Great and powerful Listener, I have been inspired by the wonderful Tess at If Destroyed Still True, who does the unthinkable and publishes her teenage diaries online for the world to snigger at. She has inspired me to delve into the first diary I ever kept, at the tender age of 13, back in 1998.
Listener, it is a hotbed of invaluable life lessons and insights.
Come, if you will, and allow me to share them with you.
The sky’s the limit
Monday 19th January 1998
I’m 13. Wow. What a thought! I’ve decided I want to be a detective or a police woman if I don’t get to be an actress. Or I’d like to do stuff with the Titanic, like be a ‘Explorer of the Titanic’ because I find that ever so interesting.
Friday 23rd January 1998
Watched Parkinson. It had Dawn French, Carol Vorderman and Geri Halliwell on it. I’m going to be famous and get asked to do something like that. I know I’ll be REALLY famous when I get asked to be on Parkinson.
Computer games are extremely important
Thursday 15th January 1998
I still can’t get off level 4 of Theme Hospital, and really don’t know what I’m doing wrong. No matter how neatly I make the rooms or clean up the sick or stop the rats from spreading I just can’t get to level 5. Oh well. Keep trying.
Wednesday 23rd September 1998
I have found a way of cheating on levels on Theme Hospital!!!!! BEST DAY EVER.
Thursday 24th September 1998
Went to Megan’s to help with her homework. I ended up showing her the Theme Hospital cheat but it doesn’t work on her computer. I’m quite pleased about that actually.
Teenagers occasionally lack empathy
Saturday 7th March 1998
I’m really not enjoying flute lessons. Linda keeps giving me a load of crappy exercises to do which are either really boring or really difficult.
Saturday 25th April 1998
Didn’t have a flute lesson because Linda’s mum died. YES GOT OUT OF A FLUTE LESSON.
The world doesn’t revolve around you
Monday 2nd March 1998
Told Andrea about getting a hamster. She didn’t want to talk about it. She doesn’t like talking about ANYTHING apart from herself.
Boys are an emotional roller coaster
Tuesday 28th July 1998
Went to Tom’s with Kyle and Aaron and we were going to watch a horror film but ended up watching Fawlty Towers, which is so much better. Me and Tom were snogging but then he started eating cheesy Doritos so I pretended I’d had enough of snogging because YUCK.
Saturday 3rd October 1998
I think Tom’s losing interest in me. He hardly ever phones me now. Oh well. That didn’t last very long.
Sunday 14th February 1999
Went to Pizza Hut with Tom. Then we went back to his house and he made me laugh for approximately two and a half hours.
JUST REMEMBERED it was Valentine’s Day today!!! We didn’t even get each other a card!! I wonder if that’s why he wanted to take me to Pizza Hut, as a Valentine’s treat? Bit rude if so, as I paid for half.
Pride comes before a fall
Monday 8th June 1998
I got the highest possible mark in History!!! For my slave diary!! Mrs Waite said it was worthy of publication!!! I AM A GENIUS AT HISTORY.
Tuesday 9th June 1998
I got 28% in Maths. I will never understand Maths.
Witty comebacks are a skill to be acquired
Monday 20th July 1998
We did the fashion parade in Drama (‘Plastic Fantastic’). I wore my plasticky skirt, high shoes and sparkly top. Bit cheaty, I suppose, but I didn’t have time to actually make anything. Well, when I did my little catwalk thing, I got back and there’s Erica and Caitlin. Erica’s going ‘She looks like a prostitute – a right tart!’ Then she goes ‘You’re cheating, it’s not very plastic, is it?’ So I go ‘Well your face is.’ I’m not sure it was a good insult but it’s the best I could do at short notice.
The first proper party is everything
Friday 24th July 1998
There was a party at Julia’s! Mum and dad let me go because I begged. Me and Tom were snogging loads, and we all sang songs in the attic room and mucked around with a Hoover. At 4am it started getting light and I did one of those ghosts boards with Ellie and Candice (can’t remember what they’re called – weejie board??). Anyway I don’t know why we did it or what the point of it was, but we were awake until FIVE THIRTY and then I fell asleep on a windowsill and woke up at nine!!! It was SO COOL!!!!
Fashion is mega important, but occasionally tricky
Sunday 26th April 1998
Went to Kingston with Mum and she bought me some new Nike trainers and some Adidas shorts, and some combat trousers and an army top. They’re all really cool and I look like All Saints in them.
Friday 17th July 1998
Wore my really cool pinstripe trousers and new Reebok jumper to Mufti Day. Really cool. My make-up was a disaster though. I did it from my big new make-up box from Argos, and I did my eyeshadow in orange and with thick eyeliner like all the girls wear, but mine just looked awful.
Teenagers can be harsh
Thursday 17th September 1998
The most terrible thing happened today. Between me and Alyssa. Because I STUPIDLY told Cara and Robyn about the list of the people Alyssa hates. I told them not to tell anyone. I go into the form room at lunch. Alyssa comes in. EVERYONE goes ‘Why do you hate me, Alyssa? Who else is on your list?’ They were all yelling at her and I’m sitting there thinking ‘Oh my God. What have I done??’ I made her cry. I felt SO bad. I have never been so horrible to anyone in my entire life.
Trying to be a grown-up is fraught with difficulties
Saturday 26th September 1998
Went to see ‘Lethal Weapon 4’ at the cinema with Ellie. It was a 15 certificate!! But we didn’t get asked for ID or anything! As we were going up the stairs into the cinema, we heard our names being shouted, and Megan and Alice were in the queue and they yelled up ‘Did you get in??’ IDIOTS. We legged it into the cinema and hid in the seats.
Sometimes, life is unfair
Friday 13th October 1998
I got moved in German because I was chewing on my jumper. Not sure it was fair to move me. It was MY jumper, after all.
It’s the small things
Monday 25th January 1999
Me and Susie had fun with a note under the table in French. Cara flicked a spring at Mr Hickman and I threw a rubber in her mouth. It was so cool.
A social life doesn’t always work out
Friday 16th October 1998
Me and Ellie went to what we THOUGHT was a planned sleepover at Julia’s but when we got there her parents were in and Julia wasn’t there and we ended up watching two episodes of Friends with her parents and then we left and wandered round New Malden and went back to Ellie’s and Dad picked me up.
One is aware of one’s abilities
Thursday 1st October 1998
I hate Art, I hate Maths, I hate French. We had to draw SHAPES in Art today. I AM 13 YEARS OLD. I know how to draw a rectangle for pity’s sake.
Technology had a long way to go
Friday 29th January 1999
Me, Ellie and Ruth tried to do a three-way phonecall. It didn’t work. I thought we’d pressed all the right numbers but I ended up hanging up on them both and when I tried to call them back they were both engaged.
Presents were brilliant
Friday 25th December 1998
Christmas Day. Got some BRILLIANT presents: a manicure kit, a sheep hot water bottle, fibre optic lamp (cool!), Robbie Williams album, Austin Powers video, Body Shop smellies, chocolate, a Delia Smith cookery book about eggs, pink folder, fluffy pencil case, a blow-up picture frame, make up bag, bubble bath, nice earrings x 2 pairs. I think I’ve done rather well.
So what have we learnt from this experience, loyal Listener?
1) Being a teenager was cool.
2) Lethal Weapon 4 is a hugely underrated film.
3) Not everyone wants to talk about hamsters.
4) Inevitably, you will get old and ask for a slow cooker for Christmas.