Posted by: Mark | January 19, 2009

The Bush Years

Here I sit, like the rest of us, on the eve of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Of course, I’m quite excited. Honestly, there are plenty of people far more intelligent and well-read than I who have waxed philosophically about what this really means. So I’m gonna take a different angle.

I was 18 the last time a new president was inaugurated. I was a college freshman at Georgetown University, with what felt like my who life ahead of me. And in many ways it was. So, taking a page out of the blog of my friend withoutmelissa, what follows is a letter to myself, dated January 19, 2009, written to me from 8 years ago on the eve of George Bush’s inauguration.

Dear Mark,

First off, enjoy that long blond hair while you got it. This girl that you’re dating–well the two of you are going to get very serious, and as a result some of the choices that you typically make for yourself might be slightly influenced by her. So basically, this hairstyle you got now is never coming back so enjoy it. (You will, however, get to have some other awesome hair-dos, like a jet-black mohawks, and buzz cuts, scruffy facial hair, etc.)

Ok this aside, tomorrow’s inauguration is going to change a lot. It’s still too bad that Gore got by-passed by the Supreme Court, but it’s going to take a few months for it to really settle in that Bush is going to do things pretty differently. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but the US is heading into an ugly situation with something that pretty much no one could have seen coming, and that’s going to largely impact the way that Bush leads. You will do your share of griping about it, you won’t like it, you’ll read about it a lot and listen to a lot of stories about it…..but thankfully, there is a far-away light at the end of this 8 year tunnel that is pretty damn good.

Tomorrow you’re getting trained for this new SAT teaching job. Enjoy that. It’s the beginning of something really big and exciting for you. I know that right now you’re trying to figure out which major you want so that you can get into the best law school you can, but just pick the one that you enjoy the most. I can tell you with certainty that you are not going to go to law school. You already know this anyway, you will just take a long time to let it settle in with you (after wasting hours and hours studying for the LSAT) that law school is not for you, and that you’re going to become a high school teacher. But honestly, that’s a fun discovery so I’ll let you enjoy that.

Your band Sock Full of Pennyz is going to get extremely close to ‘making it,’ and although you guys won’t, you will still have a blast in the process of getting there….and will refer back to the band days as some of the most fun you’ve had.

You’re never really going to love college. You’ll love the classes but the social scene is just so different from what you like that it’ll never feel just right. But that’s ok. You have already found a person that is otherwise just right, and so that is really what matters.

The Georgetown basketball team will eventually be good again. Not while you’re here, but don’t worry, they’ll get good, and you’ll actually start to like watching them play.

You will fulfill your lifelong dreams, and sooner than you think, of: moving to California, living close to the beach, having a surf-rack in your garage, owning a dog.

Enjoy the time that you have with your friend Steve. Don’t take his friendship or the distance for granted. You guys have a great summer ahead of you, one of the best ever, but you are going to miss him very much.

All in all, you are a lucky bastard. The world will at times look like it is going to hell around you, but somehow you stay squeaky clean. Don’t worry too much and enjoy the people you are with and who care for you.

Good luck at the training tomorrow, and I can tell you definitively that 8 years from now you’ll actually be looking forward to a presidential inauguration.

From yourself in 8 years,




  1. Hmm, maybe I should take a page out of your book and write a letter to myself on the eve of the last new inauguration.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t making nearly as many life decisions at ten years of age as you were at eighteen.

  2. Damn dude, clairvoyant? That was some accurate stuff right there.

    And Alec, the beautiful thing is, even though we were only 10, all we have known for our conscious lives has been George Dubya. Things are getting better, and from our perspective, the world is about to be an amazing place.

  3. You’re right. It’s not as if they can get worse.

  4. Never forget that it can always get worse. Murphy made a law touching on the idea. The good news it, we picked the right person to prevent it from happening!

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