True confessions of a real-life high school student on the cusp of a new millennium.
On the eve of the year 2000, high school student Giselle struggles with spirituality, ambiguous friendships, a family dealing with the aftermath of substance abuse, and deepening feelings of attraction toward her English teacher, a married man more than twice her age. Over the course of one school year, she shifts from seeing Lawrence as a father figure to falling obsessively in love. Is Giselle making a total fool of herself, or will her teacher return her affection? Having an affair with a student would easily cost Lawrence his career, his wife, and his kids, not to mention his sanity. Will a by-the-books teacher sacrifice everything to indulge Giselle’s teenage crush?LIKE IT’S 1999 is the actual, unabridged, honest-to-god diary of a teenager in love with her teacher.
LIKE IT’S 1999: Diary of a Teenager in love with a Teacher requires an introduction more than anything I’ve ever written. Why? Because unlike everything else I’ve written, this is NOT fiction. It is the actual, honest-to-god diary from when I was 18 years old.
In the summer of 1999, when this diary bursts into being, I was just heading into my fifth year at high school, called OAC—Ontario Academic Credits. At that time Ontario’s school system required an extra year’s education if you were planning to attend university. The OAC year doesn’t exist anymore, for those of you keeping score at home. Everything changes.
I was an intelligent teenager, but also a bit hippie-dippy, as you’ll quickly discover. As you’re reading these diary entries, feel free to laugh or shake your head or roll your eyes, or all of the above. Trust me, I did, as I transcribed my hand-written journal. Seems like I spent so much time being introspective that I’m not sure how I accomplished anything else.
And yet, for all my introspection, I’m actually incredibly dense. I can’t see the forest for the trees. You’ll likely learn more about me from the dreams interspersed throughout this book than from the diary entries themselves. They work together to paint a more fleshed-out picture of who I was on the cusp of a new millennium.
If you start reading and think to yourself, “Ugh! I can’t stand this girl!” trust me, you are not alone. That’s how I felt, reading this diary fifteen years after writing it. Just hold tight and keep going. Soon enough you won’t be able to put it down.
When you can cast aside the New Age veneer, you’ll find beneath it a naïve, inexperienced young woman who is deeply infatuated with an English teacher. I started writing this journal in the summer of 1999, while waiting on a letter from this man, whom we’ll call Lawrence. He was away with his wife and family, visiting his in-laws. He’d already written me one dull letter, with promises of another. I was so sure he’d profess his true emotions in that one.
Seems like forever ago that we actually put pen to paper to convey our thoughts, then sealed them in an envelope and pressed a stamp to the corner. Nothing was quite so instantaneous as it is now. We had to wait.
And that’s where this diary begins: me, waiting.
Reading back, I shake my head at how off-the-mark 18-year-old me was in interpreting my own life, not to mention my dreams. You’ll see what I mean when you read my take on the first one, about receiving a birthday card from Oprah.
If I could say anything to this younger version of Giselle, I’d tell her, “You are a silly and self-involved child, and you won’t realize it until you re-read these words in another 15 years.” I doubt if she’d believe me, though. She’d probably slam her door, cry on her bed, and then write a journal entry about it.
Just a note that names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike.
Okay, enough procrastinating. If this reads like a 60-year-old huckster imitating a teenaged girl, sadly it’s not. These are unmodified journal entries, apart from the name changes. Even the punctuation is original—I would never use so many semi-colons now.
You start reading. Enjoy your time in my mind. See you on the flip side.
Like It's 1999: Diary of a Teenager in Love with a Teacher is available as an ebook and in print from the following retailers:
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