What Would She Say

What were you like as a 10 year old? I was bossy—no big surprise. Being an only child meant that I had a certain belief that my opinions would be listened to and weighed with the gravity appropriate for the wisdom expressed. That people frequently noted that I was an adult stuffed into a child’s body should not be a surprise either. When friends disappointed me, I would stand with my hands on my hips, shake my head and say things like, “I just don’t know what I’m going to do with you.”

I bet you can picture it.

I was shy, observant and occasionally fanciful (as the photos of me wearing pink curtains I had fashioned into a gown and cape would attest). I wanted to be a doctor, a spy, a detective and a writer—and all at once.

I still do.

At no point did 10 year old Kate think that she would take a temporary job that would last 16 years—and outlast her interest by a good 14. Passively allowing her ideas to be dismissed? No, I don’t think so. 10Kate would never have put up with that. Why would she stay in that situation? Why would anyone?

Perhaps before making decisions, the 10 year old filter should always be applied.

Picture the 10 year old you—maybe you were already developing, maybe those things were still down the road. Pubic hair appearing equaled adulthood. Now tell her that she’ll feel inordinate pressure the rest of her life to remove it. Oh, and imagine the shock when you tell 10 year old you that the removal will involve hot wax and someone forcibly ripping it at the roots…. and that she will pay someone to do this often.

Now breasts were power. You had already worked that out if you had siblings or older friends. I’m not sure how the knife and saline implants would have gone over, but I’m guessing it would have elicited some sort of response like, “weird.”

Explain to 10 year old you why you got that thing pierced. No seriously. Go ahead.

Look 10 year old you in the eye and explain to her that she will be spending her married life with a man who will not respect her, will cheat on her, will give her STDs and will run off with his girlfriend to Mexico while using her credit cards to expense the trip—while her house is in foreclosure because he lied about paying the mortgage. And he won’t understand why she will not be happy for him.

Look 10 year old you in the eye and explain that she will give up what she most wants in life in order to make a partner happy—only to be emotionally abused to the point of paralysis and end up alone anyway.

I bet the 10 year old you would love the idea of you sneaking into a party to meet David Tennant (though, she’s unlikely to know who he is yet).

I bet she’d be dismayed to learn that she’ll spend her adulthood in love with one man, but marry someone else anyway.

I’m not sure I’d try to explain anal bleaching.


6 comments on “What Would She Say”

  1. Helen

    I recently had to clear out my childhood room after my father passed away and we decided to sell the house. As I sorted my childhood memories into appropriate piles: Keep/Goodwill/ Trash, I could not help but think of 10 year old Helen and how I'd let her down. She had so much hope for the future, but my adult life has in no way lived up to those hopes. She deserved better.

  2. Dee Murray

    I think that is probably the saddest thing I've ever read. My ten year old me would be so angry and sad at what she'd become.

  3. Kate, Dating in LA

    @Helen and @Dee Murray, I'm trying to look on the bright side (a rarity, I know): we aren't dead yet. We still have time to erase that 10 year old stink eye and turn that into some sort of grudging approval– though she will still wonder who she got this old. ;p

  4. engel

    Well when I was 10 year old I was quite different. Though I was an intelligent and articulate kid, I have always fancied and enjoyed being a child. I loved cartoons so much and other childish things that I had a hard time getting away with even in my highschool years. But it was fun. I can say that my childhood was the best era of my life.Male enhancement

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