This is a part of Hobbler’s Pity Party. For more info, click here.
Dear Fourth Grade Nathan,
I hope that 1996 is going very well for you. A lot has changed since then. No, the Kansas City Royals are not any better than they were and first-baseman Bob Hamelin is not on the way to the Hall of Fame. Just be prepared for years of baseball disappointment.
I don’t want to give away everything in the future because it will really make the next 16 years a bit boring. Just know that, in the future, you get x-rayed at the airport, gas goes up to around $4 a gallon, your country gets into several wars, your favorite TV shows all will get cancelled, TV shows you hate (one in particular that features Charlie Sheen for most of its run) will be the most popular shows on the planet, and when you see a girl you think is cute in a movie called “The Parent Trap,” that girl will eventually become a drug-fueled nutjob.
There are a lot of positives too. For instance, I can play “Angry Birds” on my cell phone. I guess I need to explain more. I have a smart phone that can do a lot of things. It can allow me to use Facebook (you’ll figure out what that is in the future), it can allow me to Skype (you’ll also figure that out), but mostly I just use it to play a game where I shoot birds at tiny green pigs. It sounds stupid, but you will waste a lot of hours on this in the future.
Also, if you are reading this, someone has invented a time machine. That’s pretty cool too, though I have a feeling that someone at some point will use it for evil.
This will be a big year for you. For starters, you will finally be brave enough to venture onto the soccer field at recess. Sure, you won’t have any idea what’s going on and you will kick the ball a total of four times all school year, but you definitely earn an A+ for effort. You will also develop a crush on a girl who, in retrospect, actually liked you as well. No, don’t you argue with me. I know you like her and denying it is doing you no good, you little snot-nosed brat. You can pretend girls gross you out, but you know that deep down all you want to do is kiss her as soon as your stupid pre-pubescent mind figures out exactly how you kiss someone.
That may have been a bit harsh. I’m sorry 1996 Me.
More importantly, though, I am writing you to give you a bit of warning. At some point throughout the year, you will receive an assignment that requires you to talk about what you expect from the future. You will write all about how you will either be a baseball player, astronaut, or scientist. You will describe in detail the glorious home that, in today’s market, would cost you roughly $1.2 million. You will talk about your wife and kids and how great and swell everything will be. I’m pretty sure you will imagine that the future involves swimming in a pool of $100 bills.
This does not happen.
In fact, every single thing you expect for the rest of your life will be wrong. Very wrong. You will never play baseball for the Royals because even the Royals require some sort of athletic talent. You will never go to space. You will graduate with a master’s degree and live in mediocre apartments.
Worse yet, you will have to pay bills. A lot of bills. As it turns out, adults like myself have to pay for things like electricity and heating. It’s a pretty big bummer.
In fact, I don’t even know anyone that is affluent. I have met a few moderately wealthy individuals and several that upper-middle class, but I am not hobnobbing with the rich and famous.
I won’t sugar coat it: your life will not be amazing. I mean, I guess it could still be. I’m only 25 and I haven’t gotten a letter like this from my 35-year-old self, but nothing will be what you thought it would be like when you grow up.
Oh, also you grow up to be short and your hands will be ridiculously small.
It’s not all bad, though. For instance, I am married to a girl who lets me give her kisses. I have a dog. I learned how to play guitar, so that’s all pretty cool.
I guess if you want to avoid depression, look forward to that stuff. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh, and Bill Clinton beats Bob Dole. Just thought you might want to know.