What Girls Should Do in Their Twenties

I just turned 30.5 and as a half-birthday present to myself I am relieving myself of the shards of non-wisdom that I have gathered in the past ten-point-five years by throwing them your way like so many candy beans. In this scenario that I am imagining...

I just turned 30.5 and as a half-birthday present to myself I am relieving myself of the shards of non-wisdom that I have gathered in the past ten-point-five years by throwing them your way like so many candy beans. In this scenario that I am imagining, we are drunk and I’m throwing the candy beans at you. Do with them what you will—which will be this: “Pffffft shut the fuck up, bitch, you don’t know my life” (actual transcription of the subtext of every conversation I have with my friends who are younger than me)—but do know that things will change for you at some point. Pretend I am pushing your sweaty baby-hairs off of your forehead and going “Shhhhhhhhhh.”

Probably next week Girl News will be about the different ways girls like to masturbate (so many ways) or the fashion dynamics of three-way BFF-ships (ooooh, good idea!) but for now, here.


A girl not being and calling herself a feminist is the equivalent to a black guy going in for the Republicans when Republicans had a heavy slavery angle. (I know, the early Republicans were against slavery, but then the party twisted itself into a tight, white, racist knot, but you know what I mean anyway.) It’s fine and good to be happy and have fun and not worry too much about it, if you want, but that should just be terra firma on a hot planet of rage about how you are considered a half-citizen by most people/governments/institutions/traditions. Like, really: do your day however you want; don’t even pounce on the never-ending girl-bullshits spat out by me and you and all of your friends if you don’t want to. Just, know.


In a bra, out of a bra, from the side, from your dude’s perspective when he’s bunging you in every tit-visible position: photograph it. Not for the internet, dumbtard: for yourself.

I took a series of Polaroids, not even of my boobs but of my general décolletage, after this cute, barely legal drummer (obviously a drummer) spent most of one night gnawing it. Actually, all night in between both of us demurely leaving the room “to pee”/a.k.a. violently throw up whatever it might have been that we’d drank. The bruises gradually faded from hardcore, untouchable pits to yellow watercolors throughout the series, but when I look at them occasionally (in my parents’ basement: HA!) I am mostly so fascinated by a) the fact that I wore a Little Red Riding Hood cape with nothing under it to take some of the photos (???) and b) the general, almost offensive buoyancy of my then-boobs. You don’t see this happen as it happens, unless you document. Anyway, they just change. I’m not saying your boobs won’t be great, I’m saying they won’t be the same.


This is the less queer way of me saying “Travel! Explore! Adventure! But go alone, so you can find yourself.” I’m really sorry to report that all of that’s true, that being fucking terrified and having a Central American piece in your face and no money in your queer little hand-embroidered wallet, and sleeping in a dorm room with someone who ate the street food and is forcing you to imagine and re-imagine their overworked asshole for one full night, is important. It is. Pretend that there isn’t a canon of cheesy stuff about women traveling alone and the revelations available therein, and forget about the idea that it will make you a better or more interesting person, because it won’t, but what it will do is make you harder to fuck with in general. Just do me a favor and do this, OK? No hitchhiking!!!! RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE. Call me and I’ll come pick you up.

Related, and as a secondary option if you really aren’t the kind of girl (pussy) to get on a plane alone: book a hotel room and stay by yourself for 24 hours, just having thinks and masturbating until it hurts your arm tendons and your clit, and taking unnecessary showers and staring outside. This is also cheesy—and a cliché, but whatever, because everything you ever do is a cliché, which is Something To Know—but so worth it. And scary! Without the surround sound of friends and sex and stuff to do, you will feel like you’re on Bad Drugs and hate it, but then you’ll like it. Or something. Something will happen.

This can be in a no-tell or the Four Seasons, of course. I recommend a banal business hotel near a highway for maximum anxiety challenges.


No, jizziot, not right now. I’m saying, the only way you’ll probably understand why it’s better to use condoms even though we all know that they feel bad is the basement bachelor in Terror Gardens you’re living in when you wait for your period/HIV test results/wait for your best friend to make you go get an HIV test/wait for the guy you sexed without a condom to have a baby several years later and then just basically assume you are fine. (Right?) Also, you’re going to have a boyfriend who cheats on you so just make sure you’re really down with this particular filthy stranger pushing his fluid into your body whenever he wants to just because it feels so fucking amazing.


It once seemed unreasonable to drink beer that wasn’t the beer-ish malt beverage variety. You get so much for so little! Plus, still-in-progress white girls are fucking disgusting cultural appropriators, so there’s that. (Hold My Gold, indeed.) Now, when I walk past the forties at the store, I feel several layers of bile collecting, like in the Green Lantern when the molecules are gathering together to form a jazzy neon bridge over the party to save the people! (Spoiler!)


If you call your vintage boutique, like, “Runs With Wolves” or whatever that place is called, fine. I don’t know you/your life, remember? But make sure you have in fact run with wolves or the equivalent, maybe in a burned-out Jeep with a cross-dressing sex-stud in Joshua Tree. Even if you are mostly bookish and boring, choose your tattoo placement based on the tattoo placement of the guy (now dead) who gave you crack and showed you how to use it, so that you have to think of him every time you buy a dress. Be left bloody on a roadside somewhere, sometime (don’t die). Be in a position to think of 20.5 year olds as both very alike, brilliantly alike, and also very different from you when you are thirty and half, in this way that makes you want to fold them up in your cashmere blankets and rock them to sleep. Your sweaty baby-hair, remember?


This is ridic after you are 30, but amazing before then when your friends still give a shit who you’re dating/liking. (This will stop, eventually, when all of you have too much sexual information on each other to care anymore.) Mine included: Pepper, Worst Guy, Genius, Rugger, Chemistry Arms (Private to that guy: I’m so sorry. It wasn’t my fault), French Guy, British Guy, The Actor. Wait, those are stupid.


Let’s just say, as an implausible, deeply theoretical “what if” that you’re kind of a piece of Swarovski-studded shit (worse than regular shit). That is fiiiiine. But try on nice for like five minutes. It’s actually great! LOVE YOUUUU!!


Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway

Previously: Why Girls Act Dumb