Dear 18 year old self,
Good morning. It is January 22, 2000. Today is going to be a changing day in your life. Do not under any circumstances deviate from this plan or your entire life will turn out differently. Your roommate is getting ready to leave for a rare visit home, so it will be just you in the dorm tonight. Do not get mad at her when she says, "Oh yeah... I promised (insert friend's name here) that we would come to his birthday party tonight. Only, I can't go. So you're on your own." You will think and probably say out loud something like, "Crap! That is soooo not what I wanted to do." Since you are the only freshman in college whose parents will not let her have a car on campus, you will spend the day trying to secure a ride with someone to the party. Then you will get dressed. When you stand in front of the mirror, do not be disgusted with yourself. 120 pounds is not fat, dammit! Girl- you have no idea how bad that body is going to look once it has popped out 2 kids, so flaunt those perky assets to the best of your ability while there is still time. Go ahead and wear that skin tight red shirt. Someone you will meet tonight will notice you because you are wearing that skin tight shirt that you are pretty sure makes you look a little slutty (despite the fact that it is a turtleneck for God's sakes!) Also- even though in 10 years that shirt won't go over stomach rolls number 1,2 and 3- save it. Every time you pull it out of the box in the basement it will make you smile.
When your ride to the party starts saying that tonight she plans on losing her virginity- totally go with it. Her decision to be a tiny bit reckless is key to the whole picture. Heck- maybe you should even encourage this debauchery.
I know that you do not in any way want to be at this party, but darling, this is essential to your life's happiness. Do not sit there and grumble. Choose a seat facing the door. Because as soon as your food comes, a very beautiful hunk of man (and your future husband) will come walking through that door. You will know which one he is because he has on a blue sweater and a baseball hat and eyelashes that go for miles. You do not know it yet- but he does not want to be at this party either. He just didn't want to be sitting at home on a Saturday night. He will sit just about as far away as possible from you, but it's okay. You can feel free to turn around in your chair and stare at him a bit if you want. He'll later tell you that he spent a good bit of time staring at you, too.
When the party decides to move from the restaurant where you had the birthday dinner to a bar, just go with that, too. Do not for one second think that you should just try to get a ride back to the dorm. Go to the bar!!! When everyone starts leaving the restaurant, do not panic when you look around and can not find your ride. She left with her boyfriend to go and lose said virginity. Stay calm- this is part of the plan. Birthday boy will arrange for you to ride to the after party with that gorgeous hunk of man that you have yet to speak to. Do not worry about what your mother would think of you riding around with a total man stranger. She would be super mad. Later in life you can remind her that if she would have let you have a car on campus, the whole thing could have been avoided. (Sorry, mom!)
Don't be ashamed that the first conversation you strike up with this boy is in a bar. Lots of
At the end of the night, even though you have a boyfriend, give this boy your phone number. He will hand you a tiny blue piece of paper to write it on. You will agonize for a split second about whether or not this is the right thing to do. It is not the right thing to do, but do it anyway. And when you breakup with the boyfriend- be nicer. Be honest. Take responsibility on this one and do not try to save face. You won't get a do-over on this one and you'll regret it later that you handled that boy's heart so recklessly.
Go ahead and get good and mad, when 4 days later that boy from the bar hasn't called. I mean, the nerve of him will totally put you on edge. You will want to rip his face off, and that is okay. On the fifth day after meeting him, you will somehow manage to run into him leaving a class. That in itself is a miracle, considering there are 24,000 students on campus. The thought about kicking him in the nuts will enter your mind, but don't do it. You will make eye contact. You will say "hi". He will say "hi". You will say, "You never called." And he will mumble some incoherent statement about trying not to appear needy, blah, blah, blah. He'll tell you that he was planning on calling you that very night. Even though it is a crock of poo, go on and believe him. He will ask you to go and have lunch at the student center. You will accept the invitation and go to lunch with him and you will have meaningless conversation about how greasy the food is at Long John Silver's. He will also talk about himself for an entire hour. You will be totally turned off by this. You will think to yourself, " I can't stand this guy! He is a total jerk!" Not calling= strike one. Blabbing on and on about his band for an hour without once asking anything about you= strike two. Somehow though, there will be something about this guy that draws you in like a magnet. When he asks to take you to a movie, go against your better judgement and go. That night at the movie will be the beginning of something amazing. That night at the movie, you will start to fall in love with that boy. You will discover that he is wonderful and sweet and kind and smart and compassionate. However, 10 years from now, do not be surprised if he still talks about his band all the time. Some habits die hard.
Against all odds, he will be your soul mate. You will marry him and he will be your rock. He will be the father of your children. He will be the absolute love of your life. Treasure him. Love him. Honor him. Because the next 10 years will not be easy. You all will face hard times. For most of those 10 years you will be flat broke. But it will be a beautiful ride, every last minute of it. All because you went to a party you never wanted to go to in the first place...