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LJI9 Week 27 - Letter to My Niece

This is my entry for this week of LJ Idol, Season 9. Please check out the entries of my fellow competitors and consider joining the therealljidol community. This week was an open topic, meaning we could write about anything.



Welcome to this world, my darling niece. If I do say so myself, you have made an excellent choice of family. We are a rambunctious crew -- and you might need to learn how to get a word in edgewise -- but we tend to be steadfast, supportive, and silly, as the situation requires. While you can undoubtedly find a more definitive source of wisdom about human life -- I recommend starting by watching "Groundhog Day" and "The Princess Bride" -- I would like to give you the benefit of some of my accumulated wisdom, gained haphazardly over 40-some years.

In this life, you will sometimes have to do things you don't really want to do, sort of like a cat being taken to the vet. You will then be faced with the choice between yowling your displeasure or calmly listening to the music on the car radio. I recommend the latter.

A banana that's too green is no good at all. But a mushy banana can be turned into banana bread or a smoothie, or put in the freezer overnight and then blended in the food processor to make a tasty frozen treat. So when life gives you brown bananas, make banana bread.

Sometimes, when people say they need a little more space, they just mean that they need more space. Sometimes when they say they need a little more space, they mean they want to break up with you. It becomes a little easier over time to figure out which is which.

When people make jokes, there's always a little bit of truth in them.

In some circles, a test of your coolness is how well you can quote a particular movie or book or poem. Don't get too hung up about whether you can do that, because if you share interests with those people, chances are they will be happy to have you serve as their audience.

Day-Glo is a copyrighted term. So are Dumpster and Band-Aid. If you think it's ridiculous for a company to claim that they own a term just because they invented it, you've never received a polite but pointed letter from the good folks at the Day-Glo Color Corporation.

Some things just don't make sense, like America's obsession with the Kardashians. I take some solace in the fact that, by the time you are old enough to read this, your answer to this point will be, "Who are the Kardashians?"

Whenever possible, dance like a Muppet, my little puppet.

Men's clothing sizes are based on measurements, while women's sizes are a random combination of letters and numbers. Don't ever take it personally if a garment doesn't look right on you, or if you have to jump up to a bigger size for it to fit properly. I guarantee you that nobody is going to demand to see the tag.

Some of the cheeriest sounding songs are actually about really sad things. Don't ask me why. Humans are just wired to love lyrical dissonance.

Speaking of brains and music, the first time you ever hear a song you like, you will ever after expect to hear it the same way. So that if, for example, the first time you ever heard the hit "1234" by Feist was on "Sesame Street," where they changed the lyrics to include penguins, you're going to always expect to hear those lyrics. Anything else -- such as the original lyrics -- will just sound wrong, without the penguins.

Few things hurt as much as stepping barefoot on a LEGO.

It's best to set a timer before beginning to play The Sims or any other addictive video game. The first time I ever played it, I was amazed when all of a sudden, I saw the sun coming up outside my window. Or as my friend recounted my story, I was amazed that the game had the ability to make the sun come up.

There are many ways to love somebody. If anyone ever tells you they'd rather be your friend than your lover, it may feel like a rejection, but it is actually one of the best promises anyone can make to you. True friendship will outlast all sorts of heartbreak.

I suggest you buy as many blues albums as you can.

A friend once suggested to me that we were all an infinitely bored god, split into parts, dreaming, and that one day, we will all come together to share our stories about what we have learned. While this may not be true, it is true that sharing your stories about the things that make you laugh or cry helps you laugh more and cry less.

There is much more I could share with you, but I'll have to pick this up another time. Your cousin has the croup and is currently demanding that I "squish him some more." As you will no doubt understand some day, this is a request that must be honored. We can pick up this conversation later. In the meantime, if you have any questions, ask your mother. She's pretty smart, too.




I intend to share this with my sister, so please add any wisdom you'd like to share in the comments below for my niece, born on Halloween.


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Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
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n3m3sis43
Nov. 11th, 2014 11:52 am (UTC)
I love this post so hard.

(Even though I disagree with you on green bananas - they're good for eating, but in Atlanta they only stay green for about ten minutes anyway.)
alycewilson
Nov. 11th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)
Normal green bananas, I would agree. In fact KFP likes them. But I'm talking a banana so green you practically have to take a knife to it to get the peel off, a banana so green there's really no yellow on it. In other words, the type of banana I sadly bought at a rest area while we were coming back from the Renaissance Faire, when a banana was the only food sold there that KFP would deign to eat. He said it was yucky, so I tasted it. Bleh. It tasted like a gluey potato, and it actually sucked all the moisture out of my mouth.

Needless to say, we ended up depending on a container of goldfish I keep stowed in the diaper bag for just such emergencies.
meridian_rose
Nov. 11th, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
The clothes thing is rage inducing. A UK 12 varies from store to store and I'm convinced a more European system of actual measurements would be better. Petite means different things to different stores too, some trousers apparently still desgined for those who are 5'4" and wearing two inch heels!
Some definite goodies in this entry :)
alycewilson
Nov. 11th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't know it was as bad in the U.K.: I guess I thought people willing to adopt the metric system would also standardize women's clothing sizes.

The size thing is just ridiculous here in the U.s., especially when, like me you are curvy, which means that it's entirely possible to wear a certain size top and be forced to find a bottom that's one or two sizes bigger. Separates are your friend in such cases. :)
halfshellvenus
Nov. 12th, 2014 01:10 am (UTC)
A Halloween baby, how wonderful!

Few things hurt as much as stepping barefoot on a LEGO.
SO true. Though the solution is not to do as my parents did, and never buy LEGOs. They're awesome. Though I think less of them for releasing the pink "girl's LEGOs" stuff recently.

I'm temporarily out of wisdom, other than to say "Play with the toys that interest you, no matter what other people think." I always did.

One of the big issues with women's clothes is that women are curvy-- or not!-- and that combination along with medium torso/short torso/long torso makes it very hard for sizing to be precise. Men have a waist length and leg length, and that's it. If they bulge, it won't be because they have hips or a bosom-- and they'll just tend to let the stomach ride on top of the waistline. That isn't how women are built at all.
alycewilson
Nov. 14th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
The "girls' LEGOs" are a bit annoying, although they have some really cool stuff that even boys would like, such as a pet series. And I agree about playing with the toys that interest you.

One of the best things women can do for themselves when clothes shopping is to learn their body type and what looks best on it. I never take anything into the dressing room that's cut on the bias, because it just makes my hips look gigantic and my stomach protrude. I look for A-line skirts, which work much better on me.
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - Nov. 14th, 2014 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
i_17bingo
Nov. 12th, 2014 10:19 am (UTC)
I really love this. I wish that a) someone had given me a list like this; and b) that I had thought of the list itself. Still, I've got some newborns among my friends, and I may have to do this for them.

A couple stray observations.

I take some solace in the fact that, by the time you are old enough to read this, your answer to this point will be, "Who are the Kardashians?"

You and me both, sister.

And then there's this:

In this life, you will sometimes have to do things you don't really want to do, sort of like a cat being taken to the vet.

This is the perfect image for a lot of things adult.
alycewilson
Nov. 14th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
You definitely ought to write a list like this for your friends' newborns, because you can make it personal for them. I figured my sister would approve of the mix of "deep thoughts" and cultural observations. Plus, I didn't want to be have it sound too much like any of those other classics in this sort of piece, such as that song from the '90s, "Always Wear Sunscreen."
eternal_ot
Nov. 12th, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
Ah! This is my Favorite post this week..Hands down..and I could use some of that advice as well. Congratulations! For the new entry into the house..God Bless the little one..:)
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! We get to meet her over Thanksgiving, and I can't wait!
(no subject) - eternal_ot - Nov. 17th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
dmousey
Nov. 12th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
This is awesome advice! You are going to be one cool and fantastic Aunt, and KFP a great cousin. Plus goodness, I hope America is no longer obsessed with the Kardashians in 20yrs.

Welcome to the world little one! :)
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
We get to meet her in person over Thanksgiving, and I'm looking forward to it. KFP wants to know all about babies now. We even had to have the "where do babies come from" conversation. Fortunately, he had no embarrassing follow-up questions. :)
bleodswean
Nov. 12th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
Sweet and sentimental. I liked the paragraph about the split god.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That bit of wisdom came from an old hippie called Crystal Dave. He also used to give people woodcut portraits of himself, and the legend was that if you hung it on the wall, he'd drop by for a visit. :)
beeker121
Nov. 12th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
My co-worker uses "Kardashians" as a place-holder curse word which is rather awesome.

This is sweet and fun.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
That is a truly awesome swear word. Until some day you meet some other innocent person with the same last name.
karmasoup
Nov. 13th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore this. And the bit about the lego made me have to stop so I could catch my breath and wipe tears from eyes before continuing, I was laughing so hard. Priceless. Though, I've sort of come to expect that from you.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome! It is my goal to produce tears of laughter as often as I can. ;)
witches
Nov. 13th, 2014 11:25 am (UTC)
i absolutely love this :D
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks.
kehlen
Nov. 13th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
This is awesome.

alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
Great to hear. Thank you!
crisp_sobriety
Nov. 13th, 2014 11:06 pm (UTC)
This is awesome, and sweet.

"When people make jokes, there's always a little bit of truth in them."

Very, very true.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:47 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I could come up with many such nuggets, given more time. But I wanted to stick with the things that came to mind first, under the assumption they must therefore be more relevant.
roina_arwen
Nov. 13th, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Good advice, and a very sweet sentiment! I'm sure your niece (and your sister) will love it - congrats!
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
I hope so. Thank you! BTW, KFP loves your baby fox GIF.
adoptedwriter
Nov. 14th, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
The advice in this is priceless! Love this! AW.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
Great to hear! I wanted to provide the type of advice you're not going to hear just anywhere.
talon
Nov. 14th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
This is just lovely.
alycewilson
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
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