Turning FOF: 50 Things Every Woman Should Have and Know

When FOF editor, Sara, asked me to comment on a list that Glamour Magazine published in 1997 advising 30-year-old women what they need to know and have, I thought: Why not create our own list for women about to become FOF? So here it is. I hope it will make you smile, nod and maybe give you pause. I’d love to hear what you’d have on your list that we don’t have on ours and what you’d scratch off this one.

Glamour’s list went viral (or as viral as anything could go back then). Let’s make this one really viral so every single woman about to turn FOF (and even those who have a few years to go) will benefit from our great wisdom

What Every FOF Should Have:

  1. Her own income

  2. A close girl friend at least 20 years her junior

  3. A child under 10 whom she adores, and who adores her…either her own or someone else’s

  4. A signature look

  5. A signature scent

  6. A woman at least 20 years her senior, whom she adores and who adores her…either her mother or someone else’s

  7. Orgasms

  8. A really great haircut and really great color

  9. A colonoscopy

  10. A full-body skin check

  11. A mate who accepts her lock, stock and barrel

  12. A home that makes her smile every time she walks through the door

  13. A mentor, personal or professional

  14. A cause that excites her passions

  15. A ridiculously expensive handbag

  16. A sense of humor

  17. A great traveling companion

  18. An indulgent dessert at least twice a month

  19. An internist who knows her and her body well and will return her calls any time of day

  20. A network of FOFs who can help her solve almost any problem in the universe

  21. A cool pair of glasses (if you need them); if not, a cool pair of sunglasses

  22. One piece of drop-dead jewelry

  23. Enough savings to make her feel secure

  24. A top-notch financial advisor who makes her feel secure about her investments

  25. A mammogram

What Every FOF Should Know:

  1. What colors really become her

  2. How to keep her heart healthy

  3. How to read maps

  4. How to keep a secret

  5. How and where to use a screwdriver, hammer and pliers

  6. When to shut up

  7. When to talk up

  8. That smoking is unbecoming and will kill her

  9. It’s not all about sex

  10. Money and power don’t make someone nice

  11. How to be generous, emotionally and financially

  12. How to accept criticism

  13. How to accept help when you need it

  14. When to leave her children alone

  15. When not to leave her children alone

  16. How to say no without offending anyone

  17. How to choose a perfect gift

  18. It doesn’t pay to detest your ex

  19. That skinny isn’t a synonym for sexy

  20. The five miracle cures for menopause

  21. How to balance a checkbook

  22. How to sew on a button, roast a chicken, hang a picture, iron a shirt

  23. How to smile

  24. What her financial advisor is doing with her money

  25. How to change a tire

0 Responses to “Turning FOF: 50 Things Every Woman Should Have and Know”

  1. linda derector says:

    sounds like your life also dictates that comfort and ease of movement is in order! I don’t know if it is ok to talk about brands, but you may need to find a plus size petite for proper proportion. A long tunic with a slim pant in a monochromatic color scheme would probably be the most flattering. i don’t know if it’s cool to say this, but Eileen Fisher makes clothes in these sizes and her point of view is ease , comfort and style
    good luck

  2. Donna says:

    I just turned 50 and over the last 5 years I’ve gained 50 lbs. . I am 5.4 and 185 lbs. I have no idea how to dress this short fat 50 year old body. I am bending and lifting all the time due to my disabled adult daughter whom I care for at home, so heels etc. don’t work well for me. I just need an every day look. Also my belly fat is way down low so I need something long on top to cover that up. Any suggestions?

  3. Joni says:

    wonderful article!!

  4. badgerfanz says:

    And everyone who hits 50 should not have “stuff” if you have not used it by the time you are 50 you will not use it by the time you hit 60 – clean out, donate, give to your kids, your best friend, sell it or whatever.

    This way you can pick up you life and move when applicable……………..

  5. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says:

    What a fabulous list. I like them all, except I draw the line on changing a tire. That’s just not going to happen (smile). Mostly because I don’t like to get dirty.

    I will keep this to forward to friends who are turning 50.

    • Geri says:

      thank you so much Sam. (that was my dad’s name. I love it.) love your tire comment. made me smile!

    • badgerfanz says:

      That is why I have ONSTAR hahahahh esp when it is -30 below in Wisconsin!

  6. Karena says:

    Great list Geri, I will only add….embrace your femininity, power and intuition.

    I have featured an Interview on my site with Tina from The Enchanted Home…


    Art by Karena

  7. Tanya Tull says:

    Unfortunately, next year I join the FAS Club – but can truthfully say that I hit most of the “need to haves” and that for those I don’t, it’s kind of way too late! Shudda had this at 50! And one more thing: My eyesight is failing and I thought it said “A signature book” instead of “A signature look” – so I’m writing one – and will kick it off on Kickstarter.com this week!

  8. nancy meadows says:

    When all is said and done, never, ever, forget the power that a glass of wine and a hunk of chocolate can give you. They may not solve the problem, but you’ll feel happier and more relaxed in finding the solution!

  9. Linda McCoy says:

    Lol! Martha, not all of us were born with a homing device in our uterus!

  10. Tracy Hart says:

    Good lists, but I would add … a woman of 50 should have 1- her own computer or tablet, not just stuff that belongs to her employer, 2 – a nice set of dishes, bedding, towels, pots & pans. A few bras and 1-2 swimsuits that fit perfectly and flatter, a 3 – few favorite charitable causes to which she can contribute time and/or money. She should know how to 1 – do the following on-line: pay bills, make airline/hotel reservations, compare prices, avoid phishing and scams. 2- stop drinking too much … EVER!, 3 – how to host a holiday party for at least 8 guests, 4 – arrange a bouquet, 4 – say I love you and mean it, and only when she means it!

  11. Catherine says:

    Great lists! To the “Have” list I would add a hobby that she really enjoys. For me, it’s birding, antiquing, decorating. I would also add one fabulous outfit that she always feels terrific in. To the “Know” list I would add how to write a thank you note. In an era of electronics, there’s still nothing more guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face than receiving a hand-written thank you note.

    • Maci says:

      Great additions!!

  12. Fancy Cat says:

    And I thought I had it all.

  13. mrsfitz says:

    Perfect timing, my younger sister is turning 50 this year…this will make the perfect gift for her as she’s one of those people that have everything…

  14. Martha Selzer says:

    Read a map, are you kidding me? How do you pass third grade without knowing this? SERIOUSLY?????)

  15. Cecile says:

    Oh Yes!!!!!!! ALL OF IT!! Amazing how our viewpoints change with age!!!!! All true!! Thank you Geri! Another tres chic post!!



  16. Cynthia says:

    I have some of these; need some of these (Hello, ridiculously expensive handbag!). Not only do I know how to change a tire, I taught my Mom! Two things I’d add would be: #1. How to get a roomful of people to cheerfully work together and stay on track and, #2. How to relax and live in the moment. #2 is a definite!
    Thanks for the list. I’m printing it for reference.

  17. Grace Ciss says:

    And have a book you can always refer too and say I feel good.
    And a favorite blog to go which is FOF of course.
    Thank you I love this list.

  18. Pauline says:

    I love it and I’m sending it to all my 50+ friends. Never did learn how to change a tire, but I’m about 90% on both lists. Now if only I could find a job that I love….

  19. Mary says:

    Thank you for putting orgasms before colonoscopies. Seriously.

  20. Charlotte says:

    Genius! I love how the Glamour 30 list says NOTHING about orgasms! I’m sure if I live my life fulfilling the things on this list, I’ll be a very happy FOF!!

  21. Lindy willever says:

    #8 a really great haircut BUT color is optional : )

  22. heather Chapple says:

    How to smile #1!!!!

  23. Kate Line Snider says:

    What a wonderful blog post! Thank you!

    • Geri says:

      thank you, Kate. Thank you very much.

      • Kate Line Snider says:

        I never did learn to change a tire, Geri- I tried, but it was a lost cause. Instead I just joined AAA! 🙂


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