25 Years (and 100 Cans of Aqua Net) Later

June, 1988

Dear Laura:

Congratulations on graduating High School today! (Great hair, by the way.)


Twenty-five years may seem like a long time from now, but let me tell you that it will actually pass in the blink of an eye.

I know you’re a little nervous about leaving your friends and family behind as you get ready to go to college, but I can tell you that everything is going to work out just fine.

This is what you wrote in your Yearbook:

Future plans:  Go to college and become a lawyer, get married and have a family, and write a Broadway play

All in all, you’ve done pretty well so far.  You did go to college and you became a lawyer.  While you haven’t gotten married yet, you have a lovely family – both blood related and chosen from friends.  You will realize very soon that you don’t actually want your definition of family to include children.  (I promise not to tell anyone that you’re kind of scared of kids…)  No Broadway play yet, but you have written a novel and faithfully watch the Tonys every June.  Close enough.

With that said, here are some things I think you should know:

  • Pay attention to the guy with the mullet on Facts of Life.  He will be very important to you in later years.


  • You haven’t even met some of the people who become your very closest friends.  Keep your eyes open.
  • That whole, “Don’t dye the grey out of your hair until you’re 30” was really more of a guideline.  L’Oreal Medium Light Brown will serve you well for many years until you finally realize you need professional help.
  • Your family is going to expand to include a brother-in-law and two amazing nephews.  Being a cool aunt will  become your most important job ever.
  • Do not despair when your favorite TV shows get cancelled.  You will someday own them all on DVD.
  • I know you don’t know what a DVD is, but you will someday.  You’ll also understand the terms DVR, email, cell phone, internet, Google, digital cameras, eBay and GPS.
  • Air Supply will be replaced by Alanis Morissette as your go-to break up music and they will both be replaced by Sarah McLaughlin.
  • You will survive Y2K.  The case of water and spam you squirrel away will not be necessary.
  • You are going to lose people you love.  And it will never not suck.
  • This may be hard to believe since you’ve never been on a plane, but you will get your passport and you will use it.  A lot.
  • Drew Barrymore and Robert Downey Jr. prove that you always get a second chance if you work hard.
  • When your mom calls from the Animal Refuge League and says, ” They’ve got a dog here that you really should come see”, drop the phone, leave work and rush to meet her.  Lucy will be part of your life for almost 13 years.


  • Blue eye shadow, orange blush and high waisted acid wash jeans are not your friends.
  • I know you think the Huey Lewis concert was wicked awesome, but someday you will see Springsteen (twice!), McCartney and Billy Joel in concert (although not at the same time…)
  • Don’t take for granted the joy of walking someone right to the gate at the airport.  you will lose that privilege someday.

  • ·         When you hear these words, pay attention:

o   JK Rowling

o   Facebook

o   Peter Jackson

o   anything with an “i” in front of it

o   Supernatural

o   Benedict Cumberbatch

o   Tarantino

o   Friends

o   President Bartlett

o   Colin Firth

  • ·         When you hear these words, run in the other direction:

o   pregnant chad

o   wardrobe malfunction

o   Borat

o   Sarah Palin

o   “that Lewinsky woman”

o   Kato Kaelin

o   Star Wars parts 1-3

o   Twilight

  • Finally, and I can not stress this enough… Put down the Aqua Net and step away.


One thought on “25 Years (and 100 Cans of Aqua Net) Later

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