Wednesday, February 22, 2017

G v G, Age 9

I'm not sure how you felt about your girlfriends growing up, but there was an intensity between mine. I did not form supportive bonds until I was probably in college. I loved my girlfriends, but we also hated each other. In hindsight, I don't know why I didn't question this more or even ask for help. Maybe because my tribe was still a tribe--despite having inward slashes? At the end of the day, we would still always be against other girl tribes (a whole different issue).

When I sniffled because I thought another girl was better at cheerleading than me, my mom said, "Well, she's a dog." Meaning, maybe she can do a backflip, but in ten years I would be beautiful and she would still be woof. I googled her two years ago to see if it was true. I don't blame my mom. It was her job to make me feel better, and in desperation that's what she landed on.

In middle school it was always someone's turn to be hated. I didn't mind this cycle because I had about six friends, so five weeks would be good and then one would be bad. That was okay odds. I had respite in my summer camp group, but there were weekly awards we all secretly hoped for, so? Once a girl in my bunk said she struggled with math. I told her I liked math and she said if I went to her school I'd probably have worse grades than her. When I was 17 one of my camp friends exploded at me yelling I always when were 12 I always purposely ate dessert slower than everyone else to make them feel bad. Ridiculous if it weren't true.

My gang was academically-driven, so we competed with grades and whispered when someone turned in homework late. We wanted to be the best. I'm trying to determine if the media influenced me in this way. I guess. It was always Christina vs. Britney never Christina & Britney. Betty v. Veronica. Most TV I watched didn't have girlfriends. Patti Mayonnaise. Rugrat Angelica. Spinelli. Lisa Simpson. They were loners. I read Betty Tasty and Tib or whatever those dumb books about growing up in the 1930s were. Samantha the American Girl had a friend, but she was mainly a metaphor for poverty. The Disney Princesses were loners.

Anyway, the world is different now? Frozen? Is Frozen saving us yet? Well. In improv class the students' favorite game is Four Corners. I stand in the middle of the room with my eyes closed, count to ten, and then call out a corner. Anyone in the corner is "out." I recover my eyes and repeat until one student remains: the new caller. So this Girl wins the round and excitedly stands in the middle of the room. After she counts to ten she spins around surveying the room with her eyes "closed" and then calls a corner. I ask her to put her hands over her eyes. She puts them up, gaping cracks between each finger. I let it happen. I watch her pick off the people she doesn't like corner by corner. Until its her best friend, someone she doesn't care about, and a boy I suspect she sort of likes. Her friend wiggles in excitement of potentially winning the game and then, boop, Girl chooses her corner. Best Friend Out. Girl poorly acts surprised and then tried very hard to hide a devilish little smile. I don't judge her. I remember feeling so horribly happy when I was hanging out with a group of girls I didn't know that well and they started making fun of one of my tribe. It was completely base--I'm better than her, but still so shameful. The Girl then proceeds to make the boy she likes win. He jumps around and screams, very proud of himself, announcing he is the best at this game.

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