Recently my husband’s blog had a link to lists of things every man should now. I LOVED the concept – but searched in vain for an XX equivalent. And then it started brewing in my brain. And then I had brunch with some real women. So that inspired me to come up with my own list of what every woman should know. I will start with 25 because I need to get to bed at some point tonight. I haven’t mastered all of these myself – but I will get there. (DISCLAIMER – This is my list – I am sure yours is different.)

(list 35) What every woman should know or be able to do

1. Can listen – really listen– to a friend who needs to vent. And make her or him feel better and avoid being all preachy.
2. Can coordinate a handbag with her shoes and outfit. And knows when it is time to change a seasonal handbag.
3. Can rock a baseball hat and t-shirt.
4. Can get ready for a fancy night out with only a couple hours notice. And knows what clothing is appropriate for an event. (This one was discussed at brunch today. And here is a hint – ripped jeans are only appropriate if going to an 80s or 90s reunion concert.)
5. Can make one really delicious desert to bring to work or a potluck. So delicious that it is remembered – and asked for by name, as in, “Susie – can you bring your lemon bars?”
6. Can entertain a child (younger than a teenager) while his or her mom takes a well-deserved break. And can pretend it was her pleasure, even if it was torture.
7. Knows when and how to vote and why it is important.
8. Has learned to get past all that crap that happened when she was a kid. And can create new relationships with friends, lovers, and children minus all that crap.
9. Can drink a grown-up drink without grimacing.
10. Can clean another woman’s kitchen. My aunt Mary once gave me some of the best advice I ever got. She said, “There are two types of women in this world – Marys and Mary Magdalenes. Make sure you are a Mary.” What she meant by that is to help a sister out. Scrub the pot, help the hostess, don’t stand about flirting with the men. Get the work done and then flirt. I have always strived to be a Mary (somewhat easier when one is chubby, pimply, and afraid of boys), and all of my best friends are total Marys – even the hot ones.
11. Can give a proper hug. Two arms – squeeze tight. Mean it.
12. Can give and receive compliments. And gives compliments often.
13. Can make a proper toast. (As in “Raise your glasses…”, although making bread toast is also an important skill.)
14. Can run a good meeting where shit gets decided and assignments are made.
15. Can write a thank you note, a congratulatory note, and a sympathy note.
16. Can make a house smell good in 30 minutes or less.
17. Can walk in heels. (I can’t do this one.) And knows when it isn’t appropriate to wear heels (or uncomfortable shoes). And if she did wear heels she doesn’t complain that her feet hurt.
18. Can think of something she would like to do better than shopping.
19. Is a skilled novice in at least one of the old-school home arts – cooking, sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening – something.
20. Can hem pants, sew on a button, and get a least one type of stain out of clothing (grass, grease, tomato sauce).
21. Can understand double entendre – without blushing. And dish out some double entendre when it is called for.
22. Can recall what she last read and recommend it or not.
23. Knows the name of at least one feminist. Because of them go us. Gloria, Betty, bell, Susan – pick one and know what she did.
24. Can flirt skillfully without being slutty.
25. Knows how to pick out a good gift. And never forgets to wrap it.
There have got to be a bazillion more. Please leave yours in the comments.

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