(inspired by Brad Paisley)
And send it back in time to myself at 17
This is what I’d say…
Whassup?!? No, you never do outgrow saying that but you do outgrow having it on your license plate, sadly. It just doesn’t have the same effect when on the license plate of the Mom mobile you now drive as it did the Geo Metro you had/have? Now/then? (note to self: writing to yourself in the past makes for some tricky grammar. I don’t think this was covered in Mr. Horn’s awesome English class). So you're turning 34 in a few days. THIRTY FOUR! Remember when you thought that was so ancient and out of touch? Well guess what sista, you're there. And now you keep thinking, how can I be 34 when I still feel like a 17 year old except for the random occasional aches and pains and fatigue and the tiny wrinkles you're starting to see and hoping no one else does and the fact that you can't believe what the kids these days are wearing, and 50 doesn't seem so old anymore. So yeah, you're basically prehistoric.
You will never believe what you are doing 17 years from now. NEVER, so I’m going to give you/me a preview and some words of wisdom.
First off, you know that 17 year old metabolism that allows you to eat whatever you want, whenever you want and not ever gain a pound? ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS, HONEY because it won’t be around forever. In fact, go eat some chips and salsa right now and top it off with a bag of Reese’s eggs while wearing your super cute and tiny bikini (that hasn’t see the sunlight in approximately 12 years) and watching the original 90210 until 3 in the morning. All things you can’t do now. I think of all the things of my youth, I miss my metabolism the most……. and Dylan McKay, obviously.
I know you’re very busy right now living it up in smalltown USA, giving your parents gray hair, trying to go on 34 dates before you graduate (mission failed btw), and sweet talking your way thru school. Now a normal, responsible adult would tell you to quit doing that, buckle down and focus on your studies but even 17 years later I am still NOT that normal or responsible. So instead I’m going to say go on, have fun, lead all those boys on while making them wash your car and change your oil, stay out too late, drive those gravel roads too fast, be the quintessential preacher’s daughter, do everything you’re doing, but for the love, try not to get caught so much! Your junior and senior years at that small school are some of the most fun years of your life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except for again, the getting in trouble because you’re getting caught all the time, part. Because think of all the memories you COULD have made if you hadn’t been grounded…again. All those crazy things you’re doing now make for a) great stories and fond memories when you’re old and fall asleep on the couch by 10:00 p.m. on Friday nights and b) keep your mind sharp for when your kids are trying to get away with similar antics on familiar territory aka gravel roads and swinging bridges. Also, without my teenage years, Dad would not have any material for his sermon illustrations. You’re welcome Dad.
Speaking of parents, your world is going to be rocked in just a few short years from now. You know, all those afternoons that you wrote yourself a note and forged your mom’s signature to get out of school to go surprise her at work and force her to buy you Taco Bell? KEEP DOING THAT no matter how mad the school secretary is at you or how many Saturday Schools you have to skip attend because your time with her is limited. And it sucks. So enjoy every minute you have with her aka prom dress shopping, ridiculous amounts of Mexican food, wedding planning and shopping BEFORE the groom to be has even proposed, and late night Wal Mart runs. And when as you pull out of the driveway of your parents’ house the day after your wedding and you’re a bawling hot mess, because you’ll “never get to live with my parents again” and your brand new, slightly frightened husband asks you if you want to turn around and go back, just go back for one more hug, one more laugh, one more glance of your mom sobbing hysterically because her baby is all grown up and married. But if you don’t turn around, cry for the first 90 miles of the trip and then call your mommy later that night from somewhere down in Georgia (Reba..holla! Oh wait, wrong song, oh well) because you ate some bad soup and have been throwing up nonstop and she’ll tell her new son in law to go get you some Coke because “Kyle Black always says warm Coke settles the stomach” and then she’ll ask if you’ve made any grandkids for her yet to which you’ll respond, “MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!” That will never NOT be completely embarrassing.
I think the most shocking development of the past 17 years besides the aforementioned tragedy, is what’s happened to you, or more accurately, WHO happened to you. You know that boy you fell in love with the FIRST SECOND you saw him (even though he was wearing a shirt with a deer on it) on your FIRST DAY at that hick school? The one who wouldn’t even speak to you for the first year you knew him, so you dated all his friends? Oh boy, do I have some news for you. Your dreams come true and you MARRY that boy, who is even more amazing than you suspected and still just as cute, have 3 kids, one of which looks exactly like him, and you still live outside of that hick town. WHAAAAAT? Who are you?!? Newsflash, you’re not black anymore, well, except when “Regulate” comes on the radio. You’re a country girl, wannabe farm girl now with a barnyard full of animals mostly for petting and 3 kids that call you MOMMY. You’re a MOM!?!?! Remember how you always thought you were Miss Independent Never Gonna Tie Me Down Never Gonna Have Kids? Yeah, you don’t know anything. You know what else? It’s the most awesome thing in the world and thankfully, they act more like their well behaved father than their wild and unruly mother….mostly. You’ve settled down considerably and enjoy very Carol Brady like activities like baking cupcakes and making your house look nice. I’m sorry to break it to you but you’re a regular domestic diva. It’s not as lame as you might think. But not to worry you STILL love New Kids on the Block and have a Jordan Knight calendar proudly displayed in your office at this very moment. And you know what else? Since you are a grown up with a real job (no offense to Casey’s Pizza or HyVee Chinese Kitchen circa 1996) you’ve even been able to go and see your beloved New Kids a few times in concert and it was everything you imagined it would be! See, growing up isn’t all bad!
So enjoy this time, your carefree youth, because it's good stuff and the stuff that makes for great stories and laughs for years to come are made of, but hang on because the best is yet to come.
Your Nearly 34 Year Old Self
P.S. We STILL don't know if OJ did it or not.
P.P.S. He TOTALLY did it.