Imaginary letter from my teenage daughter to me:
I’m sorry I walked in the house the other day, didn’t say “hi”, and just walked into my room and locked the door. I have these hormones that are being triggered that are encouraging me to explore the world and that means I’m feeling an irrational need to not interact with the people I interacted with for the first thirteen years of my life. I hope you understand.
I’m also sorry I yelled at you when you were late taking me to dance classes. I know I’ve been late for just about every other event in my life and you’ve always had to wait for me in the car, which is particularly worrisome since you’re always talking about how you don’t have a driver’s license but nevertheless…when I need to go to things I need you to be ready in advance even though I’m always late.
And I apologize for always singing even though you asked me to please stop when you were writing. I don’t really know what you are writing over there anyway. Does it make money? And I need to sing because I want to get the lead part in lots of plays. I hope you aren’t writing about me, by the way. If you are, please take it down. My friends might see and think I’m weird for having such a weird father.
Dad, also, you and Mollie took a walk by the river the other day. I know you really wanted me to join you. But I did have math homework to do even though, up to that moment, I had not yet touched my math homework that weekend. But it was really really important. And, to be honest, there was a slight chance I would run into people I knew if I went on a walk with you and Mollie. This is not to say I don’t want to be seen with you. I would never say that. But lets just say I didn’t want to run into people I knew while I was out walking with you.
As for food: anything you make me I will not eat. But if you don’t make me food I will not eat anything. I know this seems like a contradiction. Sometimes the universe works that way. It might be just best if we order pizza from now on. But when you asked me to do the actual ordering the other day I was really tired and I fell asleep instantly and I probably never heard you ask me. I’m glad I woke up before the pizza arrived. It was really delicious. Can you get pepperonis next time, though?
On my birthday I would like a laptop. All of the other kids have one. And no, there is no way for you to confirm that. But we have a lot of homework now that requires laptops. Ugh, I can picture you asking me “what homework?”. I don’t know! Nothing! But we do get a lot of homework that will be easier to do with a laptop. I promise I won’t take it into my bedroom. But sometimes I need quiet. And I like the Macbook Air because all Apple products are cooler than those other laptops. They are clunky or something.
Also, just so you know: I don’t know how to use a dishwasher, a toaster, a laundry machine, a microwave oven, the regular oven, and I’m not really sure how to make my bed. Some of these items are too hard for me to reach. And a lot of times an important new TV show is on (“Victorious”!) so I can’t take out the garbage at the same time. I can do it later, though? But then I get tired. I’ve been needing a lot of sleep lately and I don’t want to get sick.
Finally, Daddy, when you keep bringing up that it was just a few years ago I was so happy to see you, blah blah, and that I wasn’t as popular, blah blah, and I was a little more pudgier, etc etc I don’t really know what you mean. That was so long ago and you keep saying just focus on living life now. I love you, Daddy, and so I’m going to take your advice.
[I remember 5 years ago. I took you out to dinner to see your favorite tapdancer perform. The man at the table next to us proposed to the woman he was with. We took their photo. Then the woman told him “no”. You ate steak that night. Then we went to watch the show but you fell asleep. I looked at you and thought, one day she will grow up. And you’ll never stop growing.