Saturday, January 5, 2013

Little Me

Dear Little Me,

I have something terrible to confess. Something so awful you’re not going to be able to believe it. It’s incredibly traumatic, and to be honest I don’t even know if I should share it with you. Brace yourself, okay?

We’re not married to Steve Guttenberg.

Please…please don’t throw yourself off that cliff. I did warn you it was bad! I feel awful that I had to tell you at all, but I did, and now you know, and it’s time to start coming to terms with the fact that you never become Ms. Stein-Guttenberg. You must grieve for the Scottish castle from the movie High Spirits that you will never live inside with him. Have a good cry and let go of the boat from Cocoon that you will never sail around the world on, while he wanders around wearing tiny shorts that make you go funny in your tummy and some parts of you bum.

But take heart, dear one. You’ll also never have to ask him to shave his massively hairy chest that vaguely scares you, because a) if you did that now you’d be arrested for breaking into Steve Guttenberg’s house with a razor and b) you actually grow up to love hairy chests.

So it all turns out okay in the end.

Or at least, it all turns out okay in the end if the one hope for your life was to come to love hairy chests. Which I’m not sure it was. But before we get too bogged down in why I’m not all the things you had hoped for—like a billionaire actress model singer writer with a string of lovers that reads like a who’s who of human crap when I look back on it now, including but not limited to: Scott Valentine, Chris Sarandon, Val Kilmer and that weird poppy-eyed guy from Critters—let us have a little peek at the things I am, shall we?

I’m a writer.

No, really. I am. Not a billionaire one, and not a celebrity one, and certainly not one who once dated a guy who hasn’t been famous since 1985. But still, a real and honest to goodness writer, who gets paid to write books for a living. You know what I did all day today? I wrote a chapter of a book I’m getting money to write, and then I read two novels about what happens to a teenage girl when the moon almost crashes into earth.

Yeah, you heard that right.

I spent today reading books you would have taken two buses to buy from Waterstones, with money you’d saved up for a month. And you know how I got those books? I pressed a button. I pressed a button and they came to me on a datapad from Star Trek, immediately.

I’m not even making that last bit up. The thing in my hand stores all my books—thousands of them—and it looks EXACTLY like a datapad. I know, I know. Calm down, okay? There aren’t any hoverboards and we aren’t being saved from rubble by Kyle Reese and no one is living on Mars.

But who gives a shit, because you press a button and books come.

Same thing with music, and movies. Remember how you used to beg Dad to take you to Barker’s Video? Now, you go downstairs, turn on your Nintendo console, press a button and there’s a movie right there. You can just search the name of any actor you fancy, and all his films come up, and a lot of them you can just watch right away.

I can’t even imagine what a change that would have made to your life, Little Me. How happy it would have made you to have these things. You don’t have to will the BBC to show Dana Carvey’s TV show. You have it on DVD.

And you paid for it with money you earned from writing books.

In fact you pay for most things, now, with money you earned from writing books. You’re paying for you and your husband to go on holiday this year. Your husband thinks you’re amazing for actually making all of this happen.

Because oh yeah, did I not mention that?

You’re also married. You, who never had boyfriends like everyone else. You, who I know feels desperately unloved, and not just because you feel plain and plump and bookish, when everyone else is primped and pretty and thin. You feel it because your biological Father walked out on you. Part of you suspects that all men—except the imaginary ones—are cruel and careless and awful, the way your biological Father was, and the way the boys at school are.

But I promise you, Little Me, that this isn’t the case. He might not be Steve Guttenberg, but you marry the man of your dreams. He is kind, and loyal, and good, and loves you best of all. He talks to you when you are lonely; you are never lonely when he is there. He does things to make you happy, because you being happy matters to him. And eventually, you forget what it was like to believe that all men are awful.

Because he is there to prove you wrong.

Take care, my Little Me. You don’t have long to wait, now.

All my love,

Charlotte Stein
(Yeah, that’s right. I named myself after the billionaire model actress singer writer with a string of lovers that you always wanted to be. Chew on that, for a while.)

P.S. Hope nobody minds me posting this outside my day. I meant to post it yesterday, but lapsed into a coma. If it's not all right, I'm fine for someone to remove it!


  1. How delightful! As I read this, even though I am not Little Me nor Charlotte Stein, I somehow feel vindicated and relieved that it all turns out so well!

  2. So sweet, Charlotte. Love to your Little You.

  3. You do it in your fiction. You do it in your blog posts. You make me bust a gut and wipe away a tear in the same paragraph. And you do it over and over.

    Love this letter. Hope Little Me isn't too freaked out by's pretty intense, I mean, you're crushing her Steve Guttenberg dreams. But you give her lots to be hopeful about too.

  4. Beautiful letter! Thanks for sharing. I was reminded to be grateful for what I do have in this grown-up life.

  5. Charlotte,

    I wish I could have known Little Me, because she obviously deserves a big hug.

    Fabulous post! (Especially the stuff about hairy chests and the data pad!)


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  7. I legit teared up at that last bit. Beautiful!

  8. Charlotte, I'm so glad you could honestly tell your younger self that things would get better, even if she never got to marry a celebrity with a hairy chest (who prob. would have been a jerk anyway.) :)

  9. Renee - awwww yay. Thank you!

    Jo - my little me thanks you.

    Jessi - that's so lovely to hear! I cried writing glad it made other people shed a tear too.

    Andrea - that was totally my intention. Had been down a lot, and forced myself to take stock - we all have more than we think.

    Lisabet - she's overwhelmed by all the hugs she's getting! Think she would have been pretty pleased about that, too.

    Jeremy - xxxx

    Ashley - awww thank you!

    Jean - I am too! I've struggled with feelings of not living up to what she wanted...but once I started thinking about it rationally, I realised how pleased she'd probably be. (and true!)


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