So Tiffany lost her little game of “divert Ryan’s attention away from Daisy” and I emerged the victor, right?
Eh, not really.
Yes, Tiffany left. And yes, Ryan and I left together. But I was so drunk and heated that I could not stop ranting. No guy wants to hear about girl drama, and, of course, he couldn’t really see why I was so angry in the first place (Tiffany seeming so nice and all). Being the fool that I am, I tried to explain it. But guys just don’t get it.
Author Chimamanda Adiche said that women are raised to see each other as competitors for the attention of men. And men might say, “Well just stop doing that.” But what they don’t understand is that they are complicit in this.
Let me take y’all back to seventh grade. Seventh grade is when the first boy ever liked me. His name was Greg Hayes (real name). We started “going out.” It was awesome. He was really flirtatious and a lot of girls liked him, so I felt extra special. (I just tried to look him up on Facebook but…no luck.) One day, we were at an assembly watching the cheerleaders and he told me…okay…wait a minute.
I’m 30-years-old right now. This happened when I was maybe 13. I would like to say, “I will never forget what he said to me.” But now that I think hard about it…I have forgotten what he said. It may have been, “I wish you were a cheerleader.” Or it may have been, “Why don’t you look like them?” or “Why don’t you dress like that?” I don’t actually recall. All I remember is how he made me feel. Distinctly…not good enough.
He wasn’t a bad person. He was just a kid and he was only expressing how he felt to me. We were of an age when boys and girls were more intimate with each other by nature. You say how you feel, I say how I feel. We’d learn to be more guarded and reserved in the future, but we weren’t there yet. So I don’t blame him for his statement, whatever it was. He was responding the way cheerleaders are supposed to make men respond. With desire.
It was refreshingly honest, actually. He felt the way he was supposed to feel (horny for cheerleaders) and I felt the way I was supposed to feel (inadequate for not being one). If I was hot, I too would be down there on the floor jumping around for the boys watching. These girls represented the type of girl I should aspire to be. It was regular me versus ideal them. That was my introduction to this cultural truth.
So men don’t realize that many, if not most, if not all, female friendships are tinged by innate competitiveness. It’s the culture we live in and the way we were raised. That’s why reality shows like The Bad Girls Club, and the Real Housewives of Wherever, and Basketball Wives exist. Female relationships are cultivated to be petty, shallow, and volatile, which, of course, makes for interesting television.
So here I am, drunk and fuming, trying to explain a deep resentment that stems from cultural norms I’ve experienced since adolescence to a guy I’ve only met twice, who is likely also drunk, and who has no awareness this injustice even exists.
And so, of course, I was dismissed as “crazy.”
And that’s why I haven’t seen Ryan since.
But I will. Soon.
More next time.