PREMISE: during human development, certain skills must be acquired in sequence so as to advance to the next level of greater proficiency. Crawling precedes walking, learning the sound & shapes of letters comes before reading. Sometimes there is also a limited window of time when it must occur or it can never be achieved.
  1. Nail care: polishing or otherwise preserving beautiful hands. Having neither learned nor practiced cutting, shaping or painting my nails, caring for my cuticles, or discovering and using the magic potions and lotions to moisturize my hands at 15, I still don't know how.
    Unpracticed and ignorant I can't summon the patience to make my hands presentable to the grown up world. Trying to paint my own nails is torture, waiting for them to dry just makes it painful. It's a time and practice skill that most woman pick up in those middle - high school years. I fear if I am relegated to the care of professionals to appear well groomed (and still get antsy waiting for polish to dry😱).
  2. Knowing how to apply eyeshadow concealer, foundation.... general knowledge of skin care. Granted it was the 80's and the vibe didn't speak to me - I totally missed the memo. Rumor has it that the font of all this knowledge now lives on YouTube.
    I have no clue how or where to find out about anti aging serums and under eye creams that are now absolutely required (while still fighting a little acne). What's a reasonable amount to pay? 'Contouring' terrifies. What the hell is bronzer what is it used for? Moisturizer, concealer, foundation, powder... is that the order, is there goo that does it all? Such gaps in experience and expertise means I look perpetually washed out.
  3. Shaving my legs. This is my mother's fault, she insisted that I wax not conceding that its an expensive practice and I am supper furry.
    An example of one of those immigrant parent quirks. She claimed shaving was one of those idiotic activities that Americans do, like fight in Vietnam. Shaving leaves stubble and must be done constantly...she could not appreciate that my American classmates were merciless in teasing the dark haired, translucently pale girl about her hairy legs. Basically, she didn't shave so she couldn't show me how. I still wax (it's still expensive) and I'm still self conscious about my hairy legs.
  4. Eyebrow maintenance: so dark haired and generally shaggy didn't translate to a unibrow fwewww. My eyebrows have a decent shape and not overgrown, they look fine- no need to pluck extensively. Sometimes when getting waxed, I'd have my brows touched up.....
    But now there are a whole world of products that are about shaping,coloring, defining, styling brows??? Do I need such things? Can I live without? If not, what stuff and how do you use it? Seriously, without prior knowledge and experience how do I figure it out???
  5. Wearing heels 👠
    Giphy downsized medium
    I remember a lot of flats and DocMartins (the 80's). Still, it seems that women who can function in heels figured it out in those latter high school years. I didn't practice or know I should so the talent still eludes me. I so love my Dansko clogs....
  6. Buying a bra.... this may not really be appropriate for this list because 15 was not a good age for me to learn about such things....
    I grew 4 inches taller between the ages of 15-17(which is a little unusual for women) and didn't really finish filling out for another decade - until after my second child was born. Still a tutorial would have been helpful...I am utterly clueless when I need to buy a functional bra and the ladies who sell them sort of intimidate me...
  7. Penmanship
    I would love to have prettier handwriting. My friends have lovely, looping scripts. Me not so much. 15 was where that chance was lost oh well. Maybe I'll practice drawing on eyebrows and my written loops and arches will improve.