Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weighs the Same as a Duck

This blog, unlike most, is more of a rant on how people should and should not act, with nothing to do with writing. I should probably confess that in spite of a theoretical belief in equality, I often actually feel I belong to the superior sex. Women cooperate instead of posturing. We are compassionate and helpful. We’re observant and communicative. We make better friends, for the most part because we can just listen instead of trying to FIX IT. But I had a lesson this weekend that brought home some ugly truths. Our sidewalk was lined with half a dozen bicycles and their respective boys tossed water balloons, filled buckets, squirted hoses, and held an all out war of the most enjoyable kind; my daughter was in tears. “It’s happening again, mom.” “It” being the plight of 14 year old girls. Backstabbing. Two girls, each a good friend, get together when one isn’t present and share a bunch of mean, rotten things, sometimes real frustrations, sometimes exaggerated crimes, sometime fictitious slander. My daughter had been at a friend’s house. Said friend ran an errand with her mother and my daughter waited, as she and the girl had plans. My daughter opened her laptop to get online while her friend was gone and found a conversation. Should she have looked? No. But when you open a program to see your name, I dare ANYONE to close it again without reading. The problem is, this isn’t the first time—(different friends, making this more devastating—is there no one trustworthy?) Nor, sadly, will it be the last. Fourteen year old girls (±2 years) are horrible about feeding off of each other, getting each other going, and becoming nasty gossips. So I am offering some rules to live by. I don’t ascribe to “if you can’t say anything nice…” and I don’t really ascribe to “honesty is the best policy…” They both have merits, but miss the point. If something is bothering us to a point where we are angry and frustrated (friend #1) we either need to talk directly to the person and resolve it, or GET OVER IT (some 62 year old mothers could benefit from this too). Now this DOESN’T mean ‘her hair bugs me, I need to confront her’—that is something that is none of my damn business. Too much honesty is really just an excuse for meanness and I can’t condone it. But not being able to say it when it is interfering with a friendship means somebody needs some work in communication skills. What NEVER solves the problem is going behind the back of someone you are angry with and talking to someone ELSE. It comes back to bite all parties concerned without fail. Secret communication is NOT. Anything SAID can’t be UNSAID. And the worst crime of all? Flat out making shit up. Anyone who has to resort to making up stories about somebody to feel better about themselves should just go crawl in a hole (you know who you are). It’s never okay. So, weighing the same as a duck and all, I am sending out fair warning to anyone out there with future plans to backstab, gossip or lie… I’m calling it the karma curse—what you send out WILL come back to you. Nobody messes with my kid. Consider yourself warned.


Alix said...

Uh oh! Those little brats have awakened the wrath of Mom. They should tremble in their designer jeans.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Girls are so mean.

I honestly think they're worse bullies than boys are.


Marjorie said...

Well said, Mama!

Girls can be mean. Boys just beat the piss out of each other, generally speaking. Girls bully in more subtle and more devastating ways. That's why I worry about my girls reaching the magic age of 12. That's really when it starts. Does it ever really end? I can't be sure.


Watery Tart said...

I think it ends if we teach them to have a low tolerance for BS, because we all have a choice who our friends are, and if we just weed out the women who do that, then eventually we don't need to deal with it. I've seen workplaces it still comes up because you have less choice in coworkers, but if you are above it and call people on it, at least you aren't sucked in.

My protection at that age was varied groups of friends, so if they started in, I could walk away and come back when they were ready to play nice. Seemed to work, but I was 17 before I really let go of it bothering me.