/*amazon_ad_exclude = "christian"*/ The Skin I Am In: I Can't Like Mean Girls

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Can't Like Mean Girls

In considering an adjective for this title, I knew I had a responsibility to be accurate and concise. After all, when airing grievances in a manner accessible to every soul who has access to the Internet, rational people know better than to indiscriminately throw unfavorable words around. It is especially advisable to heed caution when the word in question is “mean” and the objects it modifies live nearby.

I therefore consulted my faithful online reference which provided several definitions for “mean,” all of which faultlessly fit the bill when describing these loathsome ladies. The first entry: “selfish in a petty way; unkind.” Marveling at the accuracy thus far, I continued, “cruel, spiteful, or malicious.” I nodded in accord. My source went on to list half of a dozen other descriptions including, but not limited to, “offensive, troublesome, selfish, unaccommodating, nasty.” Yes! We have a winner! May the record reflect that this qualifier was meticulously chosen.

On that note, I really hate mean people. A lot. And bullies, they especially suck. Lurking in halls and on playgrounds of schools, they scope out victims to taunt, torment, and intimidate. Although there was the occasional jerk who pestered me as a child, oddly enough, I was never truly bullied until adulthood. By the time you're married, have children, and are socializing with other demographically similar people, you would never expect to materialize as someone's mission to seek and destroy. Particularly, when the destroyer is somebody you considered a friend. Of course, we all come to realize at one time or another, that life rarely follows along as expected.

Before I begin detailing my four year stint moonlighting as a mad woman's destroy toy, let's go back about, oh, twenty years or so and revisit the mid-80's when I was in grade school--I promise I will write you back to the future, so forget about the DeLorean already. Back in the days of the Michaels J. Fox and Jackson, I lived on Arrowhead Drive. Kelly's house was on the adjacent C-shaped street which happened to intersect with mine at two points, thereby earning the name Arrowhead Circle. A mean girl by trade, Kelly was far from nice to anyone, although her appearance wouldn't have lent one to believe she had any business pointing out others' imperfections. For starter's (although unfair things by which to measure someone), being several pounds overweight and wearing glasses didn't exactly earn her any popularity points. And since it had a mind of it's own, her unruly blond hair must have demanded all of her brain function. I never understood what she hoped to accomplish by name calling; it seemed even more counter-intuitive considering she was the poster-child for a good comeback. I realize, in hindsight, that it must have been her own lack of esteem, and possibly a less than ideal family life that provoked her hateful behavior.

Many of us have something about our appearance we wish we could change--something we hope others don't notice, or at least won't point out. The magnitude of the imperfection is not necessarily indicative of the impact it has on our self-confidence. In school more than anywhere else, so much importance is placed on conformity and the perfect ideal that it sadly represses individuality. I personally endured insecurities throughout elementary school for two reasons: Firstly, I was taller than most of my classmates and, secondly, because one of my eyes failed to choose a single color to represent. I claim to having blue eyes, although my right iris is markedly sixty percent brown. Despite it no longer embarrassing me, at the time I may as well have had an extra thumb. It isn't immediately detectable at first glance, but I was never spared the moment of discovery due to the sudden gasp and the litany of questions that ensued.

Kelly was one year ahead of me, so luckily I never had the misfortune of sharing a classroom and the neighborhood with her. I remember going to her house just one time. Although she had practically begged me to come over, she insisted on choosing everything we did, further reinforcing my dislike for her. I ran out of patience when she ordered me to have the ugly Barbie, the likes of which had obviously been awarded a less-than-professional haircut. What hair did remain was so stiff, pointy and unkempt, this doll's coiffure resembled a collection of giant-size nose clippings. How was I ever to acquire Ken's affections displaying this second-rate sleaze while Kelly proudly flaunted a silky-haired bombshell? Fed up with the shenanigans, I left to go home, despite her pleas otherwise.

The next day at school she approached me during lunch, seemingly miffed that I had prematurely departed the festivities the previous day. Attempting to humiliate me, she raised her voice and shot straight for my Achilles heel. “Why is your eye like that?” she loudly interrogated. Without hesitation, I simply countered, “why are you fat like that?” She subsequently retreated, appearing to have regretted her inquiry. Two can play this game, I thought.

I know. I know. An eye for an eye is so Old Testament. Yet you must admit that when it comes to mean girls, even the smallest vindication can do wonders for the soul. In hindsight, I have yearned for those days of simplicity, back when you could resolve conflict with a petty one-liner.

Not having encountered such characters since grade school, I was blind-sided to have stumbled upon an entire herd of bullies right here in the Tar Heel State residing in all-too-close proximity to me. I don't contend that the state itself breeds them, as most aren't native to the area. You may remember Mad Cow and Nutcake, the bovine and the tart, who provide for very rotten neighbors and regrettably live on either side of me. Yet, as undesirable as the these two are, they serve as mere appetizers for today's special. Please take a seat and allow me to introduce you to: The Vulture. With the surname of Byrd and a predatory personality, this moniker lends a flawless characterization.

When we relocated four years ago, a number of other employees also transferred from the same city, including my husband's boss and new wife, The Vulture (that's right―lucky freaking me). We immediately developed a bond with several of the families, including theirs and Nutcake's and I felt incredibly fortunate to have this built-in network. Initially, we were all quite close, and spending many holidays together even commenced a few annual traditions. Our Thanksgiving celebrations were such a blast it gave me something entirely new to be thankful for. We enjoyed some great parties, without a doubt. Practically a family, four of us women inadvertently became the KC Girls, referring to our previous place of residence.

Sadly, the serenity did not forever last, as the KC gang was doomed to failure even prior to it's establishment. Leading to it's demise, Nutcake and The Vulture collectively comprised 50%, constituting half of the flock clinically unstable. For the record, nobody has ever questioned that Nutcake is nutty. She wears crazy on her sleeve like white on rice, and apparently for that reason, people tend to put up with her egocentricities and crassness. Although both narcissistic, the Vulture is an entirely different species. Much more insidious and clever in her manipulations, her unpredictable behavior teeters precariously on the brink of violence, making her a very dangerous breed. At the root of her evil lies an intense hunger for conflict and control. As a master manipulator, she sees others only for what benefit they may provide and, not unlike a game of chess, strategically plays them like pawns.

For reasons which I am still not privy to, she quickly singled me out as the designated recipient of her bullying. Probably this, combined with her grossly competitive nature, is why she chose to implicate my child into her twisted plot. Hoping to lure me into a sadistic tug-of-war, she repeatedly fabricated lies about my daughter. She preceded each tale with a very conniving, “I'm not trying to start trouble, but...” Along with being false, the claims were extremely petty and nonsensical to say the least.

Apparently having foiled all her previous attempts by not reacting in the hostile manner she was expecting to invoke, she decided to step it up a notch. One particular Friday I was going to be throwing a party and was expecting several families, including hers, over that night. The morning of the scheduled event, she called to inform me that her daughter would miss most of the party due to another function. Then she announced that they were also taking the other girls attending our party―all the girls, that is, except for mine. My daughter, who had been looking forward to these girls coming over for weeks, and who had never been anything but soft-spoken and polite to The Vulture, was being used as a pawn in this dysfunctional mind-game. Rather than commence an ugly confrontation, I expressed disappointment on my child's behalf, and quickly ended the conversation. As I sat there stunned, and only moments after hanging up, the phone rang again. No sooner had I answered before The Vulture swooped in on me like a raving lunatic with an intensity I have never before or since endured from anyone. In a fit of rage she informed me that she is going to invite whomever she wants to go with her daughter, and no body has the right to make her feel guilty about it! In her purely evil dialect, this foul fowl then proceeded to rant on about a myriad of other self-serving quests. Having been ambushed into a state of shock, I can honestly not recall how long it all lasted or in what manner it came to an end.

Later that day she put on her acting cloak, and at the strong advisement of her husband, pretended to apologize. Wanting to believe it was sincere, I accepted. However, this display of hatefulness was merely the opening act in her pattern of sabotaging anything in which she is not the center. Over the last few years, I have endured a great many more trials and tribulations at the talons of this carnivorous creature, for The Vulture is a mean girl that far too much enjoys the limelight to retire her performances.

This, my friends (and I do not use that term loosely), is the first chapter in my chronicles illustrating why I just can't like mean girls.


FerdC ~ Crazy Medical Cases said...

I'll try to put this kindly, BE:
Who cares if she's your husband's boss's wife. She shouldn't get a moment of your precious life.

The Blogger Exposed said...

Oh yeah, Ferdie! Do not worry...all contact has been ceased. I never did care that she was the boss's wife...I knew I'd lose my other friends if I ditched her, because of the way things were set up. But, the moment I had been waiting for finally happened last October, ironically on my birthday!

Tamera said...

yepp. That's why I don't let the other ex-pat wives in too closely here. They started grouping when we all moved overseas, and I've been in situations like that before. Not expecting the best, and not wanting to use up my private time in case it should turn out badly, I never opted in. They of course think I'm a little crazy for choosing to be alone pretty much all of the time. But, as I tell my husband. I have peace. haha

piebuko said...

I hate mean girls too. I've been a victim of mean girls twice in my life. Once when I was in 6th grade and again lately.

I was reading your post and I was wondering, "What if the Vulture reads this?!" :)

doug said...

So what was the moment you were waiting for that happened on your birthday? Sorry to be noisy but you can't leave me in suspense.

FLOOG said...

Ye gods, this post has brought back some unpleasant memories for me.

I was the victim of mean boys throughout the entire five years of primary school, and It left a big emotional scar.

Girls-boys, it still hurts when you are on the receiving end, and damages you. Another of the reasons why I won't let anyone get too close to me, sadly.

I have to say Ferdc hit the nail on the head.

As always, a first class post

The Blogger Exposed said...

Piebuko (and everyone,really),

If posting on all of my blogs suddenly ceases without explanation, then chances are The Vulture became privy to my rant. In which case, assume the worst.

Oh boy, could I open a can of worms (which is really based on hypothetical, "what if's?" but are quite interesting to ponder, nonetheless)...but I'm sure it would be wise to refrain from "going there" in the slightest chance that the wrong hands came across this blog. In fact, just the thought of it and I seriously think I am going to have nightmares now. Just great.

Maybe I could do a short-term post and delete it after a few days. Hmmm....(wheels turning)

Tamera Daun said...

hehe bloggerexposed.
Stand your ground, woman! If you get in trouble, we'll fly in a lynch mob to help you out.

The Blogger Exposed said...

Thanks Tamera! Although The Vulture would have devoured me long before you could make it, I'm afraid =(

I am absolutely not backing down, it's just that this other issue is very complicated including legal implications, and would really just be me posing some interesting thoughts that have no factual basis. I will think about it...but my instincts are telling me to avoid it, although I don't want to!

Jeffrey Ellis said...

I have some relatives in NC, and they eat deep-fried Vulture for breakfast. If you need them to come over and fry one up, just say the word.

Kate Silver said...

Mean girls have pop culture on their side, unfortunately, and they campaign relentlessly to make the rest of us feel shy, undeserving, ugly, and goddamned boring. You may have opened a can of worms, but lets hope they wriggle all over this vulgar vulture!