Thursday, December 01, 2011

Secret Spy Diary 1975, part 2

More from my Secret Spy Diary, 1975....

March 5

Roller skating is fun.
Tom called Mummy.

Oooh dear, Tom. Tom, who four years later married my mother and then eleven years later engaged in a scorched-earth divorce battle with said parent. In 1975, Tom and Mum met at a "Parents Without Partners" get-together and dated sporadically. They broke up in 1977, whereupon my mother took up with John the alcoholic salesman, a slick piece of sociopathy 13 years her junior. A romantic engagement followed, but my mother dumped John after he stole (and fraudulently used) her credit card. It also turned out that her lovely antique engagement ring had been stolen from John's mother's safety deposit box... by John! Anyhoo, four minutes after the dust settled from that debacle, my mother went back to Tom, and they got hitched in 1979. 

It all looks so innocent in my spy diary: "Tom called Mummy." Good thing I didn't know the crazy path THAT story was going to take! 

But I digress...

March 6

Chris C. sucks and chews his ruler alot. He also slumps over his chair.

 Ah yes, Chris C! He lived on my street and was one cool dude. He owned an awesome Evel Knievel action figure, complete with  teeny-tiny motorcycle. We kids of the 70s all idolized Evel, holding our collective breath as he performed stunt after death-defying stunt. Chris kind of reminded me of Evel, with his Madonna-esque facial mole and devil-may-care attitude.

Chris C. lived on my street, and I recall one particular warm summer evening spent with him and a pack of other local kids. This was back in the dark ages when children were sent to play outside after supper until the streetlights came on. Home computers and TV remotes were the stuff of Jetsons episodes. Instead of glueing ourselves to TV screens, we hooligans ran screaming around the 'hood, playing hide-and-seek or nicky-nicky-nine-door (try to ring nine doorbells in a row and run away before getting caught.) Good times! ,
We were milling about the middle of the road when Chris sent tiny Evel barrelling down the street. As we watched Evel skitter across the pavement, losing a layer of plastic to road rash, Chris turned to me conspiratorially. Quietly and hopefully he asked:

"Will you DO IT with me?"

Do it? Do IT? DO IT?!  Prim, proper, prudish me? It was only by chance that I even knew what "it" was, thanks to my Mum's recent "birds and bees" lecture, highlighted by a Kotex-produced "You're a Woman Now!" instuctional booklet and diagrams. Horrified that he considered me the sort of 11-year-old that would even consider such a request, I crushed his dreams and stomped home in a huff. From then on, I kept my distance from that ruler-sucking Lothario.

And then there was Brennan...

Brennan looks silly when he is serious. He fools a lot and chews his pencil numerous times during the day. He talks stupidly. He can't pay attention.

Poor Brennan. I remember him being the class clown and picking his nose a lot. Who knows why I assessed him so harshly in my diary!

I wrote about boys a lot. I liked hanging around with them, not so much for romantic reasons but because I was what they used to call a "tomboy." As much as I enjoyed Barbies and dressing up the family dog, I also loved hitting nails with a hammer and playing with Matchbox toys in the dirt.

Dawson goes "OH! OH!" and strains his arm when he puts his hand up. Eren chews her nails. A lot. Dean makes a lot of faces. Mr. Cane is a funny man. He walks funny too. Susan W. tilts her chair an awful lot. Wendy sits in funny positions. Elliott is queer.
Okay, before you jump to any conclusions, I should note that at that stage of my life, in 1975, I didn't know "queer" to mean anything but "strange." So I was not using it as an epithet or commentary on Elliott's sexuality. I just thought he was odd. Not long after, I unfortunately started seeing that word being used as an insult in the playground, and I found suitable synonyms for my writing!

Mr. Cane was one of my teachers. I was besotted with him and regularly baked and brought him lemon meringue pies. I had a major-league crush on Mr. Cane.

Suzanne G has bad breath. I feel sick each time I smell it. The snow is gone. I'm glad!
Well thank GOD I only told my spy diary about poor Suzanne's breath, and not Suzanne herself. I did exercise a modicum of discretion in my career as a judgmental junior spy.

More of this saga to come!

Secret agent at her Dad's bachelor pad


  1. The fun and games my generation would have had playing with the gadgets and gizmos the current crop all sport. I doubt that we would have been frantically texting, emailing and mum's taxi-directing just so that we could look "cool" or for social status - we'd have been playing i-phone spies, online cowboys and injuns and secret email societies.

    Kids seem to have to go straight from "baby" to "adult" these days, even allowing for the warping effects of nostalgia.

    NB - you did look cool though!

    no spying for me!

  3. OMG! I remember that Kotex booklet! I thought it was so stupid! HAHAHA.
    I also couldn't wait to go outside after supper and play until the lights came on. As a matter of fact, it seems we were always outside except to eat!
    I am semding your post to my sister. She will howl!
    Keep 'em coming agent Nathalie!

  4. You looked so sweet; no one could have guessed at your secret life as a spy.

    By the way Natalie do you still work as a secret agent? ...No, I know - you could tell me but then you'd have to kill me. Fair enough!

  5. Love these little anecdotes and that photo of you, a tiny tyrant!

  6. I never kept a diary myself. At the same age it would have been quite dull I think. I was quite a solitary child

  7. This is great! I love how you just go from one subject to another.

  8. Owl Wood, we would have had a blast incorporating all of today's gadgets into our childhood games! I was dying for a set of walkie-talkies as a kid. I finally got some a couple of years ago, so I can "page" my hubby when he's down in the barn or back in the woodlot! KIds do grow up too fast these days and I don't think they have enough time for unstructured play and development of imagination!

  9. John, I had fish too. Still lots of time for spying! :))

    ELisabeth, I remember how I used to feel so disappointed when the streetlights came one and my mother would drag me inside.

    Elaine, I gave up my spy life long ago. Too dangerous a career when I am parent to so many ducks and chickens, dogs and cats! :)

    Fran, I definitely had my moments.

    Jams, I bet you would have used your imagination to come up with something exciting. :)

    LBM, it just kinda flows. ;)

  10. What a great way to remember what the world was like when we were kids. Amazing how things have changed. So glad you kept this secret spy diary (and that you are now sharing with us).

  11. Anonymous7:16 pm

    I just want to give that little girl a hug and tell her what a great life she's going to have. :)

  12. Anonymous6:45 pm

    It's nice to know I wasn't the only harsh and judgmental kid. We knew nothing about being politically correct. Thank god! Such refreshing honesty!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!