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1980-10-27 jrh 002-1.crop-date.xpar.png

Jenny Note #2


Oct 27, 1980

#2 (If you’re keeping tabs)

Dear Sir, (M.P.W.W.S.T.O.B.P.O.P.A.P.T.I.P.L.) or alter ego #1

Weekends were made for Michelob as the saying goes.

But as for lemon (or Lienon) pie, I had nothing to do with it (through it, in it [but (sed) you wouldn’t get that not being a Christian. See what you’re missing?!])

Afterwards of course it flew away (Such is the merciless fight/struggle for power)

Please turn the page upside-down.

[written upside down:]

I merely wished to show that I am in control. Please continue.

[canonical orientation resumes:]

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Goats and monkeys. I will try and get aforesaid monkeys off your back. I try.

Not being experienced at writing such letters, I now leave you.



[written on the back:]

"It was a dirty little hole-in-the-wall down in the corner. And no one seemed to notice it.”


written September / October, 2017

I’m not sure what inspired her to number this one. I was going to say that she saw me numbering the first one, but… it was the only one at that point, so why would I have numbered it? It would have felt like jinxing the situation to assume there would be more, let alone enough to need numbering.

I always interpreted most of this as being sort of stream-of-consciousness silliness, which was pretty much (to the best of my knowledge) the primary content of my notes up to this point.

"Weekends were made for Michelob" was a much-played advertising jingle at the time.

The bit where she makes you turn the page upside-down is… well, looking back on it, I think it’s kind of adorable. I’m not sure what I thought about it in the moment; I probably had some kind of insecurity reaction that kept me from relaxing into the joke. That happened a lot.

[10/25 addendum] Thinking about this a little further, I feel pretty certain that the subconscious narrative in my head went something like this: "OMG she's so creative and funny. I'll never be able to keep up. I am inferior and unworthy." And then possibly I had to come up with something even sillier and cleverer in order to show that I could match her wit, so that she would like me and see me as a worthy verbal-sparring-partner, or something. This has a lot to do with how attraction works for me, and I'm still figuring it out. [/addendum]

I never could figure out what the parenthetical "Leinon" referred to; it might have been a misspelling of "Lennon", referring to John Lennon who had recently had his 40th birthday, released an album for the first time in 5 years, and not yet been killed, but I don’t actually know.

J, with goats and monkeys who are clearly being completely unruly and out of control

I’m pretty sure "goats and monkeys" was a reference to C and E, who had not yet accepted me as part of the group and whom I vaguely remember kind of challenging my presence in their space. (I checked with E, but she doesn’t remember either.)

As I understood it, J was basically acknowledging that they were giving me a hard time and that she would try to rein them in. I don’t remember if I had complained about it; I might have asked it as a question — like "why don’t they like me?" — but I don’t have any of my notes to her, so I will probably never know for sure. (Nobody knows what happened to the 100+ notes I wrote J; Sandy agrees with my theory that she most likely burned them.)

I was very sensitive to teasing at that time (what with J being my first real friend since leaving the DA Darwinian Status Mill, where I’d been unofficially given the Kid Who Is Most Clearly Not One of Us award every year since 2nd grade) and largely unable to distinguish fun-teasing from mean-teasing, so I probably brought it on myself to some degree by overreacting.

There’s a lot more to that last subject; I’ll write about it separately.

I have no idea what the "hole-in-the-wall" quote is from; the internet has also failed identify a source.


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Thanks to Erika for the birthday party photo and to C for permission to use her portion of it.