Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Five Things I'd Tell the Teenage Me

What Things Would You Pick?

1. You are neither as cool as you seemed in sixth or eleventh grade nor the klutzy nerd you seemed in eighth or tenth. So don't get a big head, but don't hang it either.

2. Boys "things" don't fall off if you don't have sex with them. They are not in mortal pain either.

3. Girls can be good at math--if they pay attention. Don't listen to those male math teachers. You will be the star in your math class in college at age 48. Sadly, it was the math you should have learned at age 14.

4. Spend more time with your parents. The kids you are with at 16 will disappear from your life forever.

5. Don't smoke. It is not as easy as you might think to quit.


Graham Powell said...

I only have two things I'd tell teenage me:

1) You want a date with that cute girl? Pick up the damn phone!

2) You want to be a writer? Pick up the damn pen!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Unfortunately, girls couldn't do 1 in my day. And 2, I did. The worst, most maudlin poetry you've ever read.

George said...

The only thing I would add to your insightful list is: Good friends will help you through many difficulties.

Anonymous said...

Don't smoke would definitely be #1.

Also, NEVER drink and drive, even if you've just had one or two.

Jeff M.

Jerry House said...

1. You're not as smart as you think you are.

2. Those cool friends of yours? They aren't.

3. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

4. Don't listen to THE GRADUATE; it's computers, not plastics!

5. Always read the small print.

Ben said...

Great thread idea. Here's what I would tell myself.

1) Get out that damned basement. Go face the others.

2) Go work, learn to do stuff. You're wasting your time.

3) Your friends are shitty.

4) Punch back while you're a minor. Stand your fucking ground.

5) Think beyond your parents. They are nice people, but they don't have the answers you seek.

YA Sleuth said...

This is sort of fun, but sad somehow. If only you could really go back and give this advice... The math advice rings very true to me, too.

I would tell myself to have more fun. I studied so hard, and worried about the wrong things.

Heck, that's advice I should take today! :-)

Al Tucher said...

Definitely, don't smoke.

The girl who suddenly become beautiful when she smiles is the one for the long haul.

The "tough" guys are bluffing, except for a very few who aren't.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, now I could add some others. Your parents will both think you are better than you are in some things and not as good in others. So spend time with them but don't treat their opinions as gospel.
And oh, yes about the cool friends. Especially if he steals cars.
Study harder. Like your kids did.

Anonymous said...

Not me, Patti. I studied too much.

Take more chances is what I'd advise myself.

Jeff M.

Deb said...

I'd give myself practical advice: wash off your make-up before you go to bed (especially that gloopy blue eye shadow); no matter how much you're earning at your job, always put 10% of your take-home in a savings account; check the tires and oil before you pull out if the driveway; and remember pot does nothing for you but give you a mind as torpid as Gerald Ford's (hey, I'm talking to myself in 1975) and give you the munchies at two in the morning--and you don't need either I'd those conditions.

/Of course, I tell my own teenagers the same thing (updating the Ford reference naturally). I only hope they listen better than I would have done back in the day.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I took too many chances. Nothing like the things that are out there today but too many. I would also tell myself to let things go. Don't fret so much. But that's more an innate thing, I think. There are things about yourself that no one can change.

Cap'n Bob said...

If someone is making your life miserable, kill him. They'll only jail you until you're 18, if at all.

Kieran Shea said...

1) There's no way Brother Tim is going to kick you out of school, so just chill and watch him aneurysm out.

2) Screening stag films in the yearbook office with beers? Bad idea, no matter what Mike and Rob say.

3) Bronwyn. Stay away, she'll break your heart.

4) Trust me, Dad is so full of shit.

5) After college, move west.

Todd Mason said...

In a world where you felt constrained from calling a boy on the phone, one can understand why you might be drawn to a guy who'd steal cars. Todd Akin's world, except even then doctors knew that rape didn't preclude conception (as have doctors for as long as there have been doctors).

Hm. "Don't let yourself get into the habit of letting things Go for so long. And even though you're facing an ocean of obliviousness and negativity, try to simply not let it tear you down any more than you can." Also, write more.

J F Norris said...

I prefer to be cryptic and figurative when talking about this period of my life:

1. Fight back.

2. You'd be good at track and field. Good advice from someone you should respect more.

3. Designated drivers are a good idea.

4. Acting as a career choice is a bad idea.

5. Measure twice, cut once.

J F Norris said...

Just finished reading all the comments. Jerry House's list is PERFECT!

Todd Mason said...

And, of course, there was Just as much horrible nonsense to get involved with in the early '60s as there is now. It might've been a little harder to find, but not much. No lack of street gangs, for example.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Mid-sixties, please. I was twelve in 1960 and still skipping rope. My street gang year was 1963-64.
Yes, Jerry's is perfect. But every list here has something I wish I had known.
The biggest is smoking is not cool even though I didn't know a single kid and almost no adults other than my Dad that didn't smoke back then.
I wish I hadn't moved west though. It has never fit.

Todd Mason said...

Wait, though..."things" Don't fall off? (There can be pain, but oddly enough in simple cases that can be taken care of by the boy in question his own self.)

Todd Mason said...

Well, of course, I define the early '60s (as well as the Benighted Centuries) as everything before 6 August 1964. Everything since has been The That Much More Benighted Decades...

pattinase (abbott) said...

I didn't know that until a bit later. Always interesting--the sixties--perhaps three distinct periods.

Anders Engwall said...

About Patti not being able to phone guys for dates, here's a rather topical song I discovered only recently:

From 1968 - the LATE sixties - and Betty was only 14 when she recorded it, believe it or not.