The Blinding Light of Priorities. March 22, 2003.

March 22, 2003

Dear Journal,

I am officially going out with Dan M.! So this is my first real boyfriend in what, 2 years? Wow pretty sad, but that’s OK. I just talked to him like 5 minutes ago on the phone. I was a little skeptical at first, because just this weekend he’s gone out or asked out 3 dif girls! SO I told him he kinda seemed like a player, but he laughed and was like no way! HE had a pretty decent explaination, especially about how he def doesn’t like Nina anymore (gave up since it was only a 1-way deal). So I asked if that would be the case if we went out, and he was like believe me, it won’t be a 1-day thing. :) Ya, this is good. I told him I might feel a little weird in math, but he brought up a good point–it really won’t be a lot different. The only thing changing is that it’s official, we’re usually just having fun together. Now we just can go out together and get some action! hehe (but I won’t be easy ;) )


Spoiler alert: this relationship was NOT a 1-day thing–it was a 4-day thing. Oh, Little Allison. How I’ve missed you. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted on APJ, so let’s paint the scene. Little A is slowly but surely growing into Adult Ali, who we all know was only able to adapt her naive nature to this cruel world over the course of many years and heartbreaks. She is nearing the end of 8th grade, has recently been accepted to college preparatory school, and is on the hunt for her first kiss. This milestone was narrowly missed when her mother ripped her away from Soulmate Tom, the mohawk-rocking punk junior in high school she so desperately pined for during a 4-day cruise in February. She’s also got a pallet expander in her mouth, which is slowly but surely pushing apart her top molars and keeping her food-loving self away from the table. It is the first time in Little A’s life that eating is not a go-to comfort activity. This, as you can imagine, has incurred rapid weight loss that is quickly gaining positive attention as she blossoms from a hungry caterpillar into the beautiful butterfly she’s always known she is. All around life is good, and Little Allison is ready to hit the important teenage goal of making out.

Enter Dan M. Let’s talk about Little Allison’s choices here. There’s clearly not a lot of thought besides “I like this guy and I want a boyfriend/my first kiss/’action’” going on inside that obviously not peanut-sized brain of hers. She is not only skeptical of his previous relationship, but also knows she’s the fourth (fourth!!!!) girl he’s asked out in days. This guy is blatantly trolling for ass. But, in a tamer light, this is all Little Allison wants too. Or is it? I certainly don’t believe I, or any girl besides a very few on this planet, ESPECIALLY in high school or middle school, enter relationships for the nookie (please keep in mind any type of “action” in 8th grade Allison’s mind means kissing; thanks to CCD and very forward parental instruction, she does not consider anything below the belt, or under any clothes for that matter, to be acceptable for her 13-year-old self). We’ll go at this as if Little A thinks this could be something good, as she says. Well, I’m not too sure where to go with that. Good luck, dumbass? You’re lucky all he did was rape your mouth with his tongue the next day? Little Allison has set herself up for failure, and, unfortunately, this didn’t provide the lasting moment of clarity I wish it had at the time.

Unfortunately, dudes do not come equipped with lie-detector noses.

Unfortunately, dudes do not come equipped with lie-detector noses.

It should be crystal clear to girls that what a guy tells you means dick unless he shows you those sentiments in action. This young man was all talk. “You seem like kind of a player (giggle giggle).” “Hahaha (slaps knee), no way! (smiles and touches Little Allison’s cheek)” “Ok, I’ll be your girlfriend.” Game over. There’s a lot more process that needs to go into evaluating dudes for your affections, but this integral part of the plan is crucial. Don’t be that girl who’s won over by talk when reality is laughing in your face. I’ve been that girl, clearly, and I’ve been that girl enough times for me to lose a little respect for myself every time I think about it. Talk is talk. Dreams are dreams. I apologize for the cliche, but it is completely true that we are what we do, not what we think or what we want. Know that this is true of not just ourselves but even more so of other people.

I used to think my problem was that I’m too trustworthy, but I’ve learned that being trustworthy is not a problem when you see others in an honest light. Little Allison demonstrates here how easy–SO easy–it can be to be blinded by desire for someone or something. Oh, I’m the fourth girl you’ve asked out this week? Oh, you’re kind of ditching out on your current girlfriend for no reason who you just asked out yesterday? By the way, what is a 1-way deal in 8th grade terms? Oh, never mind, fuck it, I want that first kiss dammit! Sometimes we’re not even sure what our best interests are, and this is a problem in itself. But other times in life (READ: times when it is actually okay to explore relationships) we do know what our best interests are and choose to engage in relationships, activities, or what have you simply because other desires outweigh the need for what’s really good. I know it’s hard. I know sometimes this is impossible. But being strong for yourself is the most important thing you can ever do in life–you’re all you’ve got in the end! So ladies, and gentlemen, no matter how bad you want your first kisses, make sure your smooching partner is void of clear issues that may affect you–visible herpes included. If you want something so terribly, you are sure to find it with someone who better suits you, or in a place that makes more sense, or at a time that works without neglecting other important parts of life. Of course you can take my advice, or do what I’ve done so frequently in life: jump head first and build your unlimited wealth of material. Both routes certainly have their perks.


Don’t Fu– I mean, Flirt, with Me. March 9, 2003.

1:14 AM

March 9, 2003

Dear Journal,

I got into Thayer!!! I am so excited OMG I’m so happy. Well ya so besides all that guess what horrible (+ awesome all @ once) news I got yesterday. Steve C. told me online that Craig was going to ask me to the semi, but since he’s going out with Abbi now he’s going w/ her. Aaahhh! And Steve (who set them up) likes her sooo much.

I went extreme skating w/ Abbi, Eve, Jess, Jon, Steve ~ it was pretty fun. Jon is the biggest flirt and he just sucks me right in when I’m around him. I feel so special when he’s all flirty w/ me and I shouldn’t because he does the same thing to everyone. He was like pushing me around the rink for a min and it was so fun! lol I really have to get over him. Plus he has a girlfriend…


It’s turning out that the biggest theme in Little Allison’s life as she finished up 8th grade is how motherfucking distracting relationship/love life drama can be. Especially in the past year, I have thought endlessly about the benefits of accepting the love of another vs. focusing solely on the love of self. This was clearly a non-issue for me at 14–it simply was not a problem. I was reaching my goals in academics; there wasn’t much else to do besides indulge myself with social titterings, play Spyro and DDR, and write in my journal. At 24, I have had to reshape my life just to give myself the time to write every day. I’ve had to make choices that go against the grain of what the average person my age is doing. Where getting into prep school was a clear, major positive step in life ten years ago, deciding independently to work as a waitress and write for free as much as possible has been, well, not so much.

As I grow older, it seems the higher the stakes in ones personal life, the less bullshit you can deal with in your spare time. I have gotten less shit from my friends and family about my current relationship as time has passed, but when Matt and I jumped right into full-blown commitment mode a little over a year ago the disappointment in the air was tangible. “You shouldn’t tie yourself down to one guy” was by far the most popular piece of advice given by friends and family of all ages, besides, of course, my grandmother, who has always been supportive of and delighted by my monogamous trysts. I’m still not sure whether the popularity of such advice was based on my history of burns after one-dude-at-a-time dating episodes or if people really think, in general, it is best to try as many flavors at once as possible. I can say proudly that I have never dated (i.e. explored serious romantical inclinations with via dinners, play dates, and periods of physical affection) two or more dudes at once, and not one bone in my body holds hints of regret for that. So, back to the bulk of this story, I would like to attribute this mindset to the fact that I simply, for many years, have not had the time, energy or patience for the bullshit of playing the field.

A recipe for pain and self-loathing.

A recipe for pain and self-loathing.

I often use this blog to bitch about how my younger self was a naive and delusional girl, but this entry shows the true beginnings of being fed up with the dating game–and I hadn’t even actually dated yet! I am foundationally not fit to cope with flirting, cheating and mindfucking on any level. Hence, why I was ecstatic (though hesitant by experience) to meet a man I loved immediately who wanted nothing more than to love me too. Not to say I wasn’t resistant: after I met Matt in September of last year, I spent months crying over how just before we met I had finally been 100% ready to “do me” and be single for a while. Well, guess what. After shedding the opinions of a thousand others, it boiled down to the reality that a large part of “doing me” was simply being with someone I shared a deep, mutual, trusting relationship with, despite the fear of failure without perfection everyone else seems to be riding on. I had to get over the thought that in life it is best to deny your passion for another and beat yourself into freedom from monogamous affection in order to succeed. That may work for others, but for me, success lies in love.

So hey, like so many other posts, this one has gone off the deep end of tangentery, but you know what? I’m really okay with it. The moral of the story is that you alone know what works for you. The balance between work and life is living in a way that best sets you free–the easier you soar, the more productive you will be, and before you know it you’ll be busting out the start of your life’s work. Just do you, the way only you know how.

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You’ve Got that Soulmate Feeling – February 26, 2003

6:03 PM

February 26, 2003

Dear Journal,

Just was sitting here on my unmade bed, listening to my dashboard confessional CD and pretending to do some homework when I thought I should write. Mr. Maynard is going to coach the softball team this year! I went up to his room w/ Mike this morning (an invite from Mike, nice little surprise). K, well I’ll b back to write more in like 45… Oh yeah, I still love Tom   lol

6:56 PM

k dinner is over and I’m back to listening to dashboard confessional. wow I’m a little sad but I’m really becoming obsessed with this CD! I think I’m slowly getting over my whole Tom thing. I don’t ever want to forget him or the Amazing connection that we had, but I know that I just have to live my life. My heart still aches some when I think about the whole situation too intensely. I know now not just what it feels like to have a broken heart, but also what it’s like to fall in love. And it all happened so fast.

This might sound really corny and I know it will in 10 years or so, but I’m pretty sure that on that cruise I found my soulmate. An article I read once said that your soulmate will change your life. I believe it also said that you’d have a sort of deja vu when you meet them, and that you may only be with them for a short amount of time. You won’t necessarily marry them, and I think it even said you’ll meet them by chance.

Ever since I met Tom, I haven’t really cared what other people think too much. I also look at people who aren’t my so-called “social status” alot differently and open-mindedly. Everything else pretty much fits the bill. I just wish so badly that I could see him one last time.


Before even reviewing this journal entry and the few others that came immediately after meeting soulmate Tom, I had an unbearable urge to queue up some good old Dashboard Confessional–and I did. This act’s first two albums, and especially his breakout The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, have a home in my heart that truly cannot be touched. I remember every word to every song after going years without listening . It just became a part of my soul at this point in my life.

So Little Allison was a little extreme in her reaction to this short affair with soulmate Tom, but let’s give her as break; she was a hopeless romantic who hadn’t felt feelings thrown her way in years, if ever, and here was this relatively mature guy who openly expressed (out of relative maturity and age-appropriate hormones) that he liked her. As you’ll see over the next few posts, my male peers at that time were just beginning to test the waters of love and sex, and so naive little me was about to get a strong taste of reality in the oncoming weeks.

Even as an adult, I have looked at this event as a major positive influence on the rest of my life, particularly in the case of relationships I have taken on, fought for and simply had the otherwise impracticality to pursue from the start. Losing someone I felt so instantly connected to laid the foundation for snagging the digits of my high school sweetheart, who lived an hour away from me at best (not to mention we could not even drive at the time), who then set the highest standard for love and respect I could ask for in a partner. This episode certainly brought about some hardships–the unresolved ending to our friendship allowed my 14-year-old self to carve out some serious illusions of what would have been had we simply been able to stay in touch. But, as an eternal optimist, I prefer to look at the good losing Tom encouraged me to do, despite the likely reality that he never thought much of me after we parted ways.

Disclaimer: pod life can get cramped.

Disclaimer: pod life can get cramped.

So let’s talk about soulmates. It’s pretty clear that Tom was not one of those but rather a major catalyst to setting free my animal need for romantic partnership. Little Allison was a ham for many years, on all physical and personality-based levels, but she did grow into a womanly figure right around this time (thanks much to the assistance of a wonderful weight-loss tool known as a “pallet expander,” a device meant to further separate back teeth which also prevents 65% of food in the mouth to be swallowed).  This descent into a healthy weight range along with the quickly approaching 8th grade semi-formal, and no doubt Little A’s sudden Don’t Give a Fuck attitude, combined with the energy of a thousand raging mid-pubescent male hormones to make it suddenly seem I was the center of attention. I would quickly learn that not all boys, especially those about to finish their last year of middle school, were to be trusted with my slightest feelings in the way that wonderful, respectful and friendly Tom had been.

At 23, now immersed in a relationship that is mutually held to the highest standards of love and respect, I can recall two times between then and now that I have called someone my soulmate. One of these was constructed of an extreme, lifelong delusion in the form of a family friend I have no romantic experiences with to base such a claim on. The other, my wonderful high school boyfriend, did not turn out to be that One, although if I had made different choices several years ago he certainly could have been. This is where soulmates are distinguished: they are made out of choice, by both parties, and over long periods of time. I believe what I read ten years ago is an incomplete thought, rather we can have many experiences that connect us on the deepest level of the soul, and your soul-mate is the one you choose, who chooses you, to partner up for the long haul. As someone who has opened herself to others to a fault, I know that while many are willing to know the soul, there are very few–perhaps only one–who will hold it and love it as a part of their own being while you do the same.

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The Story of Tom – February 22, 2003

1:18 AM

Dear Journal,

OMG I met a guy on the cruise!!! Well, it was fun while it lasted, but unfortunately I didn’t get a s/n, phone #, nothing, which means that I’ll most likely never see him again. And guess why I didn’t get any of these… yup that’s right. Mom. I’ll explain that part later. I seriously think he’s my soulmate, it’s so awesome whenever I’m w/ him. Oh yeah, his name is Tom and he’s from Staten Island, NY.
So here’s some info: He is 16, a junior in highschool (3 years older than me ;) ), he’s only 5’3″, he has a mowhawk (not as bad as it sounds, it looks pretty hot when he lets it down a little), plays hockey, is pretty much punk but is the nicest guy I’ve ever met (so incredibly proper, like the biggest gentleman; like he always opens doors for you and is just so great), and is probably also the easiest guy to talk to that I’ve ever met. So why does he like me instead of Becca, Kerri, or Nikki? no clue, but I loved it.

So I guess I should give the lowdown on how we met. Well, it was at the little outdoor rec. area where the pingpong tables and shuffleboard are. Us 3 girls (no Nikki) were just standing there talking when I saw him playing mini golf. The ball rolled over to me like twice so I picked it up and gave it to him. (Forgot something: Becca told me she thought he had a mowhawk (had a hat on) so I asked him and he told me yeah.) He seemed really nice right there so I told Becca and Kerri a few min. later that we should talk to him. Nikki came over then and said she’d go, so we waited while she introduced herself and told him we wanted to meet him. So they came over and Nikki introduced all of us to our new buddy Tom. He seemed very friendly and kept up a really good conversation. I was sitting next to him on the lifejacket container thingy, kind of just asking him questions about himself (ex/ me: you’re not goth right? Tom (+ laughs from girls): (laughs) no, definitely not goth. ~ goes on to explain how goth + punk are so different. another funny question about if he’s ever worn black nailpolish (answer: oh no) yada yada yada. So, after that we all hung out together and had lots of fun, you know just doing w/e.

So next day, Weds., is Coco Cay day. We see him at the beach and just say a quick hi. Later that night, after supper, we meet up and confirm we’re all going to the movies. So we walk around and hang out at the Viking Lounge (me, Tom and Becca) for a little while. By now I’m really getting to like him and everyone we’re w/ is talking about this guy (aka Tom) whose all sweet on me. So @ the movies I sat next to him and we just had a lot of fun like making fun of the movie + talking (it was The Tuxedo). We went straight to bed after.

So then comes Thursday, last day of our cruise. I can’t wait to take pictures with everyone (especially Tom) and exchange s/n’s, maybe even phone #’s w/ my New York love interest. lol. So after shopping at Key West, we hooked up w/ Tom and just hung out. Oh jeez, rewind. On Weds., I ended up having some alone time w/ him while we played pingpong for about an hour. He asked about Massachusetts, what its like, and I couldn’t really say to much (not very quick) so I asked about New York. He told me that he goes into the city on weekends, like him + his friends will go into chinatown or little Italy. He told me about their malls (best in the world he says) and the underground subway. We talked about so much, like how he plays hockey and wants to go to college in Massachusetts so he can play there. I guess he’s been getting letters from Tulsa asking him to go there, but he’s not sure about it. The whole convo just opened up tons of new doors.

K, back to Thursday. Then we all split up because me + Becca had to go to dinner soon. We figured out later that he and Phil, Becca’s little crush hehe, had second seating for dinner. We found him walking up on the deck around 10, hung out for an hour and took poleroids with the teen center’s camera (one of which will most likely be in this journal when it comes off my mirror). So we go to the movie and Becca only goes in 2 seats meaning that I’m gonna be split up from Tom unless I like ask her to switch. So we’re watching Signs and Tom is a lot more quiet than the day before. So, about 20 minutes to the end, Mrs. M. comes in and tells Becca that she should come do some kareoke. She says she’ll be 5 min. so I just stay in my regular seat. 10 min later she’s still not their, but instead of just scooching over I just lean over the seat to talk to Tom. She misses the whole ending, so I’m thinking that we’ll go up to the bar get one last drink and chill (maybe kiss too lol).

So we walk out together and guess who’s there–Mom. She’d seen Becca and thought she’d left so we could be alone! I was so embarrassed. Becca was like, “It wasn’t her fault,” just sticking up for me, and I felt like such an idiot. We just said goodnight really quick at my floor because Mom was like ya it’s time for bed. I didn’t even get his s/n, not 1 picture. I thought I’d most likely see him in the morning so I figured it would be OK. It wasn’t. I didn’t see him once, and even though Nikki did, she didn’t get any info for me. I thought I was going to cry all morning.

It’s so weird because I’ve never felt this way about any boyfriend, let alone someone I knew for 4 days (actually I only knew Tom for about 3 days). I’m just so mad that I didn’t get anything. Now my chances of talking to him again are practically gone, and when am I going to visit NYC? the whole thing is so depressing, it makes me hurt all over. Oh yeah, I just found out today that he told Nikki + Kerri that he likes me last night before we went to the movies. aaaahhhh!!! good news, but shoulda known that earlier! I’m so depressed today, really, and it sounds totally stupid because I’d only known him for less than a week, but I really think I was (and maybe still am) in love.

Guess I finally know what it’s like to have a broken heart.



When I first ran through this entry today, I laughed at my former self for being naive enough to call a 3-day, non-physical teenage fling something as strong as love, but let us pay mind to the detail that not-so-little-anymore Allison maintained this relationship without the use of virtual communication for three fucking days on a cruise vacation. THREE DAYS. I live with my boyfriend now, who I am deeply in love with, and I am not sure our relationship would survive three days without texts, calls, and those adorable Facebook messenger kitty stickers. Based on this fact alone, I must declare that my nearly fourteen year old self, although a bit extreme in calling this love, was right to put this time with Tom on the pedestal she did.

The story of Tom marks the most crucial turning point in my adolescence–the inciting incident of my love life, if you will. For that, I will leave you with minimal commentary, as this story permeates every following entry on relationships, my pre-Matt mindset towards dating and meeting new people, and my time-tested, ethereal connection with Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional. I hope it has been worth the wait.

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