dear abby

When I was 12 I began keeping a diary.

The funny thing about keeping a diary, and I guess any undergrad who took psych 101 can tell you, is you start to thikn about things in a slightly different way. Maybe everything seems more dramatic, maybe it's clarity... truthfully, I don't know what it is, but when I started keeping this journal, which was just a little tiny looseleaf notebook, like 4 x 2 inches, with a blue vinyl cover with pages that were difficult to refill, I started to, uh, you know, get in touch with my feelings about what happened to me when I was little.

It was about the same time that I finally learned what the word 'virgin' meant, and being struck with the realization that I was not one (or was I? I wasn't really clear on that part.) made me feel really pissed off and very very cool. I was certain (and now I'm fairly certain I was mistaken) that I was probably the only girl in PS 41 who wasn't a virgin. I would write it over and over again in the little diary that I stereotypically kept in my underwear drawer, "I'm not a virgin. I'm not a virgin." Was there something I could do with this, though? It's not like it got me bought more toys or records or made me prettier. Maybe if I told my parents I could get some sympathy, but more that likely it'd get me punished for lying. Who'd believe me?

I considered writing to Dear Abby (certainly not Ann Landers. She looked mean) and wrote the letter over and over in my head.

Dear Abby;


Dear Abby;

I never got very far because I could see her objections to my letter already. Why didn't you tell anyone when it happened? Why did you let it go on for so long? Why should I believe you? I was sure she'd mark it up to 'pranksters from Yale,' which is what she called everyone who wrote her a letter she beleived to be too outrageous. I'd heard Yale was a good school and I wondered why these college boys (it was always boys, according to Abby) would waste their time making up such mundane letters?

Like everything I do, I dropped the diary after a couple of months, self-exploration not being as exciting as, say, playing barbie soap opera with the girls next door. How many different ways could I think of for Barbie to kill herself? Perhaps one days I'd see this letter in the paper...

Dear Abby;

My daughter keeps writing suicide notes signed by her Barbie dolls. Last week I found Malibu Barbie hanging by a sock from the shower curtain, and her sister Skipper with her head in the oven. Should I be worried?

signed, Worried in Westerleigh

Dear Worried;

Don't think I didn't see that New Haven postmark on your envelope. Don't you Yale men have anything better to do?