Mean Girls II, True Confessions.

I’m always a bit surprised (and happy) when one of my entries gets some attention. Frankly, the number of readers for my Mean Girls post was off the chart. (Well, at least as far as my insignificant little blog goes.) It seems that by sharing my Mean Girl experiences, I struck a nerve in a whole bunch of women. When I posted that blog entry last night, I shut off the computer and wearily climbed into bed thinking that I was done with the subject. Yet, when I woke up this morning and opened my e-mail, I was greeted by an in-box full of messages. I was astounded by the number of women who wrote to me, sharing their own Mean Girl experiences as both teens and adults. I read messages from both old friends and complete strangers. All of us shared some version of the same experience. As I sat back and read, dissappointment washed over me and I wondered why? Why are girls so ruthless and cruel to one another? Where are the girls like the ones I read about in Ya-Ya Sisterhood? Where?! Sure those broads had some issues, but they sure new how to stick by one another over the years!

Later, as I rode the lawnmower around the yard, I began to wonder how many times in my life I was perceived as a Mean Girl. Afterall, I’ve always been pretty careful about who I befriend which might make me appear “cliquey”. I also tend to walk around with my head in the clouds, resulting in me passing right by someone I know without acknowledging them. I can see where this might lead someone to believe that I’m rather unfriendly. I have the habit of wearing an expression that looks angry when I’m lost in thought. This makes me look unapproachable…you catch my drift. Do those things add up to “Mean Girl”? I’ve come to the conclusion that no, these unfortunate personality flaws do not make me a Mean Girl. (Though, I might benefit from a shot or two of Botox to get rid of those angry looking frown lines.)

I delved deeper and I have a confession. I know for sure of a time when I was the Mean Girl. A time when I wasn’t just bitchy in response to someone else being bitchy, but I was a true Mean Girl. It happened during my freshman year of high school in the girl’s locker room following cheerleading tryouts. Figures, right? All you need to do is open the dictionary to the definition of “Mean Girl” and you’ll find the stereotypical picture depicting a bunch of snotty cheerleaders.

So there we were, a group of cheerleader wannabes running through a play by play of our try outs. We were congratulating each other for the jump or split or round off we were able to pull off. I was all hopped up on adrenaline following an afternoon of screaming, clapping and cartwheels and that’s when I made fun of a girl who wasn’t able to pull off a cartwheel in front of the judges.
As soon as I uttered those venomous words, I hated myself. I loathed myself even more when I rounded the corner and realized that she had heard every single word that had spewed out of my hateful, bitchy little mouth. To this day, I feel like a jerk…and I should. I’ll pass that story on to my girls as well, because I will never forget the stricken look on that girl’s face. To have so callously caused someone such humiliation and at an age where social acceptance was so important is just gross. Worst of all, I knew better. Perhaps being stalked by my own Mean Girls for two years was simply Karma stinging me in the butt as retribution for my own Queen Bee behavior. Lesson learned. Though, I’m sure that if I can still recall my hurtful words, so can she.
Doesn’t everyone think that entering the doors of their high school was like walking into a building full of pit vipers? I hated seeing friends get caught up in the scramble to climb higher on the social ladder. One day a girl would be completely normal and the next, she’d be following some Mean Girl around like a little zombie, mimicking her dress, hair style and even the whiny-voiced, sneering expressions worn by a few of the especially nasty ones. All for the sake of popularity, I watched as girls snubbed lifelong friends in order to be inducted into the “right” clique.

During a visit from a high school friend over the summer, she reminded me that some people referred to the less economically advantaged in our school as “Grubs”. I had forgotten that term and it underscored exactly how hideous teenagers can be. I shudder to think of how invasive bullying and teasing has become in this era of computers where under the cloak of anonymity people feel free to engage in hateful attacks. What will it be like when my little ones hit their teenage years?

Comments

  1. I can identify with Sunny on this topic. I moved to the area just before high school and never had the experience of middle school. When I got to HS I didn't know anyone but the one family we moved upstate with. I didn't fit in with any one clique. I was friends with whomever. But, I never really formed great friendships in HS. I never felt bullied or really saw any bullying (except within my own family).

    I saw myself as the kind, caring, sensitive type that no one thought was "cool" but also was not disliked.

    I hope my shy, quiet appearance in high school (which I shed in college) did not make me appear as a "mean girl".

  2. Eileen, you definitely weren't one of the mean girls..you were one of the nicest girls :)I felt the same way..moved there in 8th and never really felt like part of any clique..just gravitated to who I liked. I'm glad I wasn't in a clique. At least, I don't think I was…

  3. zach&katies crazymom says:

    sorry i missed this when you wrote it. i relate to your story completely as i was "stalked" by an upper classman mean-girl and was terrified everyday. she was very popular in her grade and had a huge 'crew' which meant i was doomed as i was not in a clique of any sort, just had some good friends and got along with most people. i hope i never hurt anyone the way that person hurt me. my big sister eventually stepped in and stopped the whole situation for me! but….i think alot of us walked around with our 'heads in the clouds' and often times i was told i looked "stuck-up" or "bitchy". this followed me to college, so much so that at my favorite bar we got to make our own drinks and mine was called "lookin like a bitch"… TOUCHE`…i hope our kids have it easier-girls are mean!!!

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