Let's be honest here, not all of us were raised with the most attentive or informative mothers (for an extremely humbling yet humorous example, read this post from one of my favorite blogs, Hipstercrite). Not all of us were taught the ins and outs of eyebrow tweezing, the basics of makeup application or (nor?) the how-tos of assembling an entire outfit. And let's not forget the hot topics of dating, girlfriends and, well, basic survival. The only dating advice I can ever remember my mom dishing out was "Good girls don't call boys," and this was less of an advisement and more of an accusation (yeah, I'm pretty sure my mom was insinuating that I was a whore. At 14, but I digress.).
So, my point is, there are (very frequently) moments in my life when I want to pull the hair out of my head and yell SHOULDN'T SOMEONE HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT/HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS?!? Therefore, for us poor unfortunate souls who grew up without a proper education on how to be a girl, I suggest that someone create an instructional manual for this shit (and I'm not referring to the Cosmo kind, because I'm pretty sure there's more to being a girl than How to Give Your Man a Mind-Blowing Blow or How to Dress Like a Hooker at Work and Not Get Called a Whore*).
For fun, here are some things I would like to see covered in said manual:
- How to survive puberty- as in the logistics of it. This shouldn't be left up to the health teacher, who is just going to show us a picture of a cow's head and throw all sorts of medical jargon at us. And please, please, please this shouldn't be left up to our moms, who are gonna get all theatrical and "You're now a woman!" on us and then throw a book at us that will miraculously explain it all. It won't. Just give us the real world, this-is-how-you-deal, facts.
- How to be a friend with a guy without him wanting to take it to the next level- I'm convinced this type of relationship can exist, and I'm still determined to prove it. This should also cover how to have a one-night stand that won't result in him hounding you for dinner and a movie, and how to get him to NOT call you.
- How to say no without feeling like a bitch- this has so many applications I don't even know where to begin. Being incapable of saying no without carrying around a burden of guilt the size of Texas has resulted in many life situations I have NOT wanted to be in.
- How to be a lady while wearing a skirt- I fail miserably at this. I have no qualms against sitting criss-cross applesauce (formerly known as Indian Style) in a skirt. I have no problem sitting on the floor or the ground or in the dirt. I wear flip flops in skirts. I go barefoot. I put my feet up on my chair/table when wearing a skirt. I have flashed many unsuspecting strangers numerous times when the wind picks up.
- How to wear our hair/clothes/make-up in a flattering manner- I know we all have to go through a trial-and-error stage, but I think with the assistance of an instructional manual I would have discovered my personal style before the age of 25.
- How to hurt someone's feelings with grace and ease- I suck at this.
- How to have a successful argument without caving at a crucial moment- I suck at this too.
- How to survive other women- Women are mean. Women are cruel. Women are vindictive. Where are the instructions on how to deal when you find yourself at a barbecue, surrounded by married women who are all five years younger than you and all have children or are pregnant and none of them work and they make YOU feel guilty for being almost 30, unmarried, sans kids and more focused on your education and career then all those other things. Not that I've ever been in that situation, I'm just saying, for example.
- How to be entirely comfortable and accepting with the longing, the desire and the decision to be a free and independent woman- Cuz the world doesn't make this easy on a woman. I like living on my own. I like paying for my own meal. I like driving my own car (a standard, by the way). I like not having to answer to anyone or check in with someone at all times. So why do I still feel guilty about this?
- How to talk about cars- it seems men are born with this ability. That's unfair. I would feel much more confident heading to the garage if I knew what a catalytic converter did or if I knew what a tie-rod was.
- How to purchase a bag of Oreos and NOT consume the entire package in two days- same goes for chocolate. and ice cream. and candy. Damn you, PMS!
- How to comfortably do things on your own- like eating out or going to a movie or grabbing a drink at a bar. I have to admit, I have successfully eaten out on my own (granted, it was always at a diner, but it counts) however, I have yet to go to a bar on my own, but I see men do it all the time. And I have yet to master the ability to walk into a movie theater on my own, purchase a ticket and see that movie that I've been dying to see.
- How to drink with the boys- alright, in all honesty, I don't need instructions on this. I've been known to drink quite a few boys under the table before, but I do know quite a few girls who could benefit from putting down the girly umbrella drink and grab a beer, for god's sake!
- How to not make an ass of yourself in front of a crush- (I really couldn't end on 13, so I threw this one in, but it's still true). Fergie sang about this. We all do it. How do we stop trippin', stumblin' and acting all clumsy and start acting like the sophisticated, put-together woman that we are in front of the men of our dreams?
Well, it's a start. What would you like to see in the instructional manual for being a girl?
* I don't think these are actual articles from Cosmo. I don't read it, but from what I've seen in the aisles of the supermarket, they very well could be.