Menopausal Mean Girls

IMG_1737One of the twenty seven projects I am currently (and simultaneously) working on, thank you ADD , is a storage bench in need of a seat cushion and some pretty fabric. Which means that a trip to the fabric store was in order.

Now, as you may or may not know, I am somewhat new to the whole repurposing/ refinishing art, so while the whole “kid in a candy shop” analogy is accurate, I’m still the “new” kid on the block. No, not these guys..


Anyhow. So… Trip to the local fabric store (aka, The Reason For This Post):

Upon arrival I note the three store clerks, converged around the checkout area, deeply engrossed in animated conversation. My first inclination is to give the universal silent hello (quick smile, head nod, move along) to whomever first glances my way. Because, surely, in a place of retail business, employees greet their customers, right?! (Wry sarcasm here)

Instead, and as I have that awkward half smile on my face, I get three slow-mo head turns, abrupt end to conversation and a curt head tilt by the apparent ringleader. Ladies, you know the tilt I mean. The one that looks like this:

Well, what the ffff…abric store was that? Now, at this point feel both stupid (for being caught with the friendly dork smile stuck on my face) and pissed (for being caught with the friendly dork smile on my face). I’m also feeling confused- did I just walk into freshman year of high school, or a (DISCOUNT, by the way) freaking fabric store?!
Regardless, I shake it off and go about my business. After finding my super awesome fabric, I head over to the checkout. The three Menopausal Mean Girls are still at it. All out mean girl mode, too. Here is the near verbatim conversation I walk up on:
Ringleader: “Ugh, I just can’t even deal with her.”
Minion 1: “Oh, I know, righhhhhht? She is so, ugh. And, honestly? Did you even see her hair?”
Minion 2: ” Oh, my Godddd. I know! So, I mean, what? Who even DOES their hair like that?!”
R: “Umm, exactly! Hello, Farrah Fawcett wants her hair style back. God, all those flips and curls.”
All three: “cackle, cackle, caw, caw, caw.” (This is what their laughter sounded like, to my ears)

Apparently, they are discussing a fellow co-worker, who is scheduled later in the day. Who may or may not be awful to deal with, I have know way of knowing.

All I do know, is that I’m walking up to these three with shoulder blade length blonde, wavy/ curly hair. And while I couldn’t look as beautiful is I think Farrah was, I’m feeling a little self conscious, and a lot too old to be feeling that way.

But most of all, I’m thinking, shame on you, Menopausal Mean Girls. Shame on us all when we do this. I’m guilty of it, too. As much as I try to stop myself from those hurtful descriptives, they sneak out from my brain and right out my mouth. But, I have the sense to feel like a jerk after, and I especially have the sense to discourage my daughters from such ugly actions. I call myself out for it, and do my best to correct it. You do, too, right? Because empowering our girls to be proud, strong, and best of all, kind & mindful of the power of their own words, is the first step in erasing that mean girl mindset.
My side note story: While I made it through my school years relatively unscathed, I did have my mean girl episode. It started in between sixth grade and seventh, when I had the misfortune of crushing on a boy who was “taken” by an eighth grade girl. A very tall, big, mean eighth grade girl. A girl, who, upon finding out about little ole me, decided that she (and subsequently, all her friends) was going to make my life hell. For a long time. From my first day of junior high (consisting only of 7th and 8th grade then), where she and her piranha posse swam over from the “eighth grade side” of the courtyard to the “seventh grade side” to surround me for an verbal MMA style beat down, up through my junior year (and her senior year) of high school, my school days rang with the delightful and witty calls of “bitch” and Whore” shouted out as I passed them in the halls. Along with the regular intervals of “I’m gonna kick your ass, bitch” taunts. Two weeks before school ended for summer break, she strode up to me at my locker and announced that she felt it was time we let bygones be bygones, and not be at war any longer. Had it even once been a fair and actual battle, her act would’ve come across as noble… Mature even. As it was, it stood only to act as an anticlimactic end to a five year torture session.

Now, before you feel to sorry for poor little picked on teen version of me… Don’t. I got my own revenge, and also provoked her if truth be told. You see, while I was genuinely terrified of her (and her posse) I was also a spiteful little thing. So, while she crafted her verbal assault skills, I crafted ways to “steal” any boy she liked. It wasn’t hard to find out, ever- small school, big mouths. My success rate, well I’m not one to brag, but. Yah, it was good. The last coup was dating her older brother. Her face, upon seeing me sitting on her living room couch…. Totally worth every bit of her wrath.

I should also mention that I, too, had a group of bigger, older girl friends that made it clear to her that I was off limits for an ass whooping. Kinda gave me some more pseudo courage, ya know?!

Moral of that story? Nah, I don’t actually have one. It was a period to time that had some sucky moments. I was okay because I had people who had my back. I was lucky. But, despite my good fortune, I can still remember all of that – 20+ years later- clear as day. It left a mark. Irony is that girls/women want to gouge each others eyes out over boys/men… the same species that will sit in the locker room laughing about us and our drama. Then they’ll go eat a sandwich. Or go to the gym. Or hook up with any girl that’s willing and probably unsuspecting, hell even your best friend. But, hey- take that loser back, and forever hate the other girl, right?

And apparently, despite all our claims to have matured, and to be “so over that high school mentality” we’re STILL doing it. We are still so nasty to each other, still hyper critical, still judging, still not owning our own sh** , still accepting less than our worth. Still so damn mean. And really, the only thing uglier than a mean girl is a menopausal mean girl. Let’s actually work on that, ladies. Okay?! Starting…… NOW!!!

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