June 1999
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Everybody's Free (To Have Cute Friends)

Tips for the Future, for the Class of 1999

By Jessica Brandt

Get yourself some cute friends.

If I could offer you one tip for the future, having cute friends would be it. The long-term benefits of having cute friends have been shown throughout the centuries, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than listening to a famous person speak for $100 a word. I will bore you to sleep now.

Enjoy the fact that you are not an adult now. In twenty years, you won't look back to realize how much more beautiful you were now, because after a few surgeries, you'll probably be much better looking then. But you will look back upon your youth and realize how much you did now has messed up your life in the future. So enjoy it today before you start to realize the long-term effects. You are as dopey looking as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future or worry knowing that worry is just as affective as trying to figure out the tip by yawning. The real trouble in your life is YOU and your personality. I bet you never thought of that before. Do one thing every day that scares you. Poke yourself in the eye.

Try to use as many people for meaningless sex as you can. Be just as easy as you expect them to be. Wipe your butt thoroughly.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Instead, kill the people you're jealous of. The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself if everyone else is dead.

Remember compliments you recieve, and write them in a book. If you succeed in this, you'll still only have a very small book. Keep your old love letters, so you can sell them when your ex is famous, but throw away all the stalker-ish poetry you've written. Clip your toenails.

You should feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life. Everyone should have a goal, dumbass. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, but interesting people aren't usually successful. Get plenty of sugar. Be kind to your buttocks, you'll miss them when they are saggy.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Probably not, because you're so boring and ugly. You'll most likely divorce at 40, and dance the "Macarena" on your best friend's 70th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much because everything you've accomplished is due to being int he right place at the right time, not skill.

Enjoy your body. Go ahead and masturbate. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Streak often. Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room. Read the directions even if you can't read. Do not read beauty magazines, read Satanic Verses instead.

Get to know your parents. Especially things like their Social Security numbers and how to sign their names.

Be nice to your siblings. They will have to get you out of jail some day.

Understand that friends come and go. No one understands you anyway.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle: get on the Internet. it's a good way to pretend you're a 16-year-old lesbian when you're an old unattractive man.

Live in New York City once, so you know how to live like a bum. Live in northern California once, so you can get a good tan without sock lines. Eat red meat.

Accept certain inalienable truths: your friends will leave you, you will become cynical, you too will get old and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, you had friends, your future was bright, and children respected their elders. Your elders are stupid.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have money in secret stocks, maybe you'll kill your spouse for insurance purposes but you never know when either might run out on you.

Don't mess too much with your hair because hair styles change every minute. You'll never have a good haircut.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be sure to make your opinions known. Advice will get you nowhere. Dispensing advice is a way of making other people feel stupid and smaller than you. But trust me on having cute friends.

Editor's note: Yes, this is a general farce on the popular song and speech "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" made famous by Baz Luhrman. You can find out about it and read the real speech (by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich HERE

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