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Mean Girls

I can say I know a lot of people, never really felt like I fit in with most groups of girls. I'm not sure how many I would call a friend, especially the mean girls.


I was nervous, yet excited, having been invited to a popular girl’s birthday party in about 3rd grade and I so wanted to be friends. I felt special to have gotten invited, but had that something isn’t right feeling in my guts. I stressed over what it would be like and hoped that I had picked the right thing to wear. This was a first for me and it wasn’t my crowd, I decided that after I arrived and realized I had been invited only to be picked on.


The mean girls pointed and laughed at me, saying that I was poor and that my clothes were dirty. My family may not have had money like some of theirs, but my clothes weren’t dirty and I never was the type to be mean just because I could. I recognized that growing up in the same town did not make us the same. To this day I remember the way that it made me feel as they said I had greasy hair, called me toothpick, and Odie eyes, and I didn't want to make anyone feel like that, ever.


I have never understood being mean, just because you could. It was clear I didn’t have a friend there.


I certainly didn’t “fit in” and couldn't understand how these girls were somehow above me in this imaginary hierarchy. I retreated without saying a word and nobody noticed my absence. I found a swing in a huge tree off to the side and remember the feel of the metal in my hand, the board that didn't give with my weight, and the worn patch my feet dangled above. I didn't feel awkward about it or sad. I knew I would need to be ok in this "space", whatever it was. Even as a child, I would rather have been alone than participate in their pseudo “classiness”.


When Mama pulled up, she was cheerful, hopeful, and excited to hear how much fun I had. You see, my Mom was a part of the pretty, athletic, and popular crowd growing up. That must have been the first time I had the reoccurring thought that I must be such a disappointment to my parents, although they never made me feel that. I kept quiet about how it really went to Mom, and didn't mention it to anyone else either. I never associated with that crowd again and I never forgot how they made me feel. I damn sure never forgot the girls that participated in these childish games and I remember their names. As an adult, sum forty years old, a group of ladies invited me to join them for a cocktail evening. Halfway through the night, I heard four women laughing at me, it was made pretty obvious. I remember feeling as though I was 8 years old again. One said something about my appearance, another with no attempt to whisper, commented on my tattoos with a heavy disapproving undertone. I tried to tune out, it's not the first time the differences were presented this way. It's unfortunate that opinions are made according to this superficial checklist, because the ones that matter can't be seen.


The same dark hearts but with different names. The mean streak in a little girl can become the most unattractive part of a woman, and I have no desire to be friends with people like that.

Lake water rippling in the foreground spanning out to hills in the background with the sunset behind them. In the distance two ducks.
Two Ducks

It occurred to me, I didn’t have to be around them and damn sure didn't want to be. To hell with those narrow-minded individuals. I didn't need acceptance from the popular kids at 8 years old and don't care for judgmental adults now. I'm ok with being the one that doesn't “fit in” and I know who I am, but more importantly, I know who I am not. If you bully others and are one of these hateful, rude adults, you carry yourself as a child. You don't have what it takes grow up and step off the playground. If you happen to find yourself in that awkward place, I will see you there, and we aren't the ones making things awkward after all. Walk with your head high past those stuck in boundaries of their own creation. If only red rover worked to create your tribe with like minded adults instead of the way brute force did as if we were children. Rock on with your bad self! There’s more of us out here and we recognize our own!


I send you love, light and strength, my friend.


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