A very special person to me is in the midst of her 20th birthday celebration. I won’t mention her here specifically because of what would happen to me if her name starts popping up when people google vajazzling or vajiggle jaggle. Or Honey Boo Boo.
I was there when she was just a fetus in her momma’s belly and when she took her first steps. I helped her make and decorate homemade Christmas cookies then returned her to her mother covered in white flour from bow-head to toe.
I’ve watched her grow up under good and bad circumstances and handle it all with grace beyond her years.
And in 20 years, I’ve offered her boatloads of advice, which she’s always graciously accepted if not always acted upon.
But now she’s 20 and no longer a child who thinks that I hung the moon and my advice is golden and that I’m the coolest person on the planet.
So let me climb down off my pedestal now.
And mourn just a bit.
Okay, that’s gonna take a while. Let’s move on.
This post is my birthday present to her. And my attempt to provide the lasting advice she may not come to me for in her grown-up years.
Don’t Vajazzle your Vajiggle Jaggle.
And 20 Other Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.
1. Do not hot glue fake rhinestones to your vajayjay. This trend is asinine and stupid and lots of other words for find-something-better-to-do-with-your-time-and-money. And private parts.
2. In the same vein, don’t wax every pubic hair from your lady parts to please a man. If you wanna do a brazilian for you, go for it. But don’t do it for him. Two very good reasons: A) It hurts like a mofo. Imagine pouring gasoline on your labia, letting it settle in for a bit and then lighting it on fire. Eerily similar. B) Any man who thinks having hair down there is nasty is not worth your time. You’re a woman, not an 8-year-old girl. Trim it, shape it, shave it into a Hitler mustache. But don’t wax it all off. And for God’s sake, don’t even go near the threading shop.
3. Confidence can be faked. You’ll find that if you fake it long enough, you’ll genuinely have it. And there is nothing more attractive than confidence. Not a thing. Not any amount of make-up, not big boobs, not even a great smile. And definitely not a rhinestone-bedecked vagina.
4. Boys come and boys go. Even when you think your life might end because one just went, it will not. You’ll get over it. And you’ll feel even more strongly about another one down the road. When you meet one who makes you want to be a better person, that’s the one.
5. Don’t read Cosmo. Or if you must, know that after one year, you will have read every article they ever write and from that point on out, every issue will contain the same information with a new title. I wasted 20 years reading and rereading “How to Know If a Guy Really Likes You By Reading His Body Language,” and “10 Sneaky Places to Do Kegel Exercises.” P.S. I’m doing them right now.
5. Don’t follow trends. But don’t dress like everyone else. Choose what works for you, and cultivate your own style, even if that means getting it wrong sometimes. People will admire you for it.
6. That being said, don’t pick a hairstyle or clothing trend or even favorite band in high school and stick with it until you die. Whatever your age, stay modern. You may not believe me now, but there will come a day when someone other than Nicki Minaj makes music you like.
7. Don’t be a mean girl. Women really do need to support each other.
8. Always have something for just you. Even when you’re married and have kids someday, make sure you have something besides them that gets you out of bed in the morning.
9. You really do need lots of different bras. Big boobs, little boobs. Doesn’t matter. If you don’t like the way the fun-bags look in something you’re wearing, try a different bra. You’ll see what I mean.
10. Never let cosmetic things like hair extensions and long fingernails stop you from doing something fun. Like getting wet. Or finger-painting with a kid. Life is too short for that shit.
12. Say yes. Especially when you’re scared. No matter how old you get, try new things.
13. But say no when you really don’t wanna do something. Don’t make an excuse. Just say no.
14. Learn to laugh at yourself. Do it often. Do it loudly. Do it alone. Do it with others.
15. Get up when you fall down. Just get back up and keep walking. It’s that simple.
16. Make a PRE-KID bucket list. Kids are a huge blessing but once they come, it’s not about you anymore. Live a full life first. Cross off at least 75% of that list before you have the first kid.
17. When it comes to dating, shop at the variety store. It’s hard to know what’s right for you if you don’t at least try it.
18. Don’t sext. EVER. The internet is full of naked girls who didn’t want to be naked on the internet. If he says, “But it’s just for me, no one else will ever see it,” hit him over the head with your phone the next time you see him.
19. Have the dessert. Drink good wine. Skinny-dip. Ride the roller-coaster.
20. Trust the still small voice inside of you. Learn to listen to and be guided by your intuition. Mine used to scream at me and I still ignored it. It was a mistake every single time. Every. Single. Time. Many of those mistakes have names.
21. Chemistry is not love. Learn the difference by testing out both. Do the chemistry thing first. Don’t marry it.