A Letter to My 14-Year-Old Self – Don’t Get that Perm

Dear 14-year-old Tammy,


You have the green light to wear whatever makeup you please. Go easy on the foundation though. It’s meant to be worn sparingly. Not as a frickin’ mask. And you’re wearing the wrong shade. It’s okay. You’re a teenager, and we make mistakes.

Speaking of mistakes, don’t lend your silver double-heart stud earrings to your sister. She’s getting a perm that day, and the earrings will be ruined – and you’ll be left with patina hearts. If you forget and lend them to her – don’t worry. Years later, you’ll still have those patina hearts. Unwearable. But you’ll have them.

And I’d advise you not to jump on the perm bandwagon. Do what you want, but I’m letting you know thick hair and perms don’t mesh. Don’t make me post photos.

When you have your elastics changed on your braces – be bold and choose colour. Shut out the insults. Because you’ll rock black, and you’ll also rock hot pink. Own the experience. Not to give anything away, but it’ll be a long one *cough* four years.

Your diary’s overflowing as you pine for that cute shy guy’s attention. I’m sorry to dampen the anticipation, but his name won’t be on your Valentine’s Day “Who’s Your Best Match” results. And a word of warning. Don’t ask aloud – as you’re reading the results within earshot of a teacher – “Who’s Mike H**t.”

I didn’t listen to the warning.

You’ll attend boy-girl parties. You’ll sit around bonfires and play truth or dare. Seven-minutes-in-heaven. Pick dare more often. And don’t be easily kissed. And avoid the punch. Yes, it really was spiked.

Keep watching Days of Our Lives, because the concept of the “Supercouple” will die. I’m sure you know Kimberley and Shane are O-V-A. And Patch dies, Sorry, but Kayla moves on with Kimberley’s husband. Eww. Remember, it’s a soap opera. Characters are fickle. And remember, dead characters like to return.

I recommend you start counting Jacks.

Learn how to do a proper sit-spin. Right now you’re doing a curtsy with tea-legs. While we’re on the topic of skating, use your competition music for the ice carnival. Not the entire theme song from “St. Elmo’s Fire.”

But you won’t listen. And that’s okay. Don’t let anyone steer your ship but you. I know at 14 years old  you don’t think beyond next week. But one day you won’t have a choice.

Just remember I warned you about the perm.

Talk later,

39-year-old Tammy