It Takes A Village... to raise a child. So, I'm asking bloggers, and in this case friends, from my village to each write a message for me to pass on to my girls. If you'd like to write one, let me know.
This week's letter is very fitting as it is from my friend in London. Thought I'd honour the whole Olympics thing. She wears a wetsuit and is very energetic. She is also very, very smart. London City Mum is one of my crew.
My words of wisdom to you for later years are few: be true to yourselves. Failing that, here are some more.
- Life gets exponentially better after forty: you can swear with freedom, stick two fingers up at authority, wear your knickers on your head, and dance like a loon at concerts (anything linked to ABBA or Grease passes muster – you might have to check with your mum what type of music this entails to understand) without a care in the world. You might also need a bail fund set aside in case things get slightly out of hand and your children report you to the authorities.
- Whilst it is nice to be paid compliments, remember that looks are not everything. Unless your name is Jocelyn Wildenstein, in which case you should get a litter tray, a scratch pole and opt to miaow in order to attract attention from the opposite sex.
- Having the last word in an argument does not count unless you are right. Which of course you will be, otherwise why the hell would you be arguing in the first place?
- Spelling is important. As are correct grammar and punctuation. Anyone who defies these basic rules should be named and shamed. Or subjected to living with the Bride of Wildenstein (see above) until further notice. With no cat food.
- Keep fit, stay healthy, laugh a lot and enjoy life. Most importantly, love those closest to you and tell them regularly. Especially your mother. One day you will understand why.
- Always wear a matching bra and underpants. And make sure they are good quality, pretty and do your figure justice. Do no heed anyone who tells you this is irrelevant. Just ask them if they have ever had their dress caught in a car door in full view of a busy street at lunch time. And then said car drives off. With your dress. Exactly.
- Less is more. Most of the time. If you have to ask your mother what this means, then you are still underage and should not be reading this yet.
- Be smart, be savvy, be streetwise. But learn to think before you talk and under no circumstances ever succumb to the urge of ‘filling the void’ if conversation dries up. This is especially applicable to job interviews, trust me.
- If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it undoubtedly is. Always.
- Keep an open mind at all times and learn to see things from other people’s perspective. Travel is good, so is reading (widely), learning languages, and appreciating other cultures, customs and religions. Blurring your vision with drugs or alcohol does not qualify. Ever.
- Drunks are incapable of lying. Fact. And that guy who repeatedly said he ‘loved’ you (possibly sounding more like ‘wuvved’ you)? He’s a pillock. Walk away.
- Have a sense of humour but remember that what amuses you may not amuse others. So laugh quietly. Preferably in the company of friends.
Keep your dignity. Even when wearing a wetsuit. A vintage swimming cap is a useful deterrent.