Do you ever notice those people who go out of their way to cravenly compliment someone in the hopes of making new friends? I know I sound judgey and I am (don’t judge me) but I have watched this unfold. Recently at the jobbie I watched as a woman (known for false pretense) complimented another (who never talks to her, ever) on her shawl. None of this would have triggered anything in me; except for the ‘shawl’ the other woman was wearing was actually an unremarkable navy blue promotional Long Beach, California blanket. The font on the blanket was not particularly fascinating either. I stared aghast as the needy chick revealed her desperate desire for approval. Perhaps I’m being unfair, maybe she hasn’t caught on that she needs glasses and thought the ‘shawl’ was a soft luxurious cashmere throw rather than a nubby blanket meant to shield arms and neck from overzealous air conditioning vents.
I’m shameless and must admit this little display was deeply satisfying from a hysteria perspective. When I’m at work, what gets me through when the going gets tough are these beautiful little moments where people reveal their true selves. As entertaining as these reveals are, I’m bothered that at my age, just turned 37 thank you very much; grown ass women are acting like they’re one of the fringe kids in high school. I hate when people kick up dirt unearthing my buried mean girl…after all she’s in a shallow grave so it doesn’t take much.
In high school I was one of those chicks that had that ‘cool with everybody’ vibe. I hung out with my core crew but frequently mixed it up chilling with different groups. Despite this, I had an inner mean girl, an inactive mean girl if you will. I’m the type who never -after the notorious middle school years of crack on someone or be cracked on- started shit with someone just because I felt like it. My mean girl would come out of hibernation when someone, kinda like the chick described above, would lay themselves prostrate in front of me with some situation so ludicrous and desperate my innate contempt would rise to the surface. For instance, I had many party nights in high school, many of them memorable but one particular one stands out. Me and my girl K went to a party, the guy who was throwing the party was (in retrospect) probably an early 20s rocker who became a paraplegic due to a motorcycle accident. He was cool in the, having an apartment beer-buying kind of way.
One particular evening a group of us high school kids were getting progressively drunk while watching dude pop wheelies in his chair. Well I’m thinking his excitement at having two dilly drunk chicks in his lap pumped his adrenaline because after they got up he popped a succession of wheelies to my beer-stained delight. My inner mean girl bubbling just below the surface, mirth flooding my bloodstream, dude popped the wheelie that ejected my last bit of control. I do believe he sat back on the back wheels for what seemed like a long time, arms flailing, before the chair crashed back, the little navigational front wheels still spinning. There really was a moment of silence and then the eruption of laughter, even dude was laughing although I’m sure his was a mixture of embarrassment and drunkenness. He was eventually lifted up by someone, whom I can’t even remember because I was laughing with the gasping breath of someone who needed to be slapped to be brought back. Eventually my tears and laughter subsided and never once was there a moment of regret. I attribute this to the fact that although I was partying with this guy I didn’t feel sorry for him; I thought it was pathetic that he partied with teenagers and tongued down the girls who would let him. So I laughed and had no shame.
Nowadays I try to do better but it’s not always easy. I’m always noticing things I shouldn’t and my friends enjoy letting me know those things I missed. I guess I’m just going to have to thrust that inner mean girl a little further back in my closet behind my summer shoes. Now I wish I owned the movie…I was never out of control like those chicks but I guess I can’t act holier than though can I?