Dear old friends,

Yep, that’s what you are, old. You’re not the shiny new car with that new car smell. You’re the old rustmobile that needs several air fresheners to keep the air inside bearable to even breathe in. What’s my problem, exactly? The fact that you’re old. Now I’m ready for some shiny new friends that won’t be stupid like you.

When I kissed the last person I kissed, I was completely sober. Were you for yours? Do you even know who you kissed? Were you certain that it was a person of the gender opposite you? Do you know how completely stupid you probably act and sound when you have vile substances in your body? Probably not. So, why do you insist on continuing? Since you most likely do not have an answer that meets my high standards for any of these questions, I would like to say adieu to you.

I feel sorry for you. I’m sorry that you think you need alcohol in your body to have fun. I’m sorry that that has become the only way you can ever have any fun. I’m not planning on inviting you to anymore of my movie nights or anything I have with friends in the future. There won’t be any alcohol involved, so you probably won’t want to come anyway. I suppose I could slip some beer into the Jell-O to please you, but that’s not me. I’m sorry that that’s you.

I have morals. I’m not about to fuck myself over for life because I got drunk one night. One mistake is all it takes. I hope you have fun washing your beer-stained clothes the next morning and attempting to hide the fun you’re having from your parents. Sounds like a bitchin’ time. I’m sorry that I don’t feel right being a part of it. I’ll have fun drinking when I’m at or close to the right age. And when that time comes, I’m sure I’ll want something more sophisticated in my body. No beer for me. I don’t need to be drunk to have a fun time with my “friends.” Have fun at those parties in the future. I won’t be around to “enjoy” them with you. I’m choosing not to. And yeah, I may be a stick in the mud, but it’s because I know what I want. Maybe you should figure out what you want. The next time you’re wandering around drunk and stupid, I’ll be sober enjoying the company of a good book or my boyfriend. Sounds like a hell of a lot more fun than what you’re doing.

Sincerely,

Emily

Happy Birthday, Barbie

Dear Barbie,

First, I’d like to congratulate you. Happy fiftieth birthday! I won’t bore you with any of those “getting older” Hallmark cards. Old age obviously doesn’t affect you in any way. I mean, c’mon, you’re made of plastic. People pay big bucks to have that stuff injected into their faces, and you have it made. It’s in your genes. Embrace it. Your age doesn’t show on any of your faces.

We’ve had good times over the years. Playing for hours at your house, mixing it up and socializing with some Fisher Price “kids,” going swimming in the summer heat, going bowling, and opening a schoolhouse and pet shop. Sure, our businesses didn’t fluorish, but our friendship did. I’m sorry I misplaced many of your shoes, and I am also apologetic for leaving you naked on the carpet due to my short attention span. But hey, I made up for it by helping you and Ken ice skate and by going on a cruise with you and Skipper.  Riding in your convertible with “Barbie Girl” by Aqua playing was a blast.

Your vacation home was so much fun to play in, but my favorite was definitely your mansion (which I still keep downstairs). The elevator never failed to entertain me. We had fun walking the dog together, right? And don’t you dare forget celebrating Easter together with Kelly! I will never forget going to a Girl Scout sleepover and watching a presentation by a Barbie expert who had millions of you set up on a table in the front of the room. You have played so many characters and taken so many shapes!

Anyway, Barb, I guess where I am getting at is that watching the Jeopardy! category pop up called “Fifty Years With Barbie” really brought back some memories. Happy memories. Memories I will always cherish. Thanks for helping me celebrate birthdays, and I’m sorry I graduated to the much smaller and petite Polly Pocket, but you should always know that I hold a special place for you in my heart. Maybe my little girl will dig up all of my old dolls of you from my parents’ basement and play with them; just as I did with my mother’s old dolls. Happy Birthday, Barbie. It’s been fun. Fifty years have passed, but it doesn’t show on you. I swear.

With Love,

Emily S.

It all started with a record player

A few weeks ago, I bought myself a record player. I was ecstatic to find it at such a good price, and was beaming as I walked out of the store with the box in my arms.

When we got home, I immediately took it into the Living Room and set it up. My parents taught me how to use it and to be careful not to jump around whilst listening to it. My mother and I ventured into the cave (our basement) to retrieve some of their old records to bring back some of the past. We carried armload after armload upstairs to the Living Room and left them in stacks all around the room. I left the ones I bought earlier that day (Coheed & Cambria and a Fueled By Ramen package that were extremely cheap) on the couch and my dad and I had a look-see to pick out what I should listen to first.

I thought my brothers would think it cool for me to have purchased a record player, but they avoided me like I had the plague. They seemed pretty pissed off and jealous that I got to one first and because my parents’ old one needs a new needle thing. Trevor especially because I bought Coheed & Cambria. Because he likes them, I’m not allowed to. Oh well.

My dad sat on the couch as I rifled through stack after stack, holding record after record up seeking his approval. All of the ones with his name written on them were the ones approved – all of the ones with Barbra Streisand on the cover were kept in a pile that I would not listen to. Sorry, mom.

I have discovered a whole new music taste thanks to my record player (though it does have a CD player, radio and iPod hookup included, I tend to listen to records on it more). I found out that I love the bands Sweet, REO Speedwagon (You Can Tune A Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish), Joan Jett & The Black Hearts, The Knack, Boomtown Rats, Supertramp, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, London Town and some Pat Benatar. I still love Escape the Fate, Paramore, Tilly and the Wall, and all of the other bands I have always loved, but I am now broadening my music taste. It’s cool to think that my parents played these records once at the same age I am now. I wish I could go back and meet the teenage versions of them. My mom and I would be identical, and I bet my dad and I would have fun listening to music together – just like we do now.