Review: Girl Talk Secret Diary
Publisher: Western Publishing Co
Year: 1991
Tagline: The Game of Sharing Secrets & Surprises

Girl Talk Secret Diary cover

how we met

I met Girl Talk Secret Diary in a different time, and I was different then. Back in 2017 I would buy anything that said “Girl Talk” on it. One day in a Milwaukee-area thrift store, this included Girl Talk Secret Diary.

how it plays

At the beginning of Girl Talk Secret Diary each player writes down one of their deepest, darkest secrets on their colorful tablet paper. OK I made up the deepest and darkest part. The game encourages gentle secrets like what you want to be when you grow up or who you have a crush on. The adult equivalent might be something like, “I had a box of Cheez-Its for dinner lastnight.” All the secrets go into an envelope, sight unseen. We will revisit these secrets later.

The game components consist of pencils, paper pads, a thick paperback diary and several calendar cards, each representing a month of the year and featuring a glamour shot of a teenage boy. The object of the game is to collect each of the 12 months.

Example calendar boy cards, each showing a month and a boy

I love, I love, I love my calendar boys

On their turn, a player chooses a day of the year, looks it up in the diary and reads out the entry. Each diary entry ends with a question. After reading the question, you write your answer down on a piece of paper and hide it from all other players. These players will then write down what they believe your answer was. You draw one calendar card for each correct guess by your fellow players, and those players with the correct guess also draw a calendar card. If you draw a calendar card that you already have then you must return it to the bottom of the deck.

A sample diary entry that ends with the question In your fantasy, what color hair does your ski instructor have?

An example of the hard-hitting questions in Girl Talk Secret Diary

The first player to collect each of the 12 months is the winner! For their prize, they are allowed to read all of the secrets in the envelope, and their secret remains just that..secret.

how it went

This game is truly terrible, and we had a terrible time.

The questions at the end of the diary entries are asinine, but in unique ways. The game definitely plays to its audience. That audience is not a group of adults, or probably modern children. Having to choose from amongst our acquaintances who smells the best or who you would choose for a tutor was tough. Then there are questions like whether I look forward to school or wish summer would never end. Then some questions just plain didn’t work for us, like how many new kids have you met at school this year? Or how many kids in your homeroom have braces or retainers – 2, 4, 6 or more? No odd numbers please. There are also an astonishing number of questions asking you about your relatives, which really limits the ability for fellow players to match your answers at really any age.

Not being quite the demographic for the game definitely hurt our ability to match answers. Then getting duplicate calendar cards was so painful. It was so much fun to get your first few calendar boys. But then soon you are likely drawing the same boys and feeling only disappointment. It’s cruel.

Eventually Bill was able to collect all 12 calendar boys and read our secrets. And I learned a very important lesson (see play or pass section). But before we get to that, please enjoy a few more sample diary entries.

Sample diary entry from MLK Jr Day that asks how many pounds would you love to lose?

Asking the tough questions on Martin Luther King Jr Day

Diary entry that asks Would you sit next to Homer on the bus?

Homer’s status seems to cross Girl Talk properties. See Girl Talk Date Line review to see poor Homer

Diary entry asking whether you would date a guy just to be seen in his porsche

i.e. How shallow are you, really?

Diary entry asking if at a pool party you would suck in your tummy, wear a loose tshirt, stay in the water or not go at all

The correct answer is secret option 5, be confident in your skin and have a good time!

Diary entry asking what thing have you touched while babysitting that you shouldn't have

I mean…

play or pass

Pass. My 2018 resolution is not to buy everything I see that says Girl Talk on it.

FUN FACT: I had not heard of this game before seeing it at thrift, but I did keep a diary at the time the game was released and revisited it after playing. I considered sharing some of the more enduring wisdom from my 11-year-old self but that would likely only be funny to me. Instead, I will share what you would find if you were to read my 1991 diary:

    1. I was obsessed with Debbie Gibson and her lyrics pepper my entries throughout. “Even steel can break. I’ve witnessed that.” (I haven’t, obviously)
    2. I wanted to work on my vocabulary so I would save words I didn’t know and then proceed to mis-use them throughout the entire notebook. “Every time I talk about him my mind keeps unlolling.”
    3. I was obsessed with the movie Heathers and wrote my diary in red marker. A pen probably felt too classy.
    4. I also quote Heathers throughout the entries. Except I did not know French at the time, so when Heather says, “Quelle surprise” I thought she was sarcastically saying, “Calls of please.” And boy did I quote that a lot.
    5. My first play appears in this diary, titled “B/F/F or maybe not”

Do you have any interesting wisdom or fun facts from an old diary? Do tell!