I just read this really awesome article where the author bitch slaps his twenty-something male readers into shape by simply telling them what they need to hear no holds barred. It was a ‘how-to-be-a-real-man’ piece that was honestly crude, hilarious and contained a hell of a lot of profanity. But I have no doubt that reading it has helped tens of thousands of guys out there and that number is probably growing exponentially at this very moment. I was always taught ‘if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.’ Since reading my new favorite author’s article, I feel liberated to un-bite my lip for once and put out a female version of that article. There probably hasn’t been a refreshingly blunt article for women because we are sensitive creatures. We commiserate with each other about how ‘hard’ things are and as a result, keep each other from being the bad asses that we were born to be. Sadly, we may not even have a real friend who can tell us honestly and directly what we need to hear that could bump up our game and make us better people. Well ladies, consider me your first real friend. The kind of friend that will tell you your flaws and beat that inner tigress out of you so you become stronger and better than ever. This advice is for you. And since I am a lady myself, I will refrain from any profanity.
Point #1: Superwoman
Fake Friend:‘I know what you’re going through. It is impossible to do everything. We’re not Superwoman. Men have it so easy.’
Real Friend: Yes, you can be Superwoman. Be a whirlwind, be a force of nature. Be perfectly imperfect. Stop looking flustered and thinking you can’t do it all, because you can. Sure, maybe you can’t do it all at the same time but that doesn’t mean you should be paralyzed. Take a breath, and do something on that to do list of yours. When you’re done, cross it off the list and move on to the next item. Stop whining. Stop saying you don’t have any help. And stop saying that there is no time for everything. There is always time for something so quit complaining and do that. You’ll find that you may have more energy to do it all if you stop using your energy towards your mini-meltdowns.
Point #2: Appearance
Fake Friend: ‘Stop worrying that you look like you just got out of bed. You look fine! We’re just going to the store.’
Real Friend:Yes, you need to look good all the time. If you don’t make an effort to be presentable, it tells people that you don’t care about yourself, so why should they? I don’t mean you need to take two hours a day to primp and get ready. I repeat- it should not take you more than fifteen minutes to look decent. If you need to run errands and don’t have a lot of time, just make sure your clothes fit nicely and your hair strands are in their proper place (no Alfalfa hair). Dab a little concealer around the eyes, add a flattering shade of lipstick and voila! Now you can walk out the door with confidence. In the same breath, I will say that you shouldn’t put on so much make-up unless it’s a special event or you’re going out clubbing. You’re not supposed to look like you just stepped off the make-up chair all the time. You’ll just look like you’re trying too hard and honestly most guys don’t like a lot of make-up on a woman anyway.
Point #3: Sex
Fake Friend: ‘It’s okay that you can’t remember the last time you’ve had sex. You’ve been so busy.’
Real Friend: No, it is not okay that you haven’t had sex in a couple weeks or more. I don’t care if you’re pregnant, have two kids, or pushing sixty, you need to have intimacy in your life. We are sensual creatures. We need to feel wanted and we, too, have desires. If you keep postponing it, your body will assume that you are no longer your young fertile self and it will age. If you don’t use it, you will lose it so hurry up and get busy. I would say three times a week is ideal, twice a week minimum. While it is true that it kind of kills the sexiness if you have to make a sex date with your partner, if plugging it into your planner is the only way it will happen then go for it. Make it a priority right now. You’ll feel more sexy and be less bitchy. It is the ultimate stress reliever.
If you’ve hit an extremely long dry spell with your man, it may have to do with whether or not you are treating him like a man. Do you nag him too often like he is a child? Do you treat him more like a logistics assistant who helps take care of household chores, bills and the kids? Just asking. Treat your man like a man and he will treat you like the sexy woman you are.
Point #4: Kids
Fake Friend:‘How’s the little one? They take up every minute of every day and night don’t they? Well, I guess we’ll have more time for sleep and everything else when they turn eighteen and move out (annoying laugh)! Anyway, let’s do a play date soon!’
Real Friend:Yes, kids are a game changer. But they can change your game for the better and here’s how. They teach you to be in the moment through their wonder, joy and delight over all the things we take for granted. The love you never knew you were capable of giving to another human being makes you care more for other children and humanity as a whole. They make you a better time manager and thus more efficient in accomplishing the most important things on your list (yes, that includes time for sex). Do not fall into the trap of making your kids your whole life. You owe it to yourself, your child, your spouse and everyone and everything you hold dear to have a balanced and fulfilling life. The minute things feel out of balance, you need to take a time out to de-stress and rejuvenate. Have your spouse, mom, sister or trusted friend watch the baby for a couple of hours while you go out to a coffee house, gym, yoga class, or even stay at home for a nice hot shower. Then go back to being your calm, cool and collected self. I’m not saying it’s easy and I know since I too am a mother. I’m saying that we need to stop feeling like that juggling monkey on a tightrope and take more control for our happiness and well-being.
Point #5: Exercise & Other Healthy Habits
Fake Friend:‘Are you sure you gained fifteen pounds? You look great. In fact, you look skinnier than ever! Now let’s split a tiramisu already!’
Real Friend: Put down the fork and go to the gym. If not for health and longevity, then at least exercise to look good. No more excuses. You’ve got to exercise three times a week. Finding the right workout partner can definitely be a wise move. Sapphire and Stryker of the Los Angeles pop duo Millennium juggle parenthood, a heavy workload and a social life, but they make a point of working out together at least three times per week. According to Sapphire, ‘Usually only one of us is really down to go to the gym on any given day, but that person carries the torch and makes it happen for both of us.’ While I’m on my fitness soap box, I’ll add quit smoking altogether and stop drinking like you’re borderline alcoholic. I’ve seen young women in their twenties who look like they are almost forty (wrinkles, dull skin tone) due to night after night of cigarettes and shots. Stop now. If you’re ‘only a social drinker/smoker’ but you party hard three or more times a week, then ease up and stop being so ‘social.’
Point #6: Knowledge
Fake Friend:‘Why do you want to learn how to do that? When are you going to have the time anyway? Let’s just go shopping and then be home in time for Glee later.’
Real Friend:You need to make the time to develop more knowledge and skill sets. If you’ve got Point #2 (Appearance) covered, then be mindful that you’re not spending so much time in front of the mirror that you neglect your beautiful brain. We focus too much time (not to mention a good chunk of our paycheck) on looking good. Just add up the cost of all your make-up, moisturizers, lotions, hair care products, designer clothes, purses, heels, etc. and you’ll be able to feel me on this one. That’s not to mention the trips to the hair and nail salons and occasional facial. And where has all that taken you? Are you now a gorgeous goddess that everyone flocks to and worships? Even if you do look good, you are just another pretty face or nice body in a sea of hundreds of thousands of other beautiful women. And there are more hot women springing up every day. Sickeningly, they also seem to be getting younger every year. Anyway, you need something else that will make you stand apart from others. If you say you have a great personality, than kudos for you. But there are a lot of pretty women who are nice as well. What else have you got? Think more about accomplishments versus character traits and you’ll be on the right track.
I could probably go on, but the truth is I’m kind worried I’m pissing off a lot of you women out there. Instead of thinking of me as a real friend, you’re probably thinking I’m a real bitch. Well, honesty can be a real bitch sometimes too. Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about. Who knows, maybe you’ll even thank me later. Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath. Say what you want, but unlike you’re so-called friends, I want you to be the best that you can be. You’re welcome.