Every once in a while, when I'm overwhelmed with responsibility or struggling through a day at work where I'm feeling dumped on, I think, "Oh, to be in high school again - no bills to pay, someone who feels responsible carrying much of my load for me, no job to go to... Wouldn't it be NICE?!?"
But then I remember.
High school, though we sometimes remember only the magic moments (pep rallies, football games, chatting in the halls between classes, prom), wasn't all that great. Heck, I got DUMPED at one of my proms. (Yes, you read that correctly.) People constantly besmirched (that's right, I used it) my accomplishments by saying I only got anything because my parents taught at the school. (I got all As because of my parents. I was a cheerleader and a soloist because of my parents. I even got trivia questions right for a piece of candy in Spanish class because of my parents. Seriously!!!) People, and by people, I mostly mean girls, are MEAN in high school. They wear their judgement right on the surface. It's considered a GLORIOUS event to publically knock someone down a few pegs.
A girl works really hard to overcome obstacles and finally passes a class that she was failing at first? Ehhh.
BUT, a girl trips in the lunchroom, spills spaghetti all over herself, and then falls down, exposing her granny panties? Now THAT'S a story for high school!
*These are both fictitious examples.*
As adults, people (again, read as "women") learn to hide their judgement. Snickering has to be done quietly rather than blatant pointing and laughing. Pegs are still knocked down, but they are done through mind-games and quiet undermining rather than blatant attacks. But here's the thing (and I swear guys don't KNOW this, which is crazy to me), some women are still so MEAN under there. There are groups of women who just LIVE to play mind games and judge and be mean.
Have you ever been somewhere and witnessed a group of women who never left that mean part of high school? Cliques. Eyerolling. Snickering. Bad-mouthing.
It makes me want to grab them by the shoulders, shake them, and scream, "Did you like high school when you were there? Really? WHY would you choose to continue it now, when you don't HAVE TO?!?"
I recently encoutered one of these gaggles (if geese are in gaggles, I suppose gossips must be, too right?) in the wild.
Ok, not in the wild. Just somewhere I was.
It was a group of women - some of whom knew each other; some who didn't.
And there was a palpable tension. I'd be doing my own thing, minding my business, look up, and BAM! An eyeroll! Suddenly I'd hear whispering. I'd turn to see it, and BAM! Another eyeroll and a tiny, hidden finger point. I'd feel some eyes on me, look up and THERE SHE WAS! Snarky McSnarkerson!
There were a few passive-aggressive comments - supposedly "general statements" about the rules of etiquette, but qiute obviously BLATANT judgement being passed on someone in the group.
It was very "into the wilderness". Eat or be eaten. Snark or be snarked.
I became a chameleon. I tried to blend into the back wall as quickly as possible. I didn't want a snark chasing me down. Snarks are VERY dangerous when they're on the prowl.
The woods are scary out there, people. I'm just not sure why we CHOOSE to make them so.
So here's my warning. If you see a gaggle of gossips or a swarm of snarks, RUN!!! You'll be so glad you did.
Love & Shipoopies,