written by Heather Foley
Remember being an optimistic wide-eyed teen? Yeah, me neither. What I do remember was being a sulking, know-it-all, grouchy brat, so I really haven’t changed all that much, other than the grey hairs and frown lines obvi. Maybe it’s because I have a son who is going to be a teen soon (I had him at 14) but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about teenage Heather Foley lately. Would she think I’m cool? Definitely not. Would she like my clothes? Probably. As I’ve been thinking, I started wondering about the things I would say to teen H-Fo, and I wrote myself a little letter you all get to read.
Dear Teenage Heather,
Hey, what’s up? How are things? Actually, I know how things are because I’m from the future. Hope I didn’t scare you too bad there. You might be wondering why grown you is taking time out her busy day to write you a letter. Well first of all, letter writing is a lost art, and we need to write more letters. Secondly, I want to lay some wisdom down on you, so here goes.
Take care of your skin. Moisturize, use sunscreen, wear big sunglasses, sit in the shade once in a while. I cannot stress these things enough! I know you’re banking on science having cured wrinkles by the time you’re 30, and I’m not saying they haven’t made progress in the aging battle, but we’re not there yet. One day you will wake up with little lines around your eyes and it will suck ass. Also, not to be a total bummer, but when you’re in your 20s girls your age and younger will get and die of skin cancer, so put some friggin sun block on, ok?
Accept your body for what it is. Stop wearing high-neck Speedos to the beach, you look ridiculous. I know this will make you uncomfortable and I don’t care, you are a cute kid and need to get over it. One day you’ll look back and wish you had the body you used to think was gross. Wear a bikini! Live a little.
Take some (hair) risks. You’re only a foolish teenager once, so get it all out of your system. Chop off your hair, dye it pink, bleach the hell out of it, shave a side off. When you grow up and enter the corporate world, they frown on expressing yourself via hair, so do it all now.
Don’t pierce your navel! I know you’re not going to listen to me, so I’m just wasting my breath, but please for the love of God leave your belly button alone! It will get infected multiple times, you never let the general public see it anyway, and when you’re older you will hate the stupid closed up hole that it has become. Seriously it looks like a weird giant blackhead, but at least you left your face alone.
Start saving your money now. I hate to break it to you, but your boobs never come in. Sorry girlfriend but you’re not a late bloomer like you were hoping. If you want anything more than a 34B you’re going to have to come up out yo pocket.
You will see The New Kids On The Block in concert as an adult. You will stand in the sideways pouring rain for a couple hours at Fenway Park and watch The New Kids and The Backstreet Boys bring the effing house down. You will scream and cry with strangers. You will sneak in nips because as an adult you love nips. You will be so waterlogged that it will take you at least two weeks to get rid of the cold feeling in the small of your back. And now to totally blow your mind, you will switch to team Donnie Wahlberg. No one will be more surprised by this than you. You will announce it people like a politician announcing his or her retirement at a press conference, but no one cares. It doesn’t matter; you know what a big deal it is.
And finally, thank you. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am that you don’t get a tattoo. You’re a stubborn, hard-headed little B, so I know if you wanted a tattoo for so much as a second you have gotten one; adult you is beyond relived you never got ink. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks for taking the time to read my letter, I know how busy you are with homework and studying, LOL! Oh, “LOL” means laugh out loud, I don’t know if that’s a thing or not yet. And I guess I should leave you with some parting wisdom? Well, it’s not a big deal. Whatever you’re worked up about now doesn’t matter; it will have zero impact on your life. And worrying gives you wrinkles, so cut that shit out.
Heather has been writing for Caught In Southie since pretty much the beginning and for that we apologize. She can often be found on her couch with a log of raw cookie dough. Her biggest fear is being on an episode of Dateline and her wildest dream is being a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Feel free to let her know if there’s something you think she should write about, unless it’s stupid.