Thursday, April 07, 2011
Girls are mean. Or, at least, too many girls are mean. Mean in that deceitful, backstabbing, particularly vicious and underhanded way so particular to the so-called fairer sex. Mean, mean, mean girls.
Girls like Kennama, an especially nasty example from Sadie's school. What do you think of a girl who spends the entire school year acting as if my beautiful, precious daughter has icky germs? Who squeals and carries on if Sadie comes too near her or -- heavens forbid! -- touches her desk or chair? What do you think of a girl who then decides simply for kicks to act last week as though she is my daughter's new best friend? Who gives her her Webkinz account name and asks that Sadie become her on-line friend? Who says that she wants to set up playdates with Sadie and then gives Sadie a fake phone number? And then, the following Monday, de-friends Sadie on Webkinz and tells her that they never really were friends -- that Kennama had only been playing a trick on her? And then, when Sadie asks another girl to find out if she could still be Kennama's friend receives the cold reply, "Um, not going to happen." What in the world do you think of a girl like that? And, more importantly, what do you do about it?
Well, first I cried. And Sadie cried. And we had a good howl together in the car on the way home from school. And then Sadie, being Sadie, seemed to let go of it. Not so her mother, whose half-Italian status was fully awakened and ready to enact a vendetta. I wanted simultaneously to yank Sadie out of school and punch Kennama in the nose. Oh yeah. In a heartbeat, I had the scenario well-developed in my mind, and I've played it out many times since for sheer amusement. And then, after I had my fun with that, I called my dad and blubbered on the phone to him. He said, "You really cannot do anything here, honey. You just have to let it play itself out, though it breaks your heart." "I know, I know," I agreed.
Then, I e-mailed my dear friend, Flicka, and told her I was both bummed and livid over something that had happened to Sadie at school. Because she is such a good friend, she knew I needed a call back and a hashing out together of this problem. So, on the phone I spilled the whole stupid, sad, infuriating mess out. And Flicka suggested that I go to the teacher and let her know about this bullying. Ah, now that was a word I hadn't thought of: bullying. I guess I think of bullying as physical assault, not emotional. But, this loathsome Kennama had really crossed a line with her devious plotting against my daughter's peace of mind. It was bullying.
So, Dad is right; and Flicka is right. I cannot do anything with this girl or her parents directly, but I can, at the very least, make the school aware of the situation and demand that this foul Kennama be allowed nowhere near my sweet girl.
What do you think of mean girls? I was a mean girl only once, I think. There was a well-developed (if you know what I mean) girl who was new to our school in seventh grade. Oh, it must be a torture to look like a woman in a class of girls! What this poor kid went through. Her name was Desiree, and in the first few weeks of school, we were tight. But, because she was different, I soon came to understand that the entire cadre of seventh-grade girls was set against her. And, you know, in that subtle, stealthy way that herd mentality influences without ever really saying anything, I began to realize that by being Desiree's friend, I was setting myself up for a fall. And so, I dropped her. I'll never forget the way it felt that night when I sat at the kitchen table, refusing to take her phone call. My mom kept holding out the phone to me and I just kept shaking my head. Eventually, my mom just apologized and hung up the phone, and I ran to my room and cried hot tears. Because I did not want to lose Desiree; and I lost her just the same. All so I could be "in." And something changed in me that night -- I guess because it was so against my nature and my own desires -- and I consciously knew that what I had done was so wrong. I knew I would never behave that way again. And yet, for some reason -- probably shame -- I could not make it right. I just could not bring myself to do it. Desiree changed schools a few weeks after that. I hope that someday, beyond the veil, I'll meet her again and be able to ask for her forgiveness face-to-face. I've already asked for His.