I have an embarrassing confession to make: until earlier this week, I didn’t know how to check the pressure in my car tires, nor did I know how to put air in the tires. I learned, and that’s the important thing. I also found out it’s so easy, even a five year old could do it, but until the “very low tire pressure” warning light flashed on my dashboard, the need to bone up on that skill had flown under my radar.
That experience started me thinking about other things women need to know. Don’t worry, this isn’t a practical list. As empowering as it is to pump up my own tires, I’ll save the sensible list for another time. Right now, let’s go a little more intangible.
Here’s my top eleven list of things women should know:
HOW TO FLIRT FOR THE SPORT OF IT. Even if you’re married, it’s all in good fun and can be an instant self-confidence booster. So go ahead, make eye-contact, smile Work it, girl!
HOW TO FEEL COMFORTABLE HAVING LUNCH BY YOURSELF /GOING TO A MOVIE BY YOURSELF / TRAVELING BY YOURSELF. Learn how to enjoy your own company so you don’t miss out while waiting for a friend or lover to finally get around to doing what you want.
HOW TO POLITELY, BUT FIRMLY, DEFEND AN ISSUE YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT. Even if you don’t win over the person to your side, the point is having a position and being able to articulate it.
HOW TO TELL WHICH IS YOUR DRINK AND BREAD PLATE AT A LUNCHEON WHERE THE PLACE SETTINGS ARE CRAMMED TOGETHER ON A ROUND TABLE. A friend of mine who was once a Walt Disney World Ambassador learned a trick in a Disney etiquette class, which was part of her training: with your hands in your lap, make a circle by touching your thumb and forefinger together on each hand while holding your other three fingers out toward your knees (like you’re making a discreet “okay” sign with both hands). You’ll notice that your left hand forms a small “b” and your right hand forms a small “d.” The “b” of your left hand reminds you that your bread plate is on your left, and the “d” of your right hand signifies that your drink is on the right. Cool, huh? Go confidently in the direction of that bread basket!
HOW TO DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM A “TOXIC FRIEND.” This can be difficult, but really, it’s a matter of self-preservation. You don’t have to be nasty, just unavailable.
HOW TO GET RID OF GUILT. Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them. Same applies to this – no one can make you feel guilty unless you allow them.
HOW TO NOT TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY. Eleanor’s rule can loosely apply here, too. It’s not always about you and sometimes that’s a good thing.
HOW TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF. There’s something remarkably liberating about not taking yourself too seriously. This is one of the most important things I’m trying to teach my daughter. Sometimes it requires me making a huge fool of myself . I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun.
HOW TO SAY NO. This is a hard one for me, especially when it comes to NOT volunteering for the various writers’ organizations I belong to and NOT taking on committee work for my daughter’s school. There are only so many hours in a day and it’s amazing how fast they fill up-and not always with things we want to do.
HOW TO SAY YES. This one is hard for me, too. It’s sort of the converse of the “just say no” item above. Learn how to say yes to things you want to do – girls weekends; writing conferences, the occasional splurge on an expensive trinket for yourself. You work hard and you deserve a treat every once in a while.
FINALLY, KNOW WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT YOU. Everyone has something unique and special about them. What makes you special? Me? I know how to put air in my tires! I think that’s pretty cool!
That’s my top eleven. What about you? What are some things you think every woman should know?