Monday, April 8, 2013

To the Teenage Daughter I'll Never Have

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Yes, I know this may seem strange and maybe a little depressing, but I suspect that it's probably better for everyone if I don't have kids. That doesn't mean I'm not entitled to my own opinions about what I think some of them need to hear/read. Maybe this post will infuriate enough people to get some zippy comments ;-)

Dear almost-grown-up-person,

Let's start with the obvious: you know more than I ever will. I get that. If you carry a baby around inside your body for 9 months and have that kid peck you to death for 18 years, you will be as clueless as me. Maybe you'll see, maybe you won't. The good news is, at least for now, we have some choices, and I know you'll make the one that's right for you because whatever decision you make is the right decision---it just might take me, you know, 10 years or so to openly accept it. You know me: I'm always full of advice. Actually, you usually say I'm full of something else. I admit it: I've been listening-in on your phone calls, but it's for your own good so that makes it okay.

Now, I'd like to give you those tips you claim I've withheld from you every time you asked me for my "real" opinion. I've categorized them for easy-reference:

How to Get Boys to Like You
  • Wear what you want to wear because you love it and it makes you happy.
  • Be passionate about what you do and do what you're passionate about.
  • Put your real friends first and don't abandon them when they need you.
  • Don't compromise your beliefs and values to make yourself "more attractive."
  • Sherlock is right, "Brainy is the new sexy." Translation: don't act like a bimbo.
  • Don't play hard to get; be so involved in living your life and pursuing your interests that you don't force a guy you like into being the be-all-end-all of your existence. Sure, he may act resentful, but he really admires you for it--really, he does; men hate to show their true feelings.
  • Cry in private for the first few months. Tears weird them out.
  • Write him little notes; just, you know, nothing creepy.
  • Cookies
  • Agree to disagree
  • Listen when he talks, and say something when you speak.
  • Have the courage to admit to what frightens you.
  • Always be true to yourself. If you can't do that, he will never believe you can be true to someone else.
Girly Issues
  • Menstruation isn't a beautiful part of being a woman; it just sucks. Sorry I lied to you when you first mentioned it to me. I really was trying to be positive.
  • You know that new HPV vaccine: do it, and do it before you "do it."
  • Advil and a microwaved hot pack are mandatory equipment; and chocolate, and spa gift cards, and a girl friend who will pat you on the back while you cry during sappy commercials.
  • Don't shop when Aunt Flow comes to visit; you'll only think everything makes you look pimply and fat.
Dieting
  • Eat less, move more & snack healthy
Stain Removal
  • Wear black
  • If you can't always wear black, stay away from people who don't live off of clear food.
  • If you get something red or brown on a light colored article of clothing, run to the nearest bathroom, take it off and drench it with water. Can't do it? Pretend the spot is part of your look, and burn the clothes when you get home because that shit isn't coming out.
School
  • Grades are more important than boys and sex; really, they are. Ace everything now, and you'll have eligible bachelors wrapped around your block begging you to support them in the lifestyle to which they'd like to become accustomed.
  • Ask questions. If you have a sexist asshole for a teacher, ask why they aren't calling on girls.
  • Go to the college you want to attend. You're 18. Everyone else can go screw.
  • What to look for in a college:
    • Small classes
    • Courses and majors you are interested in
    • Extracurricular activities you like
  • Know that everyone in college is trying really hard to be an adult and probably failing at it. Accept that most of the people you meet will be doing this for the rest of their lives.
  • Challenge yourself when it matters to you. When it doesn't matter, let it go.
Life
  • If your gut is telling you something is wrong, listen to it. Your gut doesn't need to feel popular. It just knows things.
  • We all have needs. If you need a fling, have a fling---but use a condom. If you need a drink, have one, but drink water too. It's all about balance: keep your inner hedonist happy, but stay alive to enjoy the happy.
  • Whatever it is, you'll be okay. Yeah, I know, I know, I told you never can promise everything will be okay. Well, I can't promise that everything will be okay, but whatever happens, you'll handle it. Some things you will handle better than others, but like I said before, it's all about balance.
  • Don't live anywhere that doesn't allow pets. Only Fascists don't allow pets.
Disclaimer: remember, I don't really know anything.

Love, hugs and embarrassing kisses!