5 Things Women Should Know by the Time They Turn 30


During this morning’s today show, they grabbed my attention when Ann curry previewed an upcoming story “What every woman should know by the time she turns 30.” As someone turning 30 this year (gasp!) I was immediately intrigued. I thought to myself  “I only have 7.5 more months, maybe there is a lot of information and knowledge that I am missing – and today Ann Curry will fill that gap for me.”

So I waited and waited for the story. I waited so long that I was the tiniest bit late for work. But don’t blame me – this was information I NEEDED to know. Finally, after waiting for more than 30 minutes, I was given 5 pieces of information:

1.The ability to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. The confidence to quit a job.
3. The comfort of living alone.
4. The knowledge your body is beautiful.
5. The belief you deserve it (read very dramatically by Ann)

Not going to lie – after hearing this, I was mad that I waited around for such  ridiculous advice. I am so sick of society telling young women to “love themselves” and “feel beautiful” – these positive affirmations aren’t helpful. Women approaching 30 are looking for practical pieces of advice. If we want holistic self-empowerment ideas, we go to yoga.

As a result, I have written my own 5 things that I think every woman should know by the time she turns 30:

1. It is probably time to take out your belly button/eye brow/tongue ring. I took my belly button ring out at age 25 because I felt too old to have it. I’ve given you 5 extra years of “self-expression” — time’s up!

2. You can’t eat like you used to. Face the facts, if you care about your body, late night food is a thing of the past.

3. You aren’t sick – you are hung over. Yes, even though you “didn’t drink that much,” you are hung over. It is much harder to recover after a late night out, especially since you now have a job that you need to show up at by 9am.

4. Support yourself financially. And if you can’t – don’t broadcast to the world that mommy and daddy are still footing the bill. It is embarrassing. Especially when you are buying design handbags, getting weekly manicures and spending insane amounts of money on alcohol. Try and have a little respect for your parents and their hard-earned money.

5.  Fighting with your significant other in public is not appropriate. You make everyone else around uncomfortable. Keep your drama to yourselves. This isn’t an episode of Jersey Shore/The Hills/Laguna Beach.

6. Yes, I’ll even add in a 6th for good measure – don’t text or call someone 18 times in a row. Just because you have unlimited minutes and text messaging, it doesn’t make it ok. The ONLY time this is acceptable is if there is an emergency (just so we are clear – drunk dials are not emergencies).

I could go on with more but I don’t want to totally steal the show from Glamour Magazine.

If you are offended by anything I have written, I have one more piece of advice. Learn to accept criticism with grace and dignity. Sometimes a long hard look in the mirror can reveal more than the wrinkles beginning to set in.

Available for Adoption


Recently, I have started to think that my parents, specifically my mother, aren’t up for the job of being my parents any longer. As a result, I am putting myself up for adoption.

It all began when I asked my mom if she would consider coming to New York City to visit me. I haven’t seen my parents since Christmas — I know, it has only been 3 months, but it feels like a long time to this homebody.  My work/life schedule has been pretty busy and is only going to get busier of the next couple of months, so I thought inviting her for a long weekend of mother-daughter bonding in the big apple would be a great idea since I probably won’t be getting home anytime soon. However, when I mentioned it to her, she didn’t seem very enthused about the idea – saying something about not knowing her work schedule and whether or not they (meaning her and my dad) had any upcoming plans. I told her that I would really like to see her (and my dad if he could get away from work) and left it at that. I thought I was pretty clear.

A few days later when I was chatting with my sister on the phone she mentioned something about how mom and dad were going to visit her the last week in April. I practically dropped the phone and fell over in the street. I immediately hung up and called my mom.

I questioned her out on their upcoming trip to see their beloved daughter – who was not me! I could hear my mom’s guilt coming through my iPhone headphones but I didn’t care. Why hadn’t she mentioned this trip to me earlier? And why had they chosen to visit Abby over me? Just because I am married doesn’t mean I don’t need my parents. Angry and hurt I hung up the phone with my mom and called Matt to complain. He wasn’t very sympathetic, but I do think he would have enjoyed a visit from my parents as well, at least to take the burden of “dealing with me” off his hands for a weekend.

Since this information was leaked, I have done nothing except make my parents, particularly my mother, feel guilty about this blatant display of offspring favoritism. I thought for sure she would put a visit to NYC on the calendar just to get me to be quiet. I am shocked and disappointed to report, that has yet to happen.

And today – it got worse (I know, I didn’t think it could either!) During my 15 minute walk to the subway this morning, I called my mother to have our daily morning chat. Thankfully, she answered the phone, which has become a rarity lately. She mentioned that she couldn’t chat long because she was meeting a friend at Panera. Most people know that Panera is my favorite suburban restaurant. As a former employee I hold this establishment in the highest regards. Whenever I am home, I make sure to squeeze in at least one trip to the mecca of the lunchtime soup and sandwich combo – usually with my mom. So for her to partake in this ritual with someone else – well I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. At least it was with a friend and not my arch nemesis sister.

She was meeting a friend to strategize about an upcoming political fundraiser that she is throwing for someone running for Executive Counsel in NH (man I love local politics!). When I probed her about the event, it became painfully obvious that she needed my fundraising/event expertise. When I offered to review her invitation she seemed more annoyed than elated. Hmm – maybe she is forgetting that I work for a non-profit that throws THE most successful fundraising event – ever/period/hands down. Oh, and did I mention that since I am now on the communications team, me, Molly Brethauer – her daughter, is often the copy writer for our invitations/programs/newsletter/every form of communication that we produce (ok, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but what parent doesn’t embellish how important their children are?) Even after pointing out that these facts to her, I still had to practically beg her to let me help.

So that’s it — I am taking a stand and I am officially accepting applications for my adoption. Requirements for my future parents include (but are not limited to):

1. Frequent visits to see me
2. 24/7 phone availability
3. Weekly care packages (these can contain things like homemade cookies, interesting articles from the local town newspaper, and/or fun things from the dollar section at target)
4. Sympathy when I don’t feel well
5. A deeper and more genuine love for me than for my sister
6. Constant praise and adoration

What you will get in return:

Joy and pride for all of eternity (and I am certain that your friends will be insanely jealous at your incredible parenting skills — obviously they are amazing if you were able to produce me.)

My husband will be screening all applications. You will only be contacted if I think you are up for the job.

Thank you.