Monday 24 March 2008

unpacking books from boxes...

Whilst sorting through some boxes of my stuff that were turfed out of the roof in my parents' house move, I found a couple of bits of writing from my late-teenage years. They're both about girls, and they're both a little bit embarrassing, but as a historian and as a shameless blogger, I'm going to put them both up here, one today and one tomorrow. Besides, I've had a couple of super-strength homemade mojitos now, so what the hell? Finding this stuff was a bit like opening a window straight back into my past. I certainly remember feeling like this, but I don't remember writing it all down.

Dear oh dear.

Anyway, here we go. Please forgive my teenage self.


Notes on Being Single. 10th October 1993. [which makes me 19 and just starting my second year at University, I think. Bear with me. I was a slow starter.]

Is it just me and Morrissey, or is that when you're single the whole world seems to be a couple who are both laughing at you? It doesn't matter if almost everyone I know is either totally single or in a massively disfunctional relationship, I am still the only really, irreversibly single person that I know. Let me explain. I seem to be incapable of making any kind of sexual manoeuvre aimed at anyone - I deeply believed at school that when the girls arrived in the sixth form and we treated either like crap or like sex-objects or both that it should be different. Call me a fool, but I felt that first what you did was to befriend somebody and then things would lead on from there. The first problem that I encountered was that once a friend, I didn't feel it was worth risking the friendship. It might just be a chronic fear of rejection, but I think I really have something that blocks off such actions. I've even got to the stage where I surprise friends by even passing a compliment about such and such a girl who just walked past - of course I know what is pretty, what is ugly and what is fat etc., but I find it very hard to apply to the vast mass of people who fall into the middle category. I simply become indifferent and non-judgmental (another glitch in an otherwise massively judgmental personality.)

What if someone makes a move on me or if I hear of an interested party? Well, obviously, after the initial flattery I'll become deeply scared and avoid confrontation entirely until that particular feeling has died away. What to do? Even worse, many people say that I'm of serious marriage possibilities. As one friend said, I'll marry the first girl who gives me a blow-job [ha! wrong!] Well thank you, but no. The thought of being perpetually single without a single experience at University is deeply worrying, but so too is the thought of instant puppy-dog devotion and marriage.

Is it this deep contradiction that throws me into depression and bad moods? Certainly at such times, I tend to lash out at people who may most likely be my friends and will feel disgusted when a close friend has pulled / been pulled and feel that the whole thing is temporary and sordid. Even now I'm still a bit revolted by the behaviour of my male friends of 19/20 who are in relationships of more than six months and appear to want them to end for no especially good reason - are they simply bored of the sex and the commitment that surely goes with it? Do they think that they will instantly find someone else who will gratify their urges and want very little in return? What time is right to feel secure? What ask me for advice as (a) I'm on the girl's side and (b) what experience have I got?

At the end of the day am I just wallowing in self-pity? Am I just a sad bastard who should get off my arse and do something about it? Well, easily said, but I'm sure that I'm not asexual and whether I'm a subconscious devotee of celibacy, I can't tell. I've now put down pretty much everything that has been praying on my mind - why can't I communicate normally with most women? Can it be only a result of experience at public school? Surely not. Well, I'm sure I'll be pissed off, rude and grumpy for a few more days at least, so I guess I'll make the most of it before you show me yours and you laugh at mine [oh, God...]! I guess I'd just like to be understood.


So, there you go. Me as a 19 year-old in all of its unedited glory. What a strange, serious boy who has listened to far too much Morrissey and has some very strange ideas about girls and relationships..... so not much has really changed in the last 15 years then.

Dear oh dear. If only I could go back in time and give myself a good slap.

More tomorrow.


  1. I found my teenage/early 20s diaries on top of my wardrobe at my mum's about ten years ago, and they contained similarly angsty prose. Perhaps it was simply excess Morrissey with me too? I remember a period in my late teens when a particularly horrible boyfriend said he thought I was a latent lesbian - because I wouldn't have sex with him - and I spent months agonising about whether or not I fancied women, and if that was what had stopped me taking that step with him. (I didn't/don't, for the record - it was actually the fact that he was a twit which stopped me doing the deed.) The diary entries around that point made me cringe!

    I ceremoniously burned them all, and kind of regret it. Parts of them were proper hysterical, but others were quite sad. If I could go back to my 19-year-old self, I'd certainly tell her to take some different roads.

    I wonder if I'll look back on my blog and say the same, years down the line? (Curiously, I ended each diary entry with a quote from a song - old habits die hard, hey?)

  2. I was going to throw them away too, actually, and certainly thought before putting them up here... but then I thought

    a) well, it's what I was thinking when I was 19


    b) what the hell.

    I never kept a diary, and reading these, perhaps it's just as well.


  3. I'm glad I didn't write anything down when I was 19. I was also a late starter...

    No Morrissey-influence for me though. No, for me, it was entirely Lovecraftian.

  4. Oh god, this brings back memories.

    How many times did I start a piece of writing with a phrase similar to "Is it just me and Morrissey," and consider myself the only one?

    The old bequiffed bastard has a lot to answer for!