Monthly Archives: November 2012

9. Don’t listen to your parents.

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As wise and wonderful as my parents have been, they haven’t always been right about everything. Like Woody Allen says, h“Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat, college…” Remember the 90/10 rule? (see post #7, “Listen to your parents”) – 90 percent of the time they’re right. And then, there’s that other 10 percent. As painful as it was to defy their wishes, sometimes I’m glad I did. Like when I bought my first place. It’s not that my parents didn’t want me to be a homeowner, they just didn’t think I was ready for the financial burden or responsibility. But I knew I was. It’s funny, today my dad says buying my condo was one of the best decisions I ever made. My dad also wasn’t too happy about my choice to become an advertising copywriter. At the time, there were very few jobs and as he put it, landing one would be like trying to break into show business. Well, I stuck with it anyway and as a result, I have had and continue to have a successful copywriting career. But when I ask myself why my parents didn’t support these decisions I know it was only because they were trying to protect me. Which is what your parents will always try to do.

Word to the wise: Sometimes, only you know what’s right for you. But it doesn’t hurt to ask advice from your parents. Because while you may think you know what’s right, they always want what’s best. If you want to start a dialogue with your parents but don’t know how, check this out:

http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/arguing-with-your-parents

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

8. Listen to your parents.

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Over the course of my life, I’ve done the math and it turns out my parents are right about 90 percent of the time.

That’s a pretty good statistic seeing as they’re probably the only two people in the world who want what’s best for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that blood truly is thicker than water.  While I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with many great friends, sometimes, understandably so, they’re caught up in their own stuff and may not always give the best advice. On the other hand, my parents are always caught up in my stuff, because they’re my parents (this can be a blessing and a curse). So let’s see, what have my parents been right about so far?

  1. Telling me to never ever date anyone named Steve again.
  2. Cheering me on to break up with every Steve (and there have been at least five).
  3. Not saving me by paying off my credit card debt, but helping me by paying off my student loans.
  4. Pushing me to get my college degree.
  5. Asking me to always lock my doors and windows.
  6. Making me wear a sweater when it’s cold. (Now this one is questionable because recent studies show that being out in the cold doesn’t mean you’ll catch cold. But my dad won’t have any of it).
  7. Being happier to see me single than miserable in the wrong relationship.

Those are just a few examples of a lifetime’s worth of my parents’ wisdom. I’m sure you can find a few of your own. 

Word to the wise: Most of the time, it pays to listen to your parents. You may not agree with everything they say, but you should know that’s it’s coming from the best possible place – their hearts. And no one loves you like they do. So the next time they offer you advice, at the very least, think about it.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

7. Know how to cook three things well.

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I suppose being a creative type of person and someone who loves food (and don’t get me started on wine), I’ve always been interested in cooking. Also, living with my dad after my parents divorced, I started experimenting at an early age. One of my favorite things to make was spaghetti and meat sauce. Or should I say, ground beef and Ragu. My tastes have evolved somewhat (although they still include frosted blueberry Pop Tarts) and I’ve learned to master a few dishes. Unfortunately, I’ve put my family and friends through some disasters over the years to get to the good stuff. The three things I make really well are omelets (my secret is starting them on the stovetop and finishing them in the oven), deviled eggs (are you sensing a theme here?) and the piece de resistance, my grilled smoked turkey sausage Reuben. As you can see, none of these are super complicated but I know when I make them, everyone will want more. Of course, I cook many other things, just not as well. Do you have your three yet?

Word to the wise: It’s nice to be able to whip something up that’s tried and true. While experimenting can be fun, you’ll find that some things are best left in the lab. So choose your three things and take the time to perfect them. And even though you may not be an Iron Chef, you’ll feel like one.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

6. If the guy you’re dating says he “needs space,” he probably needs room to date someone else.

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If I had a nickel for every guy who said that to me, I’d have more money than Bill Gates. Well, almost. And apparently, Taylor Swift just had a similar experience. You should take heart in her song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” where she sings, “We hadn’t seen each other in a month, when you said you needed space. (What?).” Sound familiar? It sure does to me. If some douche bag told you he needs space, you should really make that song your anthem. And whatever you do, don’t take it personally. Clearly, Taylor Swift didn’t. She just got that sucker back in a song. The lowdown is if some schmuck says this to you, he just wants to keep you dangling while he explores his options. Like the cute blond he met at the club last night. The last time a guy told me he needed space, I was dumb enough to ask, “How much?” Please don’t ever demean yourself this way. If he needs space, give him all the room he needs. Maybe even suggest he move to Montana.

Word to the wise: This is always a no-win situation – for you. If you allow this type of behavior, he will gladly take you for granted and continue dating other women and eventually, break up with you. That may not be what you want to hear, but when you think about all of your friends who are in good relationships or are married, have they ever told you that their guy needed space? If the answer to that is yes, I doubt they have the kind of relationship you want anyway.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”

5. Facebook is your enemy.

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Look at me. My life sucks. All of my “friends” are always going somewhere exciting, have boyfriends who are willing to take lots of pictures with them and throw really fun parties they don’t invite me to. Reading these posts can incite me to throw a party of my own – a pity party. But then I remember that I went to Italy last year, fulfilling a lifelong dream, and hey, I’m working on writing this blog and getting a book published. And then, well, things start to look up a bit. Maybe if I posted some of that on Facebook, I’d feel better. Someone might even hit the “like” button or make a comment. Wow, I could start feeling really good about myself again. And then whoever reads my posts might feel just like I do when I read theirs. Hmmmm…

Word to the wise: Have a life outside of Facebook. And know that just because people post that they’re having the most wonderful time in the world, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Or if it makes you feel better, they are.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

4. Facebook is your friend.

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Look at me. I’m oh so popular. I have hundreds of friends (ok, more like 70) and 25 of them (ok, more like one) liked the post I just added five minutes ago. No comments – yet. Oh wait, and it’s my birthday, too? I almost forgot. Look at my wall. Pretty impressive that everyone remembers me on my special day (not to mention that Facebook sends them all a little reminder, but that’s beside the point.) This is all pretty overwhelming considering I was never that popular in high school, except for my drama and choir friends. Which should give you a pretty good idea of just where I fell on the popularity spectrum. But on Facebook, I’m a superstar. Someone just tagged me in a photo. Everyone is saying how beautiful we are. Damn, I’m feeling pretty good about myself today. Facebook is my best friend, ever.

Word to the wise: Facebook can be your friend, if you have a life outside of it. It’s nice to know that someone, anyone, cares that you went to Zumba last night or had a roast beef sandwich for lunch. And birthdays aren’t too bad, either.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

3. If your roommate’s boyfriend is a former felon and she doesn’t know what he was in jail for, move out.

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True story, I kid you not. My final roommate (and the following will give you an indication of why I’ve been living alone ever since) used to bring guys home from bars. We had two bedrooms and we shared a bathroom and a shower. Good times. Especially when strange dudes would sleep over. Like Butch, the felon (and yes, that was his real name). I was told that he served time, but my roommate didn’t know what for. Butch was quite a character. I remember how it creeped me out the way he would look at me before I would go for a jog. Yes, I was wearing shorts and a sports bra, but that wasn’t atypical jogging attire, unless you just got out of the slammer and haven’t seen a woman in five years (just speculation). And get this, according to my roommate Brittany, whose name I’ve changed to protect the stupid, when they went out to dinner and it was time to pay, he would have her go out to the car and start the engine. When he would get in the car, he’d tell her to step on the gas because he had just skipped out on the bill. I believe that’s what they call a “dine and dash.” After hearing about this incident, I moved out pronto.

Word to the wise: When it comes to roommates, know when it’s time to hold ’em and when it’s time to fold ’em. Because your safety and well being come first. You shouldn’t allow any roommate to put either of those things at risk. And if you can afford to live alone, that’s the wisest thing you can do by far.

What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”