Straight from the Diary of Candi Partridge

Dear Diary,

Why does everyone like that Cosby show so much? I think it’s bogus. Last night there was a rerun of the one where Vanessa tries to sneak away from home to see her boyfriend. He’s all sticky sweet with her and then he tells her that they need to spend every moment they can with each other. Please. Get me a hose with some strong water pressure to spray them both off my tv. Teenagers just don’t date like that. I know. I’ve been dating my boyfriend Patrick for 4 whole months.

First of all, boyfriends don’t say all that lovey crap–all those beautifuls and need yous. We don’t need them to. It’s almost the 90s, people. (!!!) Women have evolved. Geraldine Ferraro was this close to being Vice President of the United States! My mom always says that when there are other adults in the room that aren’t my dad, but it’s true.

My boyfriend Patrick and I don’t need to talk. He shows that he loves me by picking me up after I’m done babysitting and walking me to the arcade. That’s what we do on Friday nights. He’ll buy me a pack of strawberry watermelon Hubba Bubba and I’ll give him the money Mrs. Davis gave me for watching Jennifer. Then he’ll play Galaga for hours. We’ll be together all night without ever needing to say a word because our love transcends using voice boxes!

What do I do while he plays games? Well, I mostly sit on the floor and lean against the side of the game and chew my gum. Sometimes I’ll trace the circles of acid marks in my jeans. Sometimes I’ll watch the arcade owner stomp around trying to catch people tipping the pinball machines. When he does he screams “TILT! TILT! You brats!” and two or three kids will start running to the front door. It’s pretty funny. Patrick just keeps feeding the machine more quarters and staring at the electronic insects that are swooping down on his battleship. Galaga screen shotHe’s not much of a talker. He started buying me gum at the arcade so I wouldn’t try to talk to him and break his concentration. That’s how I show him my love. I don’t break his concentration.  .  . and I let him pay for gum.

Second of all, a healthy adult relationship means we’re fine doing stuff apart. Vanessa Huxtable needs Jeremy to feel special. She’s completely dependent on him. Grown up relationships are about sharing lives, not living the same life. Friday night is the only time Patrick and I spend time together. He likes to hang out with his friend on the football team– Brian. And Brian has his games on Friday nights. I think Patrick’s spending every day with Brian because he feels bad about the screamfest they had in the cafeteria a while back. It was bad. They fought until Patrick finally punched Brian in the jaw and Brian stormed off with his teammates.* I tried to get Patrick to talk about it, but he just said it was no big deal and clammed up. I tried to get him to go see Rain Man with me. I said it doesn’t require conversation to sit and watch a movie together, but he just started to cry. So then I tried to show I understood about fighting with friends by telling him about the fight I’m in with Whisky.

Whisky’s my best friend. Or was. She bought this new jean jacket that looks like an old dress my grandma has in the back of her closet. The jacket and the dress are the same shade of blue and have this freakazoid fringe all over them. Mom called the dress a flapper or something when I pulled it out of the closet and asked her about it.

Anyway, after I said that about Whisky’s jacket she called me Sarcastro, which is our way of telling each other we’re being mean, and she told me to leave her room in that voice that’s all flat and cold-like. I don’t care. Her jacket did look like that dress. Denial is such a strong force in some people.

But I do miss talking to her. She and I love each other, but not like Patrick and I do, thank God, because Whisky and I talk ALL THE TIME when we’re together. And when we’re not together we’re talking on the phone. We’ll talk until Mom trips on the phone cord and yells at me to get off the line. It’s not my fault that I have to pull it so tight so it will reach into my bedroom. That’s the only way I can get any privacy in my stupid house.

Usually I’d be at Whisky’s house right now. I like it there because her mom is always baking something. Last week, it was peach cobbler. My favorite. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Patrick.

I think he looks like a taller, buffer Doogie Howser. (Future self: he’s a dorky doctor on a tv show.) But, Whisky says he looks more like that superhunk from Growing Pains. She says Pat couldn’t be Doogie because Doogie is totally innocent. I think she’s right. Like, last Friday, Patrick had Brian meet him at the arcade so they could play Mario and Luigi together. For some reason, Brian didn’t have a ball game. I’m not sure why Patrick and I have never thought to play a video game together like that. Anyway, when I told him I had to go, he just told me I knew my way back home. So I had to walk all by myself like in that weird song where the guy sings about a girl having different colored eyes. (Future self: it’s the one that goes “Tonight I think I’ll walk alone, I’ll find myself as I go home. Woo! Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo!”)

That’s what I was singing to myself all the way home. I can’t believe he made me do that. There I was walking down the street alone like a hooker. As if. So maybe I should break up with him. Seems a waste to throw away such a long relationship! But I’ve been thinking I miss Mickey, my first love. He wasn’t so into his friends like Pat is. And Mickey’s mom always made us chicken alfredo dinners and this really mature dessert with Italian cookies and whipped cream. I know it’s weird to call a food mature, but it has fancy coffee in it– not the powdered kind– so how else would you describe it? Besides, Mickey is really fun. We have a lot more in common. And he showed me how to hide the creases under my eyes using some concealer. Maybe he can help me figure out how to make up with Whisky, too.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me. Oh, Cosby show’s on! Gotta go.


Candi signature



*taken from Stephen Chbosky fantastic novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, that very much influenced Candi’s character

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I am a writer for an e-Learning course vendor near Chicago.

30 thoughts on “Straight from the Diary of Candi Partridge”

  1. It’s so sad. I’m pretty sure I have a clueless entry just like this one. Harumph! Well, I guess that means you did a great job getting into the character! Loved it!

  2. This was a really entertaining read. I love Candi’s voice, and I was a teenager in the early 80’s, so I can totally relate to some of the pop culture references you make here.

    I especially love how you subtly weave in Candi’s intuition about Patrick and Brian’s relationship. Why are they spending so much time together? 😉

    Have you watched the documentary Mortified Nation? It’s on Netflix. Coincidentally, I watched it last night right after I read your story. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. I think your inner Candi might really enjoy it. It’s streaming on Netflix.

  3. I am in love with you!!!! That was absolutely brilliant!! I am also in awe!! You are a very, very clever wicked man, Nathan James!! I am still giggling in delight!! Rod for your own back, deliciousness, I want more!! This is pure gold!! I will have to up the ante with Robert Rabbit, he needs another airing (all of which sounded wrong!!) Have a confession to make!! My signature is soooo scarily close to Candi’s!! Someone actually described it as adolescent just recently!! I repeat!! I love you!!

    1. Get rid of the heart and scale it down about 70% and it’s my handwriting, Nikki. So glad you liked it, I hope you don’t mind Whisky Newton in the cast of characters.

      1. Daft beggar!! I am delighted!! You can’t believe how much I enjoyed that!! My face is aching from grinning!! I must upload my signature!! You will die, it is so scarily close to Candi’s!!! And thus yours!! Hahaha!!! Start checking!! We may be related!! You do look like a slimmer version of my darling baby bruv!! 😀

  4. Wow, I love this! You captured the 80’s perfectly and have included so many “just right” details that trigger a lot of memories for me. The Perks of Being a Wallflower…great book and movie. One of my daughters has been obsessed with this book for the entire school year and has a good bit of it memorized.:)

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