Hey, Me-To-Be…

Last night my kids were watching La Bamba. The scene where Ritchie Valens accepted an ill-fated seat on the airplane came on, and I said out loud, “Don’t do it, Ritchie!” As if my warning had the power to change the ending of the movie. To stave off the young star’s death. Have you ever done this before? Tried to will a new ending to a movie or book you’ve seen or read previously, hoping against hope that this time, maybe just maybe, Ritchie won’t get on board that plane, and he won’t die in a soybean field outside of Clear Lake, Iowa?

Sadly, it never works. Try as you might, you can’t change the past.

Earlier in the week, I was watching How I Met Your Mother, and there was a scene where twenty-years-from-now-Ted and twenty-years-from-now-Barney were talking to the present-day versions of themselves, warning them against mistakes they were about to make. I did this myself once, writing a letter to my past self telling him me to chill out, life was about to get really good. But that didn’t work either. I still didn’t listen to myself! Damn stubborn Taurus…

I was reading a blog post last week where Honie Briggs wrote a letter to her present self. She knew that her past self wouldn’t heed her advice, either. I left a comment suggesting that one of us write a letter to our future self – the only variation on this theme still unexplored – and somehow that turned into a high-noon type of challenge in which we both decided to write letters to our future selves. Which was fine by me! After all, when I was challenged to explain my dislike for crows, I rose to the occasion. A letter to my future self would be a piece of cake!

Only, not really. Who knows what paths twenty-years-from-now-Mark will embark upon? I can only guess at where I might end up. Hopefully not in the loony bin, hahahahahahahahahahaha …..err, sorry.


But let’s give this a whirl anyway. And, here’s Honie’s.

Hey, Me-To-Be…

Thought I’d drop you a line, since a face-to-face conversation is impossible. You’re probably deaf in one ear from all the awesome concerts you attended over the years, anyway! How about that Rolling Stones show in 2027? Man, that Mick Jagger could move for somebody pushing 85! Speaking of moves, I hope you still can…even if it requires a replacement hip.

I sure hope you don't look like this, future Mark...
I sure hope you don’t look like this, future Mark…

Since this isn’t a two-way conversation and you can’t let me know winning lottery numbers or the outcomes of the last twenty Super Bowls or anything, I guess I’ll do the talking. I know you’re staring down some monumental changes in your life right now: Medicare, Social Security, and retirement. If they still exist, of course. These things may make you feel old, but remember, you’ve still got a beautiful, younger wife. Happy Anniversaries, by the way! You’ve now surpassed your first marriage, and then some. Never knew you could be so happy, did ya? I loved reading your books, by the way. All of them. Or should I say, I loved writing them? This talking-to-yourself-across-the-decades thing is confusing! By the way, unless you’re driving/flying a Mini Cooper with wings, I’m going to consider the future a great, big disappointment. (Racing stripes are optional).

They say that wisdom comes with age, and you’ve probably got a thousand pieces of advice for me, but this is my turn to speak, old man. All I can say is, as old as you may feel right now, remember this: you’re always going to be older. (Well, until you die, but hopefully that’s still a long ways away yet). I remember how I used to feel like I was pushing the boundaries a bit, hanging out in clubs and listening to bands in my 40s when the majority of the crowd was comprised of twentysomething hipsters, but I was just a kid then! And so are you. 64 is the new 51, right? Or something like that. So, I implore you, go all out and enjoy your retirement! You and Tara hop in that RV (you do have one, right?) and travel across the country. Visit the Cadillac Ranch and the World’s Biggest Ball of Twine and all the kitschy places you can find along the way. Have adventures! You are still Clark Griswold, right? Don’t let the fact that you’re in your sixties stop you from living! Hey, your parents are that age now, and they are still jetting all over the world! (They’re probably still jetting all over the world). Live, laugh, and love. That’s the only piece of advice I can give you, but I think it’s pretty solid. Well, that, and stock up on Viagra. You dirty dog, you.

Peace out, old man me!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

20 thoughts on “Hey, Me-To-Be…

  1. LOVE it, Mark!

    And you summed it up perfectly about aging into the future…

    “Have adventures! Live, laugh, and love. That’s the only piece of advice I can give you, but I think it’s pretty solid.”



    1. I was reminded of Jack Nicholson’s character in “About Schmidt” when I was writing this post. He took off in an RV once he retired, and ended up in a hot tub with a very frisky Kathy Bates. Talk about an adventure…


  2. “twenty-years-from-now-Mark” Take it from me. When you get there you’ll be glad if there’s “A week- from- now- Mark”. In any event the letter from your twenty-year-ago-self won’t get delivered. Inadequate postage.


    1. I’m assuming this is an auto correct error and “Domitian” actually means “Doughnut” and not “Roman emperor who ruled from 81 to 96 AD, at which point he was assassinated.” If that’s the case – good idea!


  3. Oh, Mark. This is just what I needed to read a few days before my birthday. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow your idea..giving you full credit, of course!
    I bet Tara hope future Mark doesn’t look like that, either…


  4. There are lots of movies I would like to change endings to or certain scenes (including the movie of my own life). However, as you’ve found out it’s not possible to change it so I instead still watch them but eithe fast forward over the spots I don’t like or stop before the ending and let my imagination work out a new one LOL I think the you-to-be will be just as awesome as the current one and hopefully we will all still get to read your latest updates on concerts you and Tara go to and what wonderful drinks and food you’ve had as well 🙂 PS I facebooked you…my name is Linda 🙂


    1. Ahh…that explains the friend request from the person I didn’t recognize. LOL, thanks. I figured we’d “known” each other for so long now, it would be nice to at least have your name!


Add Your Two Cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: