Home > Teddy Bear Diary > [July, 1992] Can We Tawk?

[July, 1992] Can We Tawk?

Wednesday, July 1, 1992

Dear Journal,

Camp has already begun. It’s pretty cool. The person I hang out with the most is not Didi and her crowd. I visit them once in a while but I don’t always feel comfortable around them. Mostly I stay with this girl named Fran. She is really sweet but she talks soooooooo much. She is so outgoing, she even talks to strangers! Compared to her I am like the shiest person ever. Sometimes she reminds me of my cousin Anna (when she’s a tad bit quieter).

Mona Lisa Vito (played by Marisa Tomei) in My Cousin Vinny

Everybody (almost everybody) seems to speak with a brooklyn accent. Sometimes it can be infectuous and I begin speaking with the same accent.

[Ah, Fran. She of denim overalls, huge curly black hair, and endless amounts of sass. She was the CC Bloom to my Hilary Whitney, brash and unruly where I was hesitant and more subdued. And she talked (tawked) with the type of heavy Brooklyn accent popularized that very same year by Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.

After living in Bensonhurst for the latter part of elementary school, I had one of those accents myself (it went well with the perm and acid washed denim jacket). But two years of school on the Upper East Side, which included a heavy duty speech class* and hearing kids with more generic diction, rid me of that accent.

Little did I know that I’d end up being teased for having proper diction (not hardcore, just to the point of mild annoyance.I said words like “dawn” and “dog” with flat o’s (to rhyme with “tron” and “pog”) whereas the kids I went to camp with pronounced them the way Rosie Perez would in a Spike Lee movie. I tried to put up a good fight, but I was too outnumbered.]

I also sometimes (along with Fran) stay with Jessica, who is very nice, Mindy, who is also pretty nice and Cheryl who Fran and I call Joan Rivers because she is so nosy and is always asking personal questions. I don’t really like her too much.

lies, all lies!

I am on a diet (sort of. I’m watching what I eat) and I am exercising to Jane Fonda’s workout. Hopefully I will come back to school slim. I really want to be thin and I aspire to have the self-confidence as well as willpower to lose the excess weight.

[I was so pissed when I found out Jane Fonda was anorexic/bulimic until she was 36, including the years she did all these workout tapes. It took years before I could watch one of her movies without being filled with bitter rage at the impossible workouts she tried to lead me through via VHS. I know Jane really wanted me to keep up with her, but there were vaguely sinister undercurrents to her tone in these tapes, like what she was really saying was, “If you can’t do every one of these exercises with the grace and ease I’m doing them then you don’t even deserve to be led by me and my skinny minions in leotards and might as well press Eject.”

Or maybe I was just projecting. Maybe I knew deep down that I’d never look like that in a leotard. And no wonder. I ate. And didn’t puke afterwards.]

[paragraphs about what guys at camp I think are cute]

[Trust me, I’m doing you a favor leaving these out.]

To summarize, camp so far is pretty neat and I hope it only gets better from here. Well, I gotta go. See ya!

Every year that I went to Hunter, I had a fantasy that I would lose a bunch of weight over the summer and return to school properly thin and gorgeous. It never happened. And despite every diet that failed (or worked, but only partially and temporarily) I was still optimistic that such a scenario could happen. Especially at the start of the summer and start of a new diet and workout regime. Oh Jane, if I only knew then…


* “Speech class? Whadayoo need speech class for, yoo tawk foine!” – Working Girl
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  1. sarahjane
    July 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    You too? My parents made me go to some creepy guy who made me hold my nose and say apple, for months and months, convinced otherwise I’d never be employable!

    • damiella
      July 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      And yet ladies like Cyndi Lauper and Debi Mazar did just fine without losing their accents.

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