Short Synopsis: After calling Daria her "cousin" just before she and Jane left for Boston, Quinn is writing her thoughts in the diary, about the whole thing. Reading it, one’ll learn why Quinn and Daria didn’t really stood each other, why Quinn did call Daria her cousin, why she hasn’t settled down with a single boy yet, etc. A Quinn-centered fanfic.
Quinn and other characters are the property of MTV and Noggin. The pieces of poetry are from "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath. No copyright infringement is intended, this piece was written just for fun. For comments and questions write to Bacner,email@example.com. Everybody’s welcome!
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it-----
Today Daria has left. For good. For Boston University. For greener pastures. Whatever. The point is, she’s gone, and I’m not. And that’s depressing. For as much as I hate Daria, her absence will be more hateful than her presence (I think. I’m still getting confused about all those long words, but I am smart, or at least I want to look like one, so-), simply because, well, she’s my cousin.
There, I finally said it. Sister. Happy now, mom? (Although, what are you doing in my diary if you’re reading this, hmm?) Daria is my sister, not my cousin. Are you happy? That I admitted it! God, my life is so—
Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, Daria’s leave. It was weird. She was leaving home with Jane (she’s going to Boston too), and nobody went to see her off (her brother was asleep, and the rest of her family are in Europe, or South America, or anywhere but here), so it was kind of weird, we all felt kind of awkward, since, well, we are a family, for all of our differences…
And one of those differences came in the airport, when I got embroiled in flirting with one of the bell boys or whatever they’re called there, and when Daria and mom started to pester me about that, I called Daria my cousin.
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify? -------
Needless to say, my little slip of the tongue wasn’t forgotten lightly – nor did I expect it to be. After all, I knew how mom would go ballistic whenever her sense that our family virtue got tempered with, or doubted – by anybody, even though I didn’t know why. But that changed earlier this evening – boy how it changed! And all thanks to dad.
It went like this. Early today (after Daria and Jane had left after many a sarcastic comment directed at mom, our whole family, or me), mom went "family court" on my ass. Well, it wasn’t exactly a family court – even mom knows by now that a court in our family – not a good idea. The one time she tried ended up with me happily ignoring it all to sneak off to dates and Daria took-on her infamous harmonica.
Oh yes, her infamous harmonica – just one of the moments to remind (me at any rate) that Highland may be gone, but it’s not forgotten: there was this boy whom Daria managed to meet in the day care of centre of mom’s law firm’s library, and he taught her all the music she needed to get her point across.
Oh yes, dear diary – you’re surprised that I remember that while I couldn’t remember what the firm’s name was, even if my life and monthly allowance were dependant on that? Well, what can I say? It was there where I (as well as Daria) established our first social contacts, and Daria, of course, was first. She was teacher; I was but the student. She just "merrily" ignored the other kids in the centre, until one of them – the weirdest of them all - went over to her, and soon they were talking about something or other. My first instinct was to go over to them, but then I heard the other children watching them, whispering something about "a weirdo and his girlfriend", and "let’s stay away from them or we’ll be sorry!" and I got scared. I realised at that moment that I didn’t want to be like Daria, I didn’t want to be alone with just some weirdoes for company, I wanted to be liked. After all, Daria was already the firstborn of the Morgendorffer family, the future great genius, who already could read mommy’s books at my age, while I – back then – just chewed on books. And besides, I could remember mom telling dad when they thought that me and Daria were asleep already, and dad was complaining about some jerk at the work: "Remember Jakey, communications are they key! Be liked! Don’t stick out with that famous temper of yours!" and took it to the heart. So I didn’t go to Daria and whoever that guy was, I stayed with the crowd.
And was accepted by it.
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
After that, it was all like a ride downhill. Daria went to pre-school, I followed a year after… and found-out that Daria was determined to ruin her life and not follow mom’s advice on how to be well-liked. It also became clear to me that if I were to follow mom’s advice and stick with my sister, I too would not be well liked. And I wanted to be well liked, because, well, because Daria was at least smart – and I wasn’t. Ergo, if I were to stick with Daria, she’d soon grow bored with me and leave me – for back then she used mostly to ignore me, or pick fights with me – and so I didn’t want to stick with her. And since as Sandi might say: "If you’re not with us, you’re with them!" so I became one of them, who used to make fun of Daria or ignore her, and got ignored by her in return.
That’s how it was in the beginning. But the thing about beginnings is that they never stay the same (duh!) and develop into sequels or whatever. And that’s how it was with Daria too, for her unpopularity steadily grew, for she was a brain, and thus messed things for the rest of us, intellect-style, by making us look bad before the teachers. It was especially hard on me, for I was not stupid (well, not that much stupid) even back then, and had a feeling in the heart that good marks may be probably worth more than good looks. And so, my resentment of Daria’s brain and unpopularity (as bizarre as that may sound) turned into bitter jealousy.
For even now – now that Daria’s no longer around (like Hell am I going to go anywhere near Boston, like Hell), she’s still going to mess things up for me, simply because we share the same last name. After all, she’s the teachers’ darling, the girl who makes them look good (by making their classes appear as if they weren’t the total waste of time and living space), the intellectual. And I am going to be naturally supposed to fill these shoes, especially now the FC is no more, and David…
Ah, yes, the FC.
Them unwrap me hand in foot ------
The big strip tease.
…When I first arrived at Lawndale High and met Sandi and her posse I was thrilled. It was especially easy to blend in the crowd if you were a part of a smaller group to begin with, especially a group with power. My summer at Camp Dragonfly had taught me that, and taught me well!..
Getting accepted by the FC was easy enough. Sandi was constantly on the prowl, concerned about how to increase her clique’s (read her own) popularity and my good looks were the perfect way. I even received the title of Vice-President… in a club that was a) popular, and b) did absolutely nothing.
And so, for a while, things were okay. I had the Fashion Club, Daria – Jane. Everything was hunky-dory. But then things started to change.
Part of it, I suppose, was me. I was probably outgrowing Sandi’s pool even back then, for Sandi, I guess, didn’t have that knack of turning men’s’ heads – a gift that I’d discovered and developed in the same old Camp Dragonfly, and used it well!.. Sandi, on the other hand, isn’t really a flirt – she’s too straightforward, too high maintenance, too… ornery. She expected boys to be dating her as the President of the FC, not for her self, which wasn’t all that great, especially without Stacy or Tiffany – ‘cause let’s face it: Stacy couldn’t beat a popularity contest with a paper bag, Tiffany… well, Tiffany got a mind that was probably rejected by Pinocchio by being too low-level. There’s nothing that concerns her more than "Am I too fat?" While usually it’s just mildly irritating, every once in a while it gets into a real problem and Ms. Li has to take Tiffany to the nurse’s for her to lie down (and for the soporific injection to kick-in).
Anyways, back to Stacy and Sandi. Apparently, the poor girl (I’m talking about Stace) decided that I am to be her role model. Not a good idea, as far as I am concerned. I mean, I don’t mind being a model, it’s just that you should never try to be a model – unless you’ve got the potential to be one. Stacy didn’t but she went on trying anyways. Sandi didn’t like it, I didn’t know what to do about it – and then came David, and my world exploded.
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
Dear diary, I have to confess to you – when it comes to affairs of the heart, I’m an innocent. Oh, I can manipulate boys and even older guys and men, like at cousin Erin’s wedding – let’s not get into that though, - but when it comes to that semi-mythical and wholly mysterious area of true love – that’s when I become completely inexperienced. The first – and probably the only time when I actually felt something towards a boy other than try and squeeze him till his last dollar, were again back in Highland. Daria was still in junior high, and I was in it already, just one class behind her. At that point in time I hadn’t yet been to Camp Dragonfly, so I was just a juvenile self of my current self. Anyways, one day I was walking from school, when I saw Daria talking to a guy – and not to those two morons with whom she was always lumped with at school assignments – ironic, no? The smartest student getting equal treatment from the other students as two of the biggest idiots in school, because no one else would have anything to do with either of them. So, anyways, one day I’m walking home, and whom else do I see but Daria, talking to some guy? And it was a good-looking guy, and almost familiar…
It took me a little while to realise that this must’ve been that "weirdo" guy who befriended Daria in that day care centre – only now he went to Highland High School or something. And since he looked very nice, my heart did a bit of a flutter, and I boldly went over to them and introduced myself.
Daria wasn’t amused and told me to back off. I stood firm and told her to get lost instead. That wasn’t very smart, as the next moment Daria did a very good imitation of an angry cat, and revealed the truth to me, about how she felt towards me. Sadly, it wasn’t really that different from how I felt about her, and since Daria was much better with language than me already, I was pretty much defamed – before the guy’s eyes. I didn’t even learn his name, as I hightailed it out of there, really afraid.
That night Daria came to me to apologise. Obviously, mom made her do so, for the sake of "family integrity", whatever that means. Needless to say, that didn’t work out, as both of us now had our hackles raised, and so we parted again, with Daria secure in her mental superiority, I preparing to give her no quarter in the future family feuds.
And then I went to Camp Dragonfly, and became my current self.
And then – the previous summer – I met David, and changed again.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
By the time that David came onto the scene, I had pretty much written-off love as something from a fairy tale – pretty to read about, but non-existent, and guys to me were just ways to boost the ego – and get free meals and what-not. Oh, and feel special, too. To me, guys were pretty much accessories. And then came David. He was different. At the first glance – he was a certain no-go when it came to a "living accessory". However, I was pretty sure that I could bend him to my will. I was wrong. David was similar to Daria – immune to my charms. He was similar to Daria in other things too – like his high IQ. And as he was dissing me, saying that if I didn’t want to be smart, I should just fail, I remembered my first real confrontation with Daria, how she yelled that I was little more than a vain, brainless brat, and got steamed. A brainless brat I was not, and I was going to prove it – to David if not to Daria. And I proved it. Hoo-boy, how did I prove it! I showed the whole world that I had a high IQ, and the world flung its hands wide in an embrace, and each hand… held a knockout. David remained unimpressed by me, dismissing me as not good enough for him… and Daria didn’t care. All that I achieved was to unsettle my own social position, and boy, did I succeed at that!
You see, I have miscalculated Sandi’s ego. Although on the outside Sandi was a very self-assured woman, on the inside she wasn’t unlike Stacy – not that sure of herself at all. The only way Sandi ever feels secure is when others don’t. And since that doesn’t apply to me in any way, Sandi instantly took-off her gloves and started trying to get rid her club of me, and that raised my competitive strike, and I decided not to budge.
Make no mistake: I don’t want to be the president of the FC – didn’t, rather, since it been dissolved. When Sandi quit because she gained weight, I quit right alongside her, partly because she talked me into it, and partly because I didn’t want to boss over Stacy and Tiffany – I felt rather like Garfield did with Jon and Odie (and boy, does Tiffany have the same IQ as that dog!).
To make a long story short, I fixed both Sandi and the FC… but the club’s days were numbered. Stacy got a taste of independence and self-reliance, and wasn’t about to relinquish her hold on them easily. Admittedly, since this was Stacy, there wasn’t much an external fight, but the rebellion was there and it slowly but sure wobbled the club until it fell apart.
Ironically, the club fell apart pretty much close in time to Daria and Jane’s receiving admission papers to the "places of higher learning", as David would say, and that sighed to me that another period of my life was over.
I was growing up.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
And now, dear diary, we come back to where I’ve started it – tonight, or rather some hours earlier than tonight, so it makes it more like today, I guess. Today I’ve called Daria my "cousin" again, and had to face my mom’s wrath. And boy, was my mom wrathful!
Well, it wasn’t that bad – in the beginning. Mom did her imitation of a hen of wrath, marched around the room, and waved her arms, yelled at me. I was apologetic, saying how sorry I was, but how unfair mom was also – it was just a slip of the tongue!
And then mom turned to dad for advice. Bad idea. Dad’s replies are generally completely off mom’s topic – one would think that she would figure it out by now. She doesn’t, and today dad was his usual self.
Without far ado, he said that mom shouldn’t worry, nobody does care about Rita anymore.
That got my attention, especially since mom turned beet-red in the face and yelled at dad really loudly, completely confusing him now, so he began to mumble something about everybody knowing that Rita was really Helen and Amy’s adopted cousin and so forth. Mom’s yells go so loud, that I decided to flee – or else.
And so now, dear diary, I’m stuck upstairs, since I’m too scared to venture down. However, on the other hand, I think I realise why mom and Aunt Rita can’t really stand each – they’re not a family! But since Grandma Barksdale is so formidable, even mom has to play along with her. And as a result this means that she’s now venting-out on me and Daria – to our shared inconvenience. Neither Daria nor me are really bothered by each other anymore – we’ve moved past that stage of relationship when plain insults bother either of us anymore – and mom is just making a mountain out of a mole hill. Or maybe not. I don’t know.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Anyways, back to me and my problem with Daria. Or maybe Daria’s problem with me – it’s all in the perspective, I suppose. Or maybe mom’s problem with our problem – I guess she expected us to get hand-in-glove like she could never do – and we may never will. Because, let’s face it: neither of us is really that close with each other. Oh, we’ll help and support each other in times of need – like when Daria needed my advice about that Tom boy, or when I needed advice about David – but be a solid family? I don’t think so, but how to explain this to mom? She and dad do "try" to be communicative with us, with dad it is downright embarrassing, but it usually ends with just some more money in my pocket. Make no mistake. I do like to have money in my pocket (or a credit card – even better!), but having a straight-out talk with them rather than you, diary, could be as good.
Oh well. Some things you can never re-do, you can never fix. One of those things is my feelings towards boys in general and David in particular – oh, and Daria’s there too, along the way. To make them short and sweet, diary, because it is getting late, and I am getting hungry – for supper, is that fashion club or no fashion club; I will never be like Daria, even if she did leave some big shoes for me to feel – brain-wise. And it’s not about Sandi – I was never really scared of her – it’s about me, me, and only me. Ever since I went to school – plain school, junior high, high school, I sort-of lived in Daria’s shadow – her almost unshakeable self-assurance, her greater intelligence. But now – finally now – I can be free of it! I will now be myself, and not just an anti-Daria, so to speak. And I still will date whomever I like (as long as he’s a popular boy and not Kevin Thompson). And if others won’t like it – tough! The real Quinn’s here! Hear her roar!..
Well, good-bye dear diary. Mom is calling for supper – must’ve cooled-off sufficiently. Bye for now!
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.