Entry #7: Why'd Hamlet's girlfriend kill herself?


I asked Becca to the dance and I'm not sure how I feel about the answer I got. She said she would "meet me" at the dance. That she didn't want us to go as "dates" because she really wants us to be "friends" and she's afraid that if we start actually dating, we'll totally spoil what we've got. She didn't say it in a mean way, or anything. Any she didn't look away, when she was talking to me, like a lot of girls do when they're shooting you down. She talked to me like she was really thinking about what she was saying, and not making up some crap. I respect that.

So I told her that it was cool, and I would meet her at the dance.

After talking with Becca I decided not to take the bus home. I felt like walking. Or flying. I felt like zooming out of this town. Just going far away and not coming back. But there was also a part of me that was really happy and wanted to stick around and see what happens here.

Just to let you know, I'm definitely not one of these guys that has to be part of a couple. I'm not a macho guy so I don't have to measure how macho I am by how many girls I've got hanging all over me. Forget it! That kind of stuff is just for appearances. You know, to make other guys think you're cool. But having a friend, that's something just for me. And if you've got someone you can really trust and talk to about things that matter, then, man, you've got something really valuable.

That Becca actually thinks of me as a "friend," that's a very good thing 'cause you know how I've been feeling about Becca... giving her my poem and everything. So when she said she wanted us to go to the dance as "friends" well, I don't necessarily think that's bad. I mean, she could have said, "no" right off, right? But instead, she's talking about being friends. And then right after that, she didn't run away, like she was embarrassed or anything. No, she just sat there with me and told me about this book she's reading. It's called "Reviving Ophelia" and it's named after this character in Hamlet. Ophelia was Hamlet's girlfriend, I remember that because we read it freshman year. Anyway, Ophelia is kinda torn between being a good daughter and making her father happy and trying to figure out what the hell is going on in Hamlet's crazed mind and making him happy. Then Hamlet flips out big time and he gets real crass and starts calling her a slut. She feels publicly humiliated and used and she ends up killing herself! It was one of those typical Shakespeare tragedies where everybody ends up dead. So I asked what Becca all that had to do with the book.

Becca said that the psychologist who wrote the book, had been working with teenage girls for a long time and she noticed that before girls' bodies start changing and stuff, they are free and fearless and independent. And then as soon as they get their periods and getting, you know... like breasts and stuff, there's this message that comes down from society that is real bad for them. All of a sudden guys are treating them like sex objects and they start worrying about getting fat and that free and fearless girl kinda gets lost somewhere. In her place you get this teenage girl who's always trying to please other people and doesn't have a clue what she wants to do. I've known lots of girls like that. Most of them, in fact. And come to think of it, the girls I was in elementary school with, did seem way cooler. I remember the girls in 3rd and 4th grade. They used to run around the playground. There was this one girl named Cassie, at my old school. I liked her a lot 'cause she seemed to know exactly who she was. If you know what I mean. Even in 4th grade there were some girls who were fooling around with make-up and giggling at the boys. But Cassie was cool because she didn't do any of that stuff. Most of the other girls didn't like her. Called her a tomboy, but I liked her and so did the other boys. She was friends with all of them. That's probably the real reason the girls didn't like her.

Anyway, me and Becca were talking about this book, and it made me think that I wanted to read it, so I could talk to her about it some more. And when I told her that, she smiled and said it was cool that a guy would be interested in psychology and the influence that society has on the way we think and feel about ourselves and each other. Well I am interested in that stuff. If Becca thinks that's cool... cool! But that's not why I'm interested in it.




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