before my birthday we flew to Ireland and spent two days in Dublin before going up north to visit my Aunt Lori who lives in County Monaghan right next to Castle Leslie. We spent our time in Dublin eating mediocre to bad food (I had the worst omelet I’ve ever eaten in Dublin . . . ), drinking like no tomorrow and waking up with wicked hangovers while stumbling around our hotel room muttering under our breaths “ouch, my head”. Naturally catching the bus to Monaghan was a bit of a kerfuffle which ended with us seething with slight hatred for one another.
Apparently I was really doing Annoying American well that morning. Once we settled into the bus and decided we weren’t speaking to one another, I pulled open my journal and began to jot down thoughts about my morning, many of which cast a critical eye at Matt who was “in a bit of a strop today”, I wrote. To be fair I had thought that much of the morning was comical and I wasn’t nearly as angry as he was. That’s probably why he was so angry. Because I was more smirky than angry. Which is absolutely annoying.
Two paragraphs in (somewhere outside of Dublin, near a grape seed field), I finally felt eyes upon me and looked over to catch that cheeky little monkey reading steadily over my shoulder, eyes throwing darts at each word on the page. I took a deep breath and then muttered angrily, through teeth clenched tight.
“STOP reading my journal.”
Matt responded also through angry clenched teeth, “Well then STOP writing about me.”
He then went on to mock my observations in an obnoxious falsetto, “Oooh Matt’s in a right strop today, isn’t he?”
Needless-to-say we didn’t speak for the rest of the two hour journey. We didn’t even speak when we got off the bus. We pretended we weren’t angry with each other when my Aunt picked us up (to be good guests). But to prove that I still had my hackles raised, when given a room choice, I left him with the room decorated in pink with two twin beds and took the full bed in the more masculine bedroom for myself. (I really know how to drive a point home.) We didn’t start talking again until my Aunt got some food in us at the restaurant Snaffles (the old stable of Castle Leslie). Usually hunger seems to be the biggest problem and food, the best solution. By the time evening fell we were drinking mugs of beer and sitting around Lori’s fireplace laughing about our tiff while her many dogs lay at our feet (but I still kept my full size bed).
Is there a moral of the story? Maybe not write so angrily about people when they’re sitting right next to you? Maybe? Or do it anyway and know they’ll be pissed but eventually get over it?
– Aja (who will write about you while glaring at you from across the room)