Dear Dara (ages 9-15 […make that 16]),
Things really do get better. Though, I’m not sure that things could get worse.
Even though some kids are calling you a lesbian, your instincts are right- you’re not a lesbian…. even though as I write you at age 23, it’s been a
long (undisclosed amount of) time since you’ve had a boyfriend, I assure you, you are not a lesbian… But if you were gay it would be fine, which dad has always reminded you of, “just in case.” Seriously, though, you’re not gay. You’re going to date some nice male biceps in the future.
Your baby fat spread out and you stopped trying to cut your own bangs to look like Lindsay Lohan, which really helped matters (Sidebar: you won’t believe what happens to LL. Just try not to get too attached). However, I am sorry to tell you that your hands look the same as they do in that picture. It’s fine though, because you’ll discover that it’s a great ice-breaker at parties. People never get sick of your tiny hands.
Just know that though times are tough right now, one day you can put the memories of these experiences into comedy and making people laugh, which is what you still love to do. Also, when friends say that they can’t fit into their old prom dresses, you can say you fit into your clothes from the 8th grade, which never gets old.
Keep that acne ridden chin up.