Never take a man's surname...
...if you do decide to get married, that is. Why on earth do we still do this...? I cannot get beyond how archaic this is. It’s not the 12th century anymore and the identity you have built for yourself around your name means much more than any marriage ever will. If you’re worried about any potential children not having the same name as you then give them your surname - simple! Besides, who cares if your dodgy uncle has publicly tarnished your family name, just move to a new country like I did, nobody will ever know. Yours faithfully, Ms Dallison (
Always get ready.
Every morning, without fail. Especially during these days of lockdown. Get ready for your day as soon as you wake up - do your hair, put on lipstick, dress fabulously. Look good, feel good. It’s called warpaint for a reason!
Never trust a man with a moustache...
...or a woman who wears sunglasses inside.
Picasso didn’t have Instagram.
Any moment you catch yourself aimlessly scrolling, remind yourself that Picasso didn’t have Instagram. If you want to get closer to creating your masterpiece (or thousands of them, for that matter) then put your bloody phone down.
Do try to learn another language.
It is fantastic for your brain, it will help you see the world more openly and it adds to your CV and your street cred. Besides, everyone else can, so we (English speakers) should pull our collective finger out and become bilingual too.
It's not about the sausage...
...it's about the sizzle.
Don’t dye your hair at home!
I can guarantee it will end up looking like shit.
Make sure your passport is up to date at all times.
Just take it from me. There's no worse feeling than returning home in a cab from the airport when you should be on a plane. I’ll say no more.
Give people a break.
Today’s world is becoming increasingly black and white, left and right. ‘Cancel culture’ is out of control. People are human, humans are allowed to make mistakes, humans are allowed to apologise, humans are allowed to forgive people. Do not define someone or something by that one bad thing they did once because it is not who or what they are (the exception to this being anything criminal, or deathly stupid, of course).
Travel as much as possible!!!
To as many places as possible, as often as possible. Being worldly and well-travelled is a key to charisma. When you’re not travelling, travel in your mind. There is a world of wondrous books, films, articles, photographs, paintings etc that you can explore from the comfort of your couch all thanks to mother internet.
Always wear beautiful lingerie...
...every day, even to the gym. It will make you feel fabulous plus you never know where the day may take you…
Oh la la!
Do not waste your youth on age.
My favourite quote from Mad Men. The myth of the older man being mature, worldly and experienced is a lie. Bar the odd exception, an older man who is dating a younger woman permanently has the maturity of a 25-year-old, is completely inflexible, and that, darling, is why he’s still single. He may be experienced, however he hasn’t learnt from his experiences. You want a partner you can grow with. Besides, he's a silver fox now but he’ll be wearing socks and sandals and wanting to move to a ‘lifestyle village’ by the time you’re ready to semi-retire. Boring!
Paint the walls anyway.
I have painted the walls in virtually every place I’ve ever lived in. Legally or illegally. Rental apartment beige is not worth it, and it looks even more terrible if you are prone to clutter or you’re a bit messy (yes, like me). Even if you repaint with a different, chicer white than the landlord’s likely cheap choice, you will elevate your space and make it feel like yours. Paint is less expensive than you think and you can do it yourself.
Don't just "pop over".
If you're planning on dropping in on someone send them a bloody text message first! Simple. Nobody likes an unexpected guest. Leave people be. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of a friend or family member, and you find out they're available, a spontaneous catch-up can be joyous! However if you drop in on someone, unannounced, it’s not much fun for anyone. Besides, they could well be in the midst of doing a hair treatment, completing their masterpiece, or having crazy sex with someone they don't want you to know about. Leave them alone!
Let life take you where you need to go.
Your original plan will absolutely not work out, so don’t stress when it doesn’t. Let life take you to places you’re supposed to be. Something I’m still in the midst of learning...
I highly recommend doing a hydrating facemask on the plane.
Long-haul flights only, obvs. Every flight over three hours is the perfect place to create a pop-up beauty salon, in my humble opinion. Nobody wants to arrive in Paris after a 24 hour flight with skin so dry they've developed scales. Who cares if fellow passengers judge you. As my mother once said, 'you’re not going to meet your husband in
Do not get a spray-tan for your wedding day.
Nobody should get married looking like they’ve been marinated and you really don’t want your wedding photos to remind you of your school formal. In fact don't get a spray-tan, ever.
Embrace the view or ignore it completely.
If there’s a fabulous view outside your apartment window then centre the interior around that. If the view is hideous ignore it completely when setting your furniture set up. Apply this sentiment to every aspect to your life.
Don’t judge people on their star sign.
Unless they’re a ***
fill in the gap***…
Why don’t you just unfollow them?
Rather than spending an entire dinner party conversation speaking badly of others, why don’t you just unfollow said others on Instagram (or mute them if you’re obliged to follow them) and see how your life changes. The power of positivity. Dinner parties are for discussing ideas, after all.
Other people’s birthdays are about them...
...not about you and your ego. Same goes for weddings, funerals, your colleague’s last day at work, other couples trying to enjoy Valentine’s Day without you, etc. Leave it at the door, darling, it isn’t about you today and nobody wants to know!
Convertibles give you wrinkles.
Think about it...
Don't season your food until you've taken the first bite.
There's no coming back from over-salted. Not to mention it's a good metaphor for life - sometimes our assumptions can be way off.