In 1997, Pamela Redmond Satran wrote an article for Glamour magazine titled “30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by theTime She’s 30.” The article has since become a popular email forward, and still makes the rounds today, 15 years after publication. Given how much has changed since 1997 (including the fact that I’ve turned 30…plus a few), it seemed like a good time for an update, so I posed the question to some of my favorite women and with their help, came up with this list.
By 30, you should have:
1. A good, quiet vibrator and the know-how to use it.
2. Your Passport, for when that once-in-a-lifetime chance to run off to Paris comes up and you have to leave tomorrow.
3. A pocket knife. Did you know most of them have a corkscrew AND a bottle opener?
4. An idea of whether or not you plan to have children.
5. A plan for how you will prevent conception if/when you don’t want to be a parent, and a plan for how you will become a parent when/if you do.
6. A back-up plan in the event that numbers four and five don’t work out exactly the way you planned.
7. Your voter registration card, because it’s your right and your responsibility.
8. A gynecologist who makes you feel comfortable enough to ask questions about your body, your health and your pleasure. Even if your feet are in the stirrups.
9. Some money stashed away for your future.
10. Some other money stashed away for a rainy day.
11. At least one delicious recipe that you make really well, so when you’re invited to a potluck, you always know what to bring.
12. Credit history in your own name and knowledge of your score.
13. A bed that makes you sleep like a baby and is big enough for company. Preferably a bed that you’ve purchased sometime after your teen years.
14. The ability to admit when you’ve made a mistake and deal with the consequences.
15. A willingness to learn from your mistakes in order to keep from repeating them over and over again.
By 30, you should know:
1. That nobody can read your mind. Learning how to communicate will get you everywhere.
2. How to change your oil/a flat tire/ your windshield wiper blades all by yourself.
3. That if all goes well, you’re going to be in your body for many, many more years, so you better take great care of it (and learn to love it).
4. That sunscreen and moisturizer are your friends.
5. That men are like buses. Don’t bother running after one; another will be along soon enough.
6. There’s nothing that makes you more attractive than having a full, active, happy life.
7. The whole Jerry Maguire, “you complete me” thing? Is total crap. You’re already complete.
8. That nobody ever says, “boy, I really regret NOT having sex with that person.”
9. It’s not a competition. There’s room for more than one woman to succeed.
10. Cellulite happens. As do stretch marks. And grey hair. You’ll live.
11. When to keep your mouth shut, and when to speak up.
12. How to confront your boss, your lover or your mother without losing your job, your partner or your family.
13. There’s never really a perfect time for major life changes. Sometimes you just have to wait until the time is “close enough.”
14. That sometimes the timing is totally wrong, but you just have to take a leap of faith anyway.
15. That there are so many more good things coming your way.
Audrey Binkowski is a writer, a mother, a digital marketer, and a hoarder of vintage items. Seriously, her closets and cupboards are full of old crap that belonged to dead people. You can read more from Audrey on her blog, Laugh Mom.