Throwback Thursday: Dear God, I met a boy…

Every Thursday, I dig I out an old diary and share an entry sans editing (in hopes we’ll all see my grammar and apostrophe use improve) with a short commentary. If you like laughing with/at Young Ashley, feel free to use the handy search bar to the right and simply type “Throwback Thursday” and you’ll find the whole archive. Thanks for reading!

Sunday August 29, 1999

My mom and I had a looong talk. She said that when God takes us up to heaven, even our thoughts are judged or whatever. Lately I’ve been trying really hard not to think bad thoughts and keeping  myself spiritually clear. I’m going to get involved with the church. Today we went to the church picnic and I had a great time! I’m going to try out for the church orchestra, join youth group, and read my bible every night. I’ll try to each day I write in here to find a good bible verse for that day. End. I have a prayer, Dear Lord, please have my mind be clear of all evil thoughts, please have you be my first true love and not to get caught up with materialistic things of today. Amen. End. (again)

“Because you are specially and deeply loved, you are priceless.” Psalm 139:13-16; John 3:1

August 30,1999

I know I don’t have many pages left and lots of the thoughts that I wrote in here were evil. But I thought I’d put “Dear Jesus” on top of my entries. So that when I’d write it would be like talking to God. I’d tell him all my troubles just weeping because of my sin in his arms. 

Speaking of men/boys Corey made friends with a really HOT boy named Austin. He is thirteen, has dark brown hair, dyed blond on the top sort of, brown eyes, so cute. 

Real love is decorating his name whenever you write it.

Real love is decorating his name whenever you write it.

Sunday September 5, 1999

Dear God, 

I can’t get over Austin! He’s so adorable with his dreamy blue eyes, curly brown hair. He is so cute! And he treats me very, very good. I really think he’s musclur.  He’s so nice. He even likes all the same Christian groups I like. Like DC Talk, Jars of Clay, Newsboys, he is so cool. Most of the other boys I like haven’t even heard of DC Talk, so I think it would be cool to get together with Austin more often. Austin, if you’re reading this, I hope you like me, cause I sure like you! I’m not saying “love” cause I know I’ll (I might) get over him and see someone else I’ll really like so oh well. When I’m around Austin, thoughts spin in my head such as “Is my face oily?” “Is that pimple really read on my nose?” “Is my hair messy?” “Why is he staring at me?” 

I really hope Austin is a little bit interested in me. When we were at the high school hanging out, (It was just me, Dustin, Tiffany, and Corey) I was hoping that Austin would come outside. then all of the sudden, I was talking to Tiffany and I turned around and saw a bow riding a white bike – Austin! I’m like, “Tiff! There’s Austin!” (whispering)

“Omigosh!” she squeals. So then we were hanging out. Tiffany thinks I’m obsessed with him. But I can’t help it! He’s so nice, I could probably spend a whole day with him. End. 

Since I’m extremely tired and I think I’m starting to get a cold, I’ll keep my commentary pretty short today.

  1. My daily bible verse lasted precisely one day. Way to go, Ashley. 
  2. About 70% of my thoughts are probably evil by Young Ashley’s standards. It’s a good thing I’m neither catholic nor jewish. That guilt would be unbearable.
  3. I’m sure gushing about my crush isn’t exactly “evil”, but I don’t think calling a guy HOT with radiating steam rays is praiseworthy or godly.
  4. It’s probably okay though, because he liked DC Talk. We cool, God? We cool.
  5. This is the beginning of my religious period. I ended up playing in the church orchestra and joining a bible study where I met several friends who I was close with until high school came around. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but at some point, the friendships fell apart. I think I held those friends to a higher spiritual level, so I was disappointed to see they could be just as mean and two-faced as the kids I went to school with. Eventually we’ll probably also see my faith retreating.
  6. All crushes prior to Austin meant nothing. He had everything I was looking for: HOTNESS and an “i” in his name that I could dot with a heart.
  7. At eleven, treating me “very, very good” apparently meant letting me stand on the pegs of his Gary Fisher BMX bike while he peddled around the neighborhood. SWOON.
  8. Austin is probably the reason that, to this day, I have a soft spot for guys with dark curly hair. Either him or messy haired Patrick Dempsey. Anybody’s guess, really.
  9. I’ve never been good with eye color. I’ve had two separate relationships that each lasted two years and I can’t recall the color of either man’s eyes. I’ve probably suppressed the memory of one, but there isn’t really an excuse for the other. I think his eyes changed colors depending on the light and what he was wearing. That’s my final answer.
  10. Stay tuned for more on Austin. He’s a recurring character as I grow up.

Alright, I apologize for the brevity, but seriously – Momma needs some soup and quality time with her Kindle.

Throwback Thursday: “I MUST HAVE LOVED YOU BECAUSE I KNOW YOUR SEVENTH GRADE LOCKER NUMBER.”

Every Thursday, I dig out an old diary and share an entry sans editing (in hopes we’ll all see my grammar and apostrophe use improve) with a short commentary. If you like laughing with/at Young Ashley, feel free to use the handy search bar to the right and simply type “Throwback Thursday” and you’ll find the whole archive. Thanks for reading!

Friday December 24, 1999

Dear Genna, 

Been a while, ya think? I’m still Ashley, but now I go to Maplewood. I still like Andy, but I’ve added a crush or two to my list. 

  1. Joey
  2. Andy
  3. Tyler
  4. Sam
  5. Todd

Joey is in seventh grade. Locker number 2632, Bus number 862, Bus route 66. 

<3, Ashley

Saturday December 25, 1999

Dear Diary, 

Sorry, but when I named you “Genna” I was a total freak! So now, you’re just plain ol’ diary, k, k!

For Christmas, (so far.) I got two pairs of Levi flare jeans, a tech vest, two shirts, the 98° Christmas CD, and a camera!

Either more later, or tomorrow, Ashley

Friday January 14, 2000

Dear Diary, 

I just got home from (it’s 11:35pm!) my first boy-girl party. And it was really fun. At first it was really boring because most of the kids were just sitting around. But then when people started leaving, it got better. (Oh yeah, this was my friend Ali’s 13th birthday.) When just me, Ali, Emily, Anna, Isiah, and Corey were left. (Not my older bro. A really cute and quiet kid.) I danced to some really funky, up beat song with Isiah, just a twilling thing, (Mom!) nothing serious. Ok, sorry Mom, but I was trying to get Corey to dance with me but he didn’t Corey said the only way he would dance is if we got his hat off, which he had, pracitcally glued to his head the whole night. I got it off twice! He barely danced! The first time I got his hat, I ran into the Girls bathroom, where I thought I’d be safe. But He ran in way in the back and said, nonchalauntly, “Can I have my hat back?” Emily and I were just shreiking. But I had a great time. I hope I’ll have parties that cool.

Ur’s always, Ashley

Good God. Young Ashley. You’re still a “total freak” even after renaming your Pooh book. I hope all 11-year olds are this psychotic.

I’m starting to hesitate with these posts, you guys. I often joke around that I’m a dork, but I’m offering you prime evidence here. Soon we’re going to be getting into my high school days. That’s going to be mortifying. Then college? Hot damn. You just might see me get truly vulnerable. I’ve been pretty nonchalant (or nonchalaunt, if you’re eleven and into phonetics) about sharing these prior diary entries, because in an abstract sense, I don’t think you should be embarrassed about anything that happens before you’re 18. Everyone was once an awkward kid trying to figure out their place in the world – navigating a new terrain of crushes, interactions with the opposite sex, name brand clothes and the relative popularity status. However, in a more concrete sense, I’m afraid my diaries will illustrate all the ways I haven’t matured.

These days, I don’t tempt boys into dancing by stealing their hats and running into bathrooms while shrieking, but I sometimes still feel that sense of unwarranted embarrassment when talking to a guy I find attractive. I’m picturing the shrieking now. I’m writing this on Wednesday night and in about an hour, I’ll be meeting the academic (yes, from the comedy club) for wine and live jazz. What would that be like? He’d put his arm around me and in two seconds I’d turn bright red, squealing when his fingers brush my shoulder blade. When the bill came I would try to pay my portion with exact change using crumpled bills and 37 pennies, completely unaware of the tipping concept. Thank god we pretend to be normal humans. Restaurants would be the most chaotic places on earth if we all acted like eleven year old kids. 

I’ve found that dating in my twenties is more refined than my obsessive crushes that seemed appropriate as a child. I memorized facts about my crushes the same way I did with celebrities. If it had been possible, I probably would have had posters of not just James Van der Beek and Leonardo Dicaprio, but also Joey, Andy, and Tyler –  obviously not Sam or Todd though. I’m not sure what my goal was by memorizing his locker number and bus route. Maybe I thought my diligence to remember digits pertaining to him would translate to devotion he would find endearing.

Reading this entry took some time. For those interested in the legibility of their writing, I would not recommend metallic Jelly Rolls.

Reading this entry took some time. For those interested in the legibility of their writing, I would not recommend metallic Jelly Rolls.

Clearly, this was when I used metallic gel pens and before I developed a sense of empathy. I don’t think I realized these boys were complete people. They were flat characters – ones easily learned by keeping in mind simple facts. Not that I would have been able to articulate it, but I knew that I was an emotional being, capable of containing contradictions and parts of myself I was unwilling to share or acknowledge. Everyone around me was just another character in my life. I had no desire to truly learn about another person. And anyway, how could I have kept them all straight? I had five crushes at one point – a girl can barely memorize five locker numbers, much less learn about five different boys.

I miss the innocence of the days when 11:35 was extraordinarily late and I was excited by the presence of boys at a party. I didn’t have the capability for discerning between boys I liked and didn’t like – they were all  just boys! Boys I could flirt with! Boys whose very presence gave me butterflies. I think the inability to discern emotions is so characteristic of adolescence. Everything I felt was so strong. Every joke a boy told me made me laugh. Every note passed to me made me feel adored. Every exchanged smile meant the potential for my first kiss.

Because it was all new, everything was a gut feeling until I was able to place them in a hierarchy. Even after I did this, I would ignore the distinctions because a boy was giving me attention. I still squealed (in my head) whenever a guy made the slightest effort to show me he was interested. It wasn’t till about 22 that I realized I didn’t have to spend time with complicated assholes if I didn’t want to.

Ahhh, growing up. You offer such good lessons. For my younger readers – WHY ARE YOU READING THIS, DID YOUR MOM GIVE YOU PERMISSION?! DOES SHE KNOW THAT I OCCASIONALLY SWEAR?! – I’d like to tell you to keep your psychotic behavior to a minimum and keep your standards high. If you’re wondering, yes you are a dork, but so is everyone else, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Also, read good books.