Me Age 13: Lanky, awkward, braces wearing Posh Spice.
13 Things I Didn’t Believe My Mother Was Right About When I 13....BUT SHE TOTALLY WAS.
1. Don’t pick at it.
Initially, she meant my skin. “Stop picking,” she'd say sternly. Now, I realize that this applies to multiple things, the obvious ones: chipping nails, threads on your pillows, threads in general. The whole thing will eventually unravel if you keep at it. Not so obvious: when someone says “enough,” stop trying to pick your way in... people peel back emotional layers when they’re ready to, don’t pick at them. When he keeps forgetting that singular sock by the door, you’ve already told him it irritates you one time.... choose your battles, he DID do the laundry...don’t pick at him just because you can. That thing your BFF does that makes you cringe? Little details are more apparent the more you know/love someone, so let it go. Consider your irritation a privilege of being that close to their hearts. Don’t pick.
2. Nothing Good Happens Past Midnight
Sure, you know what happens past midnight? More shenanigans. More chances to say something, do something and potentially, be something that you may regret in the morning. Text messages past midnight? No bueno. Another cocktail past midnight? You can do it, but 9am won’t like it. That party you keep chasing? Stay put, it’s never as awesome as people are making it sound.
3. Don’t Date Him If He Hangs Out In His Basement All Day
Okay. So, when it’s put like that it sounds obvious. But, we all know what it’s like to crawl into someone’s cave with them. It’s dark and damp and perfect for cuddling. It’s also; stale, lacking light, skewed reality, isolated away from other human beings and sequestered from the outside world, where LIFE is. Where things grow and flourish. It’s okay to hide out every now and then....but not as a lifestyle choice.
4. Put it Away.
IT: your laundry, your shoes, your dishes, your books. Put. It. Away. Not so obvious: all the junk in your car, your “bad day” that you carry into a room thus making everyone else have a bad day with you. Unnecessary details, expressing dislike of another human being. Gossip. Your bad attitude. Useless criticism, towards yourself and others. Whining...and so on...
5. Only Reveal One Asset At A Time
If you show some leg, keep your chest to yourself. Skin is good, but not all of it at once. Same goes for makeup, if you do a strong lip, do a light eye. Dark eyes, light lips. Also see: Leave Something to the Imagination and Less is More
6. If He Doesn’t Love His Mother, Run the Other Direction
When you’re thirteen boys don’t always understand the VALUE of their Mother. So, you let it roll off your back. The older they get and the more women they date, meet and consider as a potential life-partner, they BETTER be considering their mother. A man that loves his Mother understands, respects and values women. He knows their role is imperative to keep the wheel turning, thus valuing women on a deeper level entirely. A man that speaks ill of his Mother, while he may have his reasons, likely has some resentment built up....that’s a heavy load to deal with....and at the end of the day, it isn’t YOUR job to undo all of her wrong doings. It’s a harder job than you think..... (speaking from personal experience.)
7. Don’t Wear White Eyeliner.
Self explanatory. Unless, you’re a makeup artist you probably don’t know how to do it right. So just, ya know, don’t.
8. Stop Saying You’re Fat, You Aren’t Fat.
Okay, so maybe you’re soft. Maybe you and your best friend occasionally polish off a smorgasbord of Ben & Jerry’s flavors because you’re “taste testing” at midnight, but you’re also having the best time ever. Listen, soft is beautiful. Soft is forgiving. Soft is feminine. We can ALWAYS be “better.” There’s always room for improvement. 2lbs, 5lbs, 9 ½ lbs...whatever.... the most important thing is that you’re being kind to yourself. Find people that don’t make you feel inferior OR superior based on your weight, either way. We’re always fluctuating, our bodies are never stagnant and neither are the choices we make about them. Just be kind. You’re beautiful.
9. Don’t Be “That Drunk Girl” At The Party
I love wine, I can enjoy myself and have a good time. But we all have to know our limits and occasionally to figure out what those limits are you figure them out by extending past them and then checking your phone records in the morning like, “Why the &!$* did I call my ex from 2007 at 1am....why was this a 14 minute conversation?” ::shudders:: There’s nothing worse than thinking in the moment that you’re “connecting” with someone and then you wake up the next day, have no idea how many details you told them about your life or why/how you’ve become “best friends,” but then you have to relearn it all “sober.” Which is more embarrassing if they weren’t equally as toasted as you. Trust. Word to the wise: keep it to a miniumum, two is enough. Drink at home, in your cozies, with your best friends who will love you regardless of your vino-fueled absurdity and dance moves.
10. Don’t Be “The Lowest Hanging Fruit.”
...this one coincides with #9, often. Low Tree Fruit is the “fruit” i.e. girl, that’s easiest to grab. One that doesn’t require much effort, let alone a first date. You know what I’m talking about. You know WHO I’m talking about. At the end of the day, you’ll want the man who is willing to “climb the tree.” Not the guy who looks for the disclaimer titled: “little assembly and effort required.” Anything worth having is worth working for. You included.
11. Don’t Be Late
I grew up figuring out how to waste time effectively in ten minute increments. This was the story of my life. Because no matter how busy my Mother was, she made sure I was ten minutes early, EVERYWHERE. I used to find this incredibly annoying, then the older I got I realized the people that were usually late in my life, were the ones that didn’t have much respect for my time. She would say, “Remember, people that are constantly late believe their time is more valuable than yours.” Plus, being ten minutes early gives you time to freshen up, find the bathroom, find a good parking spot. Also, call your mom back...perfect ten minute window.
12. Have at least ONE signature meal that you can make.
Listen, my Mother worked at night, she taught dance until 10pm, so “dinner,” to me was usually a combination of whatever I could find at Conoco, or 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter and a bowl of Lucky Charms. BUT, when she was home.... she made the most amazing meals...while I didn’t acquire the “Italian Girl Who Can Cook,” gene...I do know how to make one thing; Lasagna and Grandma’s secret sauce.
13. Be you. 100%, no imitations. Authentically, YOU.
When you’re 13, you probably want to be like so and so, because “everyone loves her....” or, “because her hair is so thick and shiny, she has the perfect ponytail...and her parents have a cool boat.” Or fill in the blanks. Now, I realize the ones that are closest to me, know all the parts of me...the good, the bad, and everything between. But ultimately, they love me for being 100% authentically, Chelsea. Those are the relationships that last.....plus, you’re so cool.
What did your Mom tell you??