7 Skills Every Woman Should Master

So Esquire‘s list of 75 Skills Every Man Should Master has been everywhere lately. It’s a good read, and most of the stuff is applicable to both genders. Here’s my little list of seven things every woman should know how to do, because I lack the stamina to come up with seventy-five:

1. Entertain unexpected company. Invest in a cheeseboard, and then keep a big jar in your cupboard filled with bags of dried apricots and cranberries, almonds, hazelnuts, and a few bars of exceptional chocolate. All of it will keep for a while, if you can refrain from devouring everything while you watch an episode of Lost.

Now, in three minutes, you can dump out some fruit and nuts, chop up a chocolate bar, and arrange it all to maximum effect on the cheeseboard. If you have decent cheese in the fridge, it’s a bonus. Pow! You’re Martha Stewart.

2. Comfort someone in mourning. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” And then as much silence as you can muster.

3. Celebrate. Good stuff is happening all around you. Pour a glass of champagne, pass around a box of chocolate, and say something memorable.

4. Break up with a poisonous friend. I had this friend in junior high, and every time I told her I liked a boy, she suddenly became very attentive towards him. I was too young to realize what was going on at the time, but by high school, and the fourth or fifth crush she’d pinched, I caught on.

Most of us have a friend or acquaintance who always leaves us feeling just a little bit worse. Maybe your mortifying missteps become her favorite amusing anecdotes. Maybe she throws her arm around your boyfriend’s shoulders with suspicious frequency. Maybe she guilt-trips you into piling a few favors atop your already hectic schedule. Whoever she is, stop calling her. Tell her you’re busy — so very busy — until 2050 or so.

5. Give a good blowjob.

6. Dribble a basketball, throw a football, kick a soccer ball. This stuff comes up. If you can’t do anything athletic at all, you start to look like the kind of girl who spends too much time getting mani-pedis.

7. Apologize convincingly. I was wrong. I’m very sorry. It won’t happen again.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to genuflect.

100 thoughts on “7 Skills Every Woman Should Master

  1. I would have to add be able to drive a using stick shift. I learned to drive on a manual and am ever so thankful.

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  2. Wait, how is it that #5 – potentially the most difficult skill to master on the list – doesn’t get any instructions? You could at least provide a link. πŸ™‚

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  3. Hilarious that Maggie explains how to do each and everyone on the list, but not #5. I guess we should just know intuitively?

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  4. Absolutely! SO SO true.
    I’m still trying to learn to stop, when in an argument, and say- I was wrong!(If I was). THIS IS REALLY HARD FOR ME!

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  5. I would like to argue that #5 may not be applicable for women who are, say, more inclined to the enjoy the company of the fairer sex.

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  6. I agree with all of the above. There are a few more. However, every woman needs to be elegant, cool, and gracious. This list covers all of those areas quite well!

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  7. Holy crap. Choking on grilled chicken caesar salad is a bit painful. Should scan ahead before taking a bite, next time.

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  8. Just as in your #4, I had a friend in school who would tell whatever boy I was interested in that I liked him – Gah! Well, something told me not to reveal anything to her about my last boyfriend – and she got all miffy and ended up not speaking to me ever again… But I kept the boyfriend, and now we’ve been married for 15 years!

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  9. If you are truly a master at #5, then every other point, except #2, is totally moot. I do not have to apologize, prepare food for guests, or even dribble a basketball, if my husband knows he’s getting a blowjob that night! “Step aside dear. I will take care of everything.”

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  10. #5 is definitely not something every woman needs to know. I don’t need to know. I’m gay. AND GUESS WHAT, I’M A WOMAN, dontcha know.

    sorry, I get a bit sore when the whole world thinks all women love dick, or when they know that NOT all women love dick, but don’t think they ever need to be mentioned.

    otherwise, great list πŸ™‚

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  11. here here! what a great list. getting rid of a poisonous friend is so important but so hard to do at the same time. there is a woman in my life that i separated myself from over a year ago but she still calls and every time i let it go to voice mail i feel a bit guilty. but i know i can’t take her call – it’s not a good relationship to have.

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  12. Miss Maggie, You are simply too marvelous.
    La, la, la love this list. I’m printing it and keeping it with me always!

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  13. What a great list. You made me laugh. There is a great quote by Robert Heinlen I love:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    Also, I would like to add one life skill I am personally proud I have acquired is to be able to say “Fuck You”, to someone and still be their friend.

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  14. I’d amend #5 to “Give good oral sex,” (to be inclusive, since I’m never going to need to learn how to give a blow job) and add a #8 of “When you should apologize,” because so many women apologize for things that they shouldn’t be sorry for.

    Otherwise, great list. I especially agree with 2, 3, 4, and 6.

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  15. I have some more!

    #8 Operate a cordless drill (You should own your own)
    #9 Know at least enough yoga to do a sun salutation (preferably ashtanga style)
    #10 Amuse a child for 10-15 minutes with whatever you have handy (bonus points if you remembered to pack a box of tricks)
    #11 Cook a meal from scratch.

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  16. Wow, these are so true, especially the part about a toxic friend. It took me 24 years to learn that lesson. The part b) to that is to learn how to do it and not look back.

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  17. Let’s say we’ve mastered #5. Does that mean we don’t have to do it any more? Like, once we’ve gotten really good at it, it’s ok to stop practicing?

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  18. Learn to ride a motorcycle. It’s the most terrifying, exhilarating thing you will ever do. Plus, nobody ever messes with a biker chic. πŸ˜‰

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  19. Yeah, “give good head” is a bit more applicable for those of us who don’t need to know our way around the male hardware. But regardless of which team you play for, I’d add “and expect it”, too!

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  20. #9 Develop a wicked sense of humor.

    It’s the corollary to #2. If you aren’t crying, and you aren’t belly laughing, then you aren’t having enough fun. Don’t rely on other people to make you laugh, find the funny yourself.

    (Note: There’s enough absurdity in the world, if you can find it, to keep you and your loved ones in stitches for quite a while, without having to resort to malicious jokes. A woman who can pun will never get a proper mate, but an improper mate is a secret joy.)

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  21. I was that poisonous friend. I never stole boys but I was jealous, controlling and petty. My best friend from 1st grade finally had the balls to tell me off in college. At first I didn’t get it. I felt horrible and it broke my heart and I deserved it. I still feel awful guilty at the way I treated her. If I could ever apologize I would.

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  22. Although number 5 is extremely effective, I think every woman should know how to get what she wants _without_ having to put d*ck in her mouth. That should be a purely elective sort of thing.

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  23. Good list, though I’d change #6 to: Know how to talk about Sports.

    You might have that “OMG the girl has a rocket for an arm” moment once per year (when you just happen to be walking by the tryouts for the Bad News Bears), but the boys in the office talk about sporting events at least once every week.
    You don’t have to be a complete sports nerd, but if you can hold your own with them, you’ll go further in business. (though, ha ha, the same could be said about #5).
    Also, when you ask how many home runs were scored in the Super Bowl, it’s embarrassing for everyone involved.

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  24. Seriously people!
    Maggie is a heterosexual female, this is her personal blog and this is her list of skills that she has listed from her own personal experience. Add and subtract to that list if you want but I see no reason why she should modify the list to accommodate every single variation in the human condition that is out there! Why must everything be so politically correct these days?!

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  25. Hahaha. Awesome list. Here’s a few on my own:
    – Picking the right gifts.
    – How to make your man do what you want. But then again, this might be remedied with your #5. LOL

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  26. Here’s my addition, and it took a long time to learn:

    How to ask a question. Don’t diminish its importance by starting with “This may sound stupid, but…” or “I hate to bother you, but…” or “I’m sorry but…” You have every right to ask a question if you need to. Do so confidently and you’ll most likely get a better answer than you would have if you trivialized the question by acting as if it shouldn’t be asked in the first place.

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  27. Speaking of sports – I learned a trick while I was teaching 8th grade.

    While my husband was listening to a game or the recap, I’d pay attention for about 5 minutes and try to remember what was said.

    Then, the next day in class, I’d impress the heck out of those boys by saying something like, “Can you believe he fumbled in the last quarter?” And after that topic was exhausted (as was my knowledge), back to work we’d go!

    So my addtition to the list? Learn how to fake the knowledge you don’t have. And not get caught.

    Somehow, also applicable to #5.

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  28. I would add:

    – change a flat tire
    – Know how to make minor home repairs (for example, fix a leaking sink)
    – learn what style of clothes flatter you and wear them (ex. generally speaking, if you are short, STAY AWAY from the capri pants);

    – wear the size that fits you, even if you you’re not happy with the number. Better to wear the size 12 pants than to look like a snausage in the size 10s.

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  29. I’m annoyed by the people arguing with #5, so I hesitate to make this comment, because I’m NOT arguing…BUT…my experience with #6 (throwing football, etc) is that I grew up feeling kind of inadequate that I didn’t do those things, but as an adult at some point I realized there is nothing wrong with saying, “I’m not terribly athletic” if I don’t have the desire to learn that particular skill. However, this is MAGGIE’S list, and she’s a football-throwing-heterosexual girl who can make her own list in her own blog.

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  30. How about:
    Put yourself first. A lot of women I know find it difficult to take care of themself and are always busy taking care of others.

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  31. Unlike commenter #30, my reaction to the list was:

    #5 made me cry a little. Because itÒ€ℒs just. So. Degrading.

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  32. @#47 – a BJ is like any other type of sex. If it’s between consenting adults who see each other as equals, why is it degrading?

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  33. Wondering if #47 feels the same way about a man going down on a woman. If so, honey you are missing out! Reciprocation is the name of the game!

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