Life Lesson #3: Normal people have a phone number

I got tagged for a meme back in August. I decided to not let the fact that's it's October stop me from doing it. The meme Virginia tagged me for is to link to a bunch of stuff. Posts I wrote and then stuff other people wrote. Except I got caught up reading Virginia’s letter to her 22 year old self. I particularly enjoyed her advice about how other people can see you when you’re behind the bush.

So when I went to do my response to that meme, I somehow ended up writing a letter to my younger self instead. Which is totally not correct for this meme. So now I’m two months late and completely out in left field. But it’s the thought that counts. So there we are. And I didn’t write to my 22 year old self. Not that 22 year old me was a genius or anything. I just figure 18 year old me was more in need of pointers.

Dear 18 year old younger, thinner and exceptionally more naive me,

Hi. Right. So, it’s me. I’m 33 now. I know. That’s like way old, right? Yeah. So I’m going to give you the 411 on some stuff. 411 is a term you can use to mean information. Feel free to use that. People will copy you. Mark my words.

First, let’s talk about that dude you’re thinking of dating. You know the one. Right. So, that dude’s a loser. I know he seems nice. And I know you think he’s sort of sweet and you like how he laughs at your jokes and makes your heart kinda skip a beat. Right. Forget he ever existed. Because he’s a loser. His life is going nowhere. I know that sounds judgmental. Except, seriously, his life really is going nowhere. I know he tells you about his big plans and he sounds confident that it’ll happen. And I’m sure he means it when he says it. But it’s fluff. Learn to spot that early. It will serve you well. Because there are a lot of people with big plans. The ones to look for are the people with realistic visions of how they’ll make it happen and are actually taking steps to make it happen. Even little steps. And letting you buy dinner because he has no money does not count. In fact, it sort of counts against him. And, honestly, his people skills suck. Like how he’d say he was going to call and didn’t. Or like how he never had a phone number he could be reached at. Normal people have a phone number they can be reached at. Rule for life. Stitch it on a pillow and live by it.

You need a new job, too. I know you’re friends with everyone down at that Taco Hell and it’s easy and you chat all day and you really don’t care about getting a new job because you’re in school. But there are better jobs. And you could get one. You know how to type. That’s a marketable skill. I know you think everyone knows how to type so it doesn’t seem very special. Wrong. People will pay you to type stuff. For that matter, people will pay you to answer a phone. I know. That seems dumb, too. Anyone can answer a phone. That’s what I’m saying to you. You qualify for plenty of other jobs. Feel free to get one that’s more fun, too. Like, say, one that doesn’t involve drunk men hitting on you through the drive through window. Or trying to read people’s minds about how many packs of hot sauce they’re going to require per taco.

Finally, your red hair is kinda awesome. Not everyone is into red heads. That’s fine. But there’s a whole segment of the population that thinks natural red heads rule. A whole segment that actually prefers them. They’ll come up to compliment you in airports. They’ll give you an exceptionally friendly smile at the grocery store checkout. You’ll see. It’s kind of a learning experience. It’s the hair. It’s your very own little gold star in the dating arena. Learn to appreciate it. But feel free to cut it. Because less is more. Especially if the more is your shaggy shapeless mop. Merry Christmas.

Older, wiser and significantly more neurotic you

I didn’t tag anyone. I’m two months late and in left field anyway. But if you write your younger, stupider self a letter let me know and I’ll gladly add a link.


~Virginia~ said...

Late or on time...on or off topic--this was wonderful! You made me giggle quite a few times. Man, if we really could warn ourselves away from the waste-of-space men, that would save us a lot of heartache and time, wouldn't it?

This was fabulous! Definitely stitch the words "Normal People Have a Phone Number" on a pillow! :)

Caroline Bender said...

Hi - enjoy your blog, and this is a nice letter. here's a link from me -- not technically letter format, but I did meet my 22 year old self recently, and we had a good talk.


Jessica said...

While I'd love to warn my younger, more naive self about the guys I will date that will smash my heart like a tambourine, I feel as though the lessons I learned from every single one of those heartaches allowed me to appreciate what a wonderful, caring, responsible, remarkable person my boyfriend is now. Without having had my heart broken once, twice, (ok like seven times) I might have taken him and everything he has to offer for granted.

So for that, I think the advice I would give my younger, more naive self, is to keep her chin up because the tears will dry, the pain will subside and I will become a better person because of every experience I allowed myself to walk into blindly.

a happier girl said...

Virginia - Thanks. I'm going to trademark my pillow concept and start marketing it immediately.

caroline - Your letter was so pretty! It was like reading a short story instead of my "you are young and stupid" letter. Very nice. I'll be sure to add the link.

Jessica - I totally agree. I feel as though the older I get the more appreciate this idea. I try really hard to accept errors along the way as learning experiences and just embrace them.

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