Exactly one month and a technical year ago, Leandra listed for Harper’s Bazooka the 15 Things Every Woman Should Have. If you, like me, immediately rushed to the supermarket to gather everything she listed then you might still be standing in aisle 9 next to an armful of crap that in theory sounded great but now you have absolutely no clue what to do with, like a dog who actually gets hold of his own tail.
When Leandra finally called to see where the hell I’d been for one month and a technical year, I cried my predicament into the phone. Like the good friend and walrus she is, she rented a Zipcar, hightailed it to Whole Foods and picked me up in the parking lot. Then, as we drove home, balls and all in hand, we discussed exactly when and where I’d need those 15 fucking items.
BRB, Leandra’s logging on.
Hi, it’s me. Leandra. The woman who told you what all other women should have not knowing that you’d take me literally and head over to a supermarket that found you paralyzed for one month’s time, asking for a price check on humility and sincerity (#10) only to learn that neither of those items are actually for sale! Much less, I might add, at a supermarket that genetically modifies your lemons. Super sized lemons? Really?
But I digress. Amelia thought it might be a good idea for me to breakdown the previously cited 15 things and explain where you could use them so that you never fall victim to the fruitless pursuit of fruit again.
#1 was a Beyonce CD, which you will need when driving across Mexico to visit Mayaan ruins. Are you out of aisle 9 yet?
#2 was a good white cotton blouse (might I suggest Mugler’s poplin?), which, like #3, the power to say no, #4, the confidence to say yes, #9, a piece of sentimental jewelry, and #10, sincerity, you need on a near daily basis just to help you get through the humdrum of a quotidian Tuesday (or Wednesday, or Thursday). One where your hairdresser might suggest that you really ought to go for the perm, bangs and the salon’s new turtle-ass scented shampoo (just say no), or your courter asks whether you find him shady as ass, with toupee-looking hair (the confidence to say yes). You’ll need sincerity in both instances because irony is neither concerned nor accounted for when wo-maning up.
#5 was red lipstick, which you shall wear when you feel like poop. The color will mirror 99% of the instances that make you feel like poop because it is red like the blood that flows out of your Nile River. Pumps, (necessity #6) will be useful under parallel circumstances though their spectrum-of-utility is wider in that you might just wear them because why not.
#7, a pair of bought-on-the-whim, completely frivolous shoes, have no purpose or place quite like the present but sure do making conceding to bite the bullet on a pair of these much more digestible.
I was lying about #8. I don’t think every woman needs a pair of chandelier earrings. Can I replace it with a sense of humor, which will be best put to use in the company of misogynistic idiots? Or your drunk relatives? How about the time you will accidentally-but-inevitably walk in on your parents having $$$ex? Ha ha ha.
#11 is a trench coat which you could arguably wear every day too but certainly won’t find at a supermarket. It’s most urgent when you’re streaking, though. So figure tomorrow at midnight. That’s when you’ll need it most.
#12 is a good blow dryer AND diffuser because without one of the latter, you will spend your days looking like this. Of course, if you have your sense of humor on you during the days you don’t have your blow dryer or diffuser, at least you know it will make for spectacular memories.
#13, which is a place to store your dreams (a Smythson notebook? Your iPhone memo app?), is most useful in the first 30 minutes that you’ve been up in the morning — 50 if you spend any of those precious moments getting coffee — and the last 20 that you’ll be up at night. Some of the richest thoughts occur when interlaced between here and there.
#14, a reliable mascara, like numbers 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10, are applicable for use anywhere and on a near daily basis except in the case of your stye. I’m sorry that you have a stye. I’ve been there.
And finally, #15 — the only item you probably can find at a supermarket in the frozen food section: a pair of balls that once belonged to a man who didn’t deserve to keep them. You will need these to tell the cautionary tale of what happened to the last one if and when any rising hot dog tries to manipulate your finely seasoned buns.