The only time I kept a diary with any notable consistency – aside from this blog – was when I was about 11 or 12 and my sister was about 14 or 15. From the moment I was born until I was 13, my sister and I shared a room. It is not easy being the younger sister when the older one is much smarter, much prettier and much older. [I realize a bit less than 3.5 years isn’t much of a gap when you’re in your 20s and beyond, but until you hit about 20 or so, it’s a large difference.]
As a rule of thumb, we did not get along. While there were moments of joined camaraderie against the common foes of our parents or our three brothers, those moments were rare. We had nothing in common, and any attempts by my parents to make me do something she did – softball and theatre, come to mind – just irked me to no end. Interestingly, I became quite a good ball player and essentially ran the theatre my junior and senior years of high school.
But back to the diary. We were still sharing a room. I was in 7th grade and my sister Ginny was a junior in high school. I wrote secretively in the diary. I never had it out when she was around. I hid it so it would never be found. I wrote what I was feeling, including, at times, how mean she was to me and how much I hated her. I thought it was safe from her prying eyes.
One night, I happened into the room and she was feverishly writing in something. She made no attempt to hide it from me. It was a diary. She had started one of her own. “Who cares?” I thought. “I don’t care what she writes about.”
My thoughts, of course, were lies. I desperately wanted to know what she was writing. I couldn’t wait to pry into her stuff once she’d gone away somewhere and I could be assured I wouldn’t be caught.
The opportunity came up the next day. As I said, she’d made no attempt to hide it. I took the bait. And it was bait, certainly.
In her diary, she confessed to reading my diary. She confessed to being so upset and hurt that I could hate her. She wrote how she’d cried. She wrote how she wished we were closer. On and on and on. One entry.
I was very angry. I was not as smart as her, certainly, but I was bright enough to realize it was a load of crap. I never indicated that I had read her diary. We continued along in the roles we’d always assumed. I continued to hate her while secretly admiring her and being jealous of everything she had that I felt I didn’t.
I never wrote in my diary again.
[Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for allowing me to yet against transport back in time with their prompt. Find out what others are scribbling here.]