Remember that show on Sh.owtime “Red Shoe Diaries“? It starred David Du.chovny pre-“X-Files” and was pretty risque. Now, I’m not going to be writing anything quite like what that show is about. Really, the only reason I brought it up was because I thought it would be quite a lame reference to the title of this post.

Okay, yeah. Making no sense here. But let me explain first of all by showing you this picture.

Yes, it’s a picture of my left thumb as I hold it up to the picture I posted in one of my recent entries. And why, may you ask, am I doing something as silly as that? Well, it’s because that same day that I wrote and posted that entry, I got an email from none other than “Living Journal” Cousin (herein known as LJC). Talk about major co-inky-dink!

LJC’s email told me that she (along with her fiance and fiance’s brother & girlfriend) would be coming for some shopping on Saturday and was wondering if we could at least get together and catch up for a bit. So I quickly responded that I would love to spend some time together in which ever way we could. Of course, I told her that I was just thinking about her. And then, in my typical “blog-whore” fashion (you know, where you try to “pimp your blog” out to other people … 😛 ), referred her to that latest post.

By the time LJC called this past Saturday, it was late afternoon and they were just pulling into the area. And because the main purpose for this trip was to go shopping, we figured we’d be able to maximize our time together by shopping and catching up. So, we met up at the area mall and shopped. Well, they did anyway.

Me? Well, as you can probably surmise by this picture … I tried on some nail polish at one of the stores. And silly me … thought that this particular store might have some nail polish remover handy to quickly take off the color so I didn’t have to go around with one single red thumb. Yeah … like I said … silly me.

Yep, these are ALL of LJC’s letters to me

So that solves the riddle of the “Red Thumb” part of this blog title. What, say you, about the “Diary” part?

As I stated briefly in the previously mentioned post … LJC was someone that I wrote to about everything during the most tumultuous times of my adolescent / teen life. So much that our letters would get to be 20 to 30 pages long at times. (I’m not kidding you … I swear!) She was … literally and figuratively … my real life diary (hence the name “Living Journal” Cousin). I can honestly say that my high school years and the earlier part of my college years had been written greatly in detail. As was hers.

The best part of having this kind of method of journaling was that I wasn’t just writing what I felt in a notebook or diary of some sorts … I was actually writing to a real live person. A person … my cousin … who I trusted (and still do) with my innermost feelings. And someone, who’s insight and opinions about my thoughts and actions, I deeply respected. So by sending and receiving each one of our letters … well, it’s much like getting feedback or comments on any of the blog entries I write. Except rather than it be out there in cyberspace … it’s signed, sealed, and delivered by the good old postal system. And better still, it’s given with that unconditional love and trust that’s very rare to find.

Looking back now, I think that I placed such strong emphasis on my relationship with my cousin (and subsequently her two younger sisters) because, growing up, I never had that sisterly bond with anyone else. Being with these three girls would be (and still is) the closest that I would ever come to having a sister. And in some respect, I wonder if this is the reason why I’m not as close or comfortable around other women today. Meaning that I’ve been witness to the bonding experience that most women with sisters have with each other and their subsequent relationships with other women. But that’s it. I’ve never been as close to any other females in my life as I am with my cousins. And even now, the three of them have a relationship with each other that I can honestly say that I envy.

But getting back to the letters …

The running joke during the height of our letter-writing years was that we would eventually give each other our letters back once we got married. Then we could do with it what we wanted … either read them or burn them … especially because there may have been some really bad things written in those letters that we wouldn’t want anyone … not even our future husbands … to read.

My So-Called Life

I completely forgot about our promise until the day after my wedding when Hubby & I (in typical Filipino tradition) were opening our wedding gifts among many of our out-of-town family & friends. There, in the absolute last box we opened were three books. Yup … all my letters, neatly photo-copied (colored copies, nonetheless … imagine the price of doing that in 1996) and binded chronologically into three volumes. I can clearly remember looking up at LJC (as well as her two sisters) with such amazement as tears ran down my face. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at … and I couldn’t believe that she’d remembered. The four of us stood hugging each other tightly and crying like babies as my cousin told me that she had to make copies because she just couldn’t part with the original letters.

So now … with LJC’s wedding literally around the corner … I’ve gotta start getting my act together. It looks as if I’ll be spending a lot of time in front of my printer/scanner or the local office supply place making copies of LJC’s letters. Because just like her … I can’t bear to part with the originals. But at least now … we’ll both have a set of all our letters and all of our responses.