Savvy ladies have learned the importance of waterproof mascara, saving receipts for tax deduction purposes (young ones, learn this sooner rather than later) and how to thrive in an information age that has virtually eliminated most person-to-person communication.
However, because it’s difficult and straight-up exhausting to strike a balance between our zany inner selves and the calm, collected versions we regularly present to the world, it’s refreshing to be yourself.
Or at least, the version of yourself you reserve for you and your friends.
There are infinite examples, but here are five things we do solely for ourselves that only other women truly understand:
1. Wearing “The” Shoes
Speaking of soles, maybe it’s a pair of adorable ballet flats or suede ankle boots. Maybe it’s those cute high top Chucks or towering stilettos.
All women have a pair of shoes they love but rarely wear. We can't wear said heels to work and we wouldn’t want to scuff up our adorable T-Swift-worthy ankle boots walking to and from class.
That one pair of shoes is so special, we don’t even wear them for the average night out. No, we keep these shoes neatly stacked in a preordained corner of our closet.
Every now and then, we stare at them adoringly, take them out, sniff the leather/canvas/suede and then, finally, hold them gently in our arms like a fluffy baby kitten.
We will not bring out the shoes for a new dude. The dude has to earn the right to see us in our beloved favorite pair. You might see us in compromising situations, but you will not see us in the shoes unless we really like you.
A best friend’s birthday is an occasion that merits bringing out the shoes. A party celebrating a promotion at work merits the shoes.
When we absolutely need to turn heads walking down the street, that merits the shoes, too. We will bring them out for special occasions only because we cherish them so, and for that, we wear them entirely for ourselves.
2. The Awkward iTunes Playlist
Ladies, you know you have one. We all have that top-secret, security-clearance-required playlist of music on our iTunes, which clears our minds, reminds us of previous years, calms our beating hearts, gets us through workouts and lulls us to sleep on restless nights.
It’s music you would not necessarily blast from the rooftops on a Saturday night or proudly tweet the lyrics to. No, it’s private and personal, and you have a unique relationship with it.
Maybe you grew up listening to Bryan Adams and K-Ci & JoJo. Maybe you need the rocking sounds of Huey Lewis crooning “The Power of Love” to wake you up in the mornings.
Perhaps you own Britney Spears’ entire music catalog, and you and your friends still know all the words to the songs that were never singles.
No one would know this about you, except your closest friends, who made that choice T-Pain mix CD for you circa 2007.
We all have music that moves us for our own reasons, and we play that playlist for ourselves and our closest friends.
3. Emoji Usage
Emoji are to texting what “like, TOTALLY” was to phone conversations in 1985. Like Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl” in 2015, it’s all about the Emoji Girl.
For this reason, we try to avoid emoji in our professional interactions with others. But, all bets are off when we talk with our close friends and family.
We are prolific users of the laugh-‘til-you-cry face (laughing or crying?), the multicolored hearts, the little baby chicks, the boat anchor (you know, for when we take boats places) and don’t forget the incredibly specific emoji like the Moai Statue (you know, for when we visit Easter Island).
Remember, a lady never shies away from emojiing with her friends.
4. Reminiscing About Our Old Trophies
We all have extracurricular activities we’re pretty damn proud of. Maybe you played clarinet in the band, goalie on the soccer team, ran cross-country or were captain of the chess team. Maybe you ran a triathlon or won a yodeling competition.
Whatever you did, you probably amassed a collection of participation trophies, ribbons and medals.
Sure, you have absolutely no idea where these items are currently collecting dust, but every now and then, you reflect back on your myriad accomplishments and think, "Wow. Did I do that?"
Unfortunately, most of us can’t put “Most Improved Hula-Hooper” on our résumés, but we wish we could (because it’s awesome).
Guys aren’t the only ones who dwell on their athletic pasts. We, women, are guilty of the same, but because it’s sometimes awkward to talk about, we mostly keep it to ourselves unless we're talking about it with other women.
But, if you ask me about the time I broke a swimming record my senior year in high school, I will not stop talking about it. Ever.
5. Wearing Our Old T-Shirts To Bed
We likely amassed a number of oversized t-shirts doing the various aforementioned activities described above.
We use them for two things: working out and sleep. Therefore, when we’re alone, chances are we’ll be wearing one of those "vintage" shirts to bed.
Men have ridiculous ideas about what women wear to bed. Let me clear something up for you: When we're single, most nights, the only XXX thing happening is the size of our t-shirts, and we’re 100 percent cool with that.