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Pamela Redmond Satran

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The 31st Thing Every Woman Should Have & Should Know By The Time She's 30

Posted: 06/26/2012 9:05 am

Fifteen years older, and theoretically wiser, than I was when I wrote the original Glamour list that's now the New York Times bestselling book, "30 Things Every Woman Should Have & Should Know By The Time She's 30," I find myself still returning to it for guidance. Should I buy that dress? Absolutely: I need something perfect in my closet in case of a last-minute job interview. What's more, I'll let myself believe that I deserve it.

The list has been instrumental in everything from the establishment of my retirement account to the resolution of my childhood issues to the purchase of several non-shame-producing umbrellas.

As useful and universal as the experience of living with the list has been, I can't help thinking: Isn't there something else we might add to the roster? We're always changing and growing, after all; mightn't The List reach in new directions too?

So Glamour and I asked the wisest people we know to suggest a 31st item for The List. Their suggestions provide lots of fresh inspiration and new goals for women of any age. I'll never again take the coward's way out, remembering my friend Benilde Little's advice to say anything important in person and not electronically. And I'm moved to expand my horizons by my globe-trotting nephew Charley Fulkerson's suggestion that every woman should have a passport filled with at least as many stamps as her age.

A handful of these 31st items made it into the book, but lots of excellent ideas had to be cut for space and now can be included here. Plus I'd love to hear your ideas for the 31st thing.

Here, my favorite ideas for more things you should have by the time you're 30:

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  • "...enough courage to say your feelings out loud." --Kim Bonnell, my Glamour List partner

  • "...a calm voice, even under pressure. Leave yelling and screaming as a last resort." --Taylor Swift, singer

  • "...the ability to rely on yourself for the kind thoughts, encouraging words and inspiration you need in your life." --Ann Curry, coanchor, Today Show

  • " expanding library of books written by people you never heard of in high school, films made before you were born, and music with no lyrics." --Laura Cella, a writer and my son's high school English teacher

  • "...A job that makes you happy every day." --Portia de Rossi, actress

  • "...One pie-in-the-sky childhood dream you actually have a shot at achieving." --Danielle Friedland, manager of social media for Giggle, who started Celebrity Baby Blog when she was 28 and sold it to Time Warner four years later

  • "...A sense of humor, especially when it comes to yourself." --Lea Michele, actress and singer, Glee

  • "...A working familiarity with both CPR and a foreign language, and the ability to combine the two." --Alice Elliott Dark, author of In The Gloaming, one of the Best Short Stories of the Century as chosen by John Updike

  • "...A secret that's yours alone." --Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

  • "...A collection of photos of people and places you love, and a wall to hang them on." --Abby Sandel, blogger, Appellation Mountain

  • "...At least three items of clothing that resonate with experiences you had when you wore them, whether it was meeting that great guy or taking a perfect picture." --Padma Lakshmi, actress, writer, and host of Top Chef

  • "...A boss you relate to not as your mom, your dad, your teacher, or your best friend, but just as your boss." --Margarita Bertsos, associate editor, Glamour

  • "...A European adventure with an adorable guy - who you don't end up marrying." -- Joy Behar

  • "...A sharp tongue, and the restraint to use it wisely." --Lisa Leslie, former pro women's basketball player

  • "...A signature drink--even if it's a Shirley Temple." --Susan Cernek, senior fashion editor,

  • "...How to ask for a raise and get it." --Suze Orman, financial guru

  • "...That it's okay to let guys open the door and pay for your tuna melt." --Kathy Griffin, comedienne and star of My Life on the D- List

  • "...How to say anything important face to face, not in a text, not in an email, not in a tweet and God forbid not on Facebook." --Benilde Little, author, Good Hair

  • "...When to settle and when to ask for the moon." --Melissa Flashman, literary agent

  • "...How to treat yourself so that your employers and romantic partners and friends and even your children know how you want to be treated." --Kimora Lee Simmons, designer and fashion editor of the Style Network

  • "...How to walk into a sex shop and purchase what you need without blushing or stuttering." --Denise Rue, poet and graduate student in social work

  • "...That revenge is sweet, but sometimes simply moving on with your fabulous life and forgetting all about what's-his-name is even sweeter." --Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries

  • "...How to say no...and mean it." --Arielle Eckstut, coauthor of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

  • "...That having great girlfriends is better than having a bad boyfriend." --Lisa Ling

  • "...How to make a grand entrance and a graceful exit." --Patricia Chao, music critic and author of Mambo Peligroso

  • "...Why It's important to leave people a bit happier than when you found them." --Rachel Roy, designer

  • "...That even though not everything gets better after 30, you'll be happier and more confident--so you won't really care!" --Georgina Chapman, designer

What's your 31st thing? Let us know in the comments.


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