99 Rules For Women To Live By

Men get these lists all the time, complete with suiting tips and advice for wooing beautiful women. They basically explain how to live your life like you’re James Bond or in a really high-end liquor commercial. I tried to find women’s versions and they were a lot of “No Regrets!” and “Live. Laugh. Love.” which are both just terrible tattoos. Here’s my advice:

  1. Do one thing a little better every day. Small ones count.
  2. If you want to be fucking fascinating, sit alone at a bar without your phone out.
  3. Don’t date a guy who addresses his dad as “father.” Or seems like he would.
  4. Nothing you did in high school is impressive anymore.
  5. Entertain. Cook recipes you already know well.
  6. Know at least one recipe really, really well. Even if it’s simple. Even if you’re not a cook and generally just store shit in your oven. Which is cool too.
  7. When in doubt, cheese plates are never a bad idea. Don’t buy the pre-cubed cheese. Not even for the Super Bowl. Not even for an office party. Don’t subject people to that.
  8. Have your bar stocked with your favorite people’s favorite drinks. It’s the modern girl’s “if you build it, they will come.”
  9. Always have champagne chilling and never regret opening the good stuff.
  10. There is nothing interesting about saying, “I haven’t read since college.”
  11. Read. All the time. Long form journalism, novels, memoirs, everything. It’s important to know what you like. That also goes for booze.
  12. Know the names of writers and journalists you enjoy and admire.
  13. Don’t date anyone who doesn’t read.
  14. Don’t wear shoes you can’t walk in.
  15. Work out hard without making it your whole “thing.”
  16. Only laugh or giggle when you think it’s funny. It’s not your job to make unfunny people feel better.
  17. When you decide someone is not for you, end it and never look back.
  18. Never date an ex. You had your reasons. Or they had theirs. That is enough.
  19. Send hand written cards and notes. Even if they don’t think or say so, every single person loves getting mail that’s not bills.
  20. Don’t get your news from Facebook.
  21. Really don’t get your news-related facts from internet memes.
  22. Stop talking about who you know if you have no answer for “Who are you?”
  23. Don’t feel proud of yourself for something you haven’t accomplished yet. Excited, yes. Determined, sure. But not proud.
  24. People who say college is “the best four years of your life” peaked in high school.
  25. Work nights and weekends for most of your 20’s, regardless of whether or not you “have to.”
  26. When you post a quote you like, know who wrote it or said it. Know why. Know where. Marilyn Monroe did not say everything. If you post a Mark Twain quote and haven’t read any of his work, cut that shit out.
  27. Tip well. Tip everybody.
  28. Never be impressed by his job title. Only be impressed by his drive.
  29. The three most important things you can give your children that money can buy: a good education, a life well-traveled, good teeth.
  30. Decide whether or not you want to tell your grandchildren you met your partner on Tinder.
  31. Either way, go out and meet people in real life. Networking events, friends’ hobbies, alumni events. Go out. Meet humans.
  32. When you don’t have money to give to charity, give your time or talents.
  33. Don’t check your phone at dinner. Your kid/work/partner is fine.
  34. Know what feminist means. Be one.
  35. If every roommate you’ve ever had has been “the worst,” you are the problem.
  36. Same with jobs, partners and places to live.
  37. If people talk shit about their good friends to you, don’t think they won’t talk shit about you.
  38. Your wedding should never be the most interesting thing about you.
  39. Make eye contact. Sometimes it conveys confidence and power, sometimes it deters strangers from committing crimes. Both wins.
  40. The phrase “I’m not bitter at all” has never been true.
  41. Anger is bad for your skin. Be slow to boil over but don’t take shit from people who take advantage of that. Fine line. Cross it deliberately.
  42. No matter what you do, you are your own business and your own brand. It would be a mistake to pretend you’re not.
  43. Never be afraid to surprise people. There is power in being underestimated.
  44. If the bartender’s dressed like he’s in Mumford & Sons, your cocktail’s gonna cost $25.
  45. Keep a running list of personal successes at work.
  46. Always negotiate for more money.
  47. Never click on an article titled “Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes You Need to Try.” That’s a travesty.
  48. When you like the work somebody has done, from the dude who installed your tile to the assistant who got it all right this week, compliment them. Everybody is depressed and working hard and nobody ever gets compliments. Mean it.
  49. Don’t pretend to like something you don’t.
  50. Whether or not you “want” or “like” them, respect kids. Listen to them.
  51. Eat well. Food is the medicine you take every day.
  52. Drink well. That can be medicine too.
  53. If you even feel like you should spy on him, check his texts or log into his email for “evidence,” it’s already over. Partners should make you borderline delusionally confident, not insecure. That’s a waste of time.
  54. Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste other people’s time.
  55. Don’t wear an outfit you have to adjust all night.
  56. Being overdressed just makes you look like you came from somewhere even better.
  57. Act like you’ve been there before.
  58. When out to dinner with a group, be the one to ask to see the dessert menu. Everyone else was thinking it.
  59. If you make fun of a “fat” person for being “fat,” or any other lazy/rude categorization, they win. Not only do you not seem clever, but you don’t seem nice.
  60. Be fucking nice. Include people.
  61. When an ex misses you, that’s not your problem. Who wouldn’t?
  62. Diorshow Blackout mascara is the best one. Every woman who knows anything knows this.
  63. When people voice an opposing view to yours, listen intently and consider it, all aspects of it. Worst case scenario, it only makes you smarter.
  64. Don’t overpluck your eyebrows.
  65. Never salt your food before tasting it.
  66. “I’m bad with names” expires. Remember their name.
  67. Movies are not a social gathering. It’s fun to go alone and honestly, makes more sense.
  68. Bagels are not “healthy donuts.”
  69. If you thought about it the next day, buy that shit.
  70. Recycle. Every time.
  71. Nobody has ever been described as being both “brilliant” and “really into EDM.” Choose wisely.
  72. It’s a dick move to sign a birthday card like an autograph.
  73. If you’re tempted to buy a wedding cake topper where one of the figurines is dragging the other, maybe just save that money for the divorce.
  74. Knowing how to sew a button is just fucking useful.
  75. In an argument, there are always lines you should never cross. Forever. No matter what.
  76. Never make fun of people your partner loves.
  77. Be intentional with your words. Mean what you say. Don’t swear and then say “Oh, but I never swear.” Get that weak shit out of here.
  78. When you’re done writing an email, go back and delete most of the exclamation points. All of them. Delete them all.
  79. You’ll never wish you were less direct with someone.
  80. There is no such thing as a Walk of Shame.
  81. Don’t wear the skintight leather pants to get attention. Wear them because you fucking love them and they feel like you.
  82. You don’t need to brag or call attention to your accomplishments, real confidence shows. Good work speaks for itself.
  83. Pinterest has secret boards. If you’re planning a real party you’re actually going to have, use the secret function. Nobody wants to go to something they’ve seen before.
  84. Don’t be hard to hang out with. Nobody likes the friend who makes them feel guilty.
  85. Never use “busy” as an excuse. Everybody is busy. If you’re not busy, you’re an asshole.
  86. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with police, get badge numbers, names and ask for the right numbers and channels you need to follow up.
  87. Muffins are not breakfast. Muffins are cake. Unless it’s a day you need cake for breakfast.
  88. Everybody is self-centered. They are the stars of their own life, as are you in yours. Nobody is walking around thinking about how to make you miserable. But nobody is walking around thinking about how to make you happy.
  89. If you want it, ask.
  90. People who carry full-sized pillows and/or wear pajamas to airports are the enemies of civilized society.
  91. Men who complain about paying “more” for dating and dinners have no idea what makeup costs.
  92. Don’t date men who complain about paying more for dating.
  93. Everything is funny if you find the right perspective. Look for it. You’ll live longer.
  94. When you’re married, don’t make ball-and-chain jokes. They are lazy and generally insulting to one of you.
  95. Have frequent flyer accounts everywhere. Be one.
  96. If you really want to visit the Maldives but drive a gas-guzzler, fuck you.
  97. Take a different route to work every day.
  98. Take your headphones out in public sometimes. Listen. Notice things. Greet people.
  99. Rules are made to be broken and questioned. Every single one. Some of the worst things in history were done by people just following the rules. Fuck rules.

Christina Honan is just another writer and female AdMan who enjoys clowning around on her Twitter, which the Washington Post described as “funny,” adding “follow her forever.” She lives in Chicago and writes words for people and places and brands and products and right now, for you.

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