Once upon a time, a very long time ago, two young ladies showed up for their first day of work at the campus dining hall. The campus dining hall was really a totally class joint, just so you know. When you were done your shift, you always smelled disgusting, and you were always finding bits of crud in your hair that you couldn’t identify so you took like a seventeen-hour shower after each shift. IT WAS THE GROSSEST.
Anyway, the two young ladies (who were, at that time, both pre-med majors, until both of them realized that this was folly I tell you FOLLY) hit it off like gangbusters, and they made each other laugh, and the two young ladies became good friends and then roommates and moved all the way across the country together and are STILL GOOD FRIENDS TO THIS VERY DAY. I know, right? What are the odds? Miniscule. Almost nonexistent.
One of the young ladies (who, truth be told, isn’t really much of a lady because she’s always dropping food on her shirt and swears like a longshoreman and likes non-ladylike geeky stuffs) grew up and wrote THIS VERY BLOG. I know! That was a total Sixth-Sense twist, right? Shyamalan is so afraid of my skills right now, I’m not even going to lie. HE SHOULD BE SCARED. The OTHER young lady, R (who actually IS a lady, like, a total class act, I’ll punch you in the neck if you imply otherwise) met her adorable Prince Charming recently and guess what? GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS.
Baby Girl Awesomesauce is on the way!
She is slated for arrival in mid-April. I AM SO EXCITED YO. I saw a PHOTO of R all curvy-full of Baby Girl Awesomesauce the other day and I am not at all embarrassed to say that I may have gotten a little weepy because THIS IS THE COOLEST.
So listen, I was thinking, Baby Girl Awesomesauce (probably let’s shorten that to BGA, for now, until she’s hatched and has a name of her own, because there’s no shortkey for Baby Girl Awesomesauce and there are a LOT of LETTERS in that) probably needs some life lessons. And R and A, her equally kickass husband (who, heads-up, won me over within HOURS of me being introduced to him by doing Muppet imitations IN MUPPET VOICES, I mean come ON, who doesn’t want someone like that for one of their favorite people in the world? I was SOLD AMERICAN RIGHT THERE) have informed me that I can totally be an unofficial aunt to BGA. I KNOW RIGHT? Can you even imagine? I’m already rocking the aunt gig with The Nephew. I can’t even imagine I wouldn’t rock the unofficial aunt gig for BGA EQUALLY as hard, right? Right. I WILL BE AN AMAZING UNOFFICIAL AUNT, BGA. (Side note: see the rhyme in the title, there? YOU, BGA, will be the “very good” part, I have no doubt. I, on the other hand, was, and am, the “when she was bad she was horrid” part. I’M TOTALLY GOING TO ROCK THIS YO.)
So, BGA, here are some life lessons which I have been dying to share since I only have a nephew and I have a WEALTH of female-related knowledge. Obviously, you are not going to be reading these right out of the gate. So R & A will have to save these and share them with you when you’re old enough to appreciate them. Or roll your eyes at them extravagantly. I know you probably might do that. I was a teenage girl once, too. I PERFECTED eye-rolling. Just ask my mom. I think she has PTSD from all of the eye-rolling I did between the ages of 12 and 18.
OK, first, listen. Female friendships can be hard. There’s this weird competition vibe that goes on between women. It’s distressing. It causes fights and hard feelings and yelling and furious emails of fury and crying and falling-outs and it is the WORST, BGA. But here’s a little-known secret that it has taken me most of my life to figure out: fighting amongst ourselves and competing for things that aren’t even THINGS, women are easy to keep down. As a unified force, we are a FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. So yes, please, by all means, have friends of all the genders. But don’t think you’re in a competition with your female friends for the best grades, boyfriends, accomplishments, etc. Think of it as a network; you’re there to support one another, and you’re there to cheer one another on, and you’re there to be happy when they succeed, because they’ll be there to be happy when you do. And if it works that way, you’ll see that you’re better at whatever you’re trying to be or do, because you’re happy, and you have inner peace, and you have an amazing support system of strong female friends who will buoy you up as well as catch you when you fall. Not a competition, BGA. Not a race. A team, all working together toward a common goal of amazingness.
Now, I know this seems a long way off (especially for your dad, who’s all “NOT YET AMY FOR THE LOVE OF PETE”) but someday, you’re going to want to start dating. And that’s good! And that’s normal! And good for you! Listen, I’m going to warn you away from douchecanoes right now, though, BGA. Because I will COME DOWN THERE AND PUNCH ANYONE WHO TREATS YOU POORLY IN THE THROAT. OK, that being said, it is nice to date, and it is so, so nice to fall in love and get that whole flock of butterflies in your tummy, but here’s the thing: those butterflies bring with them POOR DECISION-MAKING CHOICES. So this is a rule of thumb: if the guy you’re dating is not allowing you to be you, if he makes you feel less-than or not-good-enough or broken in any way at all: HE IS AN ASSHAT. Dump him. Or, call me up, I will hop on down to you, and I will go have a “talk” with him. He’ll cry. I will guarantee you that right now. By the time you’re old enough to date, I’ll be in my mid-fifties? I WILL BE THE MEANEST OLD LADY EVER BGA. I will SMACK HIM with my ORTHOPEDIC CANE.
Also, things to look for in a guy: intelligence, sense of humor, and watch how he treats people when he doesn’t think you’re watching, like waitstaff in restaurants or the Salvation Army bellringer outside of the Walmart. Also, points if he doesn’t have those pants that hang halfway down his ass. Hopefully by the time you’re dating, those will no longer be a thing.
Your mom and I are book people. I don’t know if your dad is. I adore him, so I’m going to assume he is, too. I plan on showering you with books, and I bet your parents do, too. Learn to read early, BGA, and love it. If I could give you one gift, like the fairy at the christening, it would be a love of books. Learn to love words like childhood friends; only, unlike childhood friends, you can always take them with you. And, here’s a tip: The Velveteen Rabbit is super-sad, BGA. SUPER SAD. It will make you cry. Just be prepared, ok?
Also, if you read a book where the female character is weak and needs to be saved a lot and this makes you worried, sad, or think that’s how women should behave, please call up your Kickass Unofficial Aunt Amy and I will tell you an alternate version of that book ON THE SPOT where the girl saves her OWN day. Anytime, BGA. Anytime, any day.
Math and Science
Hopefully by the time you get to school, this will no longer be a problem, but there’s a gender bias when it comes to the math and science fields. I was told, in physics, senior year, when I was having trouble grasping a concept, “I don’t know why you’re trying so hard. It’s a proven fact women don’t have the brain power necessary to understand physics.” THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED, BGA. I don’t want this to happen to you. You need math and science. And they are not hard! They’re actually interesting, awesome, and a lot of fun. So are English and the arts. OK, so is ALL THE LEARNING. Except P.E. Screw P.E. ANYWAY BGA. Don’t accept less than when it comes to math and science. Try hard, make them teach you just as hard as they teach everyone in the class, regardless of gender, and you show those men that women’s brains are MORE than capable of learning sine, cosine, tangent, and titration. YOU ARE A RAINBOW OF AWESOMENESS BGA.
Again, hopefully this will not be an issue when you get to school, but the world is full of bullying assholes, BGA. I don’t want you to get bullied. Now, apparently, because of school shootings and suicides, they’ve started this anti-bullying campaign. My mother informed me recently that the local school’s anti-bullying campaign – no joke – involved the child who was being bullied “taking a bucket and filling it with rainbows” rather than retaliating. WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS MEAN BGA. I don’t want you to have a bucket. Or fill it with rainbows. NO ONE SHOULD BE DOING THIS AND THINKING IT IS A PROBLEM SOLUTION.
Don’t be a bully. Rule one. There’s no reason for it. Why would you be mean to someone with no provocation? You’re better than that. Rule two: if someone’s bullying you, you stand up for yourself. Don’t let them do it. Because if they do it, they’ll KEEP doing it. And they’ll ESCALATE it. I know the world’s all “passive resistance” and “turn the other cheek” but I’m here to tell you? THAT DOESN’T WORK. Am I telling you to bring an Uzi to school? No, I’m not. But a well-spoken “Hey, you giant bag of dicks, say that one more time and I’ll punch you so hard in the mouth you’ll be spitting out chunks of tooth for the next week” works wonders. People that stand up for themselves usually stop getting bullied, in my experience. Rule three, and most important: if you see someone else being bullied, DON’T ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. Stop it. Stop it by telling someone, or using your sure-to-be-amazing linguistic skills to stop them dead in their tracks, or taking the kid that’s being bullied out of the equation altogether. You don’t have to be BFFs with them, BGA. But one kind word, one person who stands up for them, can mean you saved their life. I’m completely serious about this.
All else fails, you call me up. I will come down there like a TORNADO OF FURY. I will MARCH INTO YOUR HALLWAYS and you will POINT OUT THE BULLIES and I will LIFT THEM UP BY THEIR NECKS and I will SCREAM INTERNET CUSS LINGO INTO THEIR PIMPLY FACES.
I know, you’re pretty lucky you have me for an unofficial aunt, right?
Listen to the big people!
I have known your mom (at the time of me writing this) for nineteen years. I know, if you’re reading this as a teenager, you’re probably all “my mom is SO STUPID and SO OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY ZOMG.” I get it. I GET IT BGA. But your mom? Is one of the most intelligent, most practical, most intuitive people I know. She gets shit DONE, BGA. Also, I’m pretty sure she’s a spy, but don’t tell anyone or you’ll have to relocate to another timezone and change your name.
Also, I don’t know your dad the most well, but a., he married her, and she wouldn’t let just any yahoo do that, b., he likes my blog, so total ding ding ding on the points meter for that, and c., I didn’t get a single, SINGLE, bad vibe from him when I met him. AND I HATE EVERYONE BGA.
And your grandfather is just about the most kickass, I can’t even tell you. He makes me laugh and always sends me a Christmas card.
And listen, your unofficial Aunt Amy, even though she’s kind of certifiably insane and talks too much, is a really good resource for things, and is not related to you, so can be unbiased when you need advice. Also, she will take you out for things like ice cream when you probably shouldn’t have it. That’s what unofficial aunts do. But if she accidentally cusses when she’s talking to you DON’T TELL YOUR PARENTS BGA. She will try REALLY hard not to do it, she PROMISES.
Listen to your big people, even when they’re annoying the hell out of you. Because they love you so much and they want what’s best for you.
Find something you love and love it so hard!
I don’t mean a person – but that’s fine, love your people so hard, too. I mean a thing. I have theater (and a million other things, because I’m a total ADD sufferer.) But maybe you love fencing. Or fantasy novels. Or collecting miniature glass flowers. I don’t know. Just find a thing, and love the hell out of that thing. We all need something to make our lives happy, and throwing ourselves into something is a nice way to do that. Also, you can meet like-minded people through your thing, and make friends. And friends are nice, BGA! They totally are.
Do NOT accept less than what you deserve ever ever EVER!
Don’t you ever accept less than what you deserve. Is someone treating you like you’re stupid? YOU’RE NOT. Is someone treating you like you’re worthless? YOU’RE NOT. Is someone paying you less than you’re worth? YOU DESERVE BETTER. You let your voice be heard, BGA. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Don’t you give anyone that permission.
If you need me for ANYTHING you come RIGHT THE HELL HERE
As unofficial aunt, I promise the following:
I will send presents that are awesome;
I will always have gum or candy in my purse when you see me;
I will always get on the floor and play with you;
I will go to any lengths, including physically harming myself, to make you laugh;
I will always, always be happy to see you, no matter what’s going on in my life;
I will always rejoice in your accomplishments, no matter how large or small;
and I will always be there for you, no matter what you need from me.
I realize I live a few states away from you; that’s what phones are for. When you get older, you can come here and visit me. My door is always open to you, BGA. I love you irresponsible amounts and you’re not even here yet.
Oh, and I suppose, even though it’s annoying, and trite, and clichéd, I have to agree with one thing in this:
Wear sunscreen, BGA. Always wear sunscreen.
(Congratulations, R & A! I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS!!!!)