Part Eight: I’m a Grown-Ass Woman


(Warning: This post contains semi-explicit language, and one horribly awkward sentence that would be graphic if it were anatomically correct. Read at your own risk. Seriously. You’ve been warned. That means you, male family members.)

Over the timeline of my journals I hit all the horrific milestones of “the most wonderful time of my life,” as I called it with a groan and a sneer.

Of course…some milestones involved shopping.

September 22, 1993- I GOT A BRA! I can’t believe it me! Bekah Annell Stolhandske have an honest to goodness BRA! I’m overwhelmed.

Not as overwhelmed as you will be, kiddo. That body of yours is just gettin’ warmed up. And don’t you just love my haphazard use of exclamation marks?

Other milestones were not met with such grammatical exuberance. Or anatomical accuracy.

Aug 17, 1994 – Guess what. I got my first vaginal hair. I’ve been dreading it for some time now.

I’m sorry if that one is awkward. I almost cut it…but it’s just SO FUNNY to me. Pretend you don’t know me, and laugh freely at the horror of what a vaginal hair would be, if such a thing existed.

This is a page from my scrapbook, which I suppose I thought would be the terminus of my maturity.

I don’t go into much more detail on the changes in my physical body, however, I do chronicle the maturing of my cultural taste and general wisdom.

January 24, 1994 – You know my favorite song used to be “A Whole New World” now it is “I will Always Love you.” One year really matures a person.

Jan 9, 1995 – Today is my parents’ anniversary. They’ve been married 13 whole years. Marriage is a strange amazing thing if you really think about it. Of course no one really does.

No one but you, 11-year-old Bekah. No one but you.

People should think about marriage. Maybe write books or pay thousands of dollars in counseling bills. Perhaps a retreat?

One of the aches and pains of growing up is the onset of grown-up concerns. Some time in 1994 I was put on my first diet. I consider this to be the moment I became a woman.

At the risk of being too earnest for this blog post: A diet at age 10 incited an internal war that is still raging in my head. On the one hand, my particular fantasies required a beautiful protagonist, and I was inclined to cast myself. On the other hand…

June 30, 1994 – I am 20 lbs overweight. But this is the LAST day I will weigh that much, I SOLEMNLY VOW and with God as my witness, so help me Lord.

I don’t know how much I weighed, or how I stumbled upon an ideal weight at age ten. But I did. And I can safely say that I weigh more now than I did when I was ten, even if I was 20 pounds overweight. Solemn vow broken. 

My husband has had more than one limb blown off by the landmines left over from the Vietnam conflict that is my body image. Being “unathletic,” bookish, messy…it’s all tied up in there with being chubby. One big clusterfuck. Just like ‘Nam. 

My penchant for hyperbole (which I clearly have not lost) really worked against me during this time.

Sept 5, 1994 – I’m one big mess up. I forget things, I’m unathletic. I mess everything up, I’m ugly, people are always mad at me. I cost too much. I’m just a nobody.

Please try to suppress your urge to comfort me here. Remember this was 22 years ago.  I’m fine now. Just like ‘Nam.

Nov 8, 1994- If there is one trial in my life it’s forgetfulness. I FORGET EVERYTHING.

While it is not the one trial in my life, I do still forget everything, and it does still drive me crazy. In college the AAA locksmith could drive straight to my regular parking spot without directions. I now have a more finely tuned system to keep me from losing all the things and forgetting all the appointments, but if I try to switch purses, the whole thing goes straight to hell. 

Age 13: All grown up and off to see the great big world. Beanie Baby koala in tow.

Another of the great trials of growing up was singing in the children’s choir at church. Around 4th or 5th grade I started hanging out with some older kids at church. They did not have to sing in the choir. I did. It was a mandatory choir. 

I agonized over the mandatory children’s choir. Were it not for a headache on March 12, 1995, you would all get to enjoy one of my great existential rants.

March 12, 1995 -My head is giving me pain. Too much pain to think, therefor too much pain to write. So I’m shortening my original plan for a long diary entry. Enjoy life. Enjoy childhood they all say. Childhood tries my patience. Especially today. We had to sing in front of the church.

And ultimately, once the bras were bought, the the choirs left behind, the Disney musical soundtracks forsaken, and the diets rebooted…I was just like every other 11-year-old, jaded and nostalgic, with my best years behind me.

July 15, 1995 – I haven’t had much of a chance to pour out my heart. Life is zooming by before my eyes and I can’t take time to stop and smell the roses. I hardly have any childhood left. But there is no way to undo my past mistakes and relive my life. I feel like if I enjoy something it falls apart as if on cue.  I stopped really looking forward with all my heart to stuff. If I am negative the results are positive. I don’t know how or why, but God does so I just feel how I feel and God takes care of my burdens. I also think I’m allergic to cheese.