10 Things Teenagers Need to Know

October 5, 2008

If I knew then what I know now …

As you know, I am kind of strange, which means sometimes, when I’m bored, I wonder what I would do if I could go back in time and meet my teenaged self. Kind of like Quantum Leap, but not with that someone-else’s-body thing, or Back to the Future, only without the my-mom-has-a-crush-on-me thing. Wait, that isn’t the same at all.

There are things I would love to tell my teen self. Not like “Hey, don’t go to that party on Nov. 3, 1987” or life-changing, reality-pathway-altering things like that. I played the hand I was dealt and here I am. No, I’m thinking more along the lines of general advice, tips, things that might have made the rest of my life go a little smoother.

I know time travel is impossible. But I also watch Somewhere in Time every chance I get, so I think “maybe, if I get this hypnosis thing down pat …” So I made a list. Here we go, with 10 things I would like to have been able to tell my teen self

  • Accept those instant credit card offers. Get the card, buy one inexpensive thing a month, and pay off the balance immediately. Do this for a couple of years and your credit will be gold.
  • Go out right now and buy as many Mego, Transformers, G.I. Joe and Star Wars toys as you can find. Leave them in their packaging and lock them away until you’re 40. When you’re 40, you will need the money.
  • It doesn’t matter what everyone else is wearing. Those tight jeans look stupid, and you will regret them for the rest of your life.
  • Music is not going to get any better, so you can stick with what you’ve got. You’ll still be listening to it when you’re 40, so you can just ignore the “grunge” thing.
  • Your body isn’t done changing. If you aren’t happy with it now, it is going to get better. Yeah, you’re skinny. But that isn’t forever. Hell, start working out now and get a head start.
  • Someday your interest in comics and Star Trek will get you named Member of the Week at a place called hardcorenerdity. It’s on the Internet, which is coming, and you will love it.
  • As soon as you stop obsessing about the ladies, the ladies will start obsessing about you. Trust me on this one.
  • Don’t sell that Claremont/Byrne X-Men run or your untouched mylar-covered Crisis until 1992, then unload and get out.
  • The guy who used to rough you up in Grade 9 gym class eventually becomes a busboy at a bad restaurant. His muscly friend is fat and in jail. That rich guy with the cool car is still rich, but his wife is a complete bitch and she once hit on you right in front of him, and he didn’t say shit. The handsome, popular basketball player with the 99 average and the six-pack abs is now a surgeon, but he’s also a really excellent guy and you became friends later, that fucker.
  • It all gets better.

Truth be told, if I could actually go back in time I would not waste time hanging around teenager me. I’d be at Sun Records just before Elvis walked in, waiting. I’d probably go see if Gangs of New York was all that accurate, listen to some Mozart live, then head over to Golgotha just to see what really went down.

I do like thinking about going back to advise myself, though. It’s fun to think about. Oh, I would also probably say something about the hair, considering the various mullety Joe Dirt things I had on my head in the 80s.


One comment

  1. Yeah, but we all had our hair like that. And can you back me up on something? I never heard the word ‘mullet’ used as a hair style reference until long after we stopped wearing them. Did you?

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