May 1990 diary

Re-Reading My Teenage Diaries | May 1990

Tuesday, May 1st, 1990

The first of May. I remembered to say ‘white rabbits’ three times and I also washed my face in the morning dew (Kay walked to school with me and thought I’d gone mad!) so this should be a lucky month for me.

[The Month: “Nope.”]

Tuesday, May 15th, 1990

Wonderful day today! School was not too bad, but on the way home the greatest thing happened!! I walked with Nicola and Michelle half the way home and then they turned down a different path and I met Jamie (who Ben asked me out for and who I really fancy) and I walked him the rest of the way home. He didn’t ask me out or anything, we discussed how Gillian, Kirsty and Carol etc all played spirits [ouija board]at the weekend (Something I would never do) and the spirits said that someone was going to be drowned and that there was going to be an accident in France. [Where they were all going on a school trip: I didn’t get allowed to go, obviously…] Now someone else has said it’s Jamie who’s gonna drown, and I think he’s a bit worried about it, although he pretends not to be. Anyway, I’m sure he likes me. He got Ben to ask me out for him for one [Which, yeah, COULD have been a sign that he did, in fact, like you? Maybe?] and he stares at me all the time at art. Also, Ben told me that both he and Jamie think I’m gonna be nice looking when I’m older [I’m literally dead at the AUDACITY of this. Literally. Dead.] and Jamie especially thinks so and wants to go out with me. Ben says he talks about me all the time [So… quite a few clues here then, Sherlock?] and Ben’s his best friend. Things are looking up, amigos!

[*Yes, I actually wrote “things are looking up, amigos!” And Ben actually told me to my face that I might be “nice looking when I was older”. The fact that this was the nicest thing anyone had ever said about me – and that I was really flattered by it – says a lot, really. Like, not, “Wow, Amber, you’re so beautiful!”, just, “We reckon you might look a bit better when you’re older. Not now, though, just when you’re older. Maybe.]

[Spoiler alert: Amber did NOT, in fact, look nice when she was older. She is very glad she didn’t know that at the time.]

Friday, May 18th, 1990

Well, not too bad a day today. We had art and I think I’m eventually beginning to get somewhere with Jamie. He’s gonna maybe give me his Strawberry Fields record which he doesn’t listen to any more!

[Ah, I see: so, so far, Jamie has:

  1. Asked me out.
  2. Walked me home.
  3. “Stared at me” in art.
  4. Got his friend to repeatedly tell me he liked me.

So you can totally see why it was only NOW, when he offered to lend me his Strawberry Fields record, that I started to feel like I was FINALLY starting to wear the guy down, right? And, I mean, WHERE, exactly, did I think I was “beginning to get to” with him, given that I had already refused to go out with him? Like, what did he have to do to make me feel like I’d actually GOT somewhere?]

Monday, May 21st, 1990

School on holiday today, thank God! I particularly hate Mondays because we have economics. I didn’t do much, but I did do some singing on my karaoke. I’m positive that my voice is getting better! It’s not brilliant, let’s face it, it’s not even slightly good, but it’s getting BETTER! Maybe I’ll be a singer yet!! Then again, maybe not.

Friday, May 25th, 1990

Very good day today. I sat next to Jamie at art. He actually moved his seat so he was closer to me and we got on brilliantly. We talked mainly about the France trip he’s going on, music, etc, but I’m sure he’s beginning to fancy me. [I just don’t know what made me think that, tbh…]. He completely ignored Chloe (who was madder than hell) and kept coming up to me to whisper stuff. When it was time to go I was standing next to the window and Jamie came and stood with me and I’m sure he would’ve said something if Chloe hadn’t come over and spoiled it. Jamie went away the minute Chloe appeared. I think that’s significant.

[If I can just enter into the mind of my younger self here for a second, it’s just occurred to me… What if it was CHLOE he liked, and I was just the Ugly Friend he was talking to in order to get to her through me? Because that really WOULD be the kind of thing that would happen to me…]

Tuesday, May 29th, 1990

Well, I’m utterly pissed off. I tried to do something with my hair and it went horribly wrong. It’s all frizzy now, and I had to wear my bad pair of jeans, shoes and a dirty, crushed jumper to school, so I was an absolute mess. Actually, 3 people said my hair was looking good today, but everyone else looked at me like I was a bad smell. I hate them, and I hate my hair. I’m having a lot of problems with it since it was permed (i.e. it’s frizzy. Kay said it was frizzy.) but my parents say I’m not allowed to get it straightened because the perm cost £25. So what am I gonna do?!!!! This is a disaster! I also have no nice clothes. If I had nice clothes and nice hair I would be completely happy. [I literally still think this NOW, tbh...] This is ruining my whole life.

Wednesday, May 30th, 1990

Well, I’m STILL utterly pissed off. I mean, I just don’t see the reasoning behind life. If there is a God, why, oh why, does he make his children (i.e. me) suffer like this? I’m not a BAD person. I know plenty of people who are much more wicked than me and they are beautiful, talented, rich, popular, and, most importantly, HAPPY. I would give anything just to be happy. I’d sell my soul. WHY ME? What have I ever done? My teachers think I’m great, why can’t anyone love me? Maybe one day someone will love me, but I doubt it. [Which is weird, because I sound so normal, and not AT ALL like a complete and utter nightmare here?] I’ll definitely grow up to be an old maid. Out of millions, hundreds of thousands of ZILLIONS in the world and I’m the one to be unhappy. [Me. Just me. And me alone. Because I don’t think anyone really appreciates JUST how hard it is to have really bad hair, do they?] Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. The same. Surely there must be more to life than this? I mean, they say life is what you make it. When you’re a child, though, life is what your parents make it. They have complete control over my life. They buy my clothes, won’t pay for me to have my hair straightened. They the masters, I the slave. [I … just need a second here to reflect on what is surely the most melodramatic thing I have ever written? Surely?] A living hell. [Oh no, my mistake…] Why oh why oh why. Still, I suppose I must learn to live with it. There is no alternative.

[So. Yeah. I mean. I’ve read this last one a few times now, and I alternate between laughing hysterically and just wishing I had ended it the moment I realised I wasn’t getting my hair straightened, and that life was therefore always going to be a living hell for me. You have to hand it to me, though: just when you think I can’t POSSIBLY be any more dramatic/obnoxious, I manage to amp it up YET ANOTHER NOTCH. To go from, “I alone know what it is to suffer,” to the deadpan delivery of “I must learn to live with it,” and to get there via the absolute INSANITY of “They, the masters…” Then, finally, to realise that all of this is about HAIR. HAIR! I mean, seriously, what an absolute MYSTERY that no one liked me? If only there had been some REASON for it?!]

[Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash]

books by Amber Eve