Dear Daughter,Allana Harkin
It has suddenly dawned on me sweet child of mine that this is going to get complicated. And even more complicated if I ever have to explain to you the popularity of the band Guns n’ Roses who forever stole the above phrase. But, none-the-less, it does remind me of one very important life fact:
NEVER, ever, under any circumstance, allow someone to braid your hair into cornrows. It has never for one second looked good on any single person of Caucasian decent, including men who have decided to combine said hairstyle, with a deep tan, and a facelift. It’s called a mid life crisis.’ I’ll explain later. And even if you one day find yourself in the Tropics (sigh) and slightly tipsy on Pina Coladas (God help me) please, for all that is good in the world, do not let your friend convince you to have it done. My promise to you is that no matter how old and decrepit I am, and even if I have severe arthritis and am partially to fully blind in both eyes, I will remove them from your hair, with my very last bit of strength, therefore leaving you with a giant blonde afro and looking like a younger, perhaps less feminine, version of Richard Simmons. You do not want this look.
But I digress…
I want so much for you in life. You are still so young but I can already see what a thoughtful, caring and talented girl you are. It’s the reason why I burst into tears, daily, just thinking about your most minor accomplishments (admittedly, the tears of joy over the potty training success were completely selfish, but still). And although I see your future as something to be celebrated the current message out there today might be sending you mixed signals. So besides knowing the downside of cornrows (I cannot stress how wrong these are), here are a few other thoughts to get you through the years:
1.Tabloids are like white powdered donuts. They seem like fun at first but ultimately leave you bloated, tired and a little bit sick. (There is also a very strong possibility that they will still be discussing the Jennifer/Brad/Angelina trifecta in the year 2045.)
2.There will be people who say that you have to be pretty to be funny and then they will change their minds because pretty girls can’t be funny girls as well. And the idea of a pretty girl being funny and smart will make their heads explode. Who cares. No honestly. It means absolutely nothing. Be funny. Be smart. That’s Pretty.
3.Sing for your supper at a dinner party. You’re either the person who makes the great meal, brings the great wine or tells the best stories. Once and a while try and pull off all three.
4.Barbie is most likely very smart and it probably pisses her off that everyone brings up her looks before mentioning her law degree. Regardless, if grotesquely disproportionate dolls must exist in our house then your mother will constantly have to refer to what’s on the inside (which, ironically, is hollow plastic).
5.Go see live performances. It will do something to your heart to watch someone in the midst of their passion. Just don’t sit in the front row because an Opera singer will spit into your mouth.
6. Let your date pay for dinner. It says a lot about a person if they are willing to pull out their wallet. Plus, your mother’s first question will be “Did they pay for dinner?” and if you don’t say yes, you’ll never hear the end of it. Sorry.
7.Before engaging in a verbal war fare first play out that battle on a solo playing field, and take a moment to think about it. Sure, you’ve got some great points and those zingers would really fly – but chances are the best course of action is making a subtle point and then letting it go. It was just the toilet seat after all…
8.Know that your father was caught crying many times by himself over his deep love for you. Marry someone who will be this to your children. Just don’t yell “HOLY MAN, ARE YOU CRYING?”. It really does ruin a moment.
9. You may one day find yourself dancing to a Guns n’ Roses song in a public place. Perhaps you decided to dress as Slash for Halloween or found yourself in a college bar that hasn’t updated it’s music collection since 1987. Go with it. Even pull out a little air guitar – just as long as you will never see these people again.
10. Forgive your mother. She loves you on a profoundly deep level. Like crazy deep.