10 Things Every Single Girl Must Own

Sure, you’ve got the perfect shade of lipstick and the little black dress…but is that really all you need? Hardly. Here are our top 10 must-haves for modern bachelorettes on the move.

By Amy Spencer

1. A fabulous photo of yourself
We all have that photo: the one where your smile, hair and (let’s be honest) bod all come together in one sexy little package, whether it’s that snapshot from your hike in the Grand Canyon or that cocktail party photo where you’re dressed to kill. Post that sucker at eye level on your fridge so your male guest can’t help but notice it as he checks out whether you have beer (see item No. 5, below). What he says: “Is that you?” What he means: “Daa-aamn, girl, you’re hotter than I realized!” Keep a digital version handy so you can email it to online suitors or blind dates who want another glimpse of you beforehand. And never, ever throw it away — when you’re 80-something, it’ll serve as an instant reminder that, back in the day, you were a total dish!

2. A pretty pair of heels
Admit it. You feel like Maria from West Side Story (you feel pretty, oh so pretty…) when you slip on a pair of nice heels. The good news is that these days you can transform
Arm yourself with one simple, non-cheesy icebreaker to lay on that cutie.
virtually any outfit by slipping on a pair of killer heels with your favorite skirt, jeans, cropped khakis, whatever. And no, they don’t have to be towering stilettos; even a pair of one-inch kitten heels will make you stride a little more confidently. (Added bonus: The taller you are, the more cute men you’ll be able to see around the room.)

3. A Led Zeppelin CD
What’s one of the first things a guy checks out when he walks into a woman’s home? Her music collection. Good for you if you have an extensive one that’s filled with classic LPs and CDs. But if all he sees is a hot pink iPod filled with girl-band playlists (say, the Spice Girls, Celine Dion, the Dixie Chicks, the soundtrack to Bride Wars...), he’s going to panic. Balance out your collection with at least one CD by Led Zeppelin or New Model Army, and you have no idea how relieved he’ll be. It shows you have an open mind and aren’t easily offended — and that’s music to any man’s ears.

4. A great pickup line…and a way to blow ’em off
In this post-chivalrous period, we can’t always depend on guys to initiate contact, so arm yourself with one simple, non-cheesy icebreaker to lay on that cutie who’s making his way to your area of the bar. Our favorite: “Hi. Having fun?” (Though a friend of mine has recently taken to asking well-dressed men, “Hetero, homo or metro?”) And in cases when a guy initiates contact and you’re not interested, you’d better have a better blowoff than “Ummmm, no…” Our suggestion: “Sorry, but I don’t think the guy I’m seeing would appreciate it.” Sure, it may be a lie, but it’ll let him down easy — without destroying his ego or making him think you’re a jerk.

5. A few really good bottled beers
A prepared single girl is ready to host and toast at any time. If you want to make a guy feel at home (and your girlfriends feel special), skip the mass-produced stuff and offer him a choice of microbrews. You don’t have to buy six-packs of everything; just pick up a bottle or two of a few that sound interesting. Try New Belgium Trippel from Fort Collins, CO; Green Flash West Coast IPA from Vista, CA; Otter Creek Copper Ale from Middlebury, VT; Deschutes Black Butte Porter from Bend, OR; and Goose Island Honker’s Ale from Chicago, IL.

6. Bathroom reading
What man doesn’t appreciate finding interesting reading in his sweetie’s bathroom? So instead of immediately recycling
No need to go overboard with the Sports Illustrated...
your magazines when you’ve finished reading them, toss a few of your favorites into a basket by the toilet. No need to go overboard with a stack of Sports Illustrated issues (if you don’t follow sports, that would just be weird), but consider Newsweek or even Cosmopolitan (hey, this may be the only time he’s a captive audience and can learn a few things). Or, just buy a book that’s made for the bathroom, like Schott’s Original Miscellany by Ben Schott, so he can learn a few things about shoelaces and sign language while he’s in there.

7. A business card
After the age of 18, it’s no longer cute to scrawl your first name and your cell number on a napkin and hand it to a man who wants to call you. So if your job doesn’t provide a card or you’d prefer one with your personal email address and phone number on it, then have some quick cards made at your local Kinko’s. If you’re game for a splurge and really want to make a good impression, go all out and order a set of custom-engraved calling cards from Crane & Co. He can easily lose or accidentally toss out a crumpled napkin, but he’ll file away your card.

8. Earplugs
Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than a man who wants to cuddle up with you in bed for a long night’s sleep. Unless — SNZZGGHGHRRJJZZZ! — he snores so loudly that you can’t get any sleep. Prepare yourself for surprise snorers with a pair of earplugs stashed in your nightstand. Try Mack’s Dreamgirl Soft Foam Earplugs, which are designed to fit smaller or supersensitive ear canals.

9. A trustworthy guy friend on your speed dial
When it comes to solid relationship advice, you need to go to the source — and, no, your girlfriends aren’t right for this job. You need some insider insight from a good guy friend, one who will give you a dude’s point of view. While your female friends may have good intentions, save the guesswork and go to someone who’s been on the receiving end of whatever it is you’re wondering about. If he seems to be holding back to spare your feelings, tell him you’re a big girl and can handle whatever it is he has to say — the truth is what counts.

10. A condom
We know the drill by now, but here goes: If you want to have a little physical fun, do it safely. Even if you’re on the Pill, you should use a condom every time you have sex. And buy them yourself; old condoms can break, and you don’t know how long that tattered package has been in his wallet. Plus, you can’t always count on him to be prepared — or on there being a 24-hour drugstore on the drive home. (Your new mantra: If you don’t want it to break, you buy it yourself.)

Amy Spencer writes relationship and lifestyle stories for Glamour, Maxim, Real Simple and other publications. She would like to thank her best guy friend for advising her on some of the essential items she was missing.

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Yes, if I want the relationship to continue

Maybe, but only to avoid seeming rude

No, that's too early to exchange gifts

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