“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Dear Diary

Friday, June 17, 2005

When I was a little girl, my mother bought me a diary. I remember being at the bookstore with her, scanning the books on the "big girl" shelf when I saw it. It was covered in light blue "leather" with gold lettering on the front - "My Diary". There was a gold lock with a clear plastic strap that wrapped around to ensure that no one could ever invade my precious private thoughts. Best of all, tucked safely in an envelope was a tiny gold key. It was like magic. I placed the key in the lock, turned it carefully and opened that exquisite book - that book of mystery and wonderment filled with blank pages just waiting for my thoughts to be given form.

At that moment there was nothing in the world I wanted more than that diary. I meekly and apologetically begged my mother to buy it for me. I promised that I would write in it every single day without fail, and I truly believed I would. It must not have been very expensive, because she bought the diary.

When we got home, I dashed to my room, grabbed a pencil, jumped on my bed, carefully removed the key from it's envelope, unlocked that extraordinary book...and sat there for an hour, realizing I had absolutely nothing worthwhile to say. I agonized, thought long and hard, but came up completely blank. I don't remember what my first entry ended up being, but it was probably something to the effect of "Mom bought me this diary today," which was a harbinger of entries to come.

From that point on, if I actually remembered to write in my diary (and that was a BIG if), it was usually a brief recount of the day's activities. "Today (my posts almost always started with the word 'today') I went to Shelly's house and we played outside." "Today Mom and I went to the grocery store." "Today mom made me clean my room." When I forgot to write, I would go back for all the days I missed (each page was dated) and fill in with "Forgot to write today". That phrase filled many - ok, most - of the pages in my diary.

Suffice it to say, my precious diary began to serve only as a reminder of just how boring my life was. I didn't usually feel bored - playing with Shelly, going to the store, etc. could be entertaining - except when I was writing in my diary and especially when I was reading my past diary entries. Though I would never have admitted it to my mother then, I will admit it now. That diary was not at all what I thought it would be.

So here I am again, starting a sort of diary. My hope is that I have the ability to be a little more eloquent and even entertaining now then I had then. I have discovered since then that I can write about more than just the events of the day - an idea that never crossed my mind then. I am probably crazy to start this now as life is insanely busy these days. We are just about to close on a piece of land and then we'll be selling our house (which we've spent the past 7 years getting ready to sell) and building another home. On the other hand, this will be a good place to think through some of that insanity and to share the building process with friends, acquaintances, and strangers who might be interested for some reason - hopefully not creepy reasons.

I may not (read probably won't) update every day, but I will try to keep this reasonably up-to-date. As the tag indicates, it will be filled with figments, wonderments, acknowledgements, deducements, arguments, maybe a little entertainment, and perhaps a few other "ments", all from the somewhat sane mind of a girl who calls herself the geekwif.


At 6/21/2005 2:47 PM, Blogger malachi trizec wrote:

if i recall correctiy, i ended up setting fire to my first paper-based diary out of curiosity
by the way, 'wonderment' is a cool word

At 6/22/2005 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote:

I have a bin full of used diaries. Seriously, if ever I was famous and I croaked... someone could make millions. And, everyone would hunt down Matt for being such an idiot. He'd be burned at the stake for sure!!! Bec

At 6/28/2005 12:15 PM, Anonymous hot rod mama wrote:

I'm doing this sort of backwards, as my first post was a few days after you posted this about the diary.
I vaguely remember the lock and key diary but not that I bought it for you.
I always wondered how we would ever teach you the value of money as you never asked for anything - never, no never and you never spent or asked to spend or wanted to spend your allowance.
I actually had a diary as a child that was filled with the exact same daily comment: Forgot to write today. Mine had a lock and key by necessity. I had a sister and even worse, a big brother.


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