Re-Reading My Teenage Diaries | October 1990
If you’ve been keeping up with this look back at my teenage diaries, you might have noticed that I skipped September’s update, purely because it seems that Teen Me did too, but we catch up with our intrepid heroine in October 1990, when she had apparently abandoned her hopes of becoming a world-famous pop-star and decided to become a world-famous actress instead…
Monday, October 1st, 1990
Drama club today, and guess who was there? Yes, Regina! [My arch nemesis and resident school bully.] I could’ve died, but I ignored her and the club was great. I was brilliant, if I say it myself! [Kind of wish I HAD died, actually, when I re-read this particular line as an adult…] I was crying (acting) and everything! But here’s the good news, Mrs Allison has to make a video for college and she wants us to be in it! Jack [a longtime crush of mine who had consistently failed to notice that I was alive] is the presenter, which is the main star, but I’ve volunteered for interviews but I would love to be the star.
Tuesday, October 2nd, 1990
Got a grade 1 in my English Paper.
Got homework, LOTS OF IT!
Wednesday, October 3rd, 1990
Am fed up with this constant homework.
Thursday, October 4th, 1990
Great news today! Know how I told you about the video Mrs Allison is making? Well, today she approached me and Chloe about it. She says she wants Chloe to interview the rector, and I was mad ‘cos that was the main interview, but, wait for it… she wants me to practically take over Jack’s job as main star and I’ve to walk around and talk to the camera and interview the janny! [school janitor]
Hollywood here I come!
Sunday, October 5th, 1990
It was awful.
Laurie was on Jason (I was mad at that) while I was dumped onto this fat, stubborn grey called Pip. It was awful. I’m so hopeless. It’s just not fair. Laurie didn’t like Jason so I’m asking for him next week.
Monday, October 8th, 1990
NOT a good day today.
I won’t go into details. [Bet you will, though...]
We got to watch Jack filming some of his thing for the video. We were in the recording studio and no kidding, it was real cool. The walls had this funny foam on it and there were all these microphones and tape decks.
I’m filming my interview with the janitor tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 9th, 1990
The 9th of October. Today would have been John Lennon’s 50th birthday if he had lived. He is my hero. I have dumped Bros, I now only love John, especially for his brilliant music, sense of humour, and his achievements in humanitarian causes. These are all things I deeply admire. Today I was quite depressed. He didn’t deserve to die. He had so much to live for.
Today would have been my gran’s birthday, too. She didn’t deserve to die either. A wonderful woman who I wish was here to witness my growing up, she would have understood. I love her always.
Life is unfair. Why do people die? Why can’t everyone live in peace and love each other, never fight, never lie, never die? Nothing makes sense.
The janny didn’t turn up for his interview.
[All I’ll say about this is that I personally believe “The janny didn’t turn up for his interview” may just be the finest closing line I have ever read to an emotional diatribe. The very finest.]
Wednesday, October 10, 1990
Went to the library with Chloe. Met Jackie and Kirstie. Got 4 books. Went back to Chloe’s for a Coke. (The drink that is, not the drug.)
[Thank God I clarified that last bit, huh? Admit it, you were wondering, weren’t you?]
Thursday, October 11, 1990
Tuesday, October 16, 1990
Went to Stirling with the school to see ‘The Steamie’.
It was brilliant but I’m worried. I don’t seem to mix with the other kids. I seem to be a real outsider.
Am pissed off.
The Steamie was absolutely brilliant, though. Made me even more determined to act.
Wednesday, October 17, 1990
Went to the Modern Homes Exhibition in Glasgow with the folks. It wasn’t good. Was bored. How come life’s so shit? Other people seem to enjoy it? Also, why do I have two pimples on my chin? One of life’s unexplained mysteries, I suppose.
Saturday, October 20, 1990
Went to Hamilton and I got a pair of black lycra leggings and a white baggy t-shirt. I look like a clown. Went out for dinner. Had an argument with mum because she was eating tuna.*
[*I’m guessing this would be because the restaurant couldn’t prove whether or not it was dolphin-friendly or not, and I had taken it upon myself to police my parents’ every move for political correctness at this time. What a joy I was, to be sure!]
Monday, October 22, 1990
Hi! Sorry I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m gonna get back to it though.
Today was uneventful. Went to the hairdressers to keep Chloe company while she got her hair permed. It took ages. I was bored stiff. Eventually we came back here to finish off our Life & Work project which is due in tomorrow. We never did it. Tomorrow we’ll say we forgot to bring it in and we’ll get it done tomorrow night and hand it in Wednesday. Neither Chloe nor me have been able to get up any enthusiasm for schoolwork lately.
I’m dreading going back to school tomorrow. Back to the old routine. Get up (early), go to school, suffer until 3:40pm, walk the mile home again in either bitter cold or sweltering heat, get in, do homework, have dinner, do homework, go to bed. Get up (early), go to school.. etc, etc. Depressing. Surely there’s more to life than this? [SPOILER: No. There actually isn’t. It will be like this forever. Love, Future Amber.] God, I can’t wait to get outta school and into the real world. 1994, I’ll be free by then. Outta school and ready to take the world by storm!!!
[NARRATOR: But Amber did not, in fact, “take the world by storm”… ]
Wednesday, October 24, 1990
Today was a half day, thank God. I couldn’t have coped with another full day of school. I had accounts (It was absolutely awful, but easy), life & work (good, I’ll go into details about that in a minute), French (quite enjoyed it, actually), and chemistry (awful). Chloe and I have arranged another Life & Work visit. We’re visiting a chocolate manufacturer’s with Gordon, Colin and Graham (don’t fancy any of them) next Wednesday after school.*
When mom and pop [the hell?] got home we went into MAKRO cos it was the start of their sale. I got a new jumper and two presents for Chloe’s birthday. I got her a little basket thing with soap etc in it and a little satin makeup bag with brushes. It’s good I got the jumper cos I am filming again tomorrow. Jack (remember I fancy him but he is popular and doesn’t fancy me?) has to interview me in the studio with me being someone angry about litter. Funnily enough I’m nervous. I don’t wanna make an ass of myself. [Yeah, I think that ship’s already sailed, sweetie: sorry…}
[*This trip followed hot on the heels of our trips to a) the donut factory, and, b) the crisp factory. I dunno, it’s almost like we were just using this Life & Work project to get free food?]
Thursday, October 25, 1990
I filmed my last scene in Mrs Allison’s video today. I won’t go into details as it was embarrassing being there with Jack. However, I loved it and still want to be an actress.
On the news tonight there was a thing about sexism, and there was this man who said he would argue with a woman on a different level than he would with a man. Can you believe anyone could be so sexist????? I couldn’t. I was so ANGRY!!! Sometimes I think, “What am I fighting for? Why am I taking on a whole world of sexist, narrow-minded people all by myself? Well I know why now. There’s a whole world out there needing to be changed, and I’M gonna do it. Just you wait.
[Thank God SOMEONE finally stood up against sexism – the ONLY PERSON TO DO SO – by writing a short rant about it in her journal! Power to the people!]
Friday, October 26, 1990
Wrote 10 pages of an English essay (homework) about sexism, my personal feelings and thoughts. Enjoyed it.
Saturday, October 27, 1990
[IN BLUE INK] On the 23rd of April, I, Amber Louise McNaught, looked at this nice, clean, empty page in my diary and wondered what I’d be doing when this day eventually came round. It seems so far away, but he’s what did happen:-
[IN PENCIL] NOTHING. Nothing has changed since the 23rd and my life continues in its monotonous way. “Oh what a drag, no relief in sight.” Went to [nearby town] shopping, went to see the grandparents. The pace of life is too fast for me right now, I can’t take much more.
Sunday, October 28, 1990
Riding today. Laurie didn’t go, he had to help out at a dress sale. I was on Pip. It was good, but next week I’ve got to get a change.
I’m sitting on my bed, it’s twenty minutes to eleven, and I’m feeling kinda depressed. Just where is my life going? It’s my looks, really. [Oh good, I was just thinking it had been a while since I brought this up…] God, why am I so ugly? What did I do to deserve this? I wish I was someone else, somewhere else.
Monday, October 29, 1990
Back to school and I felt awful. As you know I have no clothes and I’m ugly.
I HATE MYSELF
I HATE MY SCHOOL
I HATE MY TEACHERS
I HATE MY HOMEWORK
I HATE MY “FRIENDS”
I HATE MY ENEMIES
I HATE PEOPLE WHO ARE SEXIST / RACIST / DO NOT BELIEVE IN PEACE
I HATE MY LIFE
Tuesday, October 30, 1990
School was twice as bad today. We done our presentation for our life and work project and the boys in the class drew all over the photos of me and wrote “Amber loves herself”.
What have I done to deserve this? Why do they all hate me so much? Why don’t I have any friends? Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why don’t I have clothes? Why don’t I have a social life? Why am I so ugly?
Wednesday, October 31, 1990
Chloe and I hired the horror movie Dolls, rated 18. It was about these dolls [NO!] who had knives and guns and killed people. It was gory but it wasn’t scary. We bobbed for apples then we done this thing where you peel an apple and throw it over your shoulder and it falls into the initial of your future lover. Chloe got an I and I got a J. J for John Lennon? [I mean, I would HOPE TO GOD NOT, given that he’d been dead for a decade at this point?]
Made a bet with Chloe. Bet her £50 that I will never have any kids. She says I will definitely have them, so when I’m 40 (When the bet ends), I’m gonna be £50 richer!!!
* * *
And this is how you change the world. apparently, folks: by hating absolutely everyone in it, including yourself, and writing regular rants about it in your diary, while not actually doing anything useful, because you’re too busy being ugly and stuff. Yes. THAT’LL SHOW ‘EM.
On a serious note, all that stuff about interviewing the “janny” aside, I actually found this month’s entries really sad to transcribe, and kind of wished I hadn’t bothered. I mean, it was pretty confronting, really, to read all about how my life was going to be SO much less monotonous as an adult, from the point of view of knowing that, NO, it really wasn’t. And to top it all off, I now find out that I apparently owe Chloe £50! This is SO UNFAIR! WHY ME? WHY, GOD, WHY?!?!?!