I just read that article about mean girls, and some memories came flooding back. Wow, girls are capable of being really mean, in case you didn't remember. I certainly had my fair share of childhood trauma in that area, but that is for over a beer sometime.
I guess I dabbled in that meanness too, a few times, just to try it on, but inevitably it made me want to vomit so I stopped. I also caught on that the cliques had very little fun or creativity happening. I rember when that really sunk in was grade 11, when I no longer cared about befriending the "A-list" twits, and decided I was "different" (oh, you know the whole poetry, rep cinema, kind of different) and I capped it all off by getting a job at a record shop. Well, these girls were suddenly so anxious to transcend their cliquey limitations and discover something that made them unique (I'm so inside the box, I will now define the box), they would hit me up for music recommendations. Oh, but how it later irked me to hear them singing the Pixies in the hallway!
The worst were the rich girls with family cottages who "discovered" the Grateful dead and Neil Young, and would wear tie-dye boxers under their kilts, singing Uncle John's Band by their lockers. I got such a case of reverse-snob aversion, I still can't listen to the grateful dead without thinking about rich white girls with bandannas tied around their heads.
But, oh, all I want to know, is are you kind.
On the bus one day, not so long ago, I saw these pre-teens talking loudly and smiled at them. This one girl responded with a glance so whithering, it chilled my soul.