Comedy, Writing

20 Things Every Woman Should Have Done by the Time she is 30

Welcome to the part of the blog where I rally against my impending 30th by rating my life against the life a woman’s lifestyle website says I should be having by now.

(See previous installment – 20 things women should stop wearing after 30)

How do I compare to the milestones and goals set by the magical wizard women, who would be played by Kate Hudson if this article was made into a film, with their adult choices, friends and ability to always learn from their mistakes.


I invite you to play along.

This week Popsugar invites us to hate ourselves by comparison with

’30 Things All Women Should Have in Their Arsenal Before 30.’

By 30 you should own a dozen balloons

Their article image is a girl bracing herself for take off, as she hangs out in a field with balloons. So I guess by the time you are 30 you should misunderstand gravity?

Popsugar says, ‘Turning 30 is a big milestone because you finally feel like a real adult instead of playing one in your early 20s. Here are some things you probably have accomplished in your 20s:’

  1. Eyeliner and mascara that doesn’t smudge.

The first thing Popsugar? Not inner peace, nor job satisfaction, nor self acceptance, nor the ability to orgasm in two minutes or less. No. Make up. You should have good make up in your arsenal.

The joy of replacing mascara (obvs only once it starts to smell) is trying out all the new brands which promise to turn your eyelashes into skyscrapers. Therefore you can and should not EVER settle on one solid choice of eyeliner or mascara. The hunt goes on for the perfect mascara. It is my right as a person with eyelashes.

I am fairly certain I do not own eyeliner and mascara products that doesn’t smudge. Or at least I don’t think I do.

*puts on eyeliner and mascara. Watches episode of Buffy where she sacrifices her life so that Dawn isn’t killed by Glory. Cries forever.*


2. A bad relationship that will make you treasure the good ones.

This is true. Every girl, by the time she is in a good relationship, should have had a fucking awful killer open heart surgery one in order to makes her appreciate her current one, or at least realise being alone is preferable to some knob who made her darn his socks and fold his pants and told her she was a weirdo for watching plot driven porn.

I wish it upon any and all women to have their heart stamped on and handed back to them, if only to better understand what Carrie, Dawson and the Sweet Valley High Twins (well Elizabeth, Jessica didn’t give a fuck) went through.

3. The experience of negotiating a raise or asking for a promotion. Because you deserve it.

I am currently self employed. I would love a raise. Or at least more doughnuts in the canteen.

4. A love for yourself — flaws and all.

Oh come on. By 30? I thought the self love only hit once you had kids and appreciated how amazing your body is, (according to everyone whose famous and has ever had kids ever) or embraced some kind of pseudo religion, or sat in a hut on fire for a week chanting whilst your soul was molested by a native american spirit pixie.

And sometimes it is hard to love your flaws. Like your farts. Or your burps. Or your recurring nightmares about the Nesquick bunny. Or how you once spelt idea ‘eyedeer.’ Or how you say ‘what was I gonna say,’ whenever there is a mild break in conversation, when in fact you have nothing to say and are simply stalling in case you accidentally say ‘I have nothing to say. I am boring. My life is a constantly merry go round of porridge, childrens confectionery products and opening news articles and keeping the tab up all day instead of reading them, as if I will learn through digital osmosis.’

5. A good mattress.

What am I? The Princess and The Pea


I don’t want to spend money I don’t have on a good mattress when I could spend that same money on comic books and finally getting around to be blonde again. I’m not even trying to be Chris Hardwicke cool. I am just a terrible adult. Also I have an aversion to sleep. I find it boring.

6. Enough self-respect to not put up with an unhealthy relationship and friendship.

It is rather impolite to point out when a friendship is unhealthy. We are British Popsugar. We do not complain to the person who has offended us. No. We complain to our nearest and dearest about our friends failings, and then we deride ourselves for being so judgemental and complain about ourselves for a bit, and then we complain about our parents making us this way, and then we look at our nearest and dearest and realise they are asleep or on their phone or simply miming shooting themselves in the head, and that makes us sad, and then we complain to our friends about our nearest and dearest and then our friends tell us how great we are and how we should complain to our nearest and dearest about their suicidal mimes and how hurtful they are, and then we feel bad for complaining about our friends, and the cycle continues forever and ever.

Raise your hand (I don’t care where you’re reading this – raise it!) if you are friends with someone who sometimes pisses you off, and occasionally makes you feel like you suck a little at life by comparison (like a living breathing version of this quiz.) Yeah. I thought so. Put your hand down. Now smack the butt of the person in front of you.

We all have shitty friends, who make us feel like shit from time to time, just as we are all shitty friends, who make our friends feel like shit from time to time. And we don’t say anything to them, and they don’t say anything to us, because that is part and parcel of the magical beautiful friendship agreement we all took an oath for many years ago.

7. A home that looks lived in and not like a rental. Which includes a piece of furniture you splurged on that’s not from Ikea and an original piece of art you love.

Okay, I covered a lot of this in New York Times Bestselling home decor for idiots article, but I can tick this off. Here is my lived in home.


Here is my non Ikea furniture


Here is my original artwork.

FullSizeRender (2)
He is called James in case you were wondering

8. One international trip experience that took you to another continent.

I have been on international trips – but I don’t know – where they experiences? Or just trips abroad. I definitely was out of the country, and on another continent, but by experience i think they mean doing a ‘Romancing The Stone’ and dancing barefoot in the sand with locals, and Michael Douglas, whilst drinking exotic cocktails and riding llamas.

9. Wild stories of past shenanigans that you love reminiscing over with your friends. And zero urge to relive it all.

Ah, the threesomes, the time I dressed up as a seagull and went shopping with my friend, poppers, the time I pooed myself whilst ice skating.

10.A résumé and LinkedIn profile that you had to struggle to shrink.

There isn’t enough room for ALL the temp jobs I have done, including the time I worked for a NHS reprographics department and had to photocopy and laminate 50 very visually instructive leaflets on identifying different kinds of pressure sores. Once you’ve seen one weeping open leg wound, you’ve seen them all.

Also doesn’t a huge resume imply you like, are shit at jobs and get fired a lot, or did a lot of work that paid ‘by experience.’ (Let me just cash in this experience to buy myself some fucking soup.)

Also isn’t Linked In only good for funny endorsements from your friends (‘Hey Steve, come on, you know I never went to clown school,) or to wonder why Barry Smithee from P & R international Toothpaste Vendors in Devon looked at your profile.

11. Six months of living expenses in your emergency fund and a robust 401(k).

AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Here guys, have a stock image of someone with six months of living expenses in their emergency fund, and a robust 401k.


Thats right guys. Thats a fucking unicorn.

Because someone with a robust 401k and six months of living expenses spare DOESN’T EXIST.

Or at least, we don’t hang around in the same places.

12. A friend that makes you laugh, lends an understanding ear when you need a shoulder to cry on, and tells you things you need (and not want) to hear.

I can’t fault them on this. I have those friends, and I am lucky to have them, and you need them, and you probably have them, so you know, carry on.

However the phrasing is weird, or the friends anatomy is weird. I need a shoulder to cry on, so they lend me an ear?

13. Forgiveness and letting go of past hurts and grudges. Life’s too short for that.

Yeah. Okay. Life is short but there are some people who should not be forgiven for being dicks. Like wing mirror guy, who knocked my wing mirror off. Or called me fat guy, who told me ‘I wouldn’t feed you’ when I was 13 and had to be weighed in for a rowing competition. My parents were going through a divorce, I coped with Mr Kipling Apple Pies, shortbread and pop tarts.

14. And the realization that forgiving doesn’t mean accepting that it was OK. Forgiving means accepting the fact it happened.

Oh wait, didn’t read on. My bad. Okay, it happened. I parked badly, and I was a fat kid.

15. Go-to recipes for key occasions, from a fancy dinner party to leftovers night.

Yep got those recipes. They are all called veggie sausage surprises!

Take veggie sausage.



Cook it. (My preference is microwave)

Stick on Fork.

FullSizeRender (4)

Serve to guests.

FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender copy

16. A backup system for your important documents and photos.

This is sensible advice, and one day I will take it.

17. Something you can take care of, be it a plant or a pet (or maybe even a baby!).

Maybe a baby, (but only if you can’t find a plant).

We have cactuses. They are dying. I am watching them die, slowly, bit by bit. I walk past them, and then past the tap and I think, I should get water for them. And I don’t. And I laugh. hahaha. Dumb fucking cacti.

But I think I might take better care of a baby. Probably.

18. The ability to enjoy things alone, whether it be a trip, a dinner out, or a show.

I love hanging out on my own. No small talk. No sharing of snacks. No judgement over the way I go a little cross eyed when I am tired. I can watch all the stupid films at the cinema I want without having to explain the merits of the Captain America films, or why Tom Cruise is actually a signifier of a good, or if not interesting piece of work. Bliss.

19. A coffee machine so you stop wasting your money at Starbucks.

Fuck you Popsugar. I am not wasting my money at Starbucks. I get all my best inspiration from watching people in coffee shops, lurking with my medium size Americano which I take well timed sips from in order to prolong the time I am allowed to sit in the coffee shop, just staring at other day typers with their laptops and their stupid dreams, wondering if I should suggest we all have a Christmas party together and cry.

Also why is Starbucks always the go to example of the shitty corporate coffee shop? There are as bad, if not worse, places. Have you been to a Costa lately? EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

There sugar free vanilla soy capp was so bad, I had to throw it in the bin. The bin. #middleclassproblemsright?

20. A good skin care routine, which includes applying sunscreen.

*Looks out window* fuck that.

21. The confidence to go without makeup, wear a bikini, and have an opinion.

Well done Popsugar, well done. You have summarised the feminist utopian dream there. Let this be the day you ended inequality forever by finally working out what it is to be a women and have it all. What we are all striving for. The chance to be naked of face, and partially of body, lecturing people about the best way to cut up an onion without crying.*


ALSO – You can not avoid having one opinion by the time you are 30. Sooner or later someone is going to ask you a question which involves you giving input, even if it’s just, ‘would you like some ketchup,’ or ‘is that your coat?’

22. A sewing kit and a set of tools that you’ve actually used.

I had a hammer. I lost it. Now I use the end of a screw driver to get nails into the wall.

23. A reliable dry cleaner and a tailor.

Hey Popsugar, here is a picture of a women under 30 with a reliable dry cleaner and a tailor.


You see that popsugar? That’s a fucking centaur.

24. A chic outfit that you can transition from work to play — not to mention, a high-quality bag or purse to bring to work every day.

Easy to say if you’re like, a nurse whose boyfriend is really into role play. Or farm girl with a boyfriend who loves a sexy farm girl.

And by high quality bag I assume they mean jansport backpack.

25. A safe place for you to relieve your stress and recharge — be it your reading nook or yoga studio.

Or a panic room. Where you go specifically to watch Panic Room.

26. The resolve and discipline to kick at least one bad habit. Bye-bye, soda and Cheetos.

British translation: Bye-bye, Irn Bru and Wotsits.

If you’re worse habit is soda and cheetos then you are living in a fucking fairy tale. Saying that my worst habits are drinking a lot of wine, saying ‘this bits SOOOOO good,’ when re-watching a film with someone who has never seen it before (I am the worst,) and a daily kinder egg habit which is costing me a fucking fortune.

75p a day x 7 days a week x 29 days on average in a month (probably) x 12 months = the cost of a house.

27. The satisfaction with what you have and not worrying about if you’re missing out on something better and newer.

Why do these lists set out the rules of their world (you should have these things in order to feel successful) and then directly contradict themselves, as if to say ‘but honestly guys, we are on your side.’ You should, do this and this and this, but you know, if you don’t thats okay too.

If you’re going to tell me I am a failure for not having my own furniture, stand behind your opinions pop sugar, don’t pussy out of it.

Also, if everyone followed this rule most conversations would stop. We would all make our own decisions about what TV shows to watch, without people telling us our life would be better if we stopped watching those shows to watch the shows they are watching, because like they are so much better. But not straight away, I mean they start out slow, but by the third season, they are so much better. So you hang on in there so we can finally get around to having that meaningful conversation about the third season.

28. An exercise routine beyond cleaning your home or commuting to work

hahaha cleaning your home.

29. A credit card that you pay off in full every month.


30. The realization that life just gets better.

Or at least you care less.


Thanks Popsugar, I learnt nothing and everything all at once. But I feel like you missed out a few bits….

What you should actually have in your arsenal before you are 30.

1. Actual arsenal – as in a governmental establishment for the storing, development, manufacturing, testing, or repairing of arms, ammunition, and other war materials. But with more nunchucks

2. The ability to read.

3. Have eaten something weird, like dog face pie or cats bum soup or shark butt soup or monkey’s testicle’s ice cream.

4. The ability to eat cereal for dinner and feel both naughty and great.

5. Cried in bed next to someone who didn’t notice. Cried louder. Nope, still nothing. Tried to cry yourself to sleep. Doesn’t work.

6. Be able to master incognito mode.

7. Re-watched Gilmore Girls/Sex and the City/Ally McBeal and realised the main characters are more awful and mentally unbalanced than they remembered, but maybe thats not a bad thing.

8. Forgotten a famous actors name/the name of a household object (‘it’s sort of curved, you use it to eat yogurt’)/how doors work and wondered if it’s the first sign of dementia.

9. Hated someone so much you wrote secret hate poetry about them.

10. Rediscovered secret hate poetry, along with other emo works of teenage fiction, and felt both proud and sorry for your younger self, wanting to reach out through time and space to give younger you a reassuring hug.

11. Lied to partners and friends to seem more or less sexually adventurous.

12. Realised getting older means giving less of a fuck about what people think, which can only be a good thing.

13. Finally worked out whether you are a hugger, a hand shaker, a groper or a kiss cheek-er.

14. Learnt that marking your achievements by how many stupid things you tick off a list, devised by someone with no imagination and a very clear, old fashioned idea of what it is to be a particular gender and a success is an exercise in futility and will only lead to confused esteem. Having said that you should have been in a body of water with dolphins at some point.

*chew on a matchstick apparently. Who knew?

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