Friday, September 24, 2010

Girl vs. Girl

Dear Mini-Van Mommy-

Hi. I'm the Blue Explorer you just cut off. I realize you were distracted and busy. Talking on your Blackberry and replacing the cap on your child's cup while driving. I realize I was probably in the way as you were racing to get to a playdate or the grocery store or a Starbucks. But it was fairly tough to not run into you as you skidded to a halt next to me at the stop sign. In the parking lane, not an actual lane. And turned, just as I was starting to turn right.

I see so many mommies and mini-vans just like yours these days. The ones going way too fast, running through stop signs, cutting in front of other people on 495. All I can see as you leave me in the dust is those family stick figures and a soccer bumper sticker seared to my eyeballs. I run into you and your friends everywhere I go. You all cluster together like little cute suburban lemmings. Identical college or breast cancer ballcaps with a Mommy-cut ponytail, some kind of Gap shirt and khaki capri pants with perfectly white running shoes on. Top of the line stroller and other baby accessories. Your kiddos of various ages are dressed like they're on the way to a magazine shoot. I bet you shop in the Petite department.

You see me coming and I can just feel the narrowed eyes. T-shirt, jean shorts, sandals. My hair not highlighted, down to my waist, tattoos showing, no makeup on. I'm not petite in height or hip-size. My kid, who is twice the size of yours and not as impeccably dressed, squeals, "Awww! A baby! Mommy, see the cute baby?" (He loves babies - he tells me he wants a brother). He tries to go up to your baby and you immediately shift, looking at me like I can't control my child. Because he thinks your baby is cute. I'm such a horrible mom.

You know the problems girls have with other girls? It never goes away. I don't know exactly when it starts. For some, it's high school. You've been friends with Joe Next Door forever. But once you get to high school, the two of you can't be friends anymore. Because Hot Cheerleader Girl likes him - but she doesn't like you. Or Type A Girl decides to make you miserable because both of you want to be the editor of the yearbook. For other girls (like myself), it starts as early as kindergarten. I can remember playing dolls with Amy Down the Street on a regular basis. But about a week after kindergarten began, she wouldn't come over. I asked her why. Amy told me dolls were for babies. She wanted to practice putting on makeup. I can remember distinctly thinking, "But we're 5."

Just when you think it could be over - (after graduating high school or maybe even college) - just when you think, Ok, maybe we can all grow up and stop hating other girls now (because goodness knows, dealing with guys at that age can be enough. Sorry boys) you have an encounter again. It's either Kristin Ice Queen at work who thinks she deserves a promotion over you or Random Sorority Chick at the bar who thinks she can steal your boyfriend away from you. Maybe a friend even, Anna Who Loves Scrapbooking, who gets mad when you give her an honest opinion about her latest project. Then it just keeps going - your fiance's cousin Sally who liked his old girlfriend better than you. Your former boss Mary, who sent your co-worker Elizabeth to the amazing business conference because they were best friends, not because she was better qualified. Gwen, the girl at your husband's workplace who goes to him for dating advice and thinks he's "so great". On and on, until you're an old lady, arguing with Maude up the street about who looked better back in 1999, Ricky Martin or Will Smith.

But what's with all of the girl hate? You'd think that we could at least have some kind of mutual respect for each other, as women. Maybe it's not even just a woman thing - maybe it evolves into a class or race or working mom vs. stay at home mom thing. Whatever the deal is, it sucks. I'm just as guilty as anyone else out there, but it's still lame. I wonder if other women are internally criticizing my body when I randomly get dressed up. I think bad thoughts about the mommy in the fast food line who lets her kid drink Coke with her fries and cheeseburger. I get irritated with the mommy struggling with her kid having a tantrum at Target when you know for sure, I've gone through the exact same thing with both of my kids. Who am I to criticize anyone else for what they go through?

The worst part? No one can come out and call anyone on it and move forward. I can't ask the mommies at the mall, "What is it that freaks you out? My son likes babies and he thinks yours is cute. I'm a mom, just like you. Just because I don't look like you, doesn't mean I don't love my kid or don't make him wash his hands." I can't follow you, Mommy in the Mini-Van to your next destination and say, "Hey, I know you're busy, but you cut me off and I almost ran into you because you were talking to your friend about a post on Facebook and helping your child with a snack. While you were driving.

I think guys have it easier. Yes, seriously. Most guys I know, they can get along with everyone. If they have a problem with someone, they either call them on it, punch them and have a beer later. Or they avoid the guy. Maybe girls make things too personal - we think everyone could be our best friend. But we can't exactly go around bitch-slapping everyone, either. (My husband says that Jello wrestling would be a better idea. Yes, I punched him in the shoulder).

Why can't we just be honest with each other? Why can't we respect each other? We are all different, we are all different kinds of women - career-driven, creative, readers, talkers, fashionistas, mothers, pet-lovers, independent, etc, etc. We're not all going to be like Meredith and Cristina or the Sex and the City girls or Mary and Rhoda, even - but enough with the hate.

So, on that note, I'm going to try to change. Enough with the Girl Hate.

Sorry for the long tangent, Mini-Van Mom. I hope you at least heard me screaming out the window as you cut me off. Aside from making the rest of us Moms look bad - you're f*cking dangerous. So get off the phone, get your kid's snack ready before you get in gear and PAY ATTENTION.

(What? Just because I said I was going to change, didn't mean I wasn't going to be honest).


*Disclaimer: I know more than a few women who drive better than the average taxi driver. I have nothing against mini-vans or women personally - more often than not, the combo results in crazy.*


  1. Great post, and so true. I was just thinking how nice it would be to have men join our currently-all-girls office for all the reasons listed above.

    And for what it's worth? When I saw you and your family in Kalamazoo last, I totally fell in love with your son. I think he is just adorable and I remember thinking "I hope I have a little boy like that someday."

  2. What's wrong with Jello Wrestling?

  3. Yes, girls always have a love or hate relationship.

    I think when you are finally are comfortable with yourself, you come to terms with everyone else being "different" from you. You finally let go of the "hate"