On a number of occasions I've come across books suggesting what every guy should know. It's usually a list of wide ranging skills like: use jumper cables, cook the perfect soufflé, win a fencing match, tie a clove hitch -- that sort of thing. One of these days I'll actually pick up and read (and perhaps try to master) one of these books. In the mean time, though, I couldn't resist checking out a book on the same topic for women when I saw it at the library. Think of it as a little intelligence gathering effort (knowing is half the battle - right?).
It turns out, a woman needs remarkably few specific skills by the time she's 30 (compared to men). As far as I can tell, she only needs to master one: "how to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn't like to happen next." It's not exactly how to use jumper cables, but still quite handy, I suppose.
Women also need just a few essential physical items by the time they are 30: "a purse, suitcase and umbrella you're not ashamed to be seen carrying;" "something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour" and "a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra." Again, pretty handy stuff. I'd probably add to that a Swiss Army knife, and a quality flashlight, but that's just me.
The bulk of the book is dedicated to the emotional housekeeping that a 30 year old woman needs to do. It boils down to, and I'm paraphrasing here: It's time to grow up. This is how. And it's not so bad.
Apparently, the 20 somethings of a women can be pretty sweet, what with all the fun that can be had. But at 30, it's time to face reality: your 20 something days of flitting around are now behind you. Get used to it. Better yet, embrace it.
Alright, enough of me being snarky. The fact of the matter is, the lessons espoused in this book (having privacy, being willing to live alone even if you don't want to, outgrowing childish habits, etc.) are not exclusive to women. Nor are they exclusive to 30 year olds. They are lessons we all need to learn some time or another. And while I didn't learn to use jumper cables or cook the perfect soufflé (I already know how to tie a clove hitch), I was reminded about many an important life lesson.
My biggest take away: women spend an awful lot of time thinking about stuff that guys don't give a second thought to.