About Monica Lee

Author of "How to Look Hot & Feel Amazing in Your 40s: The 21-Day Age-Defying Diet, Exercise & Everything Makeover Plan" and the memoir "The Percussionist's Wife," I am a native of Minnesota living in northern Illinois.

Who was really the jerk?

Welcome to Dear Diary Saturday here at all things Monica Lee. Dear Diary Saturday was so popular in March while I was counting down to the launch of Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat: On Finding the Meaning of “Like” in 1982 with a month-long blogging bonanza, I’m going to continue it. Each chapter in my new book begins with a word-for-word excerpt from my teenage diaries, so on Saturdays here I’ll be sharing blog posts from the Minnesota Transplant archive (my everyday blog) that used diary entries as inspiration.

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Sunday, April 1, 1984

Dear Diary,

After church today our family went to that breakfast for Gregg Lovegreen — the kid with leukemia. At 2, we went to that Honors Recognition. What a major disappointment. No one but me knows about my 4.0 average. But worse yet, I didn’t make it into National Honor Society. Lots of jerks did. Tho’ I was happy Rick made it in. I was so depressed. I wanted to cry. Mom and Dad knew it, too. Amy is really mad about it.

This entry, written exactly 33 years ago, was not April Fool’s joke. The jerks! I laugh now, but deep down inside, I’m still mad I didn’t get voted into NHS when I was a junior in high school (but at least I’ve learned that leukemia is a real bummer).

Back then, having a 4.0 was more clear than it is now. Back then, an A = 4, no ifs, ands or buts. If you had a 4.0, you had straight A’s. Now, with Honors classes and Advanced classes and Advanced Placement classes and I don’t know what else, you might graduate from high school with a 4.5 or a 5.0 or even higher. So, did you get straight A’s or not? (God, I sound old!)

I was reminded of this little (big?) disappointment in my life last night when we took Adored Stepson to the high school for freshman orientation. One of the information tables was the National Honor Society (the jerks!). Nowadays, you need a grade point average of 3.65 (whatever that means!) and the standard stuff of scholarship, leadership, service and character.

Hmm, I suppose it’s possible I fell short in the “character” realm, huh? (The jerks!)