Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't Drink That! And Other Advice For Those In High School

1) Unless you're checking the circuit breaker for your parents or getting your bike out of the garage, stay out of basements and garages.

Nothing good is going to happen in a basement or a garage. Because you are too young to have your own apartment in which to do stupid things, you will be tempted to do stupid things in someone's garage or basement. It is, you think, your transitionary apartment. A place untouched by adult vibes and watchful eyes. You will want to plug in a blacklight and furnish this place with someone's old scratchy outdated sofa and you will think you've arrived.

You've arrived, alright. You've arrived at a place where you're about to do stupid things. In this sacred space you will try smoking a cigarette for the first time, or continue your now pack-a-day-at-15-years-old habit. Stupid. You will be lured into someone else's garage or basement, and you will exit looking as if you've attached a vacuum cleaner hose to your neck. No one attaches a vacuum cleaner hose to their neck. We know how you got that. And it was stupid.

You will, in this stupid-doing place, think it's a good idea to make a beer bong and slouch under it, chugging away as your friends cheer you on. You will have photos taken of you. You will post them on facebook. We can see this, too. And believe you, me. We're thinking, "Well, that's stupid." You will get high in this place and think you're really onto something. You are. You're really onto seeing which one of your friends in their 20s or 30s are still sitting in their garages getting high. Which is probably most of them, although you don't consider it now. Write their names down. Wait a decade. You'll see.

2) Almost-in-high-school-gentlemen: Just because you can grow facial hair doesn't mean you should.

There's nothing creepier than a 15-year-old with a full-blown, West Virginian Mountain Man beard. (With the exception of one- ONE- old student, Teddy, who seems to sport his with panache.) It does not, despite what your guy friends tell you, make you appear more manly. It makes you appear like something creepy that shouldn't have a beard on it- in the same category as a grandma or a butt. Somethings should remain virtually hair-free if one can help it. And you can.

In the same category would be those of you who, much to your delight, woke up one day with a mild sprouting of haphazard hairs curling their way from under your otherwise smooth chin or cheeks. This, I'm sorry to tell you, is not really a beard- no matter how much you admire it in the mirror or fiddle with it in class. Get rid of it.

3) About-to-be-in-high-school-Ladies: When you wear ho clothes, you may feel sexy, and you may be getting attention from a certain population of boys, but- let me tell you, and listen up- you look like a moron.

I've seen it. I've seen it on facebook. I've seen it in person during 8th grade graduation. I've seen you wearing heels so high your ankles wobble each time you step. I've seen you squeeze yourself into skirts that barely cover your under-butt and tops that announce to the world, "Look! I was a flat-chested kid just a couple of years ago but now I have tatas!" We know you have tatas.

I don't blame you, really. You've been given a recipe for how you should dress from the time you started watching television and listening to music, really. You were told "sex=power" and you figured that to be true the first time you got attention from a heightened hemline or lowered bustline. But, let me clarify something. You're trying to attract teenage boys, right? And teenage boys are riddled with hormones that would posses them to hump a tree if they thought no one were looking. They can't help it. Everything is humpable and everything is saturated with sexual energy. You don't have to work that hard. Really. It's okay to be pretty. Attractive. Beautiful. Without the stereotypical look of someone begging to be noticed for their outsides only. Cover the tatas, ladies. Tone down the pumps. Put that out there and you may be surprised by the quality of who you attract.

4) Smoking is stupid. Don't do it.

Yes, I smoked. I was an idiot. And I felt cool doing it. And I looked like an idiot. In fact, a bird shit in my eye the first day of high school because I was lurking around in an alley trying to get a last smoke in before heading in to class. Karma. That's what that is.

Plus, it's like- what?- $4 or $5 a pack now? Well, that's ridiculous. They were $1.25 in the vending machine when I was your age, so- there.

5) Hey, what do you think about just holding off on the whole drinking bit until you're older?

cool? not really. douchebags? yes. 
If you're 21 and still feel like sitting in someone's basement, getting loaded, making out with some guy who moments before you were utterly repulsed by, vomiting in someone's toilet while someone else holds your hair, well- go for it.

Just wait and see if that still sounds like a good idea at 21. Your brain is dumb right now. Remember that. Oh, now- don't go getting offended. It's just a fact. Your dumb brain will tell you all types of things are a good idea, and years later, you'll look back and wonder what in the hell you were thinking. Trust me. This will happen. So, why not just wait a bit. You're not going anywhere. You have plenty of time in the future to make yourself look like an ass in public if you so desire.

6) We, who have done dumb things in our teenage years, know who you are and exactly what you're up to.

Yeah. Sit with that for awhile.

We blend ourselves into what you see as the ignorant and out of touch adult community. That's part of how we do things. To trick you. But, I'm telling you, we know what you're up to. (p.s.- If this statement just made you lower your blinds and check your door to make sure it's locked, you're smoking too much pot, and we knew that, too.)

7) There's nothing wrong with being a nerd or being friends with a nerd.

Fact: The "cool people" you know are more insecure than you can imagine. It takes a lot of cool-being to mask not feeling cool at all. The people who have already decided they're not cool and have no desire to get to a place of coolness are actually some of the coolest people you will ever meet in your life. These are the people you'll connect with 10- 20 years from now and wonder why you weren't friends with them in high school. Try it. Hang out with one of these people for a day. Sit with one of them at the lunch table. Not to mock them or prove something about yourself. Just to get to know someone you may otherwise completely overlook. You'll be surprised.

8) If you're being a bitch, stop it. If you're being an asshole, knock it off.

Enough said.

9) Your parents are only temporarily the enemy because you're probably in violation of one of the 8 things listed above.

1) Stop doing those things and you'll see that you actually might like your parents a little. Otherwise, 2) wait until you're older, 3) go to therapy, 4) blame everything you don't like about your life on your mom and dad, 5) work through it, and then 6) arrive at step 1, where you could have easily been years earlier and for a lot less money.

10) Peer pressure is stupid. Be who you are and no one else.

If you get that funny feeling that you shouldn't be doing something- don't do it. If someone tells you that something you do is "retarded" or "gay" because this is the only way they can come up with to try to extinguish a part of you that may be genuine- ignore them. Be the person who gets up early on the weekend for a run, if you like running. Be the person who goes to see a Disney film because you happen to still like them. Be the person who feels comfortable in your own clothes. In your own skin. Be the person who says, "Fine- you go ahead and snort that if that's what you feel like doing, but I'm not going to." Be the person who says, "Fine- you don't want to date me anymore because I won't (insert any number of sexual things here)? You've done me a favor. You've made it really clear that you're not the person for me."  Be that person. Decades from now you'll look back and know that person was there, and wonder where she (or he) was. Why wasn't she speaking up? The only reason is because you didn't let her. That's it. Nothing else.


  1. You're welcome, kid. Now go spread the word to the dumb-dumbs that really need to hear it.

  2. I friggin' love you.