to: 16 year old niece. love: your spinster aunt. (part ii)


Another year has gone by, which means I’ve gained another year of auntie wisdom. By this I obviously mean that my shit is no more together now than it was when Brooklyn turned 6. So in honor of her 7th birthday (which I am protesting and need a support group to survive), I will again share life lessons in no particular order but with all of my love and borderline offensiveness.

  1. The cover of romance novels are wrong. If a shirtless foreign man is smelling your cheek, mace his ass and get out of there. Unless you’re 30 and on vacation. Then maybe let him smell your cheek and tell you you’re pretty. Because you always deserve to be told you’re pretty.
  2. If asked if you’d like fries or a salad as your side, choose fries. Genuine happiness usually results in weighing 5-10 pounds more than you wish you did. Some pounds are worth it. As are things that can be dipped in sauces.
  3. Feminism is great. But shave your damn armpits.
  4. Find what you love and pursue it with all of your heart. But don’t, like, go on American Idol or something if you suck at singing, ya know?
  5. Sometimes the food sold out of trucks gives you the trots. If the lady in front of you in line at the Starbucks is asking pointless questions and keeping you from getting the key to the bathroom, don’t be rude. There’s never an excuse for being rude. Almost shitting yourself comes close, but not quite.
  6. You probably won’t be attacked by wildlife in the woods. Don’t let your irrational fear of this keep you from exploring. But also, dude is it just me or does it feel like something is watching you?
  7. Having a good sense of humor makes things easier. Laugh at yourself. Also, come up with your go-to anecdote for when you feel nervous in awkward social situations. Mine is the troubles of having epilepsy while playing sports. Learn when to stop if this conversation is with a cute boy, however, and don’t show him the episode-induced scar on your knee until he earns it.
  8. Even sunshine burns if you get too much. Boundaries are necessary. Unless we’re talking about watching 45 consecutive episodes of Friends in a weekend. You are the boss of your life.
  9. MiMi always says there’s a lid for every pot. If you ever find yourself feeling doubtful, sit at a mall food court for 20 minutes. Even homeboy with the denim fanny pack and white sneakers is holding hands with someone. You’ll be fine. In the meantime: decorate the hell out of your room with floral prints while you can and learn how to give yourself the Heimlich maneuver.
  10. Raising your voice is never okay. Unless you’re singing 90s R&B or Taylor Swift.
  11. Don’t cut your hair to your shoulders, dye it brown, and then go to the salon with a cheesy pun for a title and ask for a “body wave” when you’re 22. Those homemade Halloween sweater-wearing ladies are going to give you a tight ass spiral perm. That’s short for “permanent” and that’s a long time to look like a moron. And more importantly: You were made lovely. Just exactly the way you are.


auntie cobes

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