Home > Teddy Bear Diary > [January, 1991] A War Has Begun

[January, 1991] A War Has Begun

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1991

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe this is happening, but a war has begun. The middle east is involved. I am so thankful that I have no relatives or friends fighting in this war. God, I really want peace for our world. I don’t want people to die. I don’t think that problems should be solved with death or violence.

[Trite much? Let’s be honest. I did not follow the Gulf War, and was one of the least political teenagers you could have known in the early 90’s. You want to know what inspired the above paragraph? Hearing George Michael’s “Praying For Time” playing over recorded messages to the troops from their families on the radio. No, really.]

I am such a hypocrite! Here I am saying that problems should not be solved with violence, when I go around hitting people all the time. Sometimes actions speack louder than words. Maybe war is the best thing for us after all. My father said that the only to have peace is to be prepared for war. Maybe he is right. I hope this war is over soon.

[There was a second, much smaller war going on, taking place on a small yellow bus during trips between Brooklyn and Manhattan. To be exact, the private bus my parents made me take because they thought the subway was too dangerous for their 13-year-old daughter (insert eye roll here). There were a handful of boys on the bus who teased me, and the verbal sparring became physical sparring. I’d punch or scratch them, they’d punch me back (never in the face, mostly in the arms). While I was still sharpening my acerbic wit,  I had my trusty nails which were plenty sharp. Since I couldn’t reciprocate the mental anguish back then, I had to work with what I had. Considering all the violence I was wrapped up in at the time, how could I resolve these conflicting feelings about war and its role in society? I really couldn’t, so the safest thing to do is to go back to talking about boys.]

Well things are so-so for me right now. Nothing too bad (excluding the war) or good is happening to me right now. I have no idea who I like. I think that I don’t like Tyler, but I just like to flirt with him, and smack him around a little.

[There, isn’t that much better? And as much as I might sound like a bully, I have to stress that this was all self-defense (against mostly verbal attacks, but still).]

Danny is a different story. I have no idea how I feel about him. I feel very furious with him at times and my heart melts at others. Right now I am SO MAD at him! First of all, I have only begun to realize what a major ego problem this guy has. Not to mention what a wannabe he can be sometimes. I really get annoyed by people who try to act cool. Usually they end up looking and acting like fools. Either you are cool or you are not. There is no in between. Sometimes the way Danny acts ticks me off. He can be such a putz! I guess I don’t like him anymore. Then again, who knows? -Bye-

I think we all know where I stood when it came to acting like a typical teenage boy. The only thing worse is when that typical teenage boy is one you have/had/who-the-hell-knows-anymore a crush on.

Being cool is such a subjective thing. I thought I was so cool in elementary school. I was the first girl in my grade to get a perm, wore edgy outfits like giant button-down shirts as dresses with wide belts (a trend which has since returned, I’ll have you know), and had a collection of big colorful earrings to go with my big colorful personality.  Within the first few months at Hunter, I went from being a big fish in a medium pond to a small fish in a tiny pond… full of piranhas. My big personality diminished by kids who all looked the same, acted the same, and dressed the same (Gap, Banana Republic, etc.) and made it clear that I was different–and not it a good way.

Guys like Danny started out different but tried to assimilate with the “popular” crowd. He was one of those borderline kids who was friendly with some of them, but wasn’t truly one of their own. Seeing his efforts to belong infuriated me. Back then it was the phoniness that ticked me off. Now I can look back and admit that part of it was probably jealousy, too, that he was closer to being popular at Hunter than I ever would be.

My big hair, odd outfits, and Brooklyn sass seemed to have no place in a smartypants school on the Upper East Side, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.

  1. March 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    That’s hilarious because I recently found these two pieces of paper from when I ws in Junior High that had “Peace in the Middle East” written all over it in black marker and pink highlighter! Also there were peace signs and this gem: “Saddam Insaine” hahahaha I don’t know what’s worse, that awful play on words or the fact that I couldn’t even spell it right!!

    And it was the same for me. I was like 12, what the hell did I know about war?!

    • damiella
      March 31, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Saddam Insaine? Hahahaha, sounds like the name of a 90’s rapper. Awesome.

  2. Liz
    April 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

    It’s funny that you mention the Gap and other stores that popular kids shopped in. I had almost no idea what the Gap even was, except that I had seen it referenced in one of the Alice books* that I borrowed from the library…a timeless, comic scene in which Alice’s brother takes her shopping for jeans, and inadvertently puts her in the guys’ changing room. 😉
    I remember feeling simultaneously awed and ignorant while the other girls on the bus would compare to see who was wearing the most articles of Gap clothing…and also being very aware that as the birthday parties and bat mitzvahs started picking up speed, that the only acceptable gifts were from the Gap or Body Shop. In contrast, my mom almost never bought me anything from the Gap, but I remember a rare day that I got several items (wonder if it was through gift certificates from other HCHS kids?), what a thrill. 😉
    Over time, I shifted towards a more nonconformist look, and bought clothes with my own money…I always felt lucky that Salvation Army came into style by the time I had the ability and means to construct my own wardrobe. 😉
    I wore some pretty outrageous things toward the end of high school, and into college…ironically, I feel like most of my clothes now are pretty understated, and I bet my 16-year-old self would roll her eyes and think I was quite boring-looking, if she could see me now!


  1. June 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

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