Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear diary

A few days ago I bought a five-year diary -- the old-school kind, in which you actually have to touch pen to paper. The day (November 17, for example) is printed at the top of each page, and the rest of the page is divided up into five six-line sections in which you can note briefly what happened to you on that day in five different years. It's kind of a manual version of a Twitter or Facebook status update, although it seems much more permanent than either of those applications. I love that I can't write very much but that I'm expected to write a tiny bit every day. Six lines seems to be just about the right amount of space for my daily life.

I was given a five-year diary as a gift when I was six or seven. To anyone considering doing a similar thing, I urge you to reconsider: A five-year diary is a terrible gift for a little girl, even if it has a pink cover and a lock with two keys. As a first grader, I had big, uncontrolled printing that couldn't possibly fit onto those narrow lines in that tiny that-year-only box, not to mention a daily life so full of drama and adventure that six lines were not remotely enough to contain all I had to say. No, if you're going to buy a kid a diary, find a blank, lined book with an attractive cover (lock optional) and rest assured that you have made the right choice. For an adult, however, a five-year diary is ideal. I mean, here's what happened to me the other day: "November 15. Saturday. Unusually warm (nearly 90 degrees). Norman's and my 5th anniversary of friendship. Lunch at Old Spaghetti Factory + cupcakes from Violet's. Watched 1408: The Unrated Version with Sean - not so great. Exhausted - in bed by 9:30." My current life is clearly a thrill a minute, and I'm sure that on some days, six lines will be far too many for me to fill.

Anyone else keep an old-fashioned diary, or have blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. eliminated the need (and desire) for such things?

3 comments:

Feral Mom said...

Oh, the pressure of the diary! I still have my 7th grade one somewhere. Fortunately, it only had room for a year's worth of angst about Daryl Hall.

I sort have wished I'd kept even short jottings from certain periods of my life, especially the girls' early years, but let's face it--I'm a terrible diarist.

However, I do love the internet versions and I'm far more faithful there. It's the public pressure to post, I think. Also, my handwriting blows.

~ Lucy said...

I love the idea of a of an brief, grown-up, 5-year diary. Maybe I'll give it a try. Not sure I'm capable but...

As for the little diary we all had as kids I completely agree. My diary would have needed to be three feet tall to accommodate my dreadful scrawl. It was torture!

Mr. L said...

I don't know...the older I get, the less I wish to write about it! Five lines per year, maybe?? :)