November 18, 2008

Wisdom From the Future

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Like the majority of Cornell seniors, I have begun developing ulcers from anguishing over our uncertain futures. Yes, I am deeply concerned about the present job market, but that is not all.
College is almost over. Living off our parents’ money will be a thing of the past. The puberty of our prolonged adolescence is almost complete. Regular binge drinking is soon to be considered alcoholism. Having to be somewhere before 9 a.m. will no longer be “unreasonable.” We must soon find husbands and wives and then procreate to distract ourselves from how little we actually like our spouses … it is enough to drive the most level-headed student mad.
On Friday, out of the blue, I received a letter from my future-self. It came through my multi-use printer/scanner/fax machine on stationary with my letterhead, so it is legitimate. Knowing that I had had such a tough time with the present period of my life, my 50-year-old future self felt it wise to alleviate some stress by letting me know how certain things will play out. What ensue are excerpts from the letter:

What You Had Wrong
• Sarah Palin was right: global warming is not caused by man. All that “reducing our carbon footprint” bullshit was for nothing. The temperature continues to naturally rise as we progress out of the last ice age; fewer polar bears, but a longer barbecuing season. Not so bad.
• Gay marriage might not have been the best idea for our nation’s future. Once it became widespread, and totally wiped out “family values,” people started turning gay left and right — especially the poor children who started to love whomever their hearts told them to without fear. Gradually, the population of the U.S. significantly decreased, as did aggression, misunderstanding and bigotry. We are no longer a world power. (However, with the rising water levels, due to the melting of the polar ice caps, we have less land, so it isn’t all bad that the gay epidemic reduced our population.)
• Purple. Its not a good color for you. Stop wearing it.
• George W. Bush did not go down as the worst president in American history. His autopsy revealed that he was slightly handicapped in terms of motor skills, but more disabled than Michael Phelps in terms of cognitive ability. Considering this new information, and how much change (regardless of its nature) he managed to affect in the face of his adversity, he is now regarded as an inspirational role model. Innumerable children’s books have been published.
• The Catholic Church is God’s one true religion.
What You Had Right
• Spaghetti Cat is still an international sensation.
• Obama brought about the change that was gonna come anyway, but nothing too radical. Checks and balances still exist in the future, even for the man whose voice makes 50-percent of Americans’ downstairs feel funny.
• Britney’s comeback.
• Amy Winehouse’s death.
• Exposing one’s vagina to the world via “fashionable” leggings became a misdemeanor offense. McDonald’s signs now read: “No shirt, no shoes, no genital-obscuring garment, no service.”
Things That Are Good to Know
• You do not end up alone and drunk. You marry a great man who resembles Tom Selleck. You no longer find moustaches creepy or unpleasantly prickly.
• Two of your close friends die before you graduate. To maintain some mystery and excitement in your life, I will withhold the answers to “who?” and “how?”
• Jesus Christ did come a second time; Sister Kathleen Margaret of Holy Trinity School at least didn’t lie to you about that. He actually had to come a third, forth, and fifth time before attracting any significant attention. It turns out that He had been continually institutionalized and sedated like a common quack on the streets of any major city proclaiming to be our Savior. After becoming Paris’ fourth BFF, and publicly performing some miracles, though, people began to get it.
• Jesus’ boyfriend is a total babe. With his connections, though, not really a surprise.
• You more or less have been successfully employed since graduation; no worries there. The majority of the country, though, did end up making a detour to the poor house for a few years. It led to a revival of the “aw-shucks” values of the 1940s and 1950s: sweater sets, “neat-o” and Sunday ball games — and everyone is a hell of a lot scrappier.
• Madonna eventually completed her sex reassignment by having a metoidioplasty. He does, however, refuse to stop wearing leotards, which is both awkward and forces him to use the drive-through for testosterone-induced McDonalds binges.
• Oh, and Jesus is a total snacker. He loves ants-on-a-log. Like cannot get enough. Ever.

While the letter did answer some of my queries about my future, it left me with even more uncertainty. The most important thing garnered from it, though, was that I must not waste time and energy fretting about what will happen — I simply must live my life. I now believe that, come May, life will take its course, whatever that course may be, and we graduates will be all right.
And for those times when life inevitably overwhelms you, just remember what one of the greatest, most inspirational African American doctors of our era once said: “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.”