Friday, July 27, 2007
dear web journal,
the lady i work next to was just relating her newly-graduated-from-high-school daughter’s latest female friendship drama. the girl had a falling out with a group of her old high school pals and unfortunately, had left a favorite dress of hers at their place the week prior. when she saw newly posted photos of them last night on myspace.com (yeah, i know, right) she noticed they were all donning new head scarves, pretty ones. closer inspection revealed something devastating to her: the scarves were made from her favorite dress. the girls had shredded it and then showcased their pillage.
let’s set aside the rule that ‘stereotypes are unfair’ for just a moment; girls can really suck.
this brought some memories flooding in. my parents had just divorced and lost everything: their home, their cars, their boat, their savings, everything. the economy had also tanked and my dad, an ironworker at the time, was laid off more often than not because they just weren’t building skyscrapers at the rate they were in the ‘80s. so, he moved my brother and me into our grandparent’s home in an upper middle class neighborhood and we went on welfare. i barely noticed the difference for a long time. at the time, my dad was good at making up for it by showering us with affection. but eventually the girls started to notice when my third grade school clothes became ill-fitting on my fifth grader body. and they made a point of it, calling me a “slut” and a “hooker.” it was a devastating plunge into the reality of the mean girls.
anyway, one such mean girl lived across the street from my grandparents. her parents ran their own successful construction company and with that she had the recipe for youthful coolness -- endless trendy clothes and the best school lunches. and she often sharpened her tongue on me for practice at our crowded bus stop. i can remember being humiliated more than once right before starting my day at school.
so, i don’t know what i was thinking when i accepted her invitation to spend the night of her birthday party one year. i awoke later that night of the sleepover and found my favorite pair of earrings (a gift from my dad) shattered beside my pillow and toothpaste all over my hair and in my nose. the most admired girls in school all lay asleep and smug around me. i quietly gathered my things and walked my minty ass back home.
i’m not going to conclude this by saying i came away having learned a lesson. i still wear my heart on my sleeve. and although adult women can still be cruel, public school confinement is over and we’re more free to disassociate ourselves from those kinds of social circles. but sometimes i do think back on the time and wish i had taken my moment of revenge that late evening when they all were sound asleep.
**painting courtesy of kris chau