As I make my way down the blogging block, I am discovering that I am a bit of a random grandmother. My guess is my random grandmotherly comments are starting to annoy some perfectly capable young bloggers who obviously do not need an extra set of aging eyes to tell them how to raise their kids or train their dog or raise their kids using dog training techniques. After leaving a six paragraph comment on the merits of downsizing on a young blogger’s Christmas post, it occurs to me that I need a different approach for “helping” the young people (one just can’t tell a 32 year old that the super cool expensive hood over a six burner Wolf stove, isn’t worth it). Hence, I was thrilled to discover the latest rage in airplane literature and blog writing: A letter to myself.
What the hell is wrong with you? I feel very, very sorry for your parents! I know you think I’m being harsh, but you are so LUCKY to be alive! Seriously, if you were my kid, I would probably send you to live with your grandparents (side note: nobody, not even my mother got that – think about it).
Holy cow, look at you, you are obviously obese. All teenage girls are fat, so stop feeling sorry for yourself; no female who has ever laid eyes on the likes of Seventeen or Cosmopolitan escapes a lifetime of not starving themselves without feeling guilty. You, my little Miss Glamour Don’t will gain and lose over 500 pounds during the next 40 years. No worries my dear, you will never be this fat again. So stop worrying and stop smoking!
Dear 22 yo Julie,
I know you are heartbroken now, but someday when you are middle-aged, on approximately December 12, 2011 at 8:32 p.m., the man who broke your heart is going to be your Facebook friend and he is going to post this video:
You are going to watch it, laugh, and then feel grateful you were heartbroken enough to see a therapist who said to you “Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? Stop thinking about him and start thinking about what you are going to do for yourself.” After you watch the clip and post a witty response, you will snuggle up in the arms of the love of your life who you met four months after you had your heart broken into smithereens and two months after you finally made the decision to do something for yourself; college.
Someday this man you are so mad at and so hurt by, who seems unforgivable at the moment, will lose his youngest child in a car accident. That is the day you will learn the meaning of heartbreak at the core of your being. You’ll be grateful that you were friends, and that you met his boy. Stop carrying a grudge, stop feeling angry, stop letting your heartbreak consume your life. Just stop it!
Congratulations! You graduated! From the # 1 public university in the world. Now you can stop thinking you are stupid (ha, ha just like you are not fat). Chances are you will go to a family gathering with your future in-laws (don’t bring Pâté , bring chips) and your father-in-law might mutter something in Latin and you won’t have a clue what it means even though you should know this because you graduated from the #1 public university in the world. This is when you should do the dishes.
Eventually, you will be a teacher and take hundreds of kids to visit the # 1 public university in the world even though most people don’t think these kids have a chance in hell of going to college. You will make a video of all of the trips combined and put it to Pink’s song F**king Perfect. At times, you will hum these lyrics to yourself “You’re so mean when you talk about yourself . . . . change the voices in your head . . . . Why do you do that, why do you do that, why do I do that?”
Stop doing it!
In fact, you might even type the lyrics in a blog post right before you go to physical therapy on December 13, 2011 at 5:13 p.m. where you will run across an older man who will mutter something in Latin. You will think that you didn’t hear him correctly because you are deaf in your left ear. He’ll repeat, laugh, and then say as he points to your sweatshirt, “I thought you might know some Latin since you went to the #1 public university in the world!”No need to feel stupid. No need to enumerate all of the languages you DO understand or point out that your eldest son (btw you have a son) is fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, and Arabic which surely are more useful languages than Latin. Stop enumerating right now.
Dear 28 yo Julie,
Don’t say these words, “You only had one thing to do,” to Tony on the morning of your wedding. So what if Tony got the wrong shirt for one of the guys in the wedding. Is the difference between ivory and white really worth getting so upset about. Perhaps, you should look into the menopause pill. M-E-N-O-P-A-U-S-E – look it up.
On a different note, you need to stop smoking NOW. You WILL regret spending your entire wedding reception outside with the smokers; Uncle Bob and his new girlfriend in the mini-skirt (1988 – the pilgrim look was the latest rage – not mini skirts).
Dear 29 yo Julie,
Hey you with the ice pick chopping away at the anniversary cake Ellen made for you, FYI, NOW you are fat. I know Tony is taking care of his dying mother and you are eight months pregnant, but you are supposed to eat the anniversary cake WITH Tony, THAWED, and not as a two dozen doughnut chaser. Stop eating!
PS Epidural, do it. No need to wait 36 hours. Just stop the pain.
Birth control? So glad you didn’t stop even though it was, let’s see 1, 2, 3, . . 8, 9, 10 days since your period. Oops. Happy New Year!
Do I need to explain to you how babies are made?
Start a college savings account NOW! Maybe buy stock in Weight Watchers.
Stop playing with HyperCard on your new Macintosh personal computer and go and listen to what your dad is saying to you in the kitchen. There will be plenty of one word software applications with capital letters randomly placed within their names to toy with for years to come. You will never see your dad again.
Dear 33 yo Julie,
It’s Christmas! Stop shopping. Stop wrapping. Don’t buy those three super expensive, cute, fuzzy flamingo marionettes attached to controls your children cannot possibly manipulate by fishing line that will be forever tangled within in moments. Kellie will be thrilled with the packaging “Look mommy, rubber glass” the Snow White doll came in, Ralphie will be content to drop each piece of your mother-in-law’s beautifully carved nativity scene into the heating vent never to be seen again (the heating vent led to the furnace in the basement; you realize what this means?). And Kip, Kip is not going to be happy with anything you do until he has his own child for at least 12 years. That’s Kip’s job, to be just like you so you have someone to say I hope you have a child just like you . . .Think about it, do you really want to stop the cycle?
Work, graduate school, three children under five. STOP IT! And let Ralphie out of the playpen more often (that’s gonna bite you someday).
Stop taking things so seriously (especially the other PTA moms), and stop volunteering for everything! You see that guy across the room who just said, “I can’t get my kid to baseball practice because I’m busy at that time.” Your brain should listen, you are busy at that time, too.That is the time you drive Kelly and her four little friends to Dance Garden, DON’T YOU DARE . . . “I can drive your son.” If you had stopped yourself from volunteering to drive his son, you would not have to pay a babysitter $10.00 an hour to watch Ralphie while you shuttle kids to opposite sides of San Francisco during rush hour because no matter how much you believe in your ability to be Super Mom, you only have eight seats in the van and you cannot be two places at one time. Stop it!
Dear 38 yo Julie,
Stop the car and go back and get your grandmother’s red lipstick.
Dear 39 yo Julie,
Oh my God. Please DO NOT SELL your three story Edwardian house in San Francisco, in 10 years it will be worth over $2 million!!!!! Stop, stop, stop now! Too late. You idiot!
I’m proud of you for taking your family on a three month trip to 17 countries even if it mostly felt like one long episode of Survivor and it meant you would still be paying off the credit card charges 10 years later. If you had not gone, you would have missed out on your all time favorite family memory on the hillside above Assisi, Italy: walking through the olive orchards over Roman ruins towards the medieval town center, listening to Kip explain the history of man starting with Homo Habilis.
Plus, Tony would not have been able to say his famous line when the Bed and Breakfast host in Bath, England asked us if our family would like “two tables for three or one table for six?”
“We’d like six tables for one, please.”
Dear 42 yo Julie,
Now would be a good time to apologize to your own mom. And stop taking Tony for granted. He has some liver issues.
Stop doing things without moderation. Stop over doing everything! Why not a week long RV trip to the Grand Canyon? Did you really have to go to Texas AND New Hampshire?
(I just read this post to Tony, his response, “Why did we have to drive 500 miles out of our way to see the Heber Sink Hole?)
In other words, downsize.
p.s. Sell, sell, sell!
. . . just in case you didn’t hear that, it was the stock market crashing again!
Start training for a marathon, you never know when a bee is going to fly into your new truck while your newly licensed child is driving it. Running will help; trust me it’s better than drinking wine (unless you are 51 and you have a dead arm, then drinking wine can be better than running).
Dear 48 yo Julie,
Just stop. Stop believing your teenagers (except the one in band). There isn’t a kid on this planet who buys Visene because their eyes are dry. Stop not meaning what you say. Stop not following through.
Start avoiding eye contact with Erland!
Hope you bought those college savings bonds. There is no money in blogging , but a blog will get one through a family trip to Thailand with three grown children, the way a marathon will get one through three teenage drivers).
Stop writing this, read your Passion post, take it to heart (aka get some air) and go give Tony a nice long, unhurried kiss. And stop worrying. Just stop it.
Bum-Bum (that’s my onomatopoeia for the email ringtone). Hey look, 51 yo Julie, you just got a True Story Gold Star from I’ll Sleep When They are Grown (if I had an evil laugh, it would be here), one of the mothers you have been random grandmother stalking.
Dear 51 yo Julie plus 15 minutes,
Seriously stop it. Remember Tony, kiss . . . . bum-bum. . . .