Dear 8-year old me,
I don’t know how to break this to you, but things didn’t work out exactly as you planned. You didn’t end up marrying Kirk Cameron (and by the way, he’s not as cool as you think he is) and you’re not a businesswoman employed by a mysterious gentleman who is also your boyfriend/bathroom sink faucet named Lorca (pronounced with a soft c)*.
You never really fully grew out of your awkward phase. Even now, at the age where most people would have to admit you are undeniably a “grown up”, you still often feel like you’re just pretending you know what you’re doing. Remember that time you pooped in your leotard at gymnastics while in line for the beam and the girl behind you asked if you’d just pooped and you said, “No” as if she was some kind of idiot? You’re still frequently trying to cover up for your lack of social graces, but fortunately, they don’t usually involve poop (or leotards). Just the other week you confused your limited Chinese vocabulary and said, “Good.” with a knowing nod to the Chinese waitress, when you meant to say “thank you.”
You got braces just like you always wanted. But guess what? Despite what that Snoopy poster said in Dr. Donahue’s office, “It’s cool to flash a silver smile!”, having braces was not cool. And while you no longer have that giant gap between your two front teeth, you still have a slight overbite, enough that you can’t really bite things because your teeth just kind of bend them like you’re using lefty scissors.
You also got to play the violin, again, just like you wanted. But like Kirk Cameron and braces, it didn’t end up being as cool as you thought it’d be. It’s actually quite hard to play and turns out you need to practice a considerable amount in order to get better. You end up carpooling to your violin lessons with Ivy Neustat, whose mom’s car smells like Concord grapes. And maybe it’s the smell of Concord grapes or maybe it’s the association with the violin lessons, but the smell of the car ends up making you feel nauseated. By now, I’d like to be able to tell you that you’ve learned to watch what you wish for, but you’re still working on that. On Wednesday, for example, you thought you really wanted to eat a giant mound of nachos by yourself.
You do end up getting married, not to Kirk or Lorca, but to a really cool guy named Matty. He’s kind and hardworking and he makes you laugh really hard. You don’t fight much, except about stupid stuff, like who’s funnier (it’s definitely you). You have two awesome kids, a hilarious 5-year old boy who doesn’t like wearing pants (yeah, it’s kind of weird) and a fantastic almost 8-year old girl who wants to play the violin just like you did. God help us.
Some things have not changed that much: you still think you’re a better singer than you are, Marco has still not officially admitted that he was the one that messed up Mom’s eye shadow kit, and you still can’t figure out the right hairstyle.
Don’t be afraid to wave your freak flag. Also, Dad was right; lobster is really, really good.
As Sebastian Bach sang, I remember you.
“Grown up” you
*p.s. You were kind of weird. Still are.