When Mean Girls become Mean Women

You remember that movie Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan about how awful high school girls can be to one another? Well, I never really thought much about what happens to such girls as they age; however, I was reminded about this phenomenon the other week and got to experience a mean girl now as a mean woman.

She wore a green dress. She was accessorized by a male who had his arm around her waist the entire night. She was also accessorized by a glare that seems to say “back off – I’m important.” My date that evening was one of my friends who decided I needed a night out on the town. My husband is now under Hospice care and she knew I could use a night to just be a “normal” person. It would be good to get out for a few hours, laugh, have some good food and drink. My night prior to meeting up with the mean woman in green was just that: relaxing, nice, fun.

Several other friends came to the foundation fundraiser. There were many sweet couples out on a date that night. I was sad that my night was without husband. It has been for years now, but recently it has been different. I feel more and more sad as his health decreases more and more. In the past, my husband would have been with me at such a function. He would have been full of life himself, but now he lie in the bed unable to communicate, move or breathe on his own.

And so as with life in general over these past many years, I smile through the pain, I concentrate on the positive and I am grateful for all that I have. I do have so much.

The mean woman in an ironic twist reminded me again what I have. After a period of mingling, speeches began. There was talking in the back of the room. I sat between the talkers and the mean woman in green. She glanced back often, throwing daggers with her eyes if you were paying attention. The accessory man pulled her close, trying to gain her attention. There were more speakers. There was more chatting in the crowd. I could see the mean woman growing more and more agitated. I was soaking it all in, my study on human behavior. I was quiet, but then I made a mistake. I looked at my cell phone and laughed at a photo that was sent to me.   Apparently I laughed too loudly and apparently I was close enough to the mean woman in green to get a direct hit. I honestly don’t remember what she said (other than “Do you mind?!!??”), but I remember her tone, ugliness, and was struck by the outrageous “right” she seemed to have given herself to rank above everyone else in the room. I was shocked by her rudeness, to the point that I didn’t know what to say. My friends, flanking me on my right and left side, stared in amazement too. If I could have looked at their faces, I am sure their eyes would have been bulging just as much as mine. How do women act like that? Part of the answer lies in the fact that I am sure she has always acted like that and gotten away with it. The mean girl became the mean woman.

I felt myself shrink just as a child would when scolded. But, this feeling was soon replaced with gratitude. My friends were outraged for me. They all agreed that this woman’s speech was so inappropriate and rude. In a strange way, I was reminded that friends are so important. My next thought centered on the seemingly random attack on me. Of all the people in the room, why did the mean woman in green breathe fire on me when there were plenty of other rule-breakers to the “keep absolutely quiet” rule set by Ms. Queen Bee.

Right at this time, my cell phone buzzed in my purse. Looking down I noticed it was from my 7 year old son and so I excused myself and walked to the corner of the building. After talking to the babysitter, I needed to just “be.” I was still processing the mean woman’s comments. I checked my text messages, answered several of them, checked on my husband and fought back the tears. I tried to make sense of it all, but when the chef walked up to me and asked if everything was alright, I knew it was time to return to the scene of the crime.

And so I did. The mean woman was still there. I considered for a minute if I should say something to her, but decided that was not the point. I didn’t know what the point was so what would I say to her. Ideas like “Are you really that miserable in life?” or “If you had any idea of what some people were experiencing in life you might think otherwise about acting so hastily and mean” didn’t seem like really good ideas. Again, I didn’t know what my point was and if someone can’t answer that basic question, she has no business acting. And so I just “was” again.

And then another friend flagged me over and started bad-mouthing the mean woman in green. She saw it too. She too thought it was outrageous. It made me feel good, but embarrassed at the same time. Again, why did the mean woman in green pick me? As with much in life these days, I don’t know. There are so many things I wish I knew, wish I understood, even just a little. There are so many events, people, comments, that don’t make sense. Things that I don’t understand. I never probably will but as long as I focus on the good in life, I can move forward.   The mean women of the world in green dresses and their counterparts may make me pause, but if they ultimately help flag something of value, like the importance of friends, then I can take the verbal assaults any day.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suan Allen on June 19, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Don’t know the whole situation but it sounds like you were the lucky one who got the “blast” from the woman in green because other people had been talking too much. She just decided you were the most guilty because she turned to see you laugh at that particular time. I am sorry that you caught the brunt of that but glad you could see something positive in it! Shows you the difference in people.

    Reply

  2. Erica, when I’m confronted with people like this woman I console myself with the small fact that they have to live with themselves and I don’t. She may have sensed that you were comfortable with yourself and have seen that you had lots of friends, or that people gravitated to you, and been jealous of you which is why she made you a target. How pitiful that she spends her days finding people to belittle. Such a small person.

    Reply

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