1. Get An Asian Tattoo There was a time in my life during which getting a tattoo or a piercing took about as much introspection as ordering a Wendy’s number 6. I’m not condemning that, exactly; even now–a few decades and cellulite hillscapes later–I’m prepared to champion the right to body-altering spontaneity. My beef with my eighteenyrold self is this: instead of taking the time to peruse my creative backlogs for inspiration–or at least copy someone cooler than me–I chose a pathetic portfolio of self expression. One that says, “Look at me, I am a D-Bag.”The worst of the bunch (my horrible, sad little bunch) is this–the dreaded Asian Symbol. Arguably a notch or two below Kokopelli on the lame-scale, I’ve yet to confirm the tattoo parlor’s translation station advert, upon which it was claimed to mean “water” (I like to swim? I like to rehydrate? I don’t know). I suspect that what it really means is, “If you see this, please put me out of my misery because as long as I live I will have nothing original to contribute to this beautiful world.”
2. Allow A Roommate To Bleach Your Hair My roommate–a fellow Dirty Little Bookers witch–is and was a remarkable friend. She is strangely honest and not overemotional and the one to go to if you need a hard slap in the face and a Sex In The City/brownie bingefest. What she is not–I repeat NOT–to be trusted with is maintaing maturity jurisdiction in time of cockamamie hair-changing adventure. Yes, it was my idea. Yes, I was trying to divert attention from my otherwise downspiraling physicality (I gained thirty pounds and probably stopped nairing) and academic collapse (I failed out of Ohio State. Twice.) But it was SHE who applied the drug-store bleach–that’s REGULAR BLEACH, the kind you use to clean toilets and bathtubs–to my only redeeming feature: my long, brown, healthy hair. And this is the result. The worst part? I LOVED it. (I’m also wearing a choker well past the choker’s fashion relevancy. That’s a big problem.)
3. Smoke I don’t have a picture for this, but it’s a must-add. I will still have an occasional I’m-drinking-so-why-not cigarette, but I do not support it and I’m fully aware of how gross it is for women in particular–for young women very much in particular–to smoke. You will look ugly and smell ugly and you just shouldn’t do it.
4. Like A Guy In A Frat
Somehow, by the grace of some very funky planet-alignment, I was accepted into a sorority. I’ll save my reports for another post, but it was a necessary mention because you might think that it is A-OK for a sorority girl to have the munchies for some fraternity boy apple pie, right? But any spawn of mine will undoubtedly inherit, at least a little bit, my outcast gene. And in the most popular, successful, prettiest of factions, I manage to stick out as Not Quite Right. And so I warn: do not follow suit on the matchup norm. Because here’s what I did–Swayed by the embroidered-shirt and secret-handshake veneer, I employed my elitism and did what I thought was perfectly okay to do: I asked a frat guy I liked to my sorority formal. Alas, my Not Quite Right-ness prevailed. While I danced myself through a night of Greek debauchery and multiple remixes of The Thong Song, my date was collecting fist bumps for slumming it with the big-assed weirdo. Oh, well. At least I didn’t give him any.
5. Get a Target Visa I’m still paying for bedsheets I purchased in 2001.
6. Think That Drugs Make You Look Cool I actually remember walking into football games with a grin as big as the sun thinking, Oh my god these people are totally jealous of me right now. They’re so. Not. High. That’s how stupid drugs make you. Nobody was jealous of me; they just wanted me and my stupid face to stop laughing and get the hell out of the way. This is what I’m stuck with for a homecoming picture. Is this what you want to look like for Homecoming, dear daughters? Like a warped conehead-zombie? No, you don’t.
7. And finally, whatever this is I honestly don’t know how we did this without spontaneously combusting into a pile of shame ash. This is a preposterous display of preteen grinding and nothing that any future era should ever, ever revisit. And for those of you who’ve never seen this? Those of you too young to know about Group Lambada? You can stop laughing, because the universe has gifted you twerking. Go delete any evidence of you doing it, because one day you will have a disappointed child to answer to and trust me–pictures like this won’t help your platform any.