[December, 1990] So Unfair!
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 1990
My father is so unfair! It was all planned that I would go to Joyce’s house on Friday and sleep over. I was so excited, when I realized that Friday was half a day and that we would have even more time to spend together. When I told my Dad he told me I couldn’t go because he thinks Joyce will kill me or hurt me because she had a bad early childhood! That is so f%^&ing stupid!! I understand that my Dad cares about and doesn’t want me to get hurt, but this is ridiculous! I can’t believe what kind of bulls#$% this is.
Also, I have to tell Joyce that I can’t go to her house on Friday (tomorrow) because I have to go somewhere on vacation. I am SO furious! I don’t think there’s any hope, but I’ll show my father that he has no right to act so presumptious and unfair to me. It’s not fair!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah, the first bitter taste of adolescent injustice and parental resentment.
I’ll be the first one to retroactively find logic and wisdom in the diary entries lacking self-awareness. But in this case, I think my 13-year-old self had good reason to be furious.
My parents showed what some would consider an unreasonable amount of overprotectiveness. I was not allowed to take the subway to school those first few years at Hunter because Mom and Dad feared for my safety. Instead, they spent a decent chunk of change for me to be picked up and dropped off from school via private school bus. This meant no sleeping in when my schedule had a free first period and no extracurricular activities, since the bus left promptly at the end of the school day. The commute from where we lived in Brooklyn to the Upper East Side would have taken around an hour and fifteen minutes, but because I was one of the first kids to picked up and one of the last to be dropped off, my commute was nearly two hours each way.
I was drifting apart from my elementary school friends and my new friends were scattered throughout the city, so seeing them outside of school proved difficult. Thus the visit to Joyce’s house was a rarity and an enormous letdown when it fell through. And it makes me a little bit angry to remember it. Not just because I was given permission, then had it taken back and had to lie to my friend about why I was cancelling, but because my parents judged my friend so harshly based on the fact that she was adopted.
I did a little research just now and discovered that of the 500 recorded cases of serial killers, 16% of them had been adopted, a striking statistic considering that only 2-3% of the population is represented by adoptees. It’s possible that my parents came across a similar statistic within days of learning of Joyce’s family situation, but I highly doubt that sleeping over her house would have put me in any grave danger.
I’m sure there are kids out there who would do anything to have the parents I had, overprotectiveness and all, but at the time, it was like being put in a cage. Sharing this personal detail of Joyce’s life with my folks cost me, and also taught me that withholding information–and even lying–would sometimes be the only way to get a bit of freedom during my teenage years.