when i was in 7th grade, i had a sweet posse (i was the alpha female, natch. ). we were definitely not the "popular girls" who let the boys feel them up in the school's garden (slizzzuts! you know who you are!), but we rolled six deep and thought we were pretty darn cool. i know that i rocked the babydoll dress and doc martins look, and really, it didn't get much hipper than that in 1994-1995 (even though my mom wouldn't shell out for the top-of-the-line docs and mine weren't quite as cool as everyone else's. all i wanted were the cute high tops with the yellow stitching around the soles, and instead got sorta-cute maryjanes, which i liked but could never fully get behind. not that i harbor any resentment about my sub-par docs 14 years later....).
halfway through the year, my posse and i reached a unanimous decision. one of our gang, DH, had to go. she was totally dragging us down with her dorky clothes (she didn't own any doc martins!), and she didn't listen to any of the cool bands i loved, like silverchair, pearl jam, and the cranberries (there was a lot of teenage angst going on at that point in my life.) ugh, what a loser! i could barely stand to be seen in public with her (at the time i probably thought she was ruining my game with all the cute boys. years later, i realized i never had any game with any of the cute boys), so i implemented a smear campaign by talking nonstop shit about her to the rest of the posse. they totally agreed that DH was popularity poison. i tried giving DH the cold shoulder, hoping that my comrades would follow, but every time she sat at our table for lunch, they happily made room for her generic-brand-jean-wearing butt (not wearing gap jeans? blasphemy!).
one day, while in PE with my posse, we were learning how to throw and flip people in wrestling (everyone had to either take wrestling or gymnastics. i clearly prefer to wrestle than try to be balanced, coordinated or flexible in a leotard). we were paired up, shown the proper technique, and then had to practice flipping our partner over our shoulder and on to a cushy, two-foot-thick mat. as awesome as it was to totally manhandle my partner while i threw her over my shoulder (i'm a badass. want to fight?), it was even cooler to be the one being thrown. it was actually kind of fun to fly through the air, landing comfortably and safely on the mat!
when it was DH's turn to be thrown, she scrunched up her face, whined, and said that she didn't want to do it because she was scared. suddenly, it was like everything else around me disappeared. all i could see was this dorky girl who was lame and wanted to be my friend! didn't she know i was way too cool for her? i snapped.
"you're such a baby, DH!" i screamed. "why do you have to be such a loser? don't you know we don't even like you?!" her face crumpled. the rest of the posse stood frozen, shocked. in the cruelest tone i could muster, i sneered, "why don't you go cry about it," before turning my back on DH and spending the rest of PE in triumphant silence. i couldn't wait to go to lunch and laugh with my friends about the dumb look on DH's face! but when we met up later, there wasn't a "way to go, rachel morgan!" or a "you're so cool! why can't i be as pretty, smart, funny and popular as you" to be found. DH didn't join us, but nobody seemed to celebrate her absence except me.
as the rest of the year wore on, none of my friends turned their backs on DH. they didn't turn their backs on me either, but i couldn't understand why they chose to try to remain friends with someone they'd told me they didn't like. why didn't they just grab their balls and tell her to get lost? didn't they want to be popular and get felt up in the garden? i was confident that i did (dear god, what an awful aspiration. tacky!) , so while they were all dancing the night away at DH's bat mitzvah, i sat at home alone, happily thinking that her party was probably a lamefest anyway, and convincing myself that i was glad to not be there.
by the time we graduated high school, DH and i had not spoken in years. i wasn't friends with anyone in my posse anymore either, and i still wasn't one of the popular girls who got felt up in various places on campus. i never regretted saying what i said to DH, but i did learn to feel like a bitch for the way i treated her. the problem is, i kinda like being a bitch. i'm proud that i say what's on my mind and refuse to take shit from anyone (you should really consider a new deodorant, by the way. i can smell you from here, and that is rank!). yes, i feel bad for publicly humiliating a 12 year-old girl (i'd already had practice traumatizing a 10 year-old girl, DK. oopsies!), but i refuse to make apologizes for being who i am.
i'm sure that DH has grown into a wonderful, successful and intelligent woman. but let's face it: i'm a better bitch.