Who watched the movie Mean Girls all those years ago, starring Lindsay Lohan, when she was still Lindsay Lohan? So Lindsay joined this new school and there she met The Plastics. Now, for those who don't know, 'the plastics' is a small group of spoilt rich kids, the popular ones, with the rich parents who get everything they want; designer school bags, nice cars, vacations abroad etc. Their parents give them everything besides basic home training, apparently. They're bitchy and they make their circle so tight that it's almost impossible for anyone else to join, and for those who aren't members, you must experience the burn of their cattiness.
If they do not like you particularly, they will try all they can to make your life a living hell; gossip about you, taunt and tease you, ridicule you, publicly humiliate you, undermine your efforts and generally make you hate yourself.
And guess what? They don't exist only in the movies.
Of course we encountered some of those in our High schools, we even encountered them in our Universities. We take it in stride as part of life and put it down to immaturity or youthful exuberance. For the most part most of us just try to ignore them.
But what happens when you get older and the Mean Girls are still here? Strange right?
Recently a friend of mine was telling me of how a woman who works with some multinational once broke down in tears at the office. The reason? A group of girls headed by an acquaintance of mine (who I know to be the prototype mean girl as she was one both in secondary school and Uni, but I'd have thought she would have outgrown it by now *smh*) always made her life very uncomfortable.
Not a day passed by when they wouldn't hurdle together, taunt her and call her names to her hearing. They openly laugh(ed) everything she does, everything she wears and everything she says. The kind of situation where she's walking by and they'd all whisper while pointing at her and then suddenly burst into noisy uproarious laughter, every time. And this had been going on for long till that fateful day the woman couldn't take it anymore and burst into tears.
I'm amazed that at our age, this is still happening.
But the reason I'm writing this is that I witnessed this last night and it was both amusing to watch and sad to listen to. So Sasha Bone and I went to Ebeano supermarket and while she went through the clothes at the boutique, I, knowing very well that I'm making no such expenses in 2014 leaned against a railing and idly watched two ladies having an animated conversation.
I think what caught my attention was their figures, both over 5.10" and rather skinny. They look like models, their clothes were really pretty and they're both naturalistas. Between talking about bitchy bosses and trips from New York to LA and back to Maimi, they made it a point of duty to yab every overweight person in their line of view. Hell for all I knew they even abused me too #shrug#. It was really fascinating watching and hearing them.
At some point though, my mouth hung open. This woman came in, tall and big boned with some extra weight. Obviously she had just come in from the gym, she wore track pants and a big T shirt. I watched her pay for her things at the till not too far from where the girls stood, and as I'd expected she soon became the subject matter of their dark satire. In clear words I heard one say "Doesn't she know that not everybody looks good in gym clothes, she thinks it's ok to come outside like this? She looks like a big fool!" and they both burst into laughter.
Ouch! At this time Sasha had returned and I almost had to grip her to steady myself from falling. Why so mean???
It reminded me of when I was in QC, JS 3 to be precise, one of the 'mean girls' who had never before spoken to me came to talk to me one afternoon. I was both pleasantly surprised and confused because she was smiling and she appeared very friendly, until she opened her mouth; "Do you know what my friends and I call you? (Me: No). We call you Fool, because you're big like a fool".
And then she walked away, smiling.
Back then and right now, I never understood the motive. And everytime I think of her what comes to my mind is "That bitch!". So much so that when I heard she lost a sister about a year or two ago all I could think of was that heartless bitch!, and for the life of me, I could feel no sympathy towards her. Yes we were kids then but that was the only time we ever spoke so that's all I remember her for.
What a thing to be remembered for...
Are you or have you ever been a "Mean Girl"? Have you ever been a victim of their caustic bullying? What have the experiences been like?
What's the best way to cope with "Mean Girls" in the work place?
And to the mean girls out there, especially the one I talked about above who made a woman in her office cry (you're an on-again-off-again blog reader) if you read this, CHANGE. I know it makes your life more interesting to laugh at other people but put yourself in their shoes and GROW UP.