Why does Kavanaugh have a calendar from 1982?
September 28, 2018 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Yes, I know this is the least important part of this whole investigation, but this was almost 40 years ago. How is it he has a calendar from 1982 demonstrating his whereabouts?
posted by Toddles to Law & Government (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I dunno, out of all Kavanaugh's bullshit, this seems the most plausible. My mother-in-law downsized her house a few years ago, and her sons were all forced to take all the boxes with their names on them. This was stuff they'd saved as kids/teenagers, all the stuff she'd saved of theirs, and stuff that had been summarily swept into boxes after they left home and left untouched for 20+ years. We recently did a clutter-purge, and I finally opened those boxes. Examples of things I found:

- third-grade math homework
- fifth grade early-age-of-computer-printouts-in-schools "awards"
- high school pictures with notes on the back
- high school sophomore year track training schedule calendars with notes of which friends he went places with
- one month of a calendar, summer before his senior year of high school, marking all the concerts and local punk shows he was attending, along with who he attended them with
- a pile of college brochures from all the colleges he did not apply to or attend

People save weird shit for stupid reasons. And my husband's family is DEFINITELY not the high-end prep-school type, where I can imagine a mother wanting to preserve every artifact of the future family scion's past. This was just from a random overwhelmed lower-middle-class family who never had time or inclination to sort things and discard them. Boxes in the attic were easier.
posted by erst at 9:24 PM on September 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

According to Kavanaugh, his father began keeping a combination calendar/diary in 1978, and has kept them ever since. In 1980, Kavanaugh began keeping similar notes. They worked as a calendar and then a diary as he reflected on the day that went by. He kept them because his dad kept them.

That's his reasoning.
posted by papayaninja at 9:26 PM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

My parents saved an enormous amount of crap from my childhood. I went off to college and my mom wanted to make my bedroom into a sewing room, so we boxed everything up and stuck it in the attic. I could probably produce every paper I wrote in eleventh grade English class if I thought the Senate Judiciary Committee wanted them.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:27 PM on September 28, 2018 [11 favorites]

I've worked for a couple of management types that kept their calendars. They did it as they kept notes about the events listed in them & they were reference material if they ever had to look back on events of the day. Be it for legal reasons or just to jog their memories as to who was at a meeting & what was agreed to at the meeting. It's very old school but totally something people in 1980's & 90's would do. A lot of fancy planners & diaries (or refills for filofaxes) will come with labels & a box to keep them in for this purposes.
posted by wwax at 9:30 PM on September 28, 2018 [8 favorites]

I have at least 15 years worth of my own calendars/datebooks. (I often took notes in them; I actually find them useful to look back at when, for example, I need to doublecheck when a person's birthday is if they're not on FB.) This is the only thing that Kavanaugh and I have in common and about the only thing he's done that I don't side-eye. (I ALSO didn't write GET SUPER DRUNK in mine, even if that's what ended up happening.)
posted by Countess Sandwich at 9:42 PM on September 28, 2018 [11 favorites]

I have a close friend who uses At a Glance calendars faithfully and notes everything on them. When she gets home from a social gathering or a trip she notes everyone who was there. She has pulled it out on occasion to settle some discussion point involving who was where when or whether so-and-so actually came to that movie night or whatever. It's amazing and unusual, but it's something some people do do.
posted by Miko at 9:43 PM on September 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

It strikes me as a pretty Stereotypical Business Man thing to do, have a calendar, and then keep it for reflection. I wasn't surprised that Kavanaugh would have them.

Like how JD Rockefeller had his ledger with a record of every penny he ever got and spent. There's a business tradition there.
posted by rhizome at 9:44 PM on September 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

In the 80’s Filofaxes and stationery in general was A Big Deal in certain socioeconomic neighborhood’s like Brett’s. We were basically copying our parents that had “important” office type jobs.

As someone who is slightly younger than this man, so so much about Georgetown Prep is frighteningly familiar, especially the yearbook slang, the amount of alcohol and similar at high school parties. If memory serves, it was only about 1980 that age limits were instituted, but rarely enforced for cigarettes. I think at some point in the early 80’s the legal drinking limit was federalized as 21 years of age? Everyone knew what stores would sell cigarettes and alcohol to minors. I snuck out at 12 years old and was served drinks at The Bitter in lower Manhattan one night. By 14 or 15 I went to my first velvet rope dance club. At 20 I was a nite club promoter at one of the most exclusive clubs in town, underage and working at the UN during the day. Good times.

His story today that he got into Yale on merit and hard work is unconscionable bullshit. It was privilege that started by being the child of parents working in DC in the right jobs. Born to parents of a different socioeconomic background, he could not be who he is today.

I hope that illuminates this for you. It was a different time with different norms. Technology was not really an issue and stuff like alcohol was very loosey goosey for minors in 1982.
posted by jbenben at 10:09 PM on September 28, 2018 [15 favorites]

Oops. And I would totally still have my high school filofaxes and artwork and notebooks from the 80’s if my Dad had not remarried + their basement hadn’t flooded in 1996. We (kids like us) kept that stuff because there’s basement or attic storage in bigger houses. That’s why he still has them.

I have a smaller collection of notebooks and such dating to the early 90’s to this day.
posted by jbenben at 10:19 PM on September 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was never a kid who kept a diary or any sort of documentation, but if I had my dad definitely would have saved it and given it to me when I moved out at 18. I have a couple of boxes of this type of stuff from my childhood room that I have no interest in now, but I keep it because my dad did and somehow that means it's meaningful? I dunno.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:29 PM on September 28, 2018

I agree with jbenben, but I also wonder if this isn't the kind of thing people save to memorialize their "epic" high school careers - times that are formative and represent, for some, the height of their social achievement. Obviously he went on to professional success, but I'm guessing he also has a stash of memorabilia from his DKE days at Yale. Those were the last times he was a cool kid.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 10:39 PM on September 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

I am a saver (not a hoarder!). I have documents like this from the time I was about 15. I am a few years older than Judge K. It is not unusual at all for someone who was anal enough to keep a detailed calendar to save them. He told a story of his dad using his calendar to tell the family stories.

The drinking culture is absolutely as he said and Jbenben reiterated. In my NY area, if you could walk up to the bar and say your order and had the money to pay, you were served your drink. My license until I was in my early 20s was a piece of thick paper with no picture on it. Grow up as a suburban kid in the 70s and early 80s and you would go into the large city and have access to alcohol (and drugs).

I certainly had a few "skis" and ralphed my fair share of times.

My concern is that he is giving us beer lovers a bad name.
posted by AugustWest at 10:59 PM on September 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

[Reminder: This isn't a spot for discussing all the Kavenaugh stuff, so let's please stick to the original question. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:33 PM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

When I was in college 30 years ago I met someone who saved all of his daily planners for every year. He told me he did this so he could look back on what he was doing on any particular day in any particular year. I was so amused that I started doing that also. I was actually mad at myself for throwing out my planners stretching back 25 years before I moved a few years ago.

My parents had always bought my brothers and I a blotter calendar every year as part of our Christmas presents. I would put each month under the cardboard as I teared them off, and I saved those also. I'm from an era before ubiquitous smartphones and in our day we wrote things down to remember them.

I probably won't save my blotter calendars any more, both because I have a smartphone now and because I don't want my calendar pages to be shown on the news if I ever do anything of note. Then everybody would know what a boring day to day life I lead and that I still draw spaceships on my blotter calendar.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:58 PM on September 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yeah, another one here chiming in to say I'm the weirdo that never could throw away my journals, notebooks, and even stupid scratchpads full of story ideas from when I was very small. And now, as a middle-aged writer, I appreciate this box of goodies very much. The one journal I tore up and threw away when I was 17 is muchly missed and my teenage idiocy is deeply regretted.
posted by MiraK at 12:04 AM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Years ago, I had a friend who was a late holdout to putting this sort of thing on a computer tell me that every day she wrote memories of the day on a calendar and kept them to look at later. She showed me several years of calendars on a shelf. They didn't take up much room.

I tried it for about a month myself before dropping it.
posted by yohko at 12:23 AM on September 29, 2018

I am younger than Kavanaugh as I was born in 1985, but I have a similar calendar/slant-diary habit. I started at 15 years old in 10th grade, and have maintained one every year since (I’m now 33). Some months are more detailed than others, and some years I’m missing weeks at a time, but in general I’ve kept it up and don’t intend to stop even with Google Calendar and my smartphone. I like the handwrittten habit, and I like the physical calendar to document my life, and I like looking at them every once in a blue moon.
posted by samthemander at 12:31 AM on September 29, 2018

I have notebooks at work documenting the snores of each day and I don't throw them out. If I'd written on my calendars as Kavanaugh did in high school, I'm sure I'd still have them, I just didn't start that until later. I still have the notes people passed to me in class and fortunes from fortune cookies and all the petals from all the flowers my boyfriend gave me, in a big mason jar.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:03 AM on September 29, 2018

I think people keep old calendars/diaries in extension of their original effort of keeping them updated/writing them -- something about seeing the commitment through. Also, many people are vain enough to somewhere in the backs of their mind plan to write their memoirs at some point, and keep these things as a memory-aide (in this particular case this line of argument may seem particularly silly, I know).
The other obvious reason is that tossing out stuff is work, too. It costs an effort to not keep stuff.

I didn't keep daily diaries or consistently annotated calendars, but I did write some travel diaries in my high school years (late seventies). Apart from one that got lost moving I have them all in a pile in the attic and would be able to fetch them in only a few minutes. My calendars, after I finally got into the habit of keeping them in the late eighties, I have somewhere, too.
posted by Namlit at 5:12 AM on September 29, 2018

I still have mine. In particular, I could see someone keeping their high school senior year calendar, because it rolls over to September-December and therefore they brought it with them to college. Everything I brought with me to college stayed with me because I never lived with my parents again.
posted by xo at 6:01 AM on September 29, 2018

Remember the desk calendar discussed on the blue a while ago? I think this was just A Thing in the 80s, particularly for middle-class/upper-middle-class people. I'm a fair bit younger than this generation, but I started keeping a diary in 1995 and wrote in it daily for about twenty years before finally switching over to digital.
posted by basalganglia at 6:22 AM on September 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oddly enough, I have all my calendars from my high school and college years. Importantly, they only contain school assignments and work schedules, because I'm not an idiot who writes down my plans to drink and party. (I drank and partied A LOT.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:43 AM on September 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

I grew up in roughly the same era as this guy and I also have some calendars/diaries/notebooks from high school and university, saved in "memory boxes" from those years. It was "a thing," convenient as it seems now.

And hey, I am not even a privileged white American male who knew he was destined for greatness from the get-go, and therefore motivated to preserve all kinds of minutia
to make my future biographers' lives that much easier.

I do hope the FBI will check the authenticity of those 35 year old documents, though. Just in case.
posted by rpfields at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

The keeping of the calendar could be seen as a defensive measure because of various rules of evidence, such as the hearsay exceptions for recorded recollections and records of regularly conducted activity, or refreshing the recollection of a witness.

These days, we can enter calendar and other records electronically and have a good indication of whether the record was made close to the alleged event, but perhaps not so much with paper copies in the sole possession of the person trying to offer them as exculpatory evidence; however, it is common for calendars and other records to be kept just in case a lawsuit happens, so it could be seen as helpful, particularly for public figures who may be closely scrutinized, to maintain them.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sorry to be late to this. During the past weekend, my mother hauled out a folder of my earliest letters of complaint - apparently I've been whining & bitching & writing "To Whom it May Concern" about random things that irritate me since I was about 9 years old. So yeah; surprising things can be dug up!

("Ma! These are the ORIGINALS! I was trusting GROWNUPS WITH STAMPS to mail these to the targeted offenders for me!)
posted by Wylie Kyoto at 1:42 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

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