Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Please Tell Me I Didn’t Write That

Friday night found me digging through my old school papers for blogging inspiration, because who wants to read yet another post about work-related stress? Not you! That’s who. Anyway, I ended up laughing hysterically over some of the things I found. First, a note my best friend passed me in eighth grade. Scribbled outside the folded note: “Don’t show anyone!” So let's keep this between me and you, m'kay?

I’m just so sick of life!!!!! I have no idea what I’m going to do for the demonstration. I’m in a really bad mood. My uniform doesn’t fit, and L. keeps starring at me! I refuse to wear that shirt. I’m gonna wear my gym shirt. I don’t give a shit what L. or S. say about it. At least there uniforms fit them. I’m just so PISSED OFF!!!! I hope you do great on the 800. I know you will. WELL GOOD LUCK and come by my locker when the bell rings. Thanks. (Sorry so sloppy)

F/F, C____

PS: I think I’m gonna demonstrate how to make a punch or something like that!

And now let’s fast forward eight years: to a rough draft for a college paper I wrote about A Midsummer Night’s Dream, circa 1995:

Love is one peculiar human emotion that has both intrigued and disgusted us over the years as we try to dissect it.

(Really, Jess? Looks like I was one pen stroke away from comparing love to a segment of lower pig intestine blanched in formaldehyde.)

And love does have edges that can wound one to the bone when it enters the equation unrequited.

(This is probably one of the worst sentences I’ve ever written. Well, that’s what I thought before I read a bit further.)

Just ask Helena. The poor girl has basked in Demetrius’s affection only to have it stolen when his wishy-washy feelings shift without warning when he spots the lovely Hermia. Perhaps the adage “We want most what we can’t have” has some truth to it, since Hermia would never return Demetrius’s attention as she’s hopelessly besotted with Lysander.

(There is only one word that could possibly be associated with this paragraph. And that word is: “Trite.” Wait. No, I think "Revolting" would apply, too.)

Helena’s soliloquy in Act II reminds us again that “love can tr. …..”

(I have no idea what I was actually going to type there, but it was probably another piece of shit cliche.)

In other words, love is more blind than Stevie Wonder in a closet.

(Dear God. Please. PLEASE tell me I didn’t actually write that in my final paper.)

Here is a ‘helpful’ critique I wrote about a fellow student’s short story in a creative writing class I took in 1996:

I couldn’t help but wonder if the priest in your story was actually Jerry Springer. What a bunch of crazies! They made for really interesting reading. You created a very entertaining story, and it flowed quite well. I can tell that you have a very vivid imagination!

My favorite part of this story is not only the concept itself, but the wonderful detail and almost hilarious crimes committed by the priest’s “clients.” I kept turning the page to see the next weird dilemma the poor man would be faced with.

Other than a few grammatical errors, I don’t have too many suggestions for improvement. I’m not too sure about the ending, because I got the impression that the tone of the story was more along the lines of a satire or comedy, and the suicide of the priest sort of disappointed me. But that’s just my opinion. You have a great, entertaining story.

This constructive criticism gives new meaning to the phrase “phoning it in.” Also: “But that’s just my opinion.” Nothing says “Hi, I’m from the Midwest and don’t want to hurt your feelings” AND “I’m a disingenuous boob” quite like, “But that’s just my opinion.” And it's a good thing the unexpected suicide of the priest only "sort of" disappointed me.

And finally, some notes I wrote to myself on a story idea I had over ten years ago. Thankfully, it was never—and will never be—written:

Don’t put too much sex in; be judicial. Think of your readers. Who wants to read all that crap? An inch of leg below a hemline is sexier than buck naked.

Two hard returns and: Do I want to keep Neah as a porno actress?

I'm at The Debs on Friday--swing by and help me kick off the weekend if you're so inclined.


  1. Why yes, you want to keep Neah as a porn actress and buck naked, works for me.

    I guess I'm not judicial in my reading....

  2. Anonymous11:03 PM

    Grrr! I was just thinking of posting some of my old writing to make fun of it. Now I'm going to look like I'm copying, and who wants that, even if it's you I'm copying off of? Anyway, that was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. Lucky for me, I burned all of my old writing. Now I just have my current writing to be embarrassed about.

  4. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Ah, lovely walks down memory lane....

  5. "...more blind than Stevie Wonder in a closet." There are just no words, Jess.

  6. That was priceless. Oh my God, Stevie Wonder in a closet. And remember, be judicious with the sex in your story about the porno actress. Hilarious. I should dig out my high school poetry - NOT!

  7. The last line nearly did me in. And by "did me in" I mean "revealed the fact that I'm not proofreading legal memos in my cube, because has anyone ever laughed out loud over a document entitled Administrative Considerations?" I think the answer to that question is a firm No. But I held the laughter in by choking a bit.

  8. Loved the last line!

    Your visit down memory lane made me shiver with a few of my own old writing memories. Thank God for my fireplace.

  9. I loved this. I have a bunch of my old college papers and I think to myself- they let me graduate?

  10. Stevie Wonder in a closet! Bwahahaha.

  11. "Love does have edges that can wound one to the bone..."

    That's a Hallmark card in the making :)

  12. I recently re-discovered my teenage diaries. They are so unrelentingly dreadful that even having them in the same room makes me glow with shame.

  13. Surcie3:40 PM

    You're brave. I keep my old journals, but I can't bear to actually open them. BTW, that inch-of-leg thing does not apply to George Clooney.

  14. I love it! LOL! Especially what you wrote about love.."disgusted". Hilarious.

  15. You've come a long way in just 10 years!

    But that's just my opinion.