Sex by Numbers: 10 Tips from Grandma on Being a Woman

ColumnSometimes, all the things you need to know about life are from your grandmother.

My 68-year-old, small town Texas grandmother is the most quoted authority figure in my weekly Sex by Numbers column – this fact says a good deal about how much I take to heart her advice.

My grandmother never steers me wrong – when I accept and apply her wisdom, I invariably succeed; when I (foolishly) dismiss it, I sometimes fall flat on my face. Is she a seer or sage? No, but she is a woman of great scope and influence, whose seasoned words serve as signposts along the way. Any woman who remains a knock-out as she nears her 70s (not to mention maintains active suitors, despite her preference for being single and fabulous), has some advice worthy for the record books.

This merry, celebratory installation of Sex by Numbers offers you ten tips, culled from a lifetime of listening to and weighing carefully Grandma Sara’s expert opinion. A woman of many talents, immeasurable joy, and classic style, she might just have a sweet kernel of truth that helps you take it to the next level, not just tomorrow, but in the coming decades.

Men and women should marry, but maintain separate houses
A woman needs her space and room to breath, and, more importantly, men need to learn how to take care of themselves.

When shopping for clothes, if you find that rare, brilliant garment that rocks your figure, then purchase that item in at least four different colors
You will feel crazy at the time, but will thank yourself later when you look hotter than every other woman in the room. And you can keep up the pace not just once, but multiple times.

Have a ball, smoke cigarettes, and drink cocktails like it’ll never go out of style when you’re young. But, once you’re 35, swear off that shit and don’t look back
Your liver and lungs – not to mention the delicate skin on your face – will thank you.

The main dish on your dinner plate every evening should be a variety of seasonal, steamed vegetables
Eating vegetables every single day keeps you spry and fresh as the morning dew. Beta carotenes and antioxidants are your best friend, and a heart healthy diet steers you into your senior years better than anything else.

Work out every single day – no matter what – because this is how a woman maintains her sanity and figure
Never let your figure go – it’s far easier to keep it than to struggle to regain it. Stay slim, don’t get fat, and walk at least four miles for every sunrise. When I was younger, I fretted tirelessly about my perceived physical  imperfections. I obsessed over the fine lines around my eyes, I gritted my teeth over my post-pregnancy breasts, and even though you could see my ribcage, I convinced myself that I was heavy around my mid-section. I look back at these yellowed snapshots of my younger self and think, ‘Sara, you were beautiful. You were perfect. And you took it for granted, and instead wasted your time with useless, self-hating thoughts.’ Be fabulous and beautiful instead of a dunce and a dweeb.

There is a psychology of makeup, and women wear it for a reason. It makes you beautiful, it is self-expressive, and it reminds men of sex
When women are healthy, their cheeks and lips grow flush. Sometimes, we need a little help along the way, and makeup simulates your best self. Sure, it might sound old-fashioned to you younger readers, but I would never leave the house without wearing at least a little lipstick and mascara. It might just behoove you to do the same.

Buy quality products for your skin – what you invest in now will stave off (heaven forbid) excessive wrinkles in the future – spare no expense!
Wash your face every night. Daub a fine cream under your eyes before sleeping. Wear sunscreen every day. Tooth whitener is your friend.

Stay friends with your exes
They can prove to be some of the best friends you’ll have in this life. My ex-husband and I haven’t been married for over half a lifetime, but that doesn’t stop us from talking on the phone every day. He brings me milk and farm fresh vegetables to my front doorstep every week, a huge bouquet of roses every birthday, and chocolates when I ask for them.

Laugh all of the time
Get into fights with loved ones only when need be and when you do have to go to battle, really go all out and ream them into the ground. Ask for forgiveness when you’re done and offer the same in return. Then resume laughing.

Some misguided women say that they’ve ‘lost their power’ in their later years, when men stop fawning all over them and looking after them with hunger and lust
I say that’s bullshit. How is there power in having a man look at you?! I say that women who think this way never really had any power to speak of to begin with.

Take that, dear readers.

Sex By Numbers is an ongoing look into the emotional and sexual lives of the modern day woman. Follow Abigail Wick weekly here for insight and inspiration as she explores the “sex” of women and the terrain they must travel.