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A Response To That Letter You Wrote Your Future Self In Fifth Grade

Father comforts a sad child

Dear You,

I’m just going to be as straightforward as possible with you. That way, it will only hurt for a little bit. It’s like that time when your brother ripped off your Scooby-Doo Band-Aid the day after Mom stuck it on–he knew it had melted onto your skin as sufficiently as possible.

None of your dreams came true.

To be fair, you’re a ridiculous human being. You just clearly have no idea how anything works. But this is okay, seeing as you have an underdeveloped brain and only barely pull out Ps for “Progressing.” Don’t even pretend you’re close to “satisfactorily” passing your addition and subtraction class. You won’t need any part of your schooling when you’re my age. In fact, you still have 14 more years of schooling ahead of you, kid. Hate to say it, but it’s useless. Now, don’t get me wrong, you can’t just stop. That’ll ensure that you have an ongoing relationship with crack and people who have lip rings, and that’s never a good thing–even in comparison to life now. Just keep chugging, but always know it’s in vain.

Now, let’s address some of your aspirations as outlined in the memo–er, letter–dated June 4, 1999. Firstly, yes, you had some cool friends in high school and college for a little bit. But mostly, they just also enjoyed drinking and drugs just as much as you did. Also, those “cool kids” in high school wound up at State U for a semester before dropping out, so just remember to say “no” to the first (and subsequent) time on of them offers you heroin. Trust me. Let’s not even touch middle school. I mean, you’re doomed, but so is everyone else. It’s ironically the most depressing time in your life, because everyone is mean to each other for no real reason. It’s essentially like that week at work after performance reviews. But it’s okay. You’ll survive. Regardless, your social circle will peak in high school right around the time people are planning the post-Prom party (read: orgy). Come college, you’ll be too judgmental to pretend to like everyone. This is a good thing. After you graduate, you ask? Your brain can’t possibly handle sustaining more than four real relationships at one time. Choose wisely.

No, you don’t still live near Ricky and Sally Mae. In fact, they had a baby halfway through high school because one of them thought if you had sex standing up, you couldn’t get pregnant. Their child is now 14 and also pregnant. At least life is consistent, eh? These people are your biggest source of entertainment on Facebook and they help you pass at least two hours per day in your cube. You should NEVER consider them for “de-friend Fridays.” But still, way to dodge a bullet there.

Woohoo! You do make thousands and thousands of dollars now! Don’t mess your underoos just yet, though. It turns out, the government takes most of that away–and no, the government does not give it all back later to teach you a lesson like Mom did. They keep it. You also have these things called bills now, which means you essentially pay for shit whose purpose you barely notice. Like light. Did you know dad has to PAY for your lights to turn on? It’s a conspiracy, I agree. Your drinking problem also drains most of your resources, but at least that gives you warm feelings of dejection once or four times a week. Soak it up while you can still black out regularly.

Unfortunately, you don’t live in a mansion. At the rate you’re going, you never will. Like, ever. You live in a shoebox in some city and share your morning commute with three million other fuckheads just like you. Your two most viable options for achieving this dream, though, are either marrying some trust fund baby (but that’s a slim to none chance since they only breed with those of a very similar species) or winning some sort of settlement. Start paying attention to those shitty TV commercials for personal injury lawyers. Be ready to take a hard foul in the paint. Hey, you have to make sacrifices for some dreams, right?

Soon, you’ll realize you’re talentless. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not the fastest soda drinker in the grade anymore. You can’t even drink soda because you’re borderline diabetic. You didn’t make the national or Olympic team as you had planned. You didn’t get a pony or a Power Wheels Jeep like you asked for every damn year of your life. Mom and Dad were just making sure you learned that no matter how hard you wished, most of your dreams would never come true. You are not a ninja, and you can’t break a cinderblock with your face. This was confirmed spring break of your senior year. Pictures are still circulating somewhere–just Google “face cinderblock fail, missing teeth.”
Also, you must be severely confused, but no, you don’t have a significant other, a baby, and six cars by now. You may be almost 25, but you still act like you are 14 most of the time. Even if you could trick or bribe someone into procreating with you, Mom would have to take over because otherwise, the thing might die. And no, unfortunately, they don’t have a real life Rent-a-Kid program yet.

Generally, you’re grossly underqualified to be a “responsible adult” but grossly overqualified for your job. Just enjoy that juxtaposition as much as you possibly can. One thing to look forward to? ADULT SNOW DAYS! I promise you they’re one million percent more exciting than kid snow days. Learn to take what you can get. Always settle, never strive.

Sincerely,

You At 24

P.S. Cursive is useless. They’re all lying to you.

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Mary Swanson

Both a bitter and optimistic 24-year-old entry-level underachiever with 2-4 friends and 0 talents. Washed up is an understatement. I prefer almost all my food luke-warm, what does that say about me?

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