Dear Teenage Self

I started writing these joke-y Dear Teenage Self posts on my twitter account the other day and I could have gone on and on. There’s so much to tell my teen self! First, here are the ones from twitter, in case you missed them:

Dear Teen Self, Invent something called the Paleo Diet. It’s JUST like Atkins, but w/ no beans or cheese & people are CRAZY weird about it.

Dear Teenage Self, You might be amused to learn that BROOKLYN becomes cool. I know! Isn’t that crazy? Love, 48 year-old you

Dear Teenage Self, In your defense, the ONLY people who are actually cool at age 48 are in a rock or punk band. Love, 48 year-old you

Dear Teenage Self, You WILL BE cool at age 48, but only in your head. Love, 48 year-old you

Dear Teenage Self, You will *eventually* talk about the weather. Try not to think you’re so cool. Love, 48 Year-old you

As an aside, Brooklyn actually isn’t cool anymore. Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. Troy, NY is where all the cool, hip  stuff is happening now. I bought vodka distilled from free-range, grass-fed APPLES at a Farmers Market in Troy this past fall. TROY! I think you can buy a 3-story Victorian there for — like — $15K.

Okay, here is MORE of what I’d say to my Teen Self…

Dear Teen Self,

I want to prepare you for all of life’s BIGGIES…

Yoga becomes something that EVERYONE does; It’s not just for people from India or California.

The few people you’ve HEARD of who are vegetarian have been replaced by a people called vegans  and — no — I’m not making that word up.

There’s a health food store that’s a CHAIN and everyone who shops there is so cranky that they don’t even smile at your adorable children.

Shit. Yes…you have KIDS. I know you’ve sworn them off. Drawing lines in the sand and then crossing over them Will Be A Theme for you.

You know how you and your sibs all think mom is kinda kooky? Tell dad that mom is actually mentally ill and make sure he medicates that woman before they both get divorced.

FUCK!! Sorry…yes! They get divorced next year. You already know it’s for the best, but try not to stuff all your emotions about it. Remember that television special about Bulimia?

More good information to have…

Triathalons and marathons are VERY popular and even housewives do them!

Oh, no one refers to them as housewives anymore.

IMPORTANT: Shrimp are no longer a special food; twins are EVERYWHERE and luxury cars a ubiquitous!

[Should I tell her about gluten!? I’m just imagining the possibilities if she avoids gluten starting at a young age. That’ll mean no bagels, French bread, pizza or BEER. Fuck it. Let her figure it out later. Who cares if it leads to chronic disease? But that does bring up another good one…]

Teen Self: Everyone in the future has a chronic illness.

Lastly, the following will solve many of your life’s mysteries and will make dating in college much more fun…

Teen self, it is CRUCIAL that you understand that all the attention FROM and kissing OF the cute jocks is super fun, but…BUT…you must listen to me here…all the cute jocky guys end up being REPUBLICANS. Every_single_one of them.

Teen Cathy, Don't worry so much about your weight. And your boobs aren't THAT big. It's just that the guys in high school are assholes.
Teen Cathy!

<Then, in my best spooky voice>: Teen Self, find a different male archetype…The ethnic boys who look like your father’s side of the family are nice…Be sure to ask any boy you date about their politics….Ooooooo….I’m going now…Don’t forget to have fun….Sorry……I almost forgot to tell you…Don’t worry so much about your weight…And your boobs aren’t THAT big. It’s just that the boys in public high school are kinda weird about them…Don’t let your weight and boobs define you…You’ve gotta mouth on you…so use it! Use your words, Cathy!…Oh! And George Buck never calls you the summer he lives with Janet on Montauk…Don’t sit around waiting for him to call, Cathy…Have fun that summer…Have fun!


Catherine Bardagy Winchild
Your 48 year-old self

10 thoughts on “Dear Teenage Self

  1. oh this was a DELIGHT! I especially enjoyed the bits about teen boys. freaking teen boys, man. the words george buck, janet, and montauk made me extra happy all in a row for some reason.

    1. ohmygawd, Shannon: George Buck and Janet in Montauk is an entire blog piece I’ve ATTEMTED but never finished. I love that you love just the words together. And thanks for calling it a delight. I bet our teen selves would have enjoyed seeing Gang of 4 on the Pier in NYC together :)

      1. I look forward to their eventual place in the spotlight here in a blog post of their own someday!

        you would have been the cool friend who knew about gang of 4. I didn’t get into college radio music until my later teens!

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