Watching several episodes of Jennifer Aniston on Jimmy Kimmel reminded me of something I wanted to send to her when I was in high school.
I wrote you a letter in high school to ask you out to prom. The letter follows, but with a commentary from present me. In the olden days, they called this call and response. Original in bold, commentary in italics.
I guess I got this idea to write to you after I watched that one episode from Friends, where you go off to London to tell Ross that you love him. I probably watched that episode ten times; for the first time in my teen life, I found and related to a person truly and wholeheartedly.
— This is no hyperbole, I worked that VHS tape to the bone. I thought you were real, like all good television. High school sucked and its people were demons, sent to this earth to copy homework and do shots. No one made sense except you performing a role thousands of kilometers away. I now know that this is called emptiness.
I started to look beyond Rachel and saw perhaps something so simple, yet beautiful. It was that little thing that makes all of us tick, the desire to love and to be loved. I really wanted to cry when you were having that conflict of going to London or not. Just from that one episode, I began to admire you and even Rachel. The admiration soon grew into an attraction and deep respect. But please, please don’t think that I’m a sick pervert.
— I now know that that last sentence is a pubescent form of male weakness. I wasn’t sick, I was just hungry. At least I was aware that there was you and there was your character. Be informed that I had never had that conflict in Hell High and I only tasted that bitterness in my late 20’s. Ambition can come in forms, I suppose.
I’m just a normal 17 year old guy who’s been very, very unlucky in love and life. You see, I’ve lived my whole teenage life looking for relationships with girls and every time, I have been hurt. It was either the usual “I just want to be friends” or it was really the wrong girl to ask. After all this, I realized that I will never find love or the right person. It will happen someday. I hope.
— Comforting to know now that this doesn’t change at all in adulthood.
For you though, I have one simple request; this May, it’s my senior prom and I will not have a date, I’m sure. I’m not trying to be negative here or asking for sympathy: I’m being very realistic. All I ask you.. if you could be my date.
— I spent five paragraphs, spewing nothing but amputated negativity and then I do something crazy like deny it. Youth. I commend young me the balls to even write this paragraph. I’m glad this hasn’t changed either in adulthood, for me. Just not to actresses in Hollywood, though.
I know it’s an incredible request, but I hope you will understand that I want to be happy at this event, and not depressed like every other dance, where I sat and watched the girl I loved be with another guy. This is not a scam or some pervert’s sick dream; this is one young man’s request for happiness.
— Second mention of pervert is a real winner. The rest is all true. I hated every dance, every social function, every gathering of soldiers of the Red One within the confines of secondary education. I think had you accepted and you joined me, you would have had a great time. I danced like the last day in hell.
I would be immensely honored and eternally enchanted with your presence as my date for that night. Waiting silently and patiently for your reply, even if you choose not to fulfill the request. A reply would be more than enough.
— Nice touch to end off with Victorian chivalry. Perhaps mixed with Steve Carrell from the Office.
Epilogue: I did go alone for prom and I did dance like crazy. I’m in touch with no one really from high school and I haven’t written any other letters to American actresses or their favorite TV characters.
Congratulations on your recent wedding,