So I’ve been recently lynched-berated for being “mean” with my girl (well, gay) girl friend. As frustated as I was defending myself, I relented. There was no use arguing with a boy regarding matters on the girl world…
a far too complex world of cattiness, dog-eat-dog, underhanded bitching.
I’ve always wanted to write about the complexity of girl friendships. I never quite got it. Either I’m still not adept or skillful enough at the process of “keeping your friends close and your enemies closer” OR perhaps I’m still clinging on to the hope that girl friendships can exist without the slightest stain of competition, comparison and envy. Whatever the case, I’ve learned over the years that having fellow female friends means having to worry about her judging how you look, her checking out what you’re wearing, or her secretly bashing which social circle you hang out with, and so on…
Don’t get me wrong. I have a few good and true girlfriends who I can always run to, turn to, what have you. However, the general run of them seem to be those that fall under the following categories or cases…
(Note: I too, as a female, sometimes fall under these…and admittedly, to a fault.)
1. The “I’m so happy for you!!!” NOT. Girlfriend
Something wonderful lands on your lap and you’re filled with excitement, brimming with happiness and raring to share with the rest of the world. Not so fast. The girl world is one where you should hold back a little, lest she burst your bubble. The scenario goes as such…
Girl 1: Guess what??? I got_______ (a. The Job. b. The New Boyfriend c. The Weight Loss d. Whatever else you’re beaming about)
Girl 2: Oh Yeah? (Slight pause)… Wow! (slight pause again) I’m so happy for you!!! (insert feigned smile/awkard hug)
Whether it’s what you’re wearing, who you’re seeing, where you’re going, what you’re doing or how you’re looking, sad to say… she’s not going to be completely over the moon for you. It’s a sad fact of life, an oddity in relationships I’d prefer to live without. But what can I do? And what do I know?
2. The Facebook Friend you secretly stalk.
She’s pretty hot. She’s pretty cool. She’s pretty talented. She’s pretty damn smart. She’s pretty much something (or in some cases, everything) you want to be. She’s pretty much the threat you refuse to acknowledge. There’s a part of her you admire and a greater part that you envy/can’t help but hate. She’s the girl whose pictures you surreptitiously look at, the girl you keep at a safe distance, the girl you keep your voyeuristic eye on.
3. The Long Time Friend you want to but can’t seem to get rid of.
You grew up with her, wore matching outfits with her, played with her, had sleepovers with her, painted her toe nails (and vice versa). You loved her 100%… until you grew up and out of your innocent play pretend. Your little world of perfection, fantasy, of being best friends forever and ever… and ever.. got thrown out the window and was sadly replaced by a friendship as fragile as winter ice. You and her got boobs and beaus. And suddenly, it wasn’t all fun and games anymore. There seemed to be an unspoken but rather chilling sense of competition. Even if there wasn’t supposed to be one. Sure, you’re still friends with her and every once in a while, you look back on your childhood with fondness, but today, you find yourself engulfed in this black hole of bitterness and envy.
These are just a few on my too long list of categories and cases of the the girlfriend, better known as your frenemy.
Why is it that we feel the need to compare ourselves to the girl… next door? to the one that comes close or even closest to us? We feel threatened by those we ironically admire, those we find pretty, cool, amusing and interesting. We feel the need to compete, to overpower, to compare, to outsmart, to win… and at what cost? It’s a never ending cycle of bitterness, a tiring process of trying to look better, be better and go ‘get her’.
Having girl friends means falling victim to a confusing and vicious cycle—a tug of war between two highly competitive species, wanting similar things in life–be it beauty, talent, money, popularity, success, great sex (?) and happiness. The female specimen seems to have been injected with or perhaps infused with schadenfreude.
You know you’re friends..
But there’s an entire list of ‘BUTS’ standing between you and her, preventing you from truly becoming genuine friends with her. That thick wall of ‘BUTS’ may be a self-wall of sorts, the body of insecurities within you. You probably hate her because she threatens you in ways you’re not so comfortable with. You probably watch her like a hawk because you’re lured/amused and yet annoyed that she has that effect on you.
Beneath the scaffold of girl friendships, there are female issues webbing and coiling, seeping its way in, tugging at the insecure person within. I feel sick having to feel this way but I do. I’m disgusted by the fact that the female in me has bitchy fits and moments of weakness. I belong to the catty world of female dogs—of bitches that is.
She’s your frenemy. You’re hers. It’s a frenemy schmenemy world. Only a girl can understand what I’ve been harping on.
It’s… a girl thing.