Since I’m turning 26 this year, I thought I’d send a time capsule blog back to myself ten years ago. Here goes!
Dear 2002 Paul Isakson,
- You’re kinda chubby, but girls don’t care that much. In fact, it turns out a bunch of girls have a crush on you! (Not that you’d know how to talk to them anyway.)
- Yes, your acne is gross. But not that gross. Girls don’t care about it as much as you or Noxema ads do. So chill out. And stop touching it.
- Punk rock is fun! You’re right! But, hey, there are other kinds of music out there. It’ll make you feel things besides “Society is the worst!”
- A DIY choker necklace made from a wide white shoelace with the lyrics to “When Ya Get Drafted” written along the outside? That’s actually pretty awesome. Good job.
- The government isn’t monitoring your after-school activities. Why would they? Get over yourself.
- It’s okay for people to meet your parents. Your way-cool friends can come over. They have parents, too.
- Writing half-cocked political manifestos on your Livejournal won’t make girls like you. Even the half-cocked political girls.
- Black is slimming, yes. But not when it’s on an XL hoodie with homemade anti-Bush patches all over it.
- Yes, you test incredibly well. But participate in class, guy. Maybe the teachers will listen when you explain that you “don’t really need to do the homework” because you “get it already.”
- Don’t put glue in your hair. Gross, dude.
- Don’t put glitter gel in your hair. Weird, dude.
- Don’t put fake blood in your hair and let it dry. Just stop.
- Operation Ivy was awesome, but they were a stupid band. Don’t memorize those lyrics.
- Shaved head, huh? When you go running in gym class, make sure to wear a hat. (Sure, you look bad in hats, but you don’t want to get a sunburn and later have to remove big chunks of peeled scalp from your hair.)
- Wear your glasses in class. YOU CAN’T SEE WITHOUT THEM, YOU IDIOT.
- It’s lame that the school district has to put Coca-Cola vending machines in the hallways, but putting up homemade “GET COKE OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS” posters isn’t going to do much.
- I know you’ve started writing dozens of solid jams on that MIDI sequencing program from 1991, but maybe finish one or two of them.
- Jello Biafra isn’t a genius and you’re wasting your time listening to his spoken word albums.
- Your prog rock buddies are right about loving Frank Zappa and Iron Maiden. But they’re wrong about starting bands.
- Dancing isn’t scary at all. Try it!
- God probably isn’t real. Shut the fuck up about it, though. You don’t know anything! Don’t alienate your church buddies. They’re cool.
- Have a crush on the cute girl with with the mohawk who let you hold her hand that time? Play it cool, guy. Don’t IM her at midnight telling her that you’re “madly in love” with her.
- Have a crush on that pretty girl in art appreciation class? Don’t hand her a note that’s half love letter/half love poem. “The angels envy you” is a creepy line. Try taking it slow. Maybe introduce yourself first.
- You know how your girlfriend keeps insulting you and makes you feel terrible all day? You know how you dread talking to her since she’s become so nasty to you? That’s a sure sign that you should dump her. Hard. Dump the fuck out of her. Her friends will actually respect you more. Oh, and her friends suck, too.
- Don’t give The Socialist Party of Michigan that $10 for that student membership card. They’re going to send you waaaaaaaay more than $10 worth of newsletters. (FUN STORY: Two days into the big power-outtage of 2003 the Socialist Party of Michigan is going to call you to say, “Is this Pauly Tamale? Yeah man, we’re cancelling our meeting today. You weren’t gonna go, were you?”)
- Don’t get hung up about how you’re a virgin. Almost everyone you know is a virgin. Nobody cares that you haven’t had sex because they’re all as terrified of it as you are.
- If a girl tells you she’s crazy and that she wants to skip class to make out with you, then expect that skip-session to be a lot more craziness than actual making out.
- (See Photo) There you go, buddy. Suck in those cheeks. Wear those barrettes. Hang that US flag patch upside-down. Play gay chicken with Stevie. Show everyone what you’re all about!
- Don’t learn guitar to impress girls. There are much better-looking guys who are much better guitar players than you. Besides, the only girls you’ll get from playing guitar are the kinds of girls who like guys who play guitar. And those girls are terrible.
- In ten years you wouldn’t recognize yourself. And that’s a good thing.
- Stay strong, brother.
2012 Paul Isakson