That probably sounds like an unlikely topic to be covered in a blog largely about white trash and written by a 50-year-old woman, huh? I know whereof I speak, however, so I'm going to write about mean girls (and how they suck).
Every girl, I suppose, has experienced at least one encounter with one of these horrible creatures in her lifetime, no matter her age. I have seen Mean Girls in kindergarten classes, and I currently know a few myself, all of us on the precipice of our golden years. It's in all women to have an edge, I don't care what anyone says. Men have testosterone and a hunting instinct and, I don't know, football and stuff. Women have our meanness, our conniving, manipulating, nastiness. Ouch. It hurts to type that, but it's true.
The difference between most girls/women and Mean Girls is simply this: most of us know how to curb that meanness. We learn over the years that there are times when it's absolutely appropriate to unleash it. For instance, if someone threatens the safety or well-being of any one of my family members, I take the gloves off. I think most women would say the same thing, if they were truthful.
Mean Girls, on the other hand, never learn that control, the "appropriateness" of turning the bitch switch on and off. My daughter went to high school with such a girl. She fit the typical mold of a high school Mean Girl. She chose her friends based on their weakness or neediness. Needy women with low self-esteem will tolerate an astonishing amount of crap just to have someone with which to align themselves. This girl (we'll call her AJ), surrounded herself with girls too scared to tell her to drop dead. They were her minions, not her friends. There is a difference.
My daughter (and girls like her who do not feel compelled to take crap off of an estrogen-fueled bully) by default became this little witch's enemy She made it her life's mission to try to terrorize girls who did not come in line with her public school reign of terror. I would try to tell my daughter the laughable insignificance of such women, but at that age, everything's significant. I know that. She was relentless (indicative of the lack of a life she could call her own), and she was inevitably backed by her parents, who were clueless then and I'm sure are to this day. After 4 kids, I came to learn that, when the common denominator in a series of problems is your kid, your kid is likely the problem. Makes sense, right? This girl, in any given semester, had a laundry list of restraining orders, disciplinary reports and other red flags spinning all around her, all the time. But Mommy and Daddy would always show up, defend their spoiled little princess, and throw a little more gasoline on the fire.
Ah well, the more things change, right? I, too, went to high school with several Mean Girls. I was always targeted by these creatures because I neither sought nor understood cliques or exclusion. Still don't. I am happy to say that, unless God decides to teach me otherwise late in life, I was right. The Mean Girls with whom I went to school, predictably, became unhappy wives and mothers with little or no career direction and absolutely no friends. Some minions perhaps, but no friends. You can't be happy in life if you're unhappy in your own skin, am I right? Anyway, AJ will wind up the same way (barring an epiphany – fat chance), or she might end up in prison. This one is a piece of work.
Why did I go on this tirade, you ask? Bullying is so much in the news these days, and everyone from "relationship experts" to school administrators to news anchors seem to be completely perplexed by the phenomenon. Bullying has been around for years, folks, probably since the beginning of time. Cain and Abel could probably share a few stories if they were here. The difference today is that kids can bully at the speed of light – the Internet and cell phones are a veritable playground for these bloodthirsty brats. Still, it starts at home folks, no matter what "the experts" say. If a kid wants attention, they're going to get it one way or the other. If a kid is allowed to run rampant with unconditional backing from her parents, she will become a monster. Period. Oh, and let's not forget television's finest hour, also known as Bad Girls Club. Where do these women come from?
I have made a decision, and that's to step in wherever I see bullying from now on. Mean Girls fly under the radar, as do most kids. They try to keep the bullying just under the eye level of adults. But if the adults listen and pay attention, these girls are about as subtle as a cannon in a glass factory. So – whether I see it at the mall or wherever, I am going to be that obnoxious mom who says something to the bully. I'm actually looking forward to it. Kind of a delayed payback, if you know what I mean.
No white trash connection here, unless I go out on a limb and say that Mean Girls can be found in all circles – including white trash. No surprise there, right? J