Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Bad Thoughts of Una LaMarche

I think I mentioned previously that my sister gave me a box of old journals and other potentially embarrassing relics last week. When she handed it over she said, "I've just given you two months of blog fodder." The only problem is that I like to think of myself as quirky and funny nowadays, as opposed to, you know, a shitty poet or a heartsick diarist. Maybe one day I'll start a separate blog with all of the teen angst (including entire pages that consisted simply of lyrics to Liz Phair and Ani DiFranco songs). Luckily there was a bright spot--something appropriate for this curmudgeonly blog--in that box of high school melodrama: a small brown notebook titled, simply, "The Bad Thoughts of Una LaMarche."

Abandon hope (and, apparently, hair), all ye who enter here.

I am pretty sure that this was a school assignment having to do with Holden Caulfield, who was himself a pretty sassy curmudgeon, running around New York dismissing people as "crumby" and "phony." Seeing this adorable little book, I had high hopes for my burgeoning 9th grade misanthropy... but sadly as I read through it I found that I barely cursed at all (although in my defense I think I had to hand this in to my teacher). A lot of things (people's fingernails, shoes, hair, overall appearance) I deemed "nasty," and a few times I just wrote ASSHOLE! underlined a bunch of times, as if channeling Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. There were, however, a few bad thoughts that I wanted to recognize:

2:23 PM (School) Those overalls are not becoming.

I don't even have to see the person I'm talking about here; this is a universal truth. I think Ghandi even said it once, to Mother Teresa. He was all "We must become the change we want to see... by not wearing overalls. What are we, farmers?"

8:28 PM (Home) This show is so stupid. I can't believe I'm watching it.

Hold up, now. This is not the self I know. What could have been stupid enough that I felt guilty for watching it? What was even on back then? Herman's Head? That, admittedly, was pretty gay. No matter, though; in fifteen years, tiny self, you'll have no shame left, and will delight in watching back-to-back episodes of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant and Toddlers in Tiaras.

7:18 AM (Subway station) I HATE WHEN THE SUBWAY'S LATE! I hate everything!

Preach, l'il Una. I still think this, like, every day.

2:00 PM (School) I HATE people who read stuff with feeling.

Hahahaha. Remember when people had to read passages aloud in English class, and most of us would try to sound as disaffected as possible while still correctly pronouncing all of the words, but there would be that one kid who had to enunciate and emote like they were performing Shakespeare in front of the college admissions board?

7:25 AM (Subway) You bitch.

This always applies, whether you're talking about the subway, a fellow passenger, or yourself.

2:01 PM (School) If you're fat, don't wear horizontal stripes.

What, I was trying to be helpful! (BTW, this is totally going to be the title of my memoir-slash-self-help-book, like how Kelly Cutrone's is called "If You Have To Cry, Go Outside.")

Side note: I am pretty sure that the "104" scrawled on the cover means that I had 104 bad thoughts in the span of a week. I was a featherweight, surely, but look at me now... I bet I have 104 bad thoughts in the course of a day. My parents, needless to say, are so, so proud.


  1. Overalls are just weird. Period. But we all had our phase. I love Holmes on Homes on HGTV, but his overalls are too much.

  2. whaddya talk? herman's head was the shit.

  3. You may have mentioned this early this week when you posted a baby pic of your husband...but overalls only belong on kids under 4. Otherwise they can be very, very tragic. Ugh, do you remember when weat overall shorts with one strap unbuckled was hip?

  4. i burned all the journals i kept...almost 10 years worth of high school angst and and dealing with drunks...it's probably best i got rid of them, but they would have made interesting stories.

    dammit >__<

  5. Dear Aunt Sassy,

    I'm doing a project on blogging for a public speaking class in college! Keeping it vaguely PG, could you give some advice for why people should blog and how they can be as awesome as you?? Or maybe some history on how you got to be so wise?


  6. Oh man, I love that you were funny even back in the days of high school! I only THOUGHT I was funny in high school. And only kinda funny at that. I grew into my funny, and it's been 10 years since high school!

    Maybe my favorite is "Those overalls are not becoming." You clever, clever curmudgeon, you!

  7. I thought the 104 was the grade your teacher gave you. There were 104 bad thoughts written in that thing? That's impressive.

    I wish I'd have gone to a school where it was ok to write "asshole" and "bitch" on your assignments? It's no wonder you turned out to be so awesome. Your school > My school.

  8. I admire your guts. I, for one, would never dare to go back and read any of my high school journals. I remember all to well what I was like back then, but good for you!

  9. "What are we, farmers?"

    Imagining those words spoken by Ghandi to Mother Theresa is the highlight of my day. Thank you.

    Oh, and "I hate everything" has been tacked onto so many of my sentences lately I'm considering becoming concerned with my attitude.

  10. haha! weren't we (late-90's tees that were slightly nerdy-but-no-one-knows-how-cool-and-deep we are) all so tragic....trying to get into Indie rock, and pretending that Liz and Ani lyrics were all about our lives...we were so deep, lol!! you kill me!!

    P.S.-my word verification word is "clanelda." I thought you'd like to know.

  11. Anonymous12:24 AM

    My favourite for sure is "you bitch."
    Short, concise, to the point, completely appropriate in almost all social situations.

  12. Seeing as I am a fresh and wide-eyed college student, I worry I will look back as you did but at my blog and do a "face-palm."

    Anyways, even your your high school self makes me snicker. Nice.

  13. I think my generation was oddly conditioned so that we held ou to overalls an extra year or two than most, due to its presence in the Power Rangers. Then again, Billy was always the nerdy one that people fought over NOT being on the playground, so maybe not.

  14. My first day blogging, I stumbled across your blog, and find myself looking forward to the next laugh. I wish I'd kept journals in high school; though, "you bitch" would have been daring for me at that stage in my life.

  15. "These overalls are not becoming."

    Did you take 9th grade in 17th century England? Very Shakespearean.

    Nice blog.


  16. Hey Sassy,

    I am a closet curmudgeon, and I love to hear stories from a fellow malcontent. This one, in particular, has excited the 15-year-old inside me (um, didn't mean for that to sound dirty...). I was never brave enough to actually write my adolescent snarkiness down, so I appreciate getting a peek at yours.

    Grumpily yours,

  17. My little sister read all of my diaries from my teendom and then dated or slept with all of the guys I detailed massive crushes on.

    Count yourself lucky.

    Again, perhaps one for the therapist and not a comment for a blog I admire.

  18. Sassy, your bad thoughts entertain and even enlighten. When I was a teenager I was a misanthropic asshole that never cracked a smile even if a rifle was pointed at my head. Needless to say, no memoirs survived the fight. You were as cute then as you are now...but you now have edge and sassyness (is that a word?) I think it's just great that you held on to all this stuff...!

  19. Can I have some % of the profits from your book for finding this? You are so funny. I lovvve you.

  20. I may have to do this with my kids over summer break....so in 10 years they can remember just how horrible it was to be home with me....lol

  21. "It's after 6. What am I, a farmer?"

    You're right - no overalls. We're better than that.

    Also I think you should know the word verification for this comment is: trzlzwvj. Hardest one I've ever gotten. Kudos Ms. La Marche.

  22. Anonymous10:18 AM

    My favorite "memoir" title is Chelsea Handler's. (Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea). But I think The Bad Thoughts of Una LaMarche might be better.

  23. Teenage Una is right - fat people shouldn't wear horizontal stripes. Hell, even MEDIUM people shouldn't!

  24. Latitude is fatitude. Words to live by.

  25. I love looking through that old stuff! My mother recently found a box of valentines that I sent people in the 3rd grade. They were looney tunes themed. One of them said "I hate you" and another said "You're OK."

    Also, I love the entry that was simply "You bitch."

  26. I found a journal full of so called poetry.. I hope it is never found again.

    Oh and erm.. I thought I was the only one on earth who watched I didn't know I was pregnant, and Toddlers in tiara's.

    I used my daughter as an excuse to my boyfriend once.."um.. Maddi likes looking at the dresses"

  27. Herman's Head, LMAO.


  28. Anonymous1:30 PM

    LOL What are we, farmers?

    Sadly, I'm old enough to remember the "leave one overall strap dangling" trend, so you're fortunate if you missed that one. Even more sadly, I only retired my overalls about 2 years ago, and they still haunt the depths of my closet, tempting me on fat days... Just say NO to overalls!

  29. I wish I had known L'il Sass when I was L'il Punk... Definitely would have made the jr. high Bermuda Triangle a little more bearable.

  30. FUCK! I am so bad at responding to comments!

    (To self) You bitch!

  31. Sassy,
    You would have hated me in English class. I was a bit of an "actress." But I never wore overalls!

    Also: Sassy recaps of Toddlers and Tiaras would make this world a better place. Truly.

    Word Verification: gretai. As in: "You are gretai!"

  32. ROTFLMFAO This is perfection...xD Also, I have to say that watching Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda is one of the fondest memories of my 30 years on this earth, so THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for giving that a mention!! I haven't thought about the "ASSHOOOOLE!" aspect in forever, though I do quote the "snot nosed English giant twerp..." part ALL THE TIME. =) It's my favorite movie quote of all time! LOL Thanks as always for rockin' my day, even if my daughter does now think I'm insane for laughing hysterically for the better part of 10 minutes. ;)

  33. ok...I was a fat kid. And i LOOOOVVEEEDD overalls. It was all TLC all kid n play...so 90's and I was in diapers and then middle school in that period. I had two pairs that i wore at least four times a week until I got a new pair. And i asked an equally as fat friend what she thought of my new (third) pair. Her response: "I think overalls make fat people look fatter" And I never wore them again. Although I'll make an argument for children in overalls and I don't even like kids.

  34. I just wish I had that idea when I was a kid; it's creative. It's really not a bad idea now, but I'm afraid that my version would get me into serious trouble . . .


    Scarecrows in the Pines

  35. This is nice way of writing uncommon.

  36. If it makes you feel any better, I am a teacher and I hate the kids who read with "feeling". I try my best to pretend not to see their "ooh, ooh, me! Meeee!" arms waggling in front of my face and pick the kids who just get us through with a minimum of pain.

    The only thing that should be read aloud with emotion is SVH.

    You are hilarious then, and now!


  37. I burned one of my journals because I found it a few years ago and realized (had forgotten) that my little brother went through it and scratched out all of the bad things I wrote about him. We both happened to be at my house at the time of the finding, so I told him I was going to burn it. He protested, but seemed pleased.

    I'm glad I made the gesture, but I sort of regret it at the same time because I would love to re-read it. My high school journals... well... I don't know where they are. That is SO scary.

    I LOVE Ani Difranco. Sigh.


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