Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Girls Will Be Girls

When I was a bitchy, judgemental, annoying teenager, coming of age in Orem, Utah A.K.A Mormon capital of the motherfucking universe (duuude, Mormon AND motherfucking in the same sentence. Awesome.) I was ALL about my girlfriends.

We did everything together. Pranced to school in groups, stood at lockers in huddles, pushed desks together in shared classes, ate lunch together, went to the restroom together, traipsed home together, tittered on the phone about NOTHING for hours, slept over at each others houses.. Girls draped all over each other like clothing. Hands clasped, arms tangled, playing with each others hair.. Hugs and squeals upon reuniting, even if the last time we saw each other was before English class.
"Omigosh, I missed you." I would slurp then lick my teeth, as one tends to do with braces extending two feet from lips.
"Me toooooo!" Hugs all around! Then we'd proceed to laugh spasmodically and generally act like the adorably annoying teens that we were.

Of course, at any moment, the tide could shift and you'd be the odd girl out. After all, there HAS to be some drama, HAS to be someone to hate. That would quickly blow over when the next girl would commit the cardinal sin of talking to someone's boyfriend (in a flirty way!) or, like, wearing somebody else's jeans and stuff. And things. Like, omigosh!

Now, even though we women in our twenties are more cordial, not as catty (not as overtly catty, anyway) we aren't as chummy. The touching doesn't come as naturally. Somewhere along the way we morphed from gaggles of giggling girls hanging all over each other to reserved women with boundaries.

Are we respecting each others space, or are we fearful of rejection? Have we learned how terribly women can actually behave to each other and so we erect boundaries, emotional barbed wire fences to keep each other at bay?

My girly-girl still comes out to play... she's shy though. Afloat on the liquid courage of liquor, the giggling girl peeps out from behind layers and layers of my tough girl self. She has to be treated delicately though. If she comes into contact with a tough girl who rebuffs her, purposefully makes her feel silly, she retreats.

Ironic, isn't it, that every tough girl has a girly-girl who wants to play, wants to bond, but the older we get the more afraid of rejection we are.. so there we are, sitting coolly in bars, sipping our tough girls drinks, smoking our tough girl cigarettes, flicking our tough girl hair.. and then we go home and cry because we're so lonely.

Reader Comments (10)

You may be surprised to find out that the older you get the less afraid of rejection you will become. You'll have your circle of support around you and the ability to bounce back from the crap that life has a habit of throwing at us.

I just went to my 20th highschool reunion after never having gone before. I hated HS and the people who went there. But I went this time because none of that bothered me anymore. I had a great time. All of those walls you talked about were no longer needed and I got to enjoy these people for the first time.

That's what I believe, anyway. Maybe it's different for women. I don't know..
April 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbob
btw "What's Happening!" 48-hour marathon on TVLand all weekend. what an Easter!
April 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterXmastime
Loving that 2 men have just commented on this topic.

You can't hear my self-concious giggling through my tough girl exterior.
April 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAME
so true true
April 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkat
Wait, stop, it's still out there, I swear! I have a small gaggle with whom I 'girly-girl' out with on a very regular basis. Okay, there are varying degrees depending on the amount of jager-bombs and red wine but generally, being girly is not only socially acceptable but REQUIRED in my world, it also serves the purpose of driving away annoying boyfriends/husbands when desired.

Just wanted to say hello from Vancouver, BC, Canada, I just stumbled onto your blog a couple of weeks ago via the lovely dooce and really love it. I am just getting into your archives, etc. I made it through your list, I almost emailed you, I got shy. I identify on some fundamental points...except nose picking (other people's) doesn't really bother me.

Looking forward to continuing to read!
April 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVan Ally
*extends hand to hold,arm to link, and cheek to kiss*
April 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
I think the shy bit is very true...I actually hate to meet new people and feel very shy at the thought of it. Classic fear of rejection. But if you know me, you might say I was outgoing. And don't we all play into that bs, reading things into conversation, trying to play it cool instead of yelling, "Yes! Let's be friends!"

At the same time, I have this gaggle of girlfriends I do all these girly things with, and I love making new girlfriends and adding to that circle. I really don't know what I'd do without those friendships. They sustain me in a way other relationships don't.

Thank god we give it up as we get older. When does that happen, Bob? I need to put it on my calendar so I can look forward to it!
April 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Hmmm. I'm going to disagree with Bob. I find that, the older I get the more difficult it is to make friends. I don't know if that's fear of rejection or what, but I completely identified with this post. There is a line in the movie Stand By Me that has always moved me. Something to the effect of "we never make friends like the ones we had when we were 12 and 13". Although you'd think they'd be over the childishness I think adults erect so many barriers, are more competitive even though they are loathe to admit it. Granted I have a great circle of friends, but I find we are more reticent to talk about our personal problems than when we were younger. There is more keeping up of pretenses.
April 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I still find that affection with certain friends. Me and my best friend happily stroll the streets of NYC arm in arm, basking in one another's company.

By the way, those braces obviously worked wonders. You've got a lovely smile. I get my braces off in two years and I hope my teeth look that good.
April 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
I show my girly girl quite often. I'm thirty something now but i've always shown her. I'm not the most confident person, i just don't care so much what people think. Not that if they think or say something hurtful that it doesn't hurt me. It's just that i want to be me,me,me! And whoever likes me can come around for more. Don't let your environment keep that girly girl down Monica! Maybe some people won't like her but i bet you A LOT of people will.
April 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEvangelia

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