I've been reading Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, and that combined with things going on recently have made me reflect on the women currently in my life and ones from the past who were in my life because of outside circumstance (i.e. ones I didn't ask to be around).
It was pretty early on that I learned what I call "The Polite Rules of Rejection." I remember being 14 and having my first (kiss) boyfriend telling me over the phone after his first day at high school (a different one than I was attending) about all the big-breasted girls around and how excited he was about it. It was only a few days later that he dumped me. I had not developed in the least at this point. I was still dancing a few hours a night almost 5 days a week. I finally broke 100 lbs later that year... But anyway, it was a harsh reality to swallow, that I had not only been dumped by my first kiss, but because of how I looked physically.
After this happened, I'd occasionally run into him since we did grow up in a small town and kept mutual friends. If he happened to have a (big-tittied) girl around, I treated her with politeness and respect, even if I wanted to rip her tits off and beat her over the head with them. After all-- if I were going to be upset with someone, it would have to be him for being the prick in the situation. The girl did nothing wrong by developing early (and voluptuously) and chances are, she never even knew I existed and that he had (cheated on) gotten rid of me for her.
This whole "taking the high road" thing is not something that is easy, but something that is necessary to maintain status as a respectable human being, keep on karma's good side and to not look like a complete Jerry Springer Show guest.
What's more important is that most people do NOT take this road. In fact, I have been on both sides of the situation and in each situation, I was treated like a piece of garbage by "the other woman".
While this is probably not a situation most people find themselves in, I have found myself in it 4 times since the "first kiss boy" kicked me to the curb. The second time, I was the dumped and was faced with my ex and his new girlfriend (he cheated on me with) at my junior prom that I attended (originally) with him. He left with her. I left with compassionate friends who went very far out of their way to get me home safe and sound. I spent the remainder of the night in ripped jeans and a tiara drinking booze at my neighbor's house while listening to Alkaline Trio's newest release and drawing, while I wasn't crying, of course.
The other three times I was in a similar situation, I was on the flip side. What boggles my mind about these last few times, is that it wasn't high school. One was during college and two were POST college and I was treated like I've never been treated in my life. Mean girls are alive and well. Not only do they still exist, but are thriving, I assure you.
I was taken to a college formal by my now ex. He put me into a situation where I was sat with and spent most of the night in close quarters with a girl he had been "seeing" (and assured me he hadn't been) along with all of her closest girlfriends. I was wondering why this mean girl-- the ring leader of the crew-- was treating me like I had killed her pet kitten all evening. I mean, it was worse than that. It wasn't pure violence or a clear "fuck you"-- it was a twisted melting pot of embarrassing me, not letting me in on things/jokes/stories, making fun of me when I spoke, and general disrespect (which is the worst of all). I've never shown so much restraint as I did that night. It only came out a few days later that they had in fact been "seeing each other" (isn't that a nice phrase?) and she was pissed that he had decided to get back together with me instead of continuing to "see her"*. I totally deserved being shit on all night for that one. How dare I? On top of the sheer embarrassment I felt all night (because of her treatment), the humiliation I felt after finding out that I was at a table all night with a group of people who knew my boyfriend had been "seeing someone else," and I was the only one out of the loop... It's not a great feeling. In fact, it's the worst.
(*She ended up marrying his roommate. We buried the hatchet years later and she apologized for being such a cunt to me that night. This doesn't make it ok, but I think it shows that maybe she just matured at the rate of a snail while I was more at the pace of a cheetah. An unfair race, really.)
The second post-high school experience was with my current boyfriend's ex. We saw her out on the town one night, and instead of fleeing the scene and pretending I didn't know who she was (because I had met her previously), I walked right up and extended my hand and told her hello. I re-introduced myself and told her it was nice to see her again. Awkward isn't really the word to describe the response I got in return. It was more of a look like she had smelled a rotten corpse and rolled her eyes, only to have them land comfortably on my boyfriend. She spent the remainder of the night blocking me from him and talking/laughing/flirting with him. I just decided to take my business elsewhere in the bar. It wasn't fun, and he is as much to blame for my feelings of embarrassment and disrespect that evening, but I assure you, he knows this. I showed this girl respect. I wasn't trying to rub our relationship in her face. We are adults. It's a shame I couldn't get the same amount of respect in return.
The final mean girl situation was with a girl that will remain nameless and position-less (as far as who she is and how she squirmed her way into my life), but I will give you this hint: It's not an ex (that I know of) and she clearly was interested in the man I was with at that time. This person, I came out of the gate with salutations and trying to be as sweet as a peach. It was a work-related situation where I'd be that way regardless, to show respect and try to build a good relationship since careers are involved. Red flags when up right and left as soon as she sat down (across from me and my then boy) at dinner. I felt like I was in the college situation all over again (but was much much older). What the fuck was going on? The only thing this was missing from the college formal night was the expensive gown, bad food and gaggle of co-cunts to back her up.
This girl went out of her way to ignore me when I spoke, talk only to the others at the table, and flirt mercilessly with my boyfriend in front of me and the rest of their co-workers. It was embarrassing, to say the least.
Again-- being adults and being respectful goes a long way. It takes a ton of restraint when emotions are involved (and believe me-- sitting there and being shat on for no apparent reason in front of people I respect--was a situation where restraint was DEFINITELY needed on my part). I excused myself to use the bathroom just to pace around it and breathe at one point. I'm not quite sure why this happens.
My mom never sat me down and explained this exact situation, guiding me on how to hold myself during such an event. I just know that you don't go out of your way to make people look like assholes-- ESPECIALLY at events that involve work, charity or PUBLIC in general. "The Polite Rules of Rejection" is to deal with the fact that whatever person you were after didn't feel the same way about you, clearly, or else he'd be there at dinner with you. It's owning that and moving on, not taking it out of whatever girl he is currently dating.
Disrespect is hard to swallow. I have to believe in karma. It's the only way I can sit there biting my tongue. I'm pretty sure this is the type of shit that guys settle with fist fights, not pure disrespect and embarrassment. Why do women use these tactics against each other? What do these women get out of it? If I ever took the route any of these "ladies" took, I'd be ashamed of myself...
Just something I'm often puzzled by and figured I'd vomit out into type...