Dear Online Diary

A side effect of being in your twenties today, (or just another unfortunate side effect of being born me), is the inability to sleep. I find myself completely and utterly exhausted, lying face down in bed, my whole body shut down except for my mind, the crypt keeper of my existence. What’s tourturing me varies, it could be anything from worrying about the civil war in Syria to beating myself up over adding too much bleach to my laundry and burning holes into three perfectly good pillowcases. A lot of the time I become haunted by the past, a thing I have been heavily dwelling in lately. As if not being asked to your sixth grade dance by a boy was painful enough to live through the first time, who knew that decades later I would still be using it against myself.

The other night I was torturing myself over this very blog and a specific incident relating to my blog where I wrote about something and offended a large group of people, you know, as you sometimes do. Awhile ago, I went to a Christmas party with my boyfriend and all his friends. I was there, behaving like I normally do in most situations whether they are social or not,  usually participating as a semi wallflower, sometimes actively involved, and sometimes silently observing everything from a safe removed distance- but in general, always observing and absorbing everything. If I were to cast myself in a movie about my life I would cast Spongebob Squarepants, not only for the poetic metaphor, but for several other reasons, the main ones being, of course, that he is an optimistic sea sponge, has large crazed eyes, and he never develops a more meaningful career than flipping crabby patties at the Krusty Krab. In my defense, it is my life, and I can observe as much as I want, but the problem is after I observe, I think. It’s not enough to just add details and notes to the overwhelming library in my mind- things ranging from the color of the inside interior of my dentists office, to the conversation I had with the postal worker about Vegas party buses, to my old neighbor Steve’s early 90’s rocker hairstyle, I have to  ponder over these things. Maybe they painted the walls blue because blue is calming and people are usually anxious when they go to the dentist? I wonder if more people get anxious going to the dentist or the doctors office? I want to go on a party bus to Vegas with Denise, she said she drank four Adios Motherfuckers, I would have pegged her as a tequila on the rocks woman myself, but she’s even more badass than I thought. I wonder what shampoo Steve uses? I don’t know why but I want to say Tresemme. 

So, I’m there at this Christmas party which coincidentally happened around the time I had really started to care about my boyfriend. The fun and flirty stage was over. I had begun to believe in him, in his talents, abilities and character, and now I kind of gave a damn about what happened to him. What I kept seeing happen to him at these various different outings and parties- birthdays, holidays, bon voyages, Saturday nights- was beginning to remind me a lot of my college days where people’s nights ended with their head in a bush puking, and everything is photographed and posted to Facebook the next day with very unclever captions. Because I had started to care, I now had begun to worry that this was a forever lifestyle, one that I didn’t really fit into or see myself adopting, and what would that mean for our relationship- which I now cared about losing, losing it at that point would break my heart. So while everyone was joyfully celebrating Christmas, I was somewhere else, panicking, unsure of how to relay these fears to my boyfriend, unsure about myself, and now unsure about the entire Christmas holiday season- people at the party must have just figured I was a grumpy, practicing Orthodox Jew, uneasy in this foreign territory. So I did the only thing I really knew how to do, I tried to find the humor in it, and then later on I wrote about it. I posted it onto my blog, I didn’t use anyone’s names, and the general feedback I got was that it was relatable and made readers laugh.. except for all of my boyfriends friends. “They all read it,” he told me. “All of them? They read my writing?” I asked, flattered, my voice full of pleasant shock. “What did they think?” I said, hopeful. My boyfriend shook his head and I knew, it had not been received well and I was now that bitch with the creepy blog. Not the funny blog, or the heartfelt blog, but the creepy blog.  I know creepy is the appropriate adjective to use because later at a bar one of his friends referred to my blog as my “online diary.”

The word “diary” is the sharpest of insults to me, someone who has tricked herself into fancy-ing herself a kind of writer. When I think of a girl writing in a diary I think of purple glitter retainers and hair scrunchies, a mouth breather, a girl who loves horses in an obsessive and slightly aggressive way, a girl who is bitter and misunderstood with nowhere to turn except her Lisa Frank hard cover diary where she keeps all of her disturbing feelings. “Online” diary meaning she publishes her writings onto a web platform where the background is a picture of a unicorn and the page is titled “Jenn’s World.” If only I had been born a painter. Everyone likes painters, they are harmless, gentle souls who can paint a picture of anything really- an obese nude woman holding a feather, a realistic portrait of a coyote, a potted plant- and stand proudly next to their work at a gallery opening and just be quietely admired for their vision and motor skills. But a writer, people hate those. Writers are the creepiest of misanthropes. They have opinions and ideas, they see things and point them out. Now thanks to the Internet, they have access to publishing their kookoo ideas and littering the web with useless mumbo jumbo.

It made me feel horrible that my (what I thought) comical post about holiday party debauchary angered the people who had inspired it. While I had kind of wanted my boyfriend to read it and maybe reflect for a second, it also was just another experience in my life that I used in my writings. Maybe I had somehow become deliriously confused after reading authors like David Sedaris or Dave Eggers or Tina Fey and all the other people who have written a book of personal essays, and I thought hey I can write about myself and what happens to me, it’s ok, people do it. The morning after the party everyone had spent a good lengthy amount of time reinacting all the stupid things everyone did and said the night before, and laughing about it, but somehow I guess when they read about what they did and said everyone got their feelings hurt. Stupid uncool sixth grade Jenn, you are not apart of the group and you never will be. You are a creepy diary girl, devoted to horses, and full of misplaced feelings.

What I’m really trying to do, is just share and connect. I’ve always been a reader and the reason why is because when you read you realize you are not alone. Someone, some author who you’ve never met before wrote something, a feeling, a situation, an idea or concept, that after you read it you thought I’ve felt this way too, and suddenly you don’t feel so alienated from the rest of the human race. It could be a character growing up in the fifties like J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield that could resonate with you today, or something Anne Frank wrote in her diary that somehow translates to a struggle you are going through in your own life and that you can draw inspiration and strength from, but literature is a pretty powerful connector. Most people want to feel that their experiences, thoughts and feelings are all uniquely their own but a lot of the human condition is just that- the human condition- felt and experienced by all humans. I’m not trying to write and post my experiences and thoughts to a blog to be vengeful, mean or creepy (but I will admit, sometimes I do want to argue a point).  I’m just trying to channel my life into an honest, creative expression that someone else may be able to relate to, or, if nothing else, just entertains someone else.

As I lie awake at three in the morning, these are the that keep me awake. I was thinking of maybe changing the format of my blog so that each post was in fact a diary entry. And maybe making the content more basic, simplify the idea without cluttering it up with useless context. It would be like this:

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. It’s Monday. I’m thinking about when boys were mean to me. I hate boys. 

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. I feel bad because I ate an entire Little Ceaser’s pizza. I am gross and do not look like Gisele Bundchen and probably never will, especially now that I ate all that five dollar pizza. It was so good though. 

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. Hooking up is so confusing and kind of scary. Am I prude?

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. Will I ever date a boy who can’t fit in my jeans comfortably?

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here, I’m sad Stephan Colbert is leaving the Colbert Report to take over The Late Show. Life doesn’t make any sense ever.

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. I feel pressure to start tweeting but I don’t know why….

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. Why do I feel guilty when I see a homeless person? Do others feel that way too? 

Dear Online Diary.

Jenn here. I’m thinking about when I am mean to boys. Why am I mean to boys?

Dear Online Diary,

Jenn here. Cried all day today. 

Maybe I could collect all my dear online diary posts and turn them into one of those under $10 coffee table books you buy at Urban Outfitters. They could be animated and…completely pointless.






2 thoughts on “Dear Online Diary

  1. however and wherever and whatever you write, jenn, PLEASE DON’T STOP! it’s an important and direct extension of who you really are and i for one enjoyed the hell out of it. now i’m dying to read your xmas party blog! xo

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