A Guide to Life

Sometimes I pick up books with titles spouting wisdom, like “everything a girl needs to know in her 20s” or “how to run a modern household.” Some of the information is always new, and some of it I know. I just find it interesting to read.

I suppose part of the reason why is to gain perspective into what others might want, to use as a character (possibly) or to use the information in a story. Of course, that would mean restricting it to the real world, but all sorts of items can be adapted to other locations.

It occurs to me that I read Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy and the follow-up Extras and not one of his female protagonists ever talked about her shoes. Okay, so there are only two protagonists through those four books, but don’t you think shoes would come up at some point? Especially in the Prettytime, when everything was about the aesthetic value and their brains had been altered to think that way (about aesthetics, not about forgetting shoes).

Since most of the guides I’ve read are about women’s lives, I think next time I hit the library I’ll look for a male counterpart. Is there a male counterpart to those guides on how to live as a girl? That would definitely make interesting reading, even though most men don’t dote on shoes like women.

I bet they’d be missing the section on manicures and pedicures…

Other than that, I am sure there should be something to apply to men. It’s not like men get a free ride on stuff women somehow don’t learn growing up. ¬†[And to be fair, it’s not like our mothers didn’t try to teach us to check the labels on clothing for care like dry cleaning or ¬†machine wash warm-tumble dry low. I was listening. Very few clothes are cute enough to have to dry clean all the time.]

The answers are out there. Sometimes you just have to find the right question. And don’t spout 42 at me. If you don’t know what the question was, you can’t necessarily say it’s the answer to everything.