“Don’t tell her she’s cute. She already knows she’s gorgeous.”
These words have continued to ring in my ears for weeks. It caught me off-guard. My knee-jerk reaction was panic.
“No!I don’t think I’m pretty! I promise I don’t! Does everyone think I think I’m pretty!? I promise I don’t. Like, in 12th grade AP Government a girl use to write notes on my desk telling me to wash my face because my acne was gross. I have the scars to prove it. Then, at a sixth grade sleepover in a “play pageant” I was knocked out in the first round for “teeth and eye problems”. I promise, I do not think I am pretty. I have proof”
I didn’t say those words aloud, but I was terrified. I suddenly couldn’t tell if this female in front of me was a friend or mocking me. I don’t think I’d been so paralyzed by a comment since college, perhaps high-school. Was this supposed to be a compliment or an under-hand critique that I thought too highly of myself? I still don’t know. But it did awake all my fears of developing and keeping female friendships. We can be sharks.
I’ve usually considered myself more of a guy-friend type of girl anyways, right? My very best friends in high-school were boys. In college, I clung to my boyfriend’s friends. It was safe to sit around with the guys and watch sports. Girl-friends came in and out of their apartment, but I could easily sit in my spot while the Super Bowl was on, sit passenger seat on beach-trips, and bring the salsa and chips to parties without too much worry. I had this crowd of boys who didn’t mind my existence as their roommate’s girl-friend.
It really wasn’t until I graduated and jumped out on my own, that I was faced with the necessity and saw an importance in obtaining a strong girl-squad. But as I read another article on, “10 Reasons to Know He’s the One,” I failed to find articles and how-to’s to strengthen my gal-pals.
Sometimes I feel like we, girls, all feel like we’re on this sinking boat, and our instinct is to survive first which means if necessary, push another girl off to keep the boat up longer.
I, too, can so easily dissociate and throw a girl under the bus. One of my recent blogs was dedicated to a girl one of my best-guy friends felt that he was being used by. I believe I told him, “She has to go,” and “She’s a selfish B****.” Do I know this girl? No. But I mean girls sooooo do that I said, and he’s my friend. But, what if she’s actually struggling with the pressures that parents and friends put on us to be in a relationship. She may see my friend as a good guy and he’s ‘cute’ enough to make -out with, but she knows that she’s not actually in love with him so dealing with an inner-conflict to follow her heart or what’s safe. Is she scared to be alone? That’s not a b****. That’s 90% of single women. (Unqualified percentages provided by my Unqualified assumption.) We’ve got to stop throwing our fellow girls under the bus just over some imperfections.
We’ve got to stop being so intimidated by each other and start taking up for each other. I’ve got to stop assuming there are ‘sweet girls’ and ‘mean girls’ but each girl is going through her own shit and just trying to get by without sinking.
I’m not good at it. Like I know I can small talk-enough. Ask about someone’s own life, their dog, their boyfriend, and possible career choices. I have some funny anecdotes that are my go-to stories. Oh, and I can give advice. But with chic friends you have to balance the advice. It’s 25% advice. 75% nodding in agreement their problems are shitty. You know, I got called out for being secretive the other day by a close friend. But, it’s a lot easier to chat about my issues that are in the past that I’ve already learned from. I don’t want to tell you about what’s going on this week. I’m trying to stay in the middle of the boat.
This is why my blog is so special to me. I can vent, but you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I’m not forcing an obnoxious loud-voice over the table over brunch to tell you about my problems. It’s safer to write here; I don’t feel like I’m forcing my attitudes on other people.
I’ve been really trying to plan this post for a long-time. I wanted to encourage readers to stick up for their girls. But, I think this post is just a word-drop of my investigation on how to manage a girl-squad. It’s still really hard for me, but maybe I think it shows an image for how weak, as girls, we value each other individually. I want to write a lot more about it. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts created by women, there’s #MeToo, and I just feel passionate that we can do better, myself included.
So this can be the introduction of a short series on making gal-friends and stopping the habitual error of talking against our peers. My own insecurities and jealousies of another girl can’t continue to manifest under-cover mean girl way. (See, link to check out one of the first posts I wrote. It’s funny how different my perception has become from then. But, you are continually learning.)