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[Note: Every Friday on First Thoughts we host a discussion about some aspect of pop culture. Today’s theme is “Renaissance woman” lists. Have a suggestion for a topic? Send them to me at]

After posting the list of  ” 50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do ,” a number of readers requested that we compile one that was oriented toward woman. Because I am unqualified to compile such a list, I asked that ladies on staff at First Things to write one for this week. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make the deadline (I’ll post their version when its ready) so I had to make an attempt, however lame, to create the list myself.

Providentially, I only had to come up with 35 since Eishes Chayil offered to provide the first fifteen items:

1. Identify and choose quality animal and plant based textiles.

2. Select imported foodstuffs.

3. Wake up early, preferably before sunrise.

4. Prepare meals for small groups

5. Evaluate undeveloped land.

6. Purchase agricultural-based investment properties.

7. Perform the duties of a viticulturist.

8. Operate a home-based retail business.

9. Develop profitable trading strategies.

10. Volunteer for charitable functions.

11. Oversee domestic resource management.

12. Produce quilts, bedspreads, coverlets, blankets, throws, and shams.

13. Dress herself in fine apparel.

14. Speak with wisdom and kindness.

15. Fear God.

I am solely to blame for the remaining items:

16. Be able to dance in at least one style that is not preceded by the modifier, “Belly,” “Dirty”, or “Pole.”

17. Shake hands firmly.

18. Know how to apply the concept “sunk costs” to finances and relationships.

19. Help another woman remove herself from an abusive relationship.

20. Use jumper cables to start a dead battery.

21. Read a “woman’s magazine” without thinking you need to change something about your own body.

22. Put out a small fire with the aid of item found in a kitchen.

23. Fix a toilet tank flapper.

24. Comfort the dying.

25. Carry on a conversation with a close female friend without (a) talking about someone you are involved with romantically, or (b) gossiping about other women.

26. Perform basic troubleshooting on the electronic device you use most frequently (i.e., cell phone, personal computer).

27. Recognize the difference between a malicious and unintentional slight—and be able to forgive both.

28. Bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan.

29. Explain to a younger girl the value of modesty.

30. Match colors to your skin tone.

31. Calculate compound interest on investments.

32. Help a boy or man tie on a necktie.

33. Exhibit moderate proficiency and/or knowledge in at least one sport.

34. Calculate, in your head, the alcohol to weight ratio for yourself and the two friends that you most frequently attend social functions with.

35. Make it through the rest of your life without asking the fifty-fourth dumbest question in the English language: “Does this outfit make me look fat?”

36. Fulfill the functions of a Maid of Honor.

37. Explain to a clueless male all of the functions of a Best Man.

38. Get a male paramour to change his behavior without his realizing you were playing the svengali.

39. Be alone without being lonely.

40. Use both a slotted and Phillips screwdriver.

41. Discern when it’s appropriate to make other people feel comfortable and when the proper course is to make them as uncomfortable as possible about their behavior.

42. Encourage chivalry.

43. Take advice from a older, wiser woman.

44. Determine your net worth to within a thousand dollars.

45. Fend off a physical attack, an unwanted advance, and a full-scale invasion of Colorado by Soviet and Cuban troops.

46. Make friends that are not from your place of education, work, or worship.

47. Sew on a button without pricking your fingers.

48. Calculate the percentage off a sales item without using a calculator.

49. Identify the symptoms of a heart attack.

50. Be able to list at least 50 more things a woman should be able to do.

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