I’m a mean girl. I realize that that term hasn’t been coined yet—it is, after all, only 1977—but I’m actually writing this is 2018, and I can’t remember what we used to call mean girls back then, so “mean girl” it is. Anyway, I’m not proud that I’m a mean girl, and I’m not even sure how I became one, because I have 5 sisters. Actually, maybe that’s where it comes from—bartering for time and attention from Mom and Dad. Wanting desperately to be better than my sisters at something. Anything. Wanting teachers, principals, and lunch ladies to know my actual name and not refer to me as “So and So’s sister.”
Maybe this is why even at the age of 10, I consider every other girl in the world to be competition. I want to be the best and the most important. Better than the new girl who showed up in our class yesterday with her long hair and cute clothes (I plan on ignoring her and never talking to her, by the way); more important than the girl I saw at Sears last night who was with her mom and they were laughing and shopping and happy and I will never see her again in my life, which is just fine, because I didn’t like her anyway.
These girls are not better than me, so ignore them, shun them, and notice ME. I want it to be about me. Please! Somebody notice ME. I’m not invisible. Wait, am I? Maybe I am actually invisible. Wow, how cool is that? I’m invisible! But for the sake of reality, let’s say that I’m not.
Let’s say that people do notice me. But unfortunately, they notice me for the wrong reasons. They notice me because I disrupt class by trying to make the other kids laugh; I crawl around on the playground on my hands and knees pretending to be a horse; I’m weird and a little outrageous and I have an answer for everything.
The other kids are forced to notice me, because, and this is very important, I try just a little too hard.
This trait is basically a repellant of sorts. It’s a very good repellant, by the way, because people don’t want to be around me. Or acknowledge me. Or admit to even knowing me, because I’m embarrassing and “like attracts like” and “you are the company you keep” and all that crap.
No wonder other girls don’t like me. This, of course, makes me instantly not like them back. I become mean and catty—translation: intimidated and self-conscious. No wonder boys avoid me and will end up dating my friends and not me throughout high-school, college, and, well, basically, the rest of my life.
This entire post, this realization is embarrassing, mortifying to 2018 me. The basement is making a lot more sense now, isn’t it?