April 18, 2006

Nostalgika IX: The All-Important Autograph Book of Friends!

I got an autograph book for my 9th birthday. I only know this because I wrote the date and my actual age inside the cover. "9 aastat vana" is Estonian for "9 years old." This was very important to me! That I was not 8, but n-i-n-e years old.


Right away I started to ask people to sign my autograph book. It was easy when it came to family; of course all of them would sign it. My sisters wrote things like "you are very nice and I like you a lot". Deep stuff like that.

The trouble came about when I took the book to school; I only had a limited number of pages, and I had to select who was autograph-book-worthy, and who was not. This was tough.

Luckily, the book lost its charm around age ten ("10 aastat vana!!!"), and still has empty pages to this day, so I never really had to turn anyone away.


The above entry, I had mixed feelings about. (click to enlarge) On the one hand, how cool is it that Doreen drew Wonder Woman? On the other hand, she tore (!?!) the corner of the page off! She vandalized my book! I can remember being quite upset that she had the cojones to just defile my property in this manner, superheroine headband-drawing or no. I finally forgave her in 1980, in honor of the new decade and Reagan and the Iran hostages and all. And John Lennon.

I also find it quite amusing that I corrected Doreen's punctuation in the word that's. (What follows is a most unappealing confession: Secretly, I always thought Doreen was just a teensy bit dumb for not knowing that punctuation; ergo, I was just a teensy bit superior to her. Of course, I never let on about my superiority, nooo ... I just graced her with my presence and nodded in my benevolence as I allowed her to play with me. This secret inner pleasure of feeling like I have a little bit of power over people who are not as great as I am persists to this day, I am ashamed to admit. I gracefully accept a compliment and then, inwardly, smile at the tiny little egde that I possess. What an asshole I can be, sometimes!)

But aahhhh yes ... the autograph book.

Even though I never filled all the pages, I look at this little book with a mixture of sadness and pride. Here is my long-ago childhood; here is a souvenir of the lost, messy-headed, naked-torsoed wild child that I was. Here, too, is proof that I was loved, not least by my sisters and the rest of my family. Here there is evidence that I had friends, after all. Friends like Doreen, who knew they could cross the boundaries of my comfort zone and I would still like them after bearing a grudge for, oh ... 3 years. I think part of me is still just as needy as I was back then, checking now & again to make sure people do, in fact, like me. Of course, nowadays I just say, fuck 'em if they don't like me. That's a lie though, isn't it? It still hurts just as much.

8 comments:

SignGurl said...

I can't believe you still have yours. I had one very similar with almost the same kind of entries. I was never as successful as you since mine only had a few autographs.

Marilyndrew said...

So cute! In retrospect, isn't it odd which events and people are important to us and can hurt our feelings?

I sometimes find it slightly embaressing and slightly painful to remember some of the times I embaressed myself or was let down by someone.

Logic only goes so far ...

miss kendra said...

i never let anyone sign mine.

what does that say about me?

i love doreen's little poem. i'm sorry she took a bite, but it's quite clever.

Fools Win said...

Superiority!? That is too funny! I believe most people have some of the same little secrets locked away in the back of their mind. You actually verbalize your hidden gems for the rest of us.

Long live Estonia and down with the Soviet machine. um, I'm a bit behind on the freedom thing.

MadMeer said...

"I just graced her with my presence and nodded in my benevolence as I allowed her to play with me."

It is the warped little thoughts that happen in your brain like this one that make me one of your biggest fans.

You're inwardly smiling at your edge right now, aren't you?

Madge said...

SG, you really are the best for secretly being honest. In fact, you might be my secret hero.

jiggs said...

I agree with kendra. the biting of the page and the poem were quite clever in a weird way. doreen seems to possess a bit of secret genius. what does doreen do now?

maisymoo said...

so i'm dying to know what i wrote in that little book of yours...