Friday, November 5, 2010

Letter to my 16 year-old self

I've read a few blogs with this as the title today, so I decided to get in on the action.  That, and I can't think of anything else to write about.  I'm feeling booooooorrrrriiiiiiiinnnnggggg.  The last thing you want to read is a post by a blogger who can't even stand to be in the same room with herself because she's so boring.  I need to do something exciting, like getting arrested, or intravenous drug use.  At least one of those things would be good for blogging.  I don't know if I'd blab too much about using heroin because then you'd all be like, "Hey!  Where can I get some heroin?  I want to try heroin!  Why didn't you ask me to try heroin with you!" and that would totally harsh my buzz.  Actually, as great as I think heroin might be (because what is there that comes out of Afghanistan that isn't great, am I right?) I've seen movies where people do it and then throw up.  I'd rather not do heroin if it means throwing up.  And I hate shots so, strike one and strike two, Heroin!  I almost throw up just by having blood drawn so I would be a terrible intravenous drug user.  See what I mean?  I'm boring. 

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

Dear 16 year-old Sarah,

Stop looking at me with such disdain.  I'm you 24 years into the future.  What's that?  No, I'm not sixty.  It's a relatively simple math problem and either you're really that bad at math, or you're just a little bitch. (it's both) Leave me alone and listen for five minutes!  I've come to make your life easier.  Geez.

On the topic of personal grooming, first and foremost - stop getting perms.  They aren't cool.  You look foolish and years from now when people look at the pictures of you from these times, they will laugh and laugh.  I'm sorry, but that's true.  Your hair is the butt of many a joke, past and present.  It will never be thick and full and Fawcett-ish so give it up and save yourself some heartache. 

Secondly, blue eyeliner is a mistake.  So is green or any other color that isn't dark brown or black.  I don't care if all the other girls are wearing it.  It looks bad on them too.  Especially the pink.  Who wants to look like an albino rabbit?  You know what?  Forget eyeliner altogether.  You don't really need it.  Seriously.  And rethink the green contact lenses.  You're not fooling anyone.  Nobody has eyes that color. 

Nextly, stop pegging the pants. 

a pegged pant

You are short with short legs.  Face the facts.  Pegging your pants accentuates your shortness and your skininess of ankle (which will be prone to spraining.)  It's not a good look.  It makes you look like a diamond (in shape, not in radiance), or an ice cream cone.  For that matter, take a good look at your body and learn to love it because for the most part, you won't be able to change it. (And it looks as good as it will ever get right now.) You will never be willowy, or tall, or long-of-leg, or breathtakingly beautiful.  Stop worrying about it.  You're not hideous, you're average and that's just fine.  It could be worse; think about that girl at school nicknamed Blueberry and be thankful that isn't you.

On the topic of relationships, DUMP YOUR BOYFRIEND LES!  He's a psycho and you can do better.  Soon he will tell you his big dreams of being a professional wrestler and you will be in too deep to get out gracefully.  Get out now.  TODAY!  And while we are on the topic, destroy all pictures of the two of you together because for years to come your sisters and parents will laugh hysterically at the one of him sweeping you into his arms and kissing you on the lips in front of the cameras when you go to Snoball with him.  Also, by dumping him now you will avoid having his psycho future girlfriend/wife stalk you when you are in college, and instead of doing a private investigation to bust her (And a damn good private investigation at that.  Thank you very much, answering-machine tape.) as your stalker, you can spend your precious time studying.  Or whatever. 

You know that guy, Mat, who is new at school?  Well, he has a brother who lives in the Cities, and you will marry him.  No, You shut up!  (I'm sorry, you will not ever marry Joe Elliot from Def Leppard.  Let that dream die.) It's a pretty good marriage except for one thing.  The first time you meet him is during junior year at a New Year's Eve party.  Here's a tip, don't go out on New Year's of your junior year.  You will eventually meet your future hubby anyway, and it would be nice to be able to tell your future children the story of your first encounter that doesn't go: "We met at a party where I was incredibly drunk and got into a fistfight." 

You won't marry him until your late 20s and you will have lots of boyfriends in the meantime.  I'm not going to tell you all about them, but I will tell you this:  Don't fall for it when a guy says to you, "How about just the tip?" or "Let's just put it in once." Those are ubiquitous phrases on the landscape of teen/twenties dating and if you have to be cajoled, it's not worth worrying about birth control and pregnancy and disease.  And plus, anyone who uses those phrases is a lame-o.  He's probably also the one who tells you about "blue balls." FYI - that's not real. 

Be nicer to your friends.  Especially Jackie.  And your parents aren't nearly as stupid as they seem right now (but how could they possibly be, right?)

On the topic of academics.  Lose the "fuck this" attitude when it comes to computer class.  I know it sucks to try to write a program to make a line drawing of Santa say "ho ho ho" on a Commodore 128, and it doesn't seem like it's worth even one hour of your time, much less the hundreds of hours you unsuccessfully spent on it.  Try harder.  Computers figure prominently in the future.  Take more math classes and don't revel in being bad at math.  It's not funny to be so incredibly stupid.  I know it sucks, but power through! Someday your seventh grade son (no, you shut up!) will totally humiliate you when he asks for help with his homework and you don't have a clue how to do it.  Avoid that.  It's uncomfortable and humbling.  Take a chemistry class, even though it's really stinky in that room.  You might learn something! 

Get a lot more education when you go to college.  Being a teacher is fun and all, but for the most part, it's a shitty job.  The pay sucks, the administrators don't care about you, the parents are mostly nice but that fact is overshadowed by the crazies, and the field never "breaks wide open!" like your college teachers say it will.  The economy goes in the shitter so teachers hang on to their jobs like grim death, even in the face of being the societal scapegoats for all that goes wrong in the world.  Go into something computer related.  You'll like it, I promise!  Learn about "social networking" via the "internet."  If you get on the ground floor of that, you will be rich rich rich!  Don't ever work for Lehman Brothers, but AIG would be okay.  Get one of those jobs with the sweet bonus packages. 

Those are the highlights of what I have to tell you.  I'm sure there is more, but I can't have you avoiding all your mistakes, that would just make you more boring than you already are.  Oh, sorry, when you're 40 you get boring. Try to avoid that.  But don't do heroin.

And stay away from Cheez-its and pita chips.  They are like heroin to you and they make for uncomfortable and tight, surprisingly gas-producing pants.  Yeah, you're forty and farty.  Prepare yourself.   I have to rush off right now to catch the rocket to my vacation home in the moon colony.  Be good!  Have Fun!  

Your 2010 Self

p.s. Your parents know about Jonelle's and your wine-cooler hiding spot behind the shed.  Just a head's up. 


  1. OK...I laughed hysterically at damn near all of it! I might have to actually do this on my blog next week!

  2. I’d like to go back and be nicer to some people (Mary Mensing) and also tell a few people to go fuck themselves. And I’d like to practice being braver back then so that I’d get the hang of it and be braver now. And I’d like to have been WAY more ambitious academically. But it'd be harder for me because I'd have to go back 42 years.

  3. Oh Sarah...nearly peed my pants on this one, you paint such a vivid picture, it just brings me right back there with you! Seriously, I so wish we could do the whole time travel thing. Back to the Future?!

  4. Sarah - loves it. "Just the tip"... if I could count the times...

    I read that aloud to BF and he said "who would ever do that/fall for that", to which I replied - "most girls in their teens/twenties".

    Ahhhh... great post, I laughed quite a bit, but you are still too hard on yourself. (how do I change my name to Pot? As in the Pot calls the Kettle...? Is that even PC to say that any more?)

    I digress.

    I'd like to try this, too, on my blog but you already said it better than I could.

    Damn peg-legged pants.

  5. That was great.

    I started working on mine when twitter was all a twitter with tweetingyour16yearoldself last week. Guess I should finish it, too.

    Just stumbled upon your blog :)

  6. I am forwarding this letter to my 16 year old self!

  7. p.s.: What'd the leper say to the hooker?

    You can keep the tip.

    Also? They had zippered-leg jeans at the Gap yesterday. I am terrified.


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