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Tuesday

Girls, girls, girls.

Last year, I worked in my school's toddler center, where 2-year-olds were dropped off for two hours two mornings a week and left with scared college students looking after them. One of the craziest things I witnessed there was when one little girl tried to join two others playing underneath the slide. "NOOOOOOO!" the little girl toddlers screamed at their peer. "We don't like you!!!"
I was in shock. Could this mean-girl thing really begin so early in life?
Growing up, I was a total tomboy. I always had two best girl friends, but spent most of my time surrounded by guys. When I accepted my love of shopping around middle school, I still found myself drawn more to the boys as friends. They were easy, accepting. They talked shit, but at least they did it to your face. Girls? Besides some of the true blues, you never knew what they thought.

When I ended up in a women's college, believe me, I was pretty concerned. But all the stories from the alumnae made me hopeful. This is where women help each other, care for each other, want each other to succeed, they claimed. I, sadly, beg to differ.

Maybe it is partly true: I have found time and again that the older alumnae really seem to want me to succeed and even help me to do so. I've met them all over the place. Many have interviewed me and pushed for me to get the job. Others I've spoken to have offered to connect me with people that could get me where I want to go. But they are all ten, twenty, thirty years my senior.
The girls my own age? Aside from a select few, I feel like many girls are much too busy competing with one another to be happy for each other, help each other, support each other. Some even seem to get pleasure from others' misfortunes.
When I was in Paris last month, I met tons of women vacationing together. Perhaps because we were drawn to other English-speakers, almost every night my mom and I found ourselves fast friends with these women, exchanging emails and connecting on Facebook. They, of course, were all older than me. At one meal, we talked about how much easier it is for them, now, (at 30+) to find friends. For someone my age, they said, it was a lost cause. (I'm even starting to wonder if it does get better with age--I seem to keep encountering older women that are just as catty as those girls I knew in high school, if for totally different reasons.)

Is that how it has to be? Can't we all just get along? I think girls really need girlfriends more than anything. As much as I love M, I do not get everything I need from him. I find myself still dying for someone I can count on not to judge me, someone who can support me while I work through becoming an adult, growing up, starting my career. I need that, I think we all need that, but it seems that there are things there that get in the way.

If we keep beating each other down, don't we all just end up miserable and alone?

2 comments:

Kacey said...

"Is that how it has to be? Can't we all just get along? I think girls in their twenties need girlfriends the most. I find myself dying for someone I can count on, do girly things with, talk to about boyfriends, work, not wanting to grow up, how I can become someone successful, confident, and happy. As much as I love M, I do not get everything I need from him. I need my girl friends, but it seems that there are things there that get in the way."

I think you said it perfectly! I am DYING here and it is because I don't have any girl friends. It isn't for lack of trying either. I have been obviously ignored, ditched, etc by tons of people. The only "friends" I have made are 30 and 40 something women. What is wrong with females our age?

Nicole said...

I'm having the same problem. I can't make friends here! I'm trying to become close with the girls I work with, but once 5:00 on Friday hits, they are all out the door telling me to have a good weekend and never extending an invitation to their party on Saturday night that they've been telling me about all week. I feel a little left out since they all have solid groups of girlfriends already established in Boston and I'm really struggling to find people to go to brunch with.

Maybe we should start a match.com for friends in their early 20's? I feel like it shouldn't be this hard! I feel you Kacey!