So, before I get into it with the “24 Rules of a Lady” or whatever they are, here’s my list for how to be a human, and it’s a list only for me (but if you like, you can adopt it).
1. Don’t make lists of rules for people who are not you.
1. Master at least one dish that you can whip up on relatively short notice, for when you’re having people over and don’t want to be like, “There’s a box of stale Wheat Thins left if you want to fight over those.”
3. Make plans with friends you haven’t seen in a while, and actually follow through with them. (This includes not scheduling things on a morning when you know you’re going to be too hungover to go anywhere.)
Okay, here’s my first fail. But I’ll try to pencil you in between the library and losing my damn mind, okay?
5. Do not assign moral value to food items, on your own plate or anyone else’s. A mozzarella stick is a mozzarella stick, and nothing more.
Sorry, but these Doritos are evil. Just look at them. Sitting there. Being evil. I can judge them, you see, because they aren’t people.
It’s from Walmart. The white band though only comes from wearing it for a year with no rest. Good luck achieving that kind of class.
Clearly, you don’t know me (or all women) at all. I haven’t tried anything on in a store in five years. Also, what’s a boy? A boy? Really? (I mean, below, you tell us we’re not 19 anymore, so…)
8. Always give someone the chance to make up for it if they’ve hurt your feelings, and the best way to start that process off is giving them the dignity of telling them how they hurt you. Ladies don’t subtweet, they earnestly reach out on Gchat.
I use a phone, but you know, I also don’t tell people how to run their grudges, their boundaries and their lives.
9. Be happy for friends when they announce big life moments, such as engagement or pregnancy, if only on the surface. (Exceptions of course being made for situations that are seriously unhealthy or endangering.) When it comes time for your big moment, you’ll want the same kind of support.
Oh, look! I’m back on the lady list! Huzzah! But I guarantee you, I’m happy for all my friends all the way through. There is no surface-happiness here.
11. Never disparage another woman for choosing and embracing the domestic/housewive (sic)/stay-at-home-mom life.
Why does this one have a “if that’s what she wants” tacked on the end of it, but housewifery gets a free implication pass?
Oh, so, so classy over here. I really enjoy the juxtaposition against the kids’ artwork and pictures. Anyway, ask me how many “classic, tasty drinks” I make. The answer would be all of them. Ain’t nothin’ tastier than a shot from the bottle, amirite? Have I lost my lady pass yet?
16. Keep fresh-cut flowers in your house.
Yeehaw! Back on the lady train! (Hey, you didn’t say how often to change those flowers, dude, and we’ve only got money for fresh ones once every two weeks. They’re fab. Like me.)
18. Stop looking at marriage as the defining endeavor in a woman’s life, no matter how much it has been ingrained into you. It should neither be something you actively disdain, nor something you seek out with white-knuckled deadlines.
19. While you are not obligated to like any other woman strictly on the basis of being a woman, and there are certain things that are totally fair criticisms, her weight is never one of them.
Oh, hey, I run a website about this.
22. Give other women compliments when they are sincere and non-selfish, because girl-on-girl compliments are the greatest thing and the mark of a true lady.
23. Do not hold gender-based expectations about who is “supposed” to pay for things. Everyone contribute, everyone do what they can, everyone take pleasure in being the one who gets to treat the other sometimes.
I thought this was a list for 2014. I didn’t realize we were back in 1987.
24. Be the one to kiss first sometimes, and don’t ever think that makes you weird or too forward. First kisses are too great a joy not to be shared by all genders.
Oh good. I’m glad you said something. Now I have the confidence I need to kiss first. Here’s me, kissing your list of ridiculous rules goodbye.