‘A Woman Should Have’ by Pamela Redmond Satran

We have all seen the ‘30 things a woman should know and have by the time she is 30‘ post somewhere. It has been circulating in our inboxes via chain emails at work, as web chain letters or even in  magazine articles. This has even been modified and revamped over the years with different titles such as ‘Things a woman should do before she gets married’ , ‘Things to do before you die’ , ‘Things to do before you turn 18, 21,  25, 40’ and so forth. If you are like me, then you have probably considered writing your own version reflecting your experiences.

To my surprise, the author is not the celebrated African-American poet Maya Angelou as the attributes would have us believe. Unfortunately “Maya Angelou’s Best Poem Ever” as we know it, is not hers at all!not that she has ever claimed it to be. [feel free to shed a few tears here…….. and cue in the dramatic music here………..] It was actually written by the novelist Pamela Redmond Satran in May 1997 as she reflected upon her milestones after turning thirty and decided to share her life-lessons with younger women.

She is the author of the following novels: The Man I should Have Married, Babes In Captivity, Younger, Suburbanistas and The Home Of Wayward Supermodels.

Some of the titles of her books make me wonder if she has issues lol What’s up with that? Ok, let me not judge a writer and her book by its title. Bellow is the infamous piece, a little reminder for us ladies. Some points I still have to work on and I must hurry up apparently since I am already 28 we wouldn’t want the world to end.

Jest aside, what I appreciate most about 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 is that it surpasses age groups and simply inspires me as a woman to embrace life and embark on an adventure – MY adventure; whether it be finding myself or finding my passion. It is important to be able to let go of the past and plant seeds which will set you on your chosen path; in love, in work, in faith, in life. Individual experiences differ so priorities will too; so I say onto thee: Live and Let live. Get a pen and take note.

By 30, a woman should have:

  1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
  3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
  4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
  6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
  8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
  9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
  10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  13. The belief that you deserve it.
  14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
  15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know:

  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
  2. How you feel about having kids.
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
  6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  8. How to take control of your own birthday.
  9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
  15. Why they say life begins at 30.
Source:  http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2007/02/things-women-should-have-and-know-by-30#ixzz1cfSaojWz




  1. dilaurel@yahoo.com · · Reply

    I love this, i am 25 years old, and i feel that life begins now for me!!

    1. I think that from that age, we get a somewhat better understanding of ourselves, wants and needs without too much influence from friends. It can only grow from here 🙂


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