Posts Tagged: guest post

Lady Tip: You’re Never Going to Wish You Did Something Less

friends
I’m very excited to have a guest post for you guys today. Even better, this post is from one of my very own brothers! I’m so happy that Alex wrote a Lady Tip for me, although I’m slightly worried that you guys will like him better than me and make his blog your new Welcome to Ladyville. He rarely (if ever!) posts photos of Dolly Parton, so be prepared. If you like this post, be sure to check out Ghost Court, especially this post, which is one of my favorites. And this one! Ugh, they’re all hilarious! Also, you may noticed that my brother is, in fact, not a lady. Lady Tips are for all of us! Ladies and fellas! Take it away, broseph!

The title’s not entirely accurate. Truthfully, it’s just wrong and a little grammatically confusing. There are plenty of things that, if you spent a great deal of time doing, you would regret. Hanging out in a sleepy opium den, for example. Even if you weren’t doing opium, that’s just a waste of time. Get out of that opium den and embrace the day!

Drinking, gambling, smoking, snorting almost anything, and hate-reading Quentin Tarantino interviews are more exceptions. Look, I may have just come up with that title because it sounded good.

Titles are hard. Giving advice is harder.

There is so much advice out there. At this point, I think it’s safe to say all the advice is out there. Unfortunately, advice is useless without context, and you need to provide the context. Several times, I’ve thought I made a real personal breakthrough, like, write-it-on-a-post-it-note-and-stick-it-to-your-monitor breakthrough, and then realized all of my seemingly complex thought are summarized by a cliched adage that’s been superimposed over countless photos of fields, beaches, and vintage bicycles on Pinterest.

What I’m about to say though is something that’s taken me 23 years to realize, and it’s a little sad, but it’s also true and kind of great.

In my experience, goodbyes are always disappointing.

Parties peter out. Hugs are short and awkward, with stilted, overlapping sentences. Sometimes, peoples’ hands are full. And a goodbye in public? With strangers shuffling past, getting a soda out of a machine, or reading their Kindle on a bench? Nothing is more tragic.

You graduate, planes take off, friends move away, and even though something ended, it doesn’t feel like you’ve moved on to the next level, because there are no cuts. There are no loading screens. There is no click, indicating you’re in the right position. You walk out the door, and there you are, still walking.

You can make a goodbye tolerable, but it’s hard to make it great, so don’t save it for the goodbye. Sometimes, there won’t even be a goodbye. Don’t wait. The good moments happen while they’re happening. Make sure you take advantage of that.

Scratch your dog behind his ears, because I guarantee you’re going to miss that. Get dinner with your friends and eat it slowly, then afterwards get drinks. Put down your work and go on an evening walk with your partner. And any compliment you think to give someone? Give it to them. Don’t wait for the goodbye.

The more you do this, the less power the goodbye has. You realize a goodbye is just a formality; a comma we hope doesn’t turn into a period. And ultimately, no one really cares about punctuation.

That is my lady tip. All of which can be found here, here, and here.

 

Thanks again to Alex for this great Lady Tip! If you’d like to write a guest Lady Tip, please shoot me an email at welcometoladyville@gmail.com.

Image via Flickr.

Lady Tip: Don’t Take Advice From 1950s Bridal Magazines

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Guys! Today we’re lucky enough to have a guest post from one of my favorite ladies, Jayne! She’s a great writer and one of the most hilarious people I know. Enjoy her post, leave some comments, and check out her blog. I only wish she blogged every day.

I recently attended a dinner party with some good friends of mine from high school. Heather is getting married this September to her high school sweetheart and I am absolutely thrilled for her. After dinner we retired to the living room, to which I was delighted to find bridal magazines on the coffee table. I don’t know a single female who doesn’t love flipping through a bridal magazine. The glamorous dresses, expensive proposals for table design, elaborate honeymoon ideas: all seem so fascinating! As I reached for the latest issue, Brian (the groom-to-be) threw a bridal magazine from 1954 at me. The cover screamed tips for being the best hostess, pleasing your man, and how to raise children properly. WHO WOULDN’T WANT TIPS ON THAT?

Flipping through the magazine I stumbled across helpful tips such as:
• Keep a mirror, powder and lipstick handy in the kitchen so you always look your best- EVEN WHEN COOKING!

About halfway through I found this gem. I’m not saying I’m a feminist (I’M A HUGE FEMINIST) but I found this article laughable. I cut straight to the best part of the article. I now present the Masculine Bill of Rights, with my added man commentary.

Masculine Bill of Rights

There is a long list of things men feel they have a right to have in their own homes. Here are some of the chief ones:

A man has a right to man-sized chairs placed where the man of the house finds it most convenient to use them. And to practical covers for chairs, sofas and beds: leather, dark upholstery or a washable fabric. He should never have to feel self-conscious about siting down on a chair or even a bed if he wants to.
“A WOMAN-sized chair for a man? And covered in pink lace? Are you mad, woman?”

A man has a right to well-built furniture, even if there are not so many pieces of it. He hates flimsy pieces that fall apart easily. He feels that the investment was bad, that he is going to have to go to a lot of trouble to do the mending.
“You insisted on buying this kindling and now you want me to fix it? Get in the kitchen and cook me a pot roast!”

A man has a right to expect to find a book or magazine he was reading near his chair where he left it rather than put away among a whole shelf full of books or lost among other magazines.
“I don’t have time to look through your Jane Austen and Good Housekeeping! Where is my damn book on how to build model planes?”

A man has a right to use the bathroom without walking through a maze of drying stockings and brassieres. He has a right to space in the bathroom cabinet for his toilet things and personal medicines unmixed with bobby pins, face powder or hair curlers.
“It’s like walking into a damn spiderweb in here! And I can’t tell my toothbrush from a tube of mascara! Get in the kitchen and cook me a pot roast!”

A man has a right to find his mail and telephone messages in a specific place every day.
“Did Jensen call from the office? DID JENSEN CALL FROM THE OFFICE?”

A man has a right to find his tools where they belong and in good condition. If you fancy yourself a master carpenter, get a set of tools of your own.
“Oh, so you want to build a birdhouse? THEN BUY YOUR OWN DAMN TOOLS! I don’t need you getting glitter and lipstick all over my Craftsman!”

A man has a right to understand the paintings which hang in his own house. If you are a Picasso fan and he has never gotten beyond the Angelus, expose him to modern paintings, until he shares some of your enthusiasm.
“I don’t… I don’t understand this painting. This gypsy is sleeping? Next to a lion? I just don’t get it!”

A man has a right to help choose the colors that are used in his home. Even a firm masculine conviction that only blue and brown are safe can be worked into some fetching color schemes with one of the thousand tricks to be with color (see PLANNING COLOR SCHEMES).
“Firm masculine conviction is the name of my fist and if you so much as think about adding any other color than brown or blue to this den then you will get to meet firm masculine conviction!”

A man has a right to some luxury of his own kind. Such as big spongy bath towels, a good light for reading in bed if that is what he likes, a convenient place for keeping liquor and mixing drinks.
“Anything other than Egyptian cotton and I will throw this bourbon right in your face! Get in the kitchen and cook me a pot roast!”

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did. Men in the ‘50s sound like demanding dicks. Men do NOT have the right to anything in the household besides… besides… hmmm… not sure what men should have a right to. Thoughts?

Let’s all wish Kerry a happy wedding day and a wonderful marriage to H! I’m excited to be a part of their wedding day. Fingers crossed that H doesn’t mind walking through Kerry’s maze of brassieres in the bathroom.

Image via Etsy

Lady Tip #16: Wear Your Cranky Pants with Style

Today’s Lady Tip comes to us courtesy of Caroline, who blogs at Four Letter Birds. Take it away, Caroline!

Hello, residents of Ladyville! It’s nice to meet you. My name is Caroline and I’m so excited to be contributing a lady tip to Kerry’s lovely blog here. When Kerry asked me, I spent a few days thinking about things I’ve learned that I wanted to share, and a big one for me recently has been…

Wearing my cranky pants with style.

I know. I know. So often we wake up in the morning, and work super hard to leave our cranky pants at home and go to the office (or school, or your non-office place of work) with a smile on our faces and a positive attitude. It seems crazy for me to be saying to you that sometimes it’s okay to shimmy into those cranky pants, and wear them to work with cranky pride. Let me explain to you why.

My lady friends and I have been in the workforce for a while now – most of my friends are in their late twenties or early thirties, so university and part-time jobs are a while ago. Whenever we catch up over coffee or for dinner, the conversation (naturally) often turns to what’s going on in our working lives. Many of us have nine to five corporate office type jobs, although my outfits aren’t nearly as great as Dolly Parton’s were in the movie “Nine to Five.” Nor is my hair as amazing.

nine-to-five

What surprises me, and sometimes makes me a little sad, is how hard we ladies sometimes find it to speak up for ourselves if there is a situation at work that we are unhappy with. Maybe your talents are being under-utilised and under appreciated. Sure, we all have to pay our dues making coffees and photocopying endless documents, but if you feel like that time has passed and you can offer more to your boss and your workplace, shouldn’t that be a good thing? If your manager or boss has a good head on their shoulders, they should see your ambitiousness and willing to contribute as one of your many positive traits rather than something to be overlooked. Sometimes we ladies can be our own worst enemies – we second guess ourselves instead of trusting our instincts, or we don’t speak up, assuming that we’ll be cut down before we take that chance.

I am very lucky. Although I work in a supportive and lady friendly office, it wasn’t always this way. A few years ago I worked with an older (female) colleague who took every opportunity she could to belittle me, and to blame me for her own mistakes or lack of knowledge. Let’s call this lady Beverly. As the newest and youngest member of the team, I just quietly accepted this behaviour and just learned to avoid Beverly whenever possible. It wasn’t until we had a new manager join the team, who pointed out to me that I was being systematically bullied that a little fire grew inside of me and I started to stand up for myself. I disagreed with the things Bev said in meetings – not to be difficult, but because I honestly believed in what I was saying. When Bev asked me to do a menial task that she could have easily performed for herself – sending a letter, or printing a document for example – I pushed back. Instead of saying no, I said “Sure Bev. I’m pretty busy today, but I can do it for you tomorrow morning if you like?” More often than not, she would end up doing it herself.

Very slowly, I started speaking up for myself – using my voice, instead of remaining silent and accepting things the way they were. It’s a lesson that has served me well. My willingness to speak up and point out things that aren’t ideal and then suggesting improvements that can be made has helped me to build strong relationships with the managers I have had since then, and also to build a reputation as someone who has a good head on her shoulders and is worth listening to.

I can hear you asking, “What does this have to do with wearing my cranky pants with style?” Well, let me tell you. A lot of the time in life, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. And when, to some extent. Timing is everything, and being able to point out a problem and also offer a solution goes a long way in the workplace. A lot of people will just say “Hey boss, I’ve noticed that we have this problem and it’s stopping us reaching our goal of selling five thousand avocados this week.” And that’s where they’ll stop. Wearing your cranky pants with style, is pointing out the problem but also having a helpful suggestion on how to fix it. It will get you noticed, it will make you an appreciated and valued member of your team. And it will also get you out of that cranky rut you’ve been in, because something or someone is making your work life difficult.

Ladies you are intelligent beings, and your ideas are of value! Next time something is really grinding your gears, try thinking of a constructive solution and then speak up. You won’t regret it.

 

 

Caroline is from Sydney, Australia and you can often find her blogging with her sister over at fourletterbirds.blogspot.com. You can also find her on Twitter at @CarrieBean_ Let’s all give her a big virtual round of applause. Actually, let’s make it a slow clap that starts with one person and then gradually builds into raucous applause, like in a movie. That’s better. If you’d like to write a Lady Tip for Welcome to Ladyville, send me an email at welcometoladyville@gmail.com.

Lady Tip #13: Travel Alone


You guys, I am so excited to start featuring guest Lady Tips on Welcome to Ladyville! As it turns out, my wisdom is finite (so, so finite), so I’m asking some badass ladies I know to share their advice. If you have any insight you’d like to share, please drop me a line at welcometoladyville@gmail.com. For my first guest, I’m so stoked to welcome Mandy!

Hi everyone!

My name is Mandy, and I blog over at ohdizzle.wordpress.com. I was so flattered that Kerry asked me to share one of my lady tips with you, as I am the master of giving completely unsolicited, invasive advice.

TRAVEL ALONE

Every so often, a friend will tell me that she has been given a fantastic, cheap opportunity to travel. She found a great fare, or her flight miles need to be used immediately. Or, she’s always had a dream to travel to Fiji learn how to surf, and she just found the perfect surfing school there!

I get excited and start rattling off all my packing tips, but then they stop me and say, “Well, I’m not going. I don’t have anyone to go with.”

Ladies.

Travel is a wonderful thing. You get to see places you’ve never even imagined. Ridiculous, gorgeous foods (and not so good foods) suddenly become a reality in your life. You get to try out new activities, new routines, and maybe even slightly new identities. And you can do all of that by yourself.

I understand that it’s scary to go off on your own, especially when the place you’re going seems completely foreign. What if you don’t understand the locals? What if you get lost? What if, gasp!, you get lonely?

I’m going to be honest with you — all of those things are likely to happen. In my solo travels, I’ve ended up completely lost in the streets of Dublin, I’ve eaten countless meals alone, and I’ve wondered what the heck I was doing while on a small ferry on very rough seas. And you know, it was all worth it.

By traveling alone, you pull on all your inner strengths. No one else is there to help you figure out the subway map, so you do it by yourself. It’s such a self-confidence builder to realize that you don’t always need to ask for help.

Also, you discover the true joys of being quiet and alone. You get to choose where you visit and for how long. You want to spend the entire day in the Louvre? Go for it. No one will be complaining about how hungry they are or how small the Mona Lisa is. Or maybe you want to skip the whole art thing and spend three hours writing at an outdoor cafe while sipping espresso. You can do that too! Every choice is yours to make.

On the flip side of being alone, I find that I make friends more easily when I’m traveling solo. Whether it’s the other tourists in my hostel or locals in the bookstore, you are less intimidating to others when it’s just you instead of traveling in a large, loud pack. You may have to take some of the initiative in starting a conversation, but once you do, I’ll bet you’ll find that people will open up to you.

And yes, there will be times that you may be lonely. But is that the worst thing in the world? Why are we all so afraid of being lonely? I believe that it’s really important to learn how to be still and enjoy your own company. It can be uncomfortable to not be distracted by others and to have to really delve into your own mind and emotions, but you shouldn’t be afraid. Being alone is the time to evaluate your own wants and needs. Those are kind of important things to know, don’t you think?

Traveling with others is amazing and super fun, but when the opportunity comes up, go it alone! You will be shocked at how much you get out of the experience when it’s all up to you. And facing your fear of solo travel? There’s nothing more empowering!

Image via bawkbawkbawk