Recently my friend sent me some very informative literature, an article called, “10 Pieces Every Woman Should Have Before 30." I could feel her eyes rolling through the link in the gchat she had sent me. Prim and proper lady lists just aren’t our bag. In fact, are they anyone’s?
It seems like the only realistic 28 year old girls who would own these items live in a romantic comedy world where they also have an affordable gorgeous apartment in New York and own their own PR agency. They can’t find a man, but at least they own a sensible set of luggage!
But for the sake of messy, cheese puff dusty fingered girls everywhere, I decided to indulge this irrelevant and arbitrary WASPY list because it said: "These are just some of the things that spell sartorial adulthood. If you don’t have them: PANIC. We kid, we kid. But seriously, take a gander at our list. You might just realize you’re more of a grownup than you think."
Let’s see how I faired:
1. A Trench Coat - YEAH RIGHT
A trench coat? Do I look like a woman scorned spying on her cheating husband? I honestly can’t think of any occasion when I would wear a trench coat, even for sexy times. Besides these ugly khaki shits are expensive, and I just spent $300 getting my car out of tow lot last night. So, I really don’t think I’m in a position to be buying unnecessary outerwear, let alone a $1,200 Burberry cashmere body bag.
2 . A Respectable Luggage Set - NOPE
Um, I just took a trip to New York last week and needed to borrow my friend’s lovingly beat up suitcase because the only bags I owned were a carry-on purchased at Marshall’s, and a Le Sport Sac duffel bag I basically stole from the same friend. Who has the money for nice luggage that’s only going to get severely rough housed in the bottom of a plane? On that note, who has the money to travel??
3. A Made-Vintage-By-You Tee - Pshhh
Je refuse to acknowledge that I am old enough for this to be a thing. Next.
4. A gift to yourself. - Good god, no.
Purchasing $500 shoes because I deserve it? Probably not. I finally bought myself a new set of towels this year. BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT.
5. A signature accessory - No way, too careless.
Well, the article gave me permission to choose a signature accessory that wasn’t expensive or showy but…I just don’t do accessories. I’ve lost a $200 bracelet in less than a week. I’m just one of those lovely ladies who is constantly reminding herself, “This is why you can’t have nice things.”
6. A Go-To Interview Blazer - Sort of?
I have a few blazers, but they’re definitely from the super sale rack of Urban Outfitters. I don’t own an iron, and none are in normal colors. Aside from that, I love wearing my blazers like a 80’s playboy with the sleeves scrunched up, and showing my visible arm tattoos doesn’t always make the first impression I want.
7. Solitaire Diamond Earring - IS THIS A JOKE?
No really, is this a joke that any twenty-something, I don’t care how close to 30 she is, has a pair of diamond earrings if she isn’t loaded or married to someone loaded? I would feel so uncomfortable owning these; just keeping them somewhere safe in my own home would make me uneasy. See #5.
8. A Sexy Set of Lingerie - I wish
I love lingerie. I really do, but lingerie is straight up pricey, and I know this first hand because I use to slang over the shoulder boulder holders at Nordstrom during college. Every single one of my boyfriends (and I have had a few) hasn’t cared about my undergarments in any regard other than getting them off my body as quickly as possible. If $150 worth of lace isn’t actually fulfilling any real life dude’s fantasies, then I’m saving my money and picking out bras in the Nordstrom Rack sale section.
9. A Designer Wallet - OMG NO
I currently use a small $8 leather pouchlette I found at American Apparel in which I stuff my credit cards and cash. Before that I had a cheap smelling little number from a discount store. The only designer wallet I have ever owned was purchased by one of my college boyfriends who regularly took me on drug deal runs and once threw french fries at me because I didn’t buy him a hamburger. Also, why should I keep my money in something that essentially tells people how much money I have?
10. A Lipstick Shade That Suits You - YES!
Ding. Ding. Ding! Ok, this I have. In fact, I have a few because I love a bold lip, even though my boyfriend hates it. Because you know what, I’m almost 30 and I can wear red lipstick during the day if I want.
So, I guess I got 1/10 on the preparedness for 30 scale. I understand this listicle was featured on a fashion and beauty website, which is why I don’t feel very bad about my F- score, as I a loom so close to my deadline.
I have other benchmarks for myself that are more substantial than diamonds, and the real gift I have given myself this year was visiting a financial planner and paying off my credit card.
Other than that, I have a career path, an adorable apartment that’s all mine, a diverse financial portfolio, a couple pairs of nice boots, two down comforters, a two year old terrarium that hasn’t died, a couple best friends, passion project, hobbies, an impressive vintage t-shirt collection, two Coachellas, relationships with my parents, the second cheapest Disneyland pass, and an awesome partner who lets me be completely dumb, and makes me feel insanely intelligent.
So dear editors at Who What Wear, reading your list did make me realize that I was more grown up than I thought. I know this because I’m almost 30 and none of these things are important to me.
Is there any type of girl that’s really the “marrying kind?” And conversely, are there specific girls that will just never see the altar? It seems a little too subjective to say and, yet, there is one girl who believes she knows the answer to both questions.
Ally Batista is a self-proclaimed “housewife in training,” according to her author bio on Elite Daily. A couple months ago, Batista wrote an article called, “Girls Who Are Never Getting Married,” a list that ruthlessly categorized, stereotyped, and ripped apart female groups such as coke whores, models, video vixens, princesses, and liars. It’s always a good idea to generalize on the Internet, right?
Of course not. The article was obviously eviscerated by commenters condemning Batista for being a self-righteous b*tch on a make-shift soapbox. I don’t disagree with general consensus. And, because her first installment went SO well, she recently followed it up with a sequel, “The Girls You Should Be Marrying.” In this article she prefaces:
“Earlier in the month I wrote an article titled “The Girls Who Are Never Getting Married”. You may have read it; it continues to get an influx of negative comments to this day, as the only people that are offended are the ones that know its true. So many women were furious with the article, claiming that the man who wrote it was misogynistic, disgusting, and my favorite comment “has four girls buried under his crawl space.”
Well Elite Daily readers, I wrote that article, and I am a female. Surprised? Feeling stupid? I hope so. I wrote that article because I’m disgusted with the girls of my generation who use their sexuality to get ahead in life, and disrespect themselves on a daily basis.”
I appreciate when authors intentionally try to outsmart and alienate their readership. Keeping us on our toes Batista! She goes on to justify the second piece:
“I wrote that article because those are the women I would hate to see my close guy friends end up with, or my brothers. If any guy that I’m close with wants to pursue a long-term relationship, these are the women I hope they do that with and eventually end up with.”
That’s a great reason; I just wish she’d made the list and sent it around in a group email to her close guy friends to be filed under, “unsolicited advice from our really intense friend Ally.”
I’m patriotic; I’m all for the first amendment. But, if you have a platform on which to speak, do not wield that power lightly. If anyone is lucky enough to be a published writer, whether they got paid in US dollars or Twitter followers, it’s a good idea to treat that opportunity with respect. That means taking pride in your work by careful copy-editing (the follow up piece Batista wrote is absolutely riddled with grammatical errors). It means having some perspective. If you are writing something for your personal blog, be as self-indulgent, whiney and awful as you want. That’s your place to do you.
But, if you are speaking to a broader audience, have a little tact. Being controversial for controversial sake is derivative and trite. Make the choice to steer conversations in a positive way. These articles didn’t do the modern institution of marriage any favors.
I tend to agree with the commenters. Everyone has a right to get married. Haven’t you ever heard the cliche, “There’s somebody for everybody?” Coke whores need love too, so do models, and even liars. The likelihood of one of them marrying your nice banker brother is slim but, even if that did happen, it’s probably none of your business! The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes that comes in the form of a drug dealing prop-master you met on the set of a Lifetime Movie with Dick Van Dyke (I admit nothing).
Articles like these perpetuate stereotypes about women, marriage, relationships and love in general. We don’t need more conventional love propaganda, and we certainly don’t need girl on girl shaming. How are we ever supposed to get paid as much as men when we keep stepping all over each other’s choices?
So bottom line: Everyone deserves to be married, be loved, or to do as much coke as they want. And, if you think otherwise, keep it to yourself…or your blog.
Originally seen on The-Gaggle!
You can eat two cookies for dinner at 11:00pm, twenty minutes before you go to bed early. You can do this because you’re an adult. You don’t even need to brush your teeth if you don’t want. Because this is what adults do. This is what they’ve always done. But growing up you used to go to bed before you could ever see it happen.
“There’s a hole on the side of your head,” he says looking at me discerningly. There’s water streaming in my ear.
“No, that’s a chicken pox scar,” I say confidently, rinsing shampoo out of my hair.
“No,” he replies holding up a soapy finger. “That’s not a pox mark.”
“Yes it is. I’ve had it forever; I can’t believe you never noticed.”
“Heather, it’s a scab. It looks like you picked your face.”
I stop for a moment, letting the warm water run down my shoulders. I think about the current state of my forehead and remember that bananas underground pimple I smugly popped a few days earlier.
“Oh yeah, I picked it.”
We do our almost choreographed shower dance to switch places so that he is now under the water, and I am left out in the cold to shave my legs.
“I guess maybe we are ready to live together,” he says nonchalantly. “It feels more normal to be together than apart.”
The Gillette Turbo stops halfway up my calf…are we?
Is that how you know? When being together in the most mundane way feels more comfortable together than apart?
I wouldn’t know.
Yes, I lived with a boyfriend for two and a half years; but our cohabitation sprang from necessity, not an organic feeling that arose in a Monday night shower.
My former boyfriend and I had distance working against us. Coupled with his erratic touring schedule, moving in together seemed to be the only way to maintain a relationship, at 23 and 25 years old, respectively.
Don’t get me wrong, my ex-boyfriend and I had a blast during the time we shared a lease. My favorite romantic roommate memory was a winter day, when we lived in Denver together; it was the only snow day I have ever experienced. We spent the day watching movies, building the tiniest balcony snowman, accidentally eating a pound of SEE’s chocolates, and ended in me hysterically trying to teach him basic ballet positions because I declared that he had perfect turnout.
But, despite the perfect days I’ll never forget, we were just playing house, as many early twenty-somethings in love do. It was both emotionally taxing and comforting to cope with the strains that come from living with another human before you’re fully baked. We both grew as people, learning from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and leaning on each other in a way that only a couple who shares a living space can understand. But, at the same time, it also brought out the worst sides of us; the parts that took on too much; the parts that just weren’t ready to handle the complexities that come from compromise, intimacy, and financial organization.
Two and a half years after he moved out of the apartment I still live in today, am I ready to do it all over again? Am I capable of the responsibility that comes with that level of commitment?
I don’t believe my past relationship, or living situation, was a failure in any way, but I was put in a position to initiate its undoing. Moving out is much harder than moving in and, while I survived the dismemberment of the home we shared, it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. Walking around the apartment with post it notes, denoting who was taking what, was depressing and gut wrenching on a new level. We both lived in denial about it until the night he finally slept at his new apartment. I felt relieved, ripped apart, empty, and drained all at the same time. Needless to say, I am not jumping at the chance to possibly do it again.
At the same time, I’m not one to shy away from a risk. I don’t let past struggles prevent future happiness. You never know unless you try; clichés are popular for a reason. And if I have to do it all over again, I’ll get through it, just like I did the first time.
Maybe he’s right; maybe we are ready to move in together, but that doesn’t mean we have to. This go around I have the luxury of time and experienced wisdom. I understand that having a passionate relationship doesn’t necessarily equate to bold moves and major decisions. As each year goes by, I am realizing just how quickly days slip through hands; sometimes there’s only time to enjoy them after the fact. I’m in no hurray to speed up a train that’s already moving too fast. The other day my mother told me that I’m in the midst of the best time of my life, and to enjoy it while I can. I’m really trying not to miss a minute of it.
If it’s a matter of when not if; and if the next time I commit to a lease with another person is the beginning of the rest of my life, then I’ve got time. There’s no rush to leave the apartment I love, perhaps the last place where everything will only be in my name.
So, we’ll just keep things the way they are for now and the foreseeable future. Slowly it will feel too strange be apart until we can’t take it anymore, or until we run out of excuses not to, or until both of our building managers realize they never renewed our leases.
YOU ARE SO SO WELCOME!! Thank you for writing!
Here’s just a few tumblrs of people I love to read about: stickyisaslut, writinginbed, the-frenemy, tenacioustwenties, catsmakebetterboyfriends, lifeoftheabsolutelyoptimistic, …bop around the people who like their posts to find more like-minded folk :)
Last night I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see M83. As my friend and I drove to the venue we both second guessed our outfits, speculating whether or not we, in fact, looked like lesbians, art teachers, middle schoolers or general overall frumpy people.
While we didn’t feel terribly confident about what we were wearing, we concluded that even though some people take great pains to look like put together adults, they were probably wildly uncomfortable in their cute shoes and skimpy jackets. Also Sunday nights don’t count. Also, we’re twenty-eight so…we’ve already spent too many years caring.
(This was my outfit of the night. I wanted to show you in a creative way.)
As expected, choosing comfort over style paid off, and I was able to enjoy the concert. Of course, it was dark and no one was looking at me.
Or so I thought.
As we herded ourselves down the hill, back out onto Highland Blvd., I heard a boy’s voice say, “That is the most hipster outfit I’ve ever seen.” Having been people watching myself, I assumed his comment could have been directed at any number of suspects.
"Sweater, glasses…" I realized he was talking about ME.
"Whatever, she probably got that sweater at Forever 21," his dumpy little female friend snarked. A cute store with reasonable prices was the best she could do?
I turned around, looked at them and said, “I’m standing right here.”
"I know, I wasn’t saying it as insult," he backtracked.
"Yes, you were," my friend retorted.
And, he was. He definitely was.
(Look at these two weiners who like to make judgements about people they don’t know within earshot!)
Look, I’m just as judgey as the next sorority sister, but save it for the car ride home, Gchat, or cryptic bestie code. Just don’t do it, loudly, right in front of the person in public.
I didn’t do anything because, I’m pretty sure I’m am older than they were, and I can’t be bothered with that nonsense. But, if I would have indulged myself and said something, I would have told them not to overtly judge so unkindly.
You don’t know anything about anyone, which means, you should only assume that everyone is important. The older you get, the more you realize how small the world really is, and the more coincidences don’t really seem much like chance.
You never know who’s going going to show up on the other end of a big job interview, or in the car you rear end while texting your bro. That person you’re insulting; you don’t know how rich, powerful, smart, or well connected he or she is. Most importantly, you don’t know how much you’ll need this person one day.
That’s what I would have said to this idiot. After stewing on it for a little while, I think I would have also liked to have said these things as well: