All By Myself
On or around this day from my diaries, happy Friday!
Hi, pals. Fellow Dames Sophie and Margaret are taking the week off for illness and travel preparation reasons, respectively, and so it’s me, hi, etc. etc. etc. I thought I’d go back into my apparently not-so-personal archives and share what happened to me on or around this day in The Past.
I’ve been keeping a diary since the day before my ninth birthday and though I’ve gotten quite sloppy about it as a middle-aged adult, it’s still a key part of my entire deal. I had recurring nightmares about someone reading my diaries throughout my life and then when I was 31, I took matters into my own hands and auditioned for Mortified, which back then was just a little storytelling show in a handful of cities and is now a mighty force with two podcasts, two books, two television shows, and a documentary. It involves adults sharing stuff they wrote as kids on stage and changed my life and made me confident enough to offer up stuff I do for public consumption and here I am today with you all
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I went on to produce the Boston branch of the show for years with my comedy wife Sara Faith Alterman [we guest edited a Dames issue back in 2016!] and I have performed in Portlands Maine and Oregon, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The last time I read was right here in Northampton, Mass. It was one week before everything shut down and that may well have been my last time doing Mortified. I think we’ve gotten all we can out of each other. Around that time, I got very sick of my diaries and constantly mining them and considered getting rid of them to just start a fresh new diary-free life (see below!!!) but who am I kidding? As Prince Harry learned from reading
William Faulkner BrainyQuote.com, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
January 27, 2020 (age: 44)
I thought very seriously about getting rid of my diaries. I suddenly felt very sick of them and weighed down and the idea of getting rid of them appealed to me. Now the idea seems shocking and painful, like a divorce. I wish they were better. I wish there was more substance to them. There was a Twitter joke today that your last text would be your epitaph and mine was “She should be a writer.” I had been texting with Emily about a student of hers that tells lots of obvious wild lies for no good reason. I felt utterly roasted by the universe.
January 27, 2011 (age: 35)
Weird Al night at karaoke!
Walker: “Eat It”
Dave: “I Lost On Jeopardy”
Sean: “Like A Surgeon”
[this is the entire entry]
January 26, 2010 (age: 34)
Check up tomorrow. I am slightly worried that I will have more cancer; I have some spots on my chest that worry me. I guess possibly having more cancer is just something I have to living with now, along with having a failed marriage. Going to New York this weekend. Dave has a show at the Cake Shop (fun!) Staying with Molly, hoping to see Alli.
January 20, 2000 (age: 24)
[My boss] was once again rude, unreasonable, and inaccurate concerning my work. I have a review coming up soon and I don’t know how I’m going to get through another one. The last one was a disaster. I came home from work and immediately commenced the pot smoking, the snacking, the cigarettes, and the self pity. Pilar came over and we watched “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” and played Boggle. It was all really fun and made me forget my troubles but I kind of felt like a grizzled old business man getting cocked on scotch after a hard day at the office. And that is not a happy feeling.
January 20, 1990 (age: 14)
Well, we started bombing Iraq last Wednesday. I can’t believe it. This is so STUPID! I’m really tired and I’m sick if looking at the same old small-minded, tight-assed, snobby faces at school, especially in my homeroom. I’m just doing time at that pitiful school. God, I can’t wait til I can drive. I think I’m going to henna my hair red, but not drastically. My parents might be pissed but I’m sick of being so damn the same.
January 27, 1985 (age: 9)
Today, we went to Grandma Deena’s house in Boston, Mass. We visited Nana at the nursing home too. She is looking great. Tomorrow, Mom owes me $1.50. I love spending money, I really do.
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