Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And so it begins...

This afternoon, on the drive home from school, OG was in a great mood, and was uncharacteristically forthcoming about the events of her day.

I, pleased, kept up a fairly lengthy conversation with her about who she was playing with now, who her friends are in the classroom, how she feels about boys ("Nothing!" was that answer, so we're good there for the moment,) that sort of thing.

She brought up the subject of the little girl - we'll refer to her as "Bella," for no other reason than she's pretty - that she's been OBSESSED with for two years, but who has never returned her feelings in a manner satisfactory to OG. The poor thing is just a quiet, shy little girl who I'm sure is completely freaked out by my in-your-face daughter. I'm glad they're not in the same class, now, but they still see each other on the playground.

Anyway, OG has decided that she totally hates Bella now. (Except when Bella decides to be nice to her, at which point OG would stomp a kitten in her mad rush to be by her side. But that's another matter.) Happily, OG and another girl - "Frieda," have bonded over their mutual hurt feelings from Bella, and they seem to have formed a friendship that was at first based on this, but that is now also because they identify as "tomboys" (the diametric opposite of Bella, who is very feminine).

I like all these girls, I will venture. It's not Bella's fault that my kid gets intensely fixated on people, and that she is not easily reasoned with. But I especially like OG and Frieda making friends, and I see in them the hope for a real, true, friendship for my girl, based on equal participation and trust rather than the whole "girl" experience, what with the backstabbing and friend-taking, and all that. But I digress.

Anyway, OG said today - and I have never used this word to her - "Bella has gone over to be on the popular team. Frieda and I hate the POPULAR team!"

I was briefly amused - I had no idea that it had become a team sport - but quickly saddened. I didn't remember that it started so young.

I mean, we talked a bit about it...I wondered what "popular" meant to her, and I think she defines it as "girly," as in the girls with painted fingernails and who wear dresses. (OG complained a bit about another girl, saying "She used to have normal fingernails, but now she paints them so that she can be with the populars.")

But, really, what was I to say? That this isn't real, that it is a false construct set up by insecure people? That women trying to prove themselves better than other women just serve the nefarious purposes of those who would keep us down? That her class, surely, would not divide into these subgroups, in this, the supposedly enlightened twenty-first century?

I didn't. I wish that I could have given her a lie that she would believe, for a little bit longer. Sadly, OG knows a dissembler when she sees one, and I just didn't have one in me.

Well, honey...I will tell you this; we, the non-populars, turned out to be not a bad subgroup, when it's all said and done. I like us. I always have.

My mantra for you, now and always: GET. THROUGH. HIGH. SCHOOL.

(And watch some Monty Python movies. Couldn't hurt your team any.)

YG, on the other hand, appears destined for Cute Fairy Princess Girl School. (Todd helpfully pointed out that she is very reminiscent of Dawn Weiner's little sister in the tutu from "Welcome to the Dollhouse.")

The other day, I asked her if she wanted to get her hair cut short, like her sister's (and mine, for that matter). She replied, "No, I want it long like Ariel's. Princesses have long hair. I want to be able to do this " - at which point she tossed her head back and flipped her hair around with her hand, as if she were posing for the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.

Fine. OG and I will reserve the right to mock her if she becomes a cheerleader, though.

Not to her face.

(OK, just a little bit to her face.)


Fannie said...

As the mother of two girls who are/were not "popular" in High School? It's the place to be people!! Good friends, good grades, no destructive behavior, and guess what? You still get asked to Prom!

Bookhart said...

God, it starts early for girls.