The other day, I went out with my friend and I behaved very cattily in public.
And, furthermore, do you know what? I know that I should be ashamed, but am not.
Before we get into a maudlin post about how my self-esteem is just now building itself up and how I’m realizing more and more that your body’s metabolism is just not the same when you hit your 30s and all that depressive crap that women love to talk about, let’s have a few things clear:
1. Being a bully has everything to do with self-esteem. It may not be the foremost thought in your mind, but it is inextricably linked. It’s just that sometimes being the bully is more about the self-esteem of other people. It’s a blurred line, I think, between bully and bully-ee.
2. I am well within my rights to giggle like a tween if someone walks in front of me and thinks she’s hot shit because of what she’s wearing when it clearly smacks of *Trying Too Hard*.
3. I do not, did not, and am not currently envying my victim– and especially not her ratting abilities. Actually, I hadn’t even thought of her until the computer hummed its civilized hum at me and twiddled its zeros and ones and wondered why it couldn’t be owned by someone who does cool things with its awesome power. (computer: keep it up or I’ll put you to sleep)
My friend and I, tired mothers of toddlers that we are, decided that we should go out and have some fun on Saturday come hell or high water. And believe me, driving to her house in the middle of a severe thunderstorm really drove the point of the whole saying well.
We’d gussied up a little because it’s amazing how you can actually put on mascara and eyeliner when you don’t have little chubby monkey hands grubbing and grabbing and hanging off your arms. But when we were out on the town we kind of came to the realization that we were way too tired for alcohol — though I had mojitos from earlier in the day to blame as well. We passed a humble, evil and tastefully decorated Starbucks and decided that as long as we were actively OUT that it didn’t much matter that we weren’t actively drinking.
As we sat in the evil and comfortably-lit den that every Starbucks in the planet seems to have, we chatted and shared treats and generally basked in the glee of being away from people who only respond to threats after you’ve issued them three times and in various degrees of yelling. Ah, a little oasis of adult behavior and conversation without immature interlopers: bliss.
And then, they came in.
Some people –some "beautiful" people I reckon– call Washington DC , "Hollywood but with ugly people." In this town there is much wealth and many delectable and high-end stores, and there are many people who have wallets that match the size of their noses and/or overbites.
I think that calling people ugly around here is a little mean though, even for me. I just think that in DC people are far more preoccupied with attaining absolute political power to bother telling their second assistant to pencil in the rhinoplasty or the laser resurfacing.
Also, DC being about power explains it well: if you’re powerful, you pack your own mix of aphrodisiac that makes people look past your hair in unsightly places or your last-season Prada pumps or your unflattering St. John suit and focus instead on, well… your power. (Department of Redundancy Department? How may I direct your call through the calling system?)
Now, being that I am but a lowly mother in this power-totem pole, I neither have truly powerful acquaintances nor do I go out a lot to see any of the beautiful or not-so-beautiful people in action. I instead turn to the WaPo and read the sightings page and the Style section and wonder in which dumpster they pick up the people that they highlight in the TrendSpotter section.
Okay, they aren’t always bad. But they have been and you may not deny it.
So when these two fresh-out-of-college-looking young women and their bad bouffant ponytails sashayed past us at Starbucks on a Saturday night in their ever-so-passé Juicy tops and low slung jeans, while attempting to give my friend and I little "We’re The Alpha Female" looks over their orange shoulders, something snapped inside of me.
So let me get this straight,
You, clearly over 21 and quite plainly able to go hang out at a hot spot around town that would perhaps appreciate the dead bird on your heads instead of the sleepy Starbucks that closes at 10 pm, chose to give us –innocently sipping and chatting away– the bitchy reconnoitering look reserved for… for what, pray tell?
The look that says, "Eyes off that geek working hard on the MacBook because he’s mine"?
Or perhaps the look that says, "The two ladies talking real estate behind you were totally checking me out–especially the one who was passing gas just now. Whatchagonnadoaboutthat?"
Seriously, girlies: there is no way that anyone–fashionista or no– can take you seriously after seeing that the top of your ponytail looks like a nest. Bouffant ponytails can look filthy unless you are very good at doing hair. And the Jersey hoops gracing your ears were overkill, especially with the hair.
But what I still cannot fully get is why you would feel the need to strut your stuff in front of two women who were clearly older than you and not in the market for what you’re obviously seeking. I mean, we looked okay and not like something the cat dragged in –my friend looked better than I did, I must say. But we were just sitting there hanging out, having fun and clearly not looking to show anybody up. Was the pretend-nightclub poseur bit really necessary?
So you understand why I regressed to age 14 and started giggling and pointing, right?
And why chai almost came out of my nose as I saw you play seductively with your straw, right?
But you know what? I hadn’t giggled at someone’s expense like that in a long time and it was a very freeing feeling. You really made me feel so young.
Like, seventh-grade young.