In light of the surprising uproar caused by the September Business Insider article “The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Being a Man” I shared the other day, I thought it would be fun to make my own list for the fairer sex.
This isn’t meant to be taken seriously (unless you want to), so no need to get your panties all up in a bunch, darling.
· Yes Miss Independent, it’s ok for the man to open the door for you — in fact, expect it.
· Always say please and thank you. Always.
· Smile, even if you don’t feel like it sometimes. There’s scientific evidence that proves you can change your mood (and those of others) just by doing it.
· It’s ok to go Dutch or offer to pay for dinner on a date — once in awhile.
· Be honest to your girlfriends — don’t just tell them what they want to hear.
· Talk about other interesting and intellectual topics besides relationships / men with your girlfriends.
· A lady doesn’t trample or fight other women in shopping aisles during holidays or sales events.
· If you want the right kind of attention, use your wit and charm — not your cleavage or skirt length.
· A wise woman will listen more than she talks.
· No need to go higher than 4 inch heels, unless you’re a stripper.
· Long texts are meant for your friends and family — keep it short and sweet for the gentlemen.
· Cosmetic surgery for the sake of vanity is a waste of money that could be given towards a cause or charity.
· You’re better than those bitchy,catty women — kill them with kindness.
· Holding hands with your mother, sister, or best friend is pure and loving.
· A little dab of perfume goes a long way.
· Self control is a lost art one should always attempt to master.
· A lady puts on her face in a private place, not while driving a car or sitting in a restaurant.
· Smoking is sexy… until your skin, hair, and complexion suffers.
· There’s no shame in grey hair.
· Sometimes you just have to wear sexy lingerie for yourself.
· Skip the name brand purse and invest in a bag that can carry your laptop / tablet.
· Never settle for anything or anyone.
· Make it a personal goal to be the best girlfriend / wife your man has ever had.
· It’s fine to be predictable, but better to be pleasantly surprising.
· Learn how to salsa dance.
· Never underestimate the power of body language.
· Help expand your niece / nephew’s horizons by taking them on a trip.
· Don’t deprive yourself of desserts.
· Take a solo vacation at least once in your life and make a new international friend.
· A soft-spoken message is far more powerful than if you were to scream it.
· The frequency of your selfie posts correlates with your maturity.
· Leave plenty to the imagination.
· Your phone is not a mirror.
· Always offer to help in the kitchen, even if you don’t know how to cook.
· When it comes to makeup, less is more.
· There’s a fine line between harmless flirtation and seduction — know the difference and their consequences.
· Follow through and keep your word — there are enough flakes in this world.
· Leave the gossiping to the hens.
· No one likes a lush.
· Your phone is not invited to the dinner table or on a date.
· Plan your own birthday party.
· A lady always matches the way she’s dressed with the way she wants others to know her — it’s called branding.
· Forever21 is not a sustainable look for a lady.
· You can be ambitious without stepping on people and stabbing backs.
· No need to share every detail of your life on Facebook and Twitter — keep some things discreet.
· If you have difficult coworkers or in-laws, find a way to charm them.
· Do your best to always be on time, even for the little things.
· Remember — revenge is a dish best served cold, but it will poison you.
· Dress to the nines and go to a show / awards ceremony.
· Watch any James Bond movie and pay special attention to the leading lady.
· Integrity is your middle name.
· The only thing you should ever be chasing is your goals and dreams.
· Your pet is a companion — not a child, lover, or substitute for something else.
· Yes, even WE have to wash our hands after using the bathroom.
· Know when to get out of an abusive / dangerous situation sooner than later.
· You don’t have to live by your biological clock.
· You don’t have to live by someone else’s timeline either.
· It’s sexy to speak another language, even if you only know just a bit.
· Try sending handwritten letters and cards this year.
· Buy the homeless person you pass everyday to work a coffee or sandwich.
· Everything that you have is a blessing, not an entitlement.
The nightmares have subsided for now, but the anxiety is growing. My intuition is raw and pulling at my sleeve, more forceful as each day draws nearer, but I don’t know what it wants. It’s out of the ordinary to feel like this right before a trip across the continent. I should be excited. I leave for two weeks in Iceland, Switzerland, and Barcelona on Sunday.
Over weekend brunch, I told my friend, “I hope I come back a changed person”, to which he replied, “You’re expecting too much. Just enjoy it for what its worth.”
Isn’t that one of the greatest goals of traveling outside of one’s comfort zone: to find corners of the Self that wouldn’t have been reached otherwise? To expand the mind and spirit once you experience something heavenly, pure, awesome, endless, untouched, rare? To quote Bon Iver, to feel “and at once know I was not magnificent”?
So yes, I seek it like I seek perfect love. I expect the search, the discovery, the results to change me. This whole expedition and random route of countries was brought upon by restlessness, helplessness, emptiness. Some would say I’m running away from my problems. Others may say I’m crazy to do it alone. A few claim I just need to let God back in my life. All of the above are probably true.
The only way I can express what I’m experiencing is I feel fear. Perhaps fear of the unknown - of doing this alone (although I’m no stranger to solo traveling), when I feel most lonely. I chose Iceland for its remoteness. I intentionally wanted to experience solitude and silence in a cold, blue world at the edge of our planet. I will embrace this time to myself.
But Switzerland seems like a warmer, more social place to engage interaction with someone I know. I imagine it a wondrous place where I wished someone would be able to join me on the pass in between the lakes and valleys. Sure, I’ll be taking plenty of photos along the countryside, but nothing compares to sharing a story, laugh, or thought over hot coffee with your kin or best friend with backdrop views of green, snow-capped mountains. I will think of them on my multi-city tour along the tracks.
I envision Barcelona to be a lot easier on me. It will be the last leg of my trip and probably the most relaxing. I’ve heard everything is walkable, the beach is nearby, and the fresh food is like non other compared to what we have back home. By this time, the only thing I worry I’ll fear is being burglarized or taken advantage of in some way or fashion. Still, it seems like a silly thing to be anxious about since all three countries are safe and heavy with tourism and urbanism.
So what is left to fear?
I’m still not sure. Perhaps I’m afraid that after all of this, my life will be the same. My purpose will still be cloudy and unlabeled. What if I don’t come back, or worse yet, unable to come back? Ridiculous thoughts, I know. Life is a funny thing that does funny things to the way I think. Maybe I’m losing the courage and naivety I had in my younger wanderlust years. Maybe I have more to lose now than I did before. Maybe I’m afraid of not living life as I should.
Maybe, I’m afraid of death after all.
Whatever, so emo. Anyways, I read this over and over, and as I pour out my words and edit them, I come to the realization that my trip is clearly a personal quest. It’s sobering and quiets my superfluous qualms. I’m sure there will be great moments of clarity along my journey, and the most I can hope for is a safe trip, happy memories, and peace. Yes, peace sounds great.