My Sweet Revenge on the Ultimate Mean Girl
“She had been most popular girl in school and a thorn in my side for many years. Now the shoe was on the other foot…”
As a kid, I was an outcast—the skinny tomboy with braids and braces. I was a foot taller than the other girls. I was not popular. I was the ugly duckling, but I wasn’t desperate to fit in and be part of the brat pack. Instead, I was content to spend time alone or hanging out with Santa’s other misfit toys—the girl with overly large breasts at age 11, the girl who was kicked out of school twice for head lice, the girl who ate glue—these were my friends.
A girl named Shannon with big blue eyes and flaxen blond was the most popular girl in school and she never let me forget it. She was a girly-girl, the type who dotted her i’s with hearts. She was the teacher’s pet, the leader of the mean girls, and the only girl in the entire school who had with badges running up and down each arm of her Brownie uniform. How was that even possible? I only had five.
I needed the help of an attentive, engaged mother, but my mother was always busy with other things, even though she didn’t have a job. She was a modern day Betty Draper, forever busy with household things and being The Good Wife. This left her little time to be my cheerleader, life coach, and CEO of the playground. She was not active on the PTA. She didn’t volunteer at school events like the other mothers. I don’t know if that hurt my popularity, but it sure didn’t help.
As I was one of the misfits with no mother present to protect me, Shannon and her entourage of mean girls would often corner me on the school ground and make me admit to terrible things I had never done. I was the proverbial fall guy (or fall girl) when one of them did something bad. All fingers would point in my direction, and I would be cleaning out the chamois and chalkboard erasers after school, while they played softball or went to a Brownie meeting. I was never invited to their birthday parties or invited to play with them after school. Only one time, Shannon invited me to her house after school. I was so excited. This is it, I thought, then looked through my closet for something special to wear. I no sooner got to Shannon’s house and her Pekinese dog, Suzy, bit me on the nose and I promptly went home to attend to the bleeding. I wondered how long it took her to train the dog to do that? Weeks, I imagined.
I was rid of Shannon in high school, because she got to go to private school. Oh, how I wanted to go to private school. I thought it would be so cool to wear a uniform, have more structure, and play field hockey without being labeled a lesbian (for me to just be able to play field hockey without having my shins whacked all to sh*t would have been nice… like I said, mean girls!). In retrospect, I think private school was her parents way of putting a leash on Shannon, teaching her discipline and hoping that she would not turn out as a teen mom, a drinking, smoking waste of sperm and egg. After private school, Shannon went on to college in California—my dream. She studied public relations at Pepperdine—a coastal party school in Malibu where surfing and tennis are electives. Along with buying a football team, her parents had bought her a lifestyle, and an education with cache.
Years later, when visiting my family back in Canada, I ran into Shannon sitting at an outdoor café, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and staring at a piece of chocolate cake set out in front of her. She looked haggard. No longer the prettiest girl in school, she stamped out her cigarette as if she were mashing it into my face and commented on how great I looked.
She had been most popular girl in school and a thorn in my side for many years. Now the shoe was on the other foot. My foot. And it was a dazzling Louboutin pump.
As I walked away, I smiled the most delicious, private smile. This was the girl who had made grade school living hell for me? This was how her life turned out? Talk about just desserts! I’m still emotionally scarred by how she treated me, but I am grateful that I was not one of those mean girls.
Lennie Ross is a writer with a blog on dating in Los Angeles. She recently published a chick lit novel, called Blow Me, which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on her website www.lennieross.com.