Friday, February 28, 2020
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Playing a Nasty Game of Telephone with Mean Girls

The way I see it (and the way I am sure many other people also see it), girls can be mean. Downright cruel. Then you have the pastime a lot of girls are all too familiar with: gossip. Combine the two, and you’ve got an ugly situation that occurs more frequently than it should. I’m not quite sure why this behavior is called bitchy, but the way I see it, girls and gossip equals a whole lot of catty.
Personally, I have never been a big fan of girls. Pushing aside the obvious fact that I am of the female sex, I have always gotten along better with boys. Maybe it was the mullet I sported (and somehow managed to survive) in kindergarten, or perhaps it was the plethora of sports teams I joined (and actually thought I performed well in) in elementary school. Whatever it was and continues to be, I am better with guys.
My best friend of 16 years is a guy, shopping tends to make me want to throw things, and though I have accepted the fact that I suck at any and all sports, I do still enjoy them. That is not to say that I am a pro with guys on a romantic level. Like every other girl, I feel pretty clueless in that department. But I’m veering off topic.
My point is, girls love gossip, and I was reminded of this fun little fact the other day.
My mom was at a business dinner the other night (with five other women, Heaven help us all). As matters of true and genuine importance were trying to be discussed, two of these women took their menus and made a lame attempt at a whisper, all the while giggling and staring at the woman speaking.
Imagine, two adult women, acting like Plastics (‘Mean Girls,’ anyone?)! It was obvious who these ladies were talking about, regardless of what was being said. Fortunately, the woman speaking avoided making a scene and left, ridding herself of the immaturity that these Pickalittle Ladies were displaying (10 points for anyone who knows what musical I just referenced). I can’t say that I would have been so classy, but then again, in all fairness, I am a bit of a guy.
Scenario number two; this, a bit more age-appropriate than the former. My sister, a senior in high school, found herself caught in a nasty game of telephone, originating from a situation she played absolutely no part in. The day after merely asking a question about an acquaintance, she was being scorned by her best friend for something she had nothing to do with. Apparently, the discussion snaked its way into the ears of four other people overnight! My sister handled the situation very gracefully, as I expected she would, and cleared her name from the gossip slate.
What gives? Is it just in our estrogenic blood to talk behind each other’s backs? Or have we simply not learned that gossip is a bad idea? True, the occasional guy does find his way, maybe involuntarily, into the gossip circle, but I don’t think anyone will disagree with me when I say that the major players in this petty little game are girls, and the way I see it, we should take a cue from guys and not allow gossip to play such a major part in our lives. While I am not saying that we need to be saints all of the time and not talk about anyone (we are human, after all), I think that it is high time we step up and shut up.
By the way, the musical I referred to was ‘The Music Man.’