Dear Diary, Life is SO unfair.
Stacia BriggsThis week, 13-year-old Stacia Briggs takes over the reins in an *EXCLUSIVE excerpt from The Dairy Diary 1984. *I say 'exclusive' - I mean 'horrendous'.Stacia Briggs
Imagine standing up in front of an audience and - instead of reading the bad poetry you wrote yesterday - reading the bad poetry you wrote 20 years ago.
The latest craze to hit the open mic night circuit are Cringe Events, where people take to the stage to read extracts from their teenage diaries in front of an audience.
As an avid, some might say obsessive, diary writer from the age of eight until I was 17 - when the material became too dangerous to commit to paper - I would have a wealth of material to draw upon on one of these open mic nights. Of course I'd never do it. And when you read my diary extracts below, you'll soon see why (see 'Frontier Land').
I rooted out the diary I wrote from the age of 13 to 14 for my daughter, who becomes a teenager next year. I thought it might help her deal with forthcoming teenage issues.
Then I read it and realised what an absolute arse I was as a 13-year-old. Then she read it and realised what an absolute arse I was too.
'You were such a saddo, Mum,' she said. This was, I thought, a particularly generous description.
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As it's a Bank Holiday, I thought I'd sit back, relax and let my younger self take the strain for a week. These are extracts from my genuine diary - The Dairy Diary for the Home, no less - in 1984.
I still see L, R and J, so apologies to them in advance. And to Mum: I'm sorry about the rucksack, the hurtful yoghurt hatred and never paying you back for the (non black!) clothes from the GUS catalogue.
The extracts end with my appointment as a newspaper editor 26 years ago today. Of course I really wanted to be a columnist: I just didn't know it yet.
March 12, 1984:
JG has come up with a new nickname for me. It is 'Cliffhanger'. I didn't understand what it meant, but apparently it is about my chest, which is really crude and childish. He has a horrible kind of moustash (sic) which he thinks makes him look mature, but it doesn't and you can hardly see his face for spots. J passed me a dirty message in Science. It said: 'will you play with me?' I sent back: 'Ludo?' ha ha ha. We have a Science test next week and then we move on to a new topic - 'locusts'.
March 21, 1984:
I really do not understand why people like yoghurt. Mum has been making yoghurt and it is disgusting - like sucking a milky lemon. To get it down, I have to take a mouthful, fill my mouth with water and then swallow. I was almost sick at the table. I bet they would have still made me finish it. Fiona came round for lunch and she said the yoghurt was nice, but she admitted later that she'd been lying. I notice she still had second helpings.
March 23, 1984:
I am in the hockey team for Monday and we are playing the Hewett. Joanne said that one of the girls who plays for the Hewett broke someone's nose a few weeks ago and that we should all refuse to play. I am a right back and hardly ever get to do anything, so I should be OK. If that girl comes anywhere near me, I will just run in the opposite direction!
April 2 1984:
I have huge bags under my eyes. They might be useful for when we go to Minorca because we only have one suitcase and Mum says I have to take my crappy old rucksack. This is not fair. Everyone else has proper suitcases because they go away more than once every five years. I am going to try and break the strap on my rucksack so I can't use it. My project on locusts got 73 per cent!! Next to the drawing of the locust it says in red pen 'this is a great locust!'
April 5 1984.
My God! He actually asked me! (J, I mean). He sent me a note in RS and it said 'Will you go out with me?' and I sent back 'Yes, OK'. At lunchtime, he gave me some handwritten notes on Lady Jane Grey because we have a project on her. There were loads of them! I have already done the homework, but I didn't tell him. His was not as good as mine - that is a statement, I am not being bitchy.
April 6 1984:
Told J today that I can't go out with him. Actually, L told him for me, but I'd told her what to say. Had double history, games, RS, English and double maths. Pizza for tea. Watched 'The Life of Brian'. J rung me up and begged me to go out with him. I said no. He rung up again and told me he thinks I am fantastic. Is he on drugs? I said I would dance with him at the disco on Monday, but as FRIENDS. Honestly, I have made it very clear how I feel. He just isn't listening.
April 7 1984
I am sick to death of boys. They are all filthy, disgusting rats. J does not seem to realise that I only want to be his friend. He reckons that he really likes me - well, I really like him, too, just not in THAT way. He is about one month too late. Dad made toast this morning and he really overdid it but I still had to eat it. I think it is ridiculous that someone can't make toast. Had a baked potato for dinner but it was slimy on the bottom so I didn't like it. All in all, it has not been a good day.
April 17 1984
Pen has gone a funny colour because I dropped it in the bath. Pouring with rain this morning, so got soaked on the way to school. In French, we learnt about Jean-Paul who plays with poupees. I hate Jean-Paul. He is about 13 and he plays with dolls - he is not right in the head. All I can do in French is ask for a cheese sandwich and tell people how old I am. That's not going to get me very far.
May 4 1984:
Harris is insisting on calling me 'Stacy' in class. I told Mum and she said that if he did it again she would come in and tell him what my name was. I am not a Stacy. She has bought some Henna Hot Oil treatment for her hair but she won't let me use it which is really unfair - my hair is longer than hers anyway.
May 8 1984:
We are making a balsa wood bridge in woodwork, which is one of the most stupid things I have ever heard of. Why are they teaching us to make bridges? Why can't we make a box or something useful? I have to do so many things that aren't useful, like simultaneous equations, projects on the Tudors and singing madrigals. It is no wonder that so many people skive off when they are being forced to do stuff like that.
May 14 1984:
New clothes arrived from the GUS catalogue. I am paying Mum some of the money. I got a cream skirt, a leopard-print t-shirt, a white waistcoat and a Cross Your Heart bra. It looks like the kind of girder that holds up a bridge. Not a balsa wood bridge! Ha ha ha.
May 25 1984:
R has been in a snot with me for three days. What have I done? God knows. Had drama and watched a play about voodoo dolls and people being pushed out of windows. I am dreading next week because we have to perform something in front of the whole class and I can't do it. I might be ill. I would rather actually be sick than pretend to be living in 'Frontier Land' on a wagon made of boxes.
May 31 1984: In English, we are making our own newspaper and I am the editor. We had an election to choose who was editor and I won, so I will get to decide what stories people will write and where to put them. I am going to write the front page and it is going to be about how unfair it is that we have to do needlework and the boys get to do technical drawing. I don't really like TD, but it's not fair that I can't do it.
�Stacia Briggs will be away next week on a simultaneous equations, Tudor-themed, madrigal mini-break.