There's a book out, called Dear Me: A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self, in which celebrities write short letters to themselves at the age of sixteen. It's an interesting idea, and one I support, though the more I think about it, the more I realize that I'd want to send a lot more than one simple note back through time to my own pubescent avatar.
Thus, Sh...tuff I Wish I Knew @ 16. Part the first:
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Congratulations. Now that you're becoming a high-school senior and discovering that the world isn't just classrooms and grade-point-averages, I thought I'd send along a little...well, older-self advice. Yes, you're coming out of your shell, spreading your wings, whatever you want to call it. And yes, you're a pretty bright kid for all that. But trust me, by the time you get to where I'm sitting, there's going to be a lot of stuff you're gonna wish you knew back where you're standing right now. If you're reading this, and you believe it, maybe you'll be lucky enough to learn some of it.
First, you've noticed that there are these creatures around you who seem to be able to command your attention whenever they like. While your standards (not just because of your age, but because it's the danged '80's) are a bit different than mine, we'll split the difference and refer to them as 'hot chicks'. Pretty amazing stuff, eh?
Want to know how you can spend more time around them? Thought so.
First step -- take a deep breath. They're not goddesses, they're people, with interests and curiosities and opinions all their own, just like other people. You don't have to prove yourself worthy to hang around with them. Heck, keep on the path you're on (trying new things, stretching your wings, showing your talents), and they're going to be just as interested in you as you are in them.
Well, OK, not 'just' as interested. We'll get to that in a bit.
But first things first -- there is literally nothing preventing you from being friends with every hot chick you meet, from here until middle age at least, except your own preconceptions. That's what we're here to work on.
Next up, the bad news. These hot chicks are not all desperately looking to have sex, and they're certainly not all looking to have sex with you. You may find this disappointing, but actually, it's an advantage -- once you get that idea out of your head, that if you don't end up screwing one of these girls you're wasting your time, you're going to end up with a much happier late adolescence and early adulthood, trust me. Because the advantages? Oh, ho, man.
Y'know how other guys assume that any guy who hangs around with hot chicks and isn't trying to screw them must be gay? Those people are jealous. Making them jealous is a good thing.
Next, you know that warm fuzzy feeling in your stomach you get just looking at a hot chick? You're going to get that a lot. And, even better, the even more amazing feeling when one smiles at you, laughs at or even with you, and gives you a hug in front of six other guys. Oh, and there's this absolutely incredible feeling you get when you walk into a room with a hot chick dressed to the nines on your arm, and every other guy in the room stops to look. Trust me, it's awesome.
OK, now that the vain part of you is satisfied, let me talk to the smart part.
You know that feeling you get that nobody understands you? That nobody can really relate to what goes on inside your head, because they can't see the world through your eyes? Even that feeling you get sometimes that other people assume they wouldn't understand what's going on with you, so they just don't try? Guess what? Hot chicks get it.
I'm not saying they get you, necessarily, but the truth is that most are assumed to be a lot happier than they are, most see life from a perspective that other people don't get, and especially, most are sick and tired of being thought of as just 'pretty faces' and dismissed.
You are going to be the best damned friend these women ever had, and it's going to be awesome. But again, not like you think right now.
No, no, I get it; I'm you, remember? You don't have to explain to me that you're looking for something more than just physical stimulation. I know. Here's the problem, though: the one thing you're not ready for yet is that people, not just hot chicks, but people in general, don't fall the way you do. This isn't yet the time to explore that, so let me just explain how that affects you here:
You don't have to try to explain to every single one of these women how much you care about them.
For starters, they'll see it for themselves in your friendship. And trust me, the hot chicks you'll be attracted to have brains enough to figure that out for themselves.
More importantly, though, if you dump your feelings over some poor girl's head, you're going to be hitting exactly the same button that the clueless guy who just wants a quick lay is hitting, and you're not even going to realize it. Trust me, it's not a sex/love/romance/commitment thing. It's just that you're going to be pushing her toward something she's not sure she wants to give. It's a combination of trust, plus putting demands on someone as a price for your friendship. It may seem more noble that you're asking for her heart instead of her underpants, but it's the same basic conflict.
And yes, I realize that saying that is the easy part. I'm writing to you from nearly 30 years in your future, and I'm still not sure how to keep the part of me that wants to pledge undying love quiet. But here's the thing -- if you don't think you can get past that, if you feel as though you're going to want to constantly remind this woman how much she means to you, then do both of you a favor. Don't. Start. If you go for it anyway and can't keep yourself in check, god knows it'll be painful for you, and believe it or not, it's not going to leave her unaffected, either.
If you can work your way around that, then you're going to have some of the best times of your life ahead of you, believe me.
No. No. Stop. Don't give me that 'what if she...' business. Like I said, the hot chicks you're going to be attracted to have the brains to figure it out for themselves, and if by some chance one does decide that she wants to take you up on those feelings, trust me, she will find a way to let you know.
Good luck, kid.