“Someone once told me the grass is much greener on the other side…” If you just got nostalgia chills then you’re like me, and Ginger the Nickelodeon heroine of the early ’00s had a major effect on your life. She had a mass of curly red hair, two strange and awesome besties, and a mom who loved to wear Spandex. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect lovable tween cartoon! In a lot of ways, she exemplified most of the lessons and experiences of a twenty-something life, and that’s not just because I still have the heart of a 13-year-old!
No matter how old you are, sometimes you still need your mommy
Why? Because your mom often has the best advice. Like this piece of advice from the unapologetic, larger-than-life Lois Foutley, Ginger’s mom: “You can’t know those kinds of things, you can only trust how you feel in your heart, and take a blind leap of faith. You have to, that’s what life is all about. You know we’re not put on this earth to live perfect lives where we never get hurt and we never make mistakes. We’re put here to hurl ourselves head first into this crazy world and the bruises and scrapes you get along the way, they just mean you’re living life.”
Being in a relationship should be a choice, not because you feel like you have to be in one
In one great Lois dumps her boyfriend because she can’t put up with his freeloading, and she totally kicks him to the curb without regret. Later, she tells her kids, “Being in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship is plain crazy. You have to let your heart lead the way…” Totally, Lois!
This is such good twenty-something advice. Don’t be pressured to keep up with everyone else you see pairing up, getting married or having kids. Go at your own pace and you’ll be happier than if you bent to pressure and hit milestones when you weren’t ready.
Friendships in your twenties get a lot more complicated when you’re not in class or school together all the time
Ginger knew that sometimes when you get older, you and your BFFs can drift away for stupid reasons. When you get older you learn to invest so much more effort into your friendships than you ever had to before, because those relationships mean more to you and require more scheduling.
Sometimes life can be really crazy and really scary, and you’re afraid you’re not doing as well as you hoped.
Ginger is getting ready to graduate junior high (how is it possible that this show didn’t depict high school?) and is struggling to write her speech. All of her friends have different activities and all seem to be doing really well, but Ginger feels lost. This, if nothing else, encapsulates what it’s like to be in your twenties and struggling to be an adult. We all feel like we’re not keeping up!
Shaving is a true struggle
Ginger is upset when Dodie lets slip she’s not allowed to shave her legs. In order to keep up appearances while still obeying her mother’s wishes, Ginger shows everyone up by shaving just her ankles, and flaunts those smooth ankles in capri pants. The moral of this story is that body hair should be your own business and no one else’s. Also, that shaving is the worst.
You can be pickier about potential partners even if they’re starting to get more serious.
Ginger rethinks her relationship with this guy named Orion (sick name) because she still has feelings for her old crush Darren. Ginger realizes this stuff is going waaay too fast and all she’s capable of doing right now is just splitting fries. Hey, I feel ya girl. The twenty-something dating scene is a quagmire and sometimes, you’re just not ready to dip your toe in.
It’s OK to not have a huge circle of friends anymore, but keep two or three really great ones.
In the very first episode, Ginger and her friends, Dodie and Macie, leave a spin-the-bottle party and go hang out together, doing girly things and being awesome. They know that sometimes, all you need are your two best friends.
Life can be overwhelming, but everyone is probably going through the same stuff you are
Ginger learns how the “other half” lives when her rival Courtney asks her to pose as her for a week at school, because the Senator’s son is coming for a tour and Courtney is too sick to come to school. She realizes that the grass isn’t “greener” on the other side, and even someone seemingly perfect like Courtney doesn’t have it all together. Life in your twenties can feel like a race sometimes, with everyone trying so hard to look like they’ve got it all figured out. But no one really does!
Love yourself for who you are
Maybe not quite to the extent that Courtney took it but hey, to each her own!