Cheaper Than Therapy?

ByABC News
August 8, 2006, 6:13 PM

Aug. 11, 2006 — -- They call it Cringe Night at Freddy's Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn. Real-life grown-ups reading from real-life diaries they wrote when they were very real, very angst-ridden teenagers.

Megan Berk, 27, read from her diary. "September 15th, 1992. 9:42 p.m. It is getting very annoying that my left breast is so much smaller than my right. The difference seems so enormous to me. On other topics, let's discuss guys. ..."

Twenty-nine-year-old Sarah Brown and her roommate started Cringe a little more than a year ago. Question is, what were they thinking?

"I have a theory that it's kind of cathartic. You read it out loud and everybody laughs," Brown said.

Sometimes it's the honesty and the knack for details in these diary entries that get the laughs.

"January 5th, 1991. He was wearing jeans, a purple and black striped Rugby shirt and a white turtle neck underneath. He looked good. I am not going to call him. I'm going to stick to my promise for myself. I have faith it will be OK," Brown read.

Although it is a predominantly female audience, Cringe does attract a few male readers to the bar's backroom.

Marc Balgavy, 32, read to the crowd a letter he originally wrote to the TV producers of a former Fox series about the lives of students in California. "I like all the characters on 'Beverly Hills, 90210.' I think that the death of [Jason Priestley's character] Brandon Walsh would be a great topic for you to cover."

Marc explains, "Without him, the unity with the friends would be lost. For a few episodes, chaos would reign. In those episodes you could experiment with different forms of storytelling. Make the show more like 'Twin Peaks.'"

Thirty-one-year-old Amy Shapiro described losing her virginity through the metaphors she wrote as a teen. "Last night was passion. So much passion, it turned my fruit into a vegetable. ..."

But what does it say about grown-ups who want to read their deepest, most intimate thoughts in public?

"That we're all really narcissistic. In New York, a lot of people are in therapy. Everybody's trying to figure out what's wrong with them," Brown said.