The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, February 12, 2007

When Like Sandra Dee Was The Way To Be

by Tricia Dower

March 10, 1960

Dear Diary,

The class trip was a blast! Kenny is so hysterical! I’ve always sort of liked him, but I never thought we’d ever get together. It was fate, I guess. I had quite a bit of manoeuvring to do when we got back to school, though: after sitting on the bus with Ken all the way to Toronto, who is waiting for me but Will? It’s funny, but I had almost forgotten about him when we were away. Anyway, there he was standing there, and all I could say was, “Oh hi! Uh...where’s my father? Uh...wait here just a minute ‘til I get my suitcase.” Then I ran over to Kenny, who was holding my suitcase, kissed him good-bye, grabbed Will by the arm and ran before either of them could see the other. Whew, was that close!

March 18

I was supposed to go to the dance tonight with Will, but I didn’t wait for him to pick me up. I’ve been avoiding him for days, not even waiting for him after history, hoping he’d take the hint. Anyway, he came to the dance by himself and just stood at the door staring at me. It was awful because Kenny was with me, and I didn’t know what to do. Finally I told Kenny that I had to go talk to Will, I really owed it to him. And I did (talk to him, I mean), and we ended the whole thing — thank goodness! It’s really better for both of us, anyway, since he’s a year behind me. There’s just no future for us.

March 28

I had a fabulous — the most wonderful — time I’ve ever had in my life this weekend with Kenny. He’s so great, there are no words to describe him. He came running into the house Saturday night and said, “C’mon, c’mon, let’s get going,” and didn’t say hello to anybody. He hopped in the car without opening the door for me, so I had to stand there yelling, “Kenny!” He said, “But I had to get the car started, Doll. I don’t have much gas.” He was only kidding. He does things like that all the time. What a nut! Daddy was hysterical with laughing. He said, “Well, that boy certainly has life!”

April 1

Tonight was the modern dance show. Kenny told me I looked real cute on the stage — he’s so wonderful. My father says that every woman should marry a man who thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’m sure Kenny feels that way about me, even though I’m not (the most beautiful woman in the world, I mean). He drove me home and we had the greatest talk about religion. He’s Catholic, but he said he wouldn’t mind marrying somebody who isn’t. He’s going to take me to church with him soon, and I just love Catholic masses, so it’ll be nice to go.

April 25

Mom nagged me tonight about my going to church with Kenny, but I told her that since he’s an altar boy (the world's oldest, maybe), I thought I should show an interest. I didn’t tell her about the fight we had over last week’s sermon. I think maybe it’s better if Kenny and I don’t talk about religion anymore. We should just stick to what church we’ll send our children to.

April 30

Kenny and I spent all day in the park today. The ice is melting on the river, the ground is soggy, and I feel wonderful. I just love the spring because you feel like loving everybody and everybody seems to like you. It’s sort of like putting away all your old sad ideas and starting over with happy ones. We sat on one of those green benches and talked for absolutely hours! He told me he loved me today (I told him a long time ago), but he still hasn’t given me his class ring, so I don’t know whether or not to believe him. We did talk about what we’re going to name our kids, though, and he said he wants them to go to Catholic school. Can you imagine! It was such a nice day I figured it would be better not to argue right then, so I changed the subject and just asked him a couple of questions about Mass and stuff.

May 6

Kenny and I broke up tonight. I’m so confused and upset. My heart feels so heavy, I can’t even do my Spanish, so I guess I’ll go cry myself to sleep. I’ll never ever fall in love with anyone again. It’s just not worth it. I’ve had my share of life’s joys and I’ll have to live with this heartbreak as best I can.

May 17

Guess what! Dennis Michael Patrick Slattery is the most wonderful boy in the world. He sends me the cutest notes in fifth period study hall, and a lot of them are in Spanish, ‘cause he’s mucho smart, too. It’s funny, but I never noticed him in study hall before. It’s really something that we suddenly got together. I guess it was meant to be.


Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

It was like that, wasn't it? Lovely post, Tricia. A walk down memory lane.

Mon Feb 12, 08:45:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tricia, I cracked up when I read,

"and we ended the whole thing — thank goodness! It’s really better for both of us, anyway, since he’s a year behind me."


Diane, The Maple Room

Mon Feb 12, 10:11:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

You 'lived with the heartbreak' as best you could- for 11 whole days!
Ah, young love! Thanks for the memories. 'fess up though- is this an actual genuine diary excerpt?

Mon Feb 12, 10:52:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Tony: yes, it was. Such simple days in retrospect.

Thanks, Diane. Glad I could give you a laugh.

Andrew: I'll never tell.

Mon Feb 12, 11:32:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger tamara said...

Dear Tricia, You crack me up. I feel like I could be reading my sister's diary :) Don't tell mom.

Tue Feb 13, 10:51:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

What a great post. You've encapsulated adolescent love perfectly.

Tue Feb 13, 01:54:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There must be a seed of eternal youth in you, so you can express that butterfly love so well. Lovely reading.

Tue Feb 13, 02:25:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks Tamara. Mum's the word to Mom.

Thanks, Steve. Yes, how shallow it was, but painful all the same.

Anonymous: you're right. I've never grown up.

Tue Feb 13, 02:43:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

The teen voice is perfect! In retrospect, things were really simple, weren't they?

Tue Feb 13, 05:25:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

I love this Tricia, sooo wonderful, I like Andrew, am curious about the athenticity of the it real??? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.xoxo

Fri Feb 16, 01:30:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Larry said...


There's a book in here, girlfriend ... at least a short story.
Wonderful, wry and heart breaking - it's everyone's youth wonderfully distilled.


Wed Feb 28, 10:01:00 am GMT-5  

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