Friday, August 13, 2010

Second Grade Journal #2: My Genderless Best Friend

My second grade self is a mystery. I’ve noticed a strange trend in my journal entries, which I think needs some investigation. It starts here, in the third week of second grade, in this confusing entry.

September 17, 1996
Dear Journal,
Today we had P.E. and played Ninja Turtles. 
Today at recess we played Kick (?) …again, it was fun. 
When I get home my best friend is going to my best friend’s house and 
my best friend’s house is across the street from mine.
Your friend, 

This entry brings up many questions.
  1. How do you play Ninja Turtles in Phy. Ed.?
  2. What the hell is “Kick”?
  3. My drawing skill hasn't changed much in thirteen years. More of a comment than a question, I suppose.
  4. What’s the deal with this “best friend” business? I’ve narrowed it down to three possible meanings:
    1. I am talking about one person. What I’m saying is that my best friend, who lives across the street from me, is going home.
    2. I have two best friends. One of them is going to the other’s house which just so happens to be right across the street from my house. My two best friends hanging out together can only mean great fun for me.
    3. I am simply relaying my two best friends’ after school schedules. I’m not involved.

This could have been a lot clearer if I had used some names. How I discuss this friend becomes more ominous later in the year.

January 9, 1997
Dear Journal,
Tonight I am going to play football with my dad. 
Tomorrow I am going to write a letter to the 49ers. 
Today I am going to play basketball with my friend.
Your friend, Brian.

A few things to note about this one:
  1. It’s entirely about sports. And if you think back to what I wrote on this subject yesterday, you can see how entwined I become by sports’ sticky web. (There’s no future for you in sports, Brian! You can spend your time in more productive ways!)
  2. I’m writing a fan letter to the 49ers. This was obviously to make myself feel better for being forced to write one to the Packers. (Suck on that, Mrs. Johnson!)
  3. I’m going to play basketball with a “friend.” Nameless. This is strange because, mostly, when I wrote about my friends, I named them. Example:
October 10, 1996
Dear Journal,
Today we had Art. We made a landscape. I got to paint most of it. 
At morning recess Andrew, Dustin and I played
 with a hoop thing that looked like this…

Three little boys playing together at recess. Names fully disclosed. But no, when I talk about this other “friend” of mine, I leave no name whatsoever. Who is this secret friend? Perhaps this entry from a few months later explains a little…

April 2, 1997
The last day of our spring vacation, my sister received something in the mail. We got Beanie Babies. My sister got a bunny and I got a lizard. She was called Lizzy and it was a girl, but I changed it to a boy and I changed its name to LIZZER!


I remember now. This friend, my childhood best friend, the only one I lived close enough to play with every day, was a girl named Brooke. We hung out all the time, played all kinds of sports, and because I was apparently such a bigoted chauvinist, I withheld her name from my second grade journal in order to maintain my dignity as a man.

What a pig. 


  1. So, I wonder...what does a second-grader actually do to make a girl lizard into a boy lizard? I'm kind of hoping that you only changed the name. :-)

    Again, I'm glad you wrote a translation. I really tried but I couldn't read your hand-writing.

    Very funny entry. I hope Brooke sees it. Maybe she will be able to break the code and tell us if she just went home that day, or if she had your best friend visit. Maybe she kept a journal too and you can cross-check the dates. :-)

  2. Well, she was in first grade at the time, so...could she write then? Can first graders even eat on their own or walk erect? I don't know.

  3. hahahahahahh, your journals are the best!

    I like how on the first picture you were worried about making the legs so first you made sticks and then drew the pants around them.

    Gosh I can't believe you hated girls so much you were willing to believe "Lizzer" is actually a good name. Depressing. I bet the 49ers wouldn't appreciate it.

  4. Also, Kevin has told me this before:

    PWN is a gaming term used by nerds. It means "own" to the extreme.

    I so PWNED u in dat battle!


    Sorry for not having a Twitter. Maybe someday.

  5. As I told Brooke on facebook, it was her girl-ness that embarrassed me. It was nothing personal. 2nd grade boys live up to standards. I couldn't soil my reputation by explaining to all my friends that I had contracted cooties, could I? I think not.

    And as for your second comment, christie: that's lame. that's really, super really, completely lame. :)