Thursday, July 5, 2012

Advice Gains Meaning, 26 Years Later

This post shared by my friend Ryan inspired me to ponder my 12-year-old psyche and what I would say now to who I was then. In remembering what was important to me at that time, I realized many strange connections to who I would later become.

Dear Andrea,

I know you hate your name but don't a few years your dream will come true and you'll finally get to live vicariously as Molly Ringwald's character in Pretty in Pink. You'll grow lousy with teen angst from not fitting in, you'll settle in to your record store job, and you'll own your very own Duckie. Right on cue, you'll break his heart, and years from now you will still remember your senior prom as one of the best nights of your life, thanks to him.

But first, you'll have to survive high school. Yes, it will be worse than getting glasses, worse than getting braces (spoiler alert!) and even worse than that summer vacation Mom and Dad forced you to spend in Williamsburg, Virginia. I just want you to be prepared when the demon who doubles as your human sister is voted Ms. Personality, when the entire student body forgets your name on the class t-shirt, and when your best friend passes you a note just before graduation, telling you she no longer wants to be your friend at all. Sorry if this is overwhelming, but there's more. The same goes for your first job, at Arby's. It will, indeed, crush your soul. Ironically, you will continue to crave Arby's sauce well into your 30's, despite the fact that your career in roast beef will come to a cold, calculated end by your thieving, moronic boss. The good news is, you'll be inspired to write the story, and many others from your youth, which will help you land a job as an advertising copywriter.

Be proud; you've made some good choices.  Stick with these:  paying attention in English class, running away from the strange car that appears in your driveway one day, and reading your sister's diary. Just give a second thought to blowing off your grandparents for more time with your friends.  Trust me, you'll wish you could have them back someday for miniature golf and Dairy Queen sundaes.

Mom's annoying advice is almost always right.  Life ISN'T fair and your sister WILL be your best friend someday. That bullshit about Huey Lewis worshiping the devil was way off base, though.  Seriously, what was she thinking?  Huey Lewis?!?

I digress, and I also must have exceeded your attention span by now, so I'll conclude by saying stop worrying so much about being cool.  I mean, come on.  You're 12.  You're not going to get cool for a long, long time.