Saturday, January 24, 2015

Once A Mean Girl, Always A Mean Girl?

Mean girls.

You can't escape them.  

They're at your school, your work, yoga class, the grocery store ... go anywhere there's a large gathering of humans, chances are there will be one mean girl in the group.

I don't think I was ever one of 'them'.  At least I certainly hope not.

If anyone has ever perceived me as one, I apologize!

And having two boys, I believe I got off easy in that part of the parenting department, as boys just don't go down that same 'mean girl' path that the girls seem to.

Sure there's some drama, and complaints and they have their arguments with friends, but then it's forgotten.

Not with girls.  WE.  FORGET.  NOTHING!

And we can be cold, and vindictive and spiteful, and downright mean.

No ... really ... I'm serious!

As we get older though, we understand that compassion, and caring and empathy are better qualities to have, than having the biggest circle of friends, and making life hell for those NOT in that circle.

At least ... SOME of us get it.

For others perhaps, it may simply be a case of; once a mean girl, always a mean girl.

While I was home over Christmas, the boys, my mother and I went to visit my grandmother in her nursing home.

She is in her 90's now, and firmly in the clutches of that terrible Alzheimer disease, so she's not exactly the lady I remember so vividly from my youth.

Alzheimer's not only robs a person of their memories, and leaves them a shell of what they once were physically, but it can also do 'strange' things to the person it has afflicted.

One thing that happened to my grandmother, was that she stopped speaking french for awhile.

The woman is French Acadian.  She was brought up French, and raised her own family as French. Yes, she could speak english also, but french was her native language. 

She's a French woman through and through.

But one day, all of a sudden, she would only speak english.  No french.  At all.

Then, just as suddenly, it was back to french again.

Now, she rarely speaks.

She also gets very agitated easily.  

But how could you not? When you don't recognize where you are, or the people around you or why you're there? 

And you can't even get out of your damn chair.

And you're medicated.

How frustrating would that be, to be trapped in your own mind and body?

But one of the biggest adjustments is the personality change.  

She swears now.

My little sweet, polite, respectful, loving grandmother will now curse you out, just as easily as saying hello to you.

No, definitely NOT the woman who has been my grandmother all these years.

But I do understand why she does what she does and says what she says.  

Even if she doesn't realize she's doing it.

That particular day, we (all four generations of us) were sitting in a 'common room' at the nursing home and mom was feeding her lunch.

The boys and I were talking quietly, when all of a sudden, Nanny decided to curse at my mom. In french.

The boys just kind of looked at each other and me, and mom. They may not have understood exactly what she said, but they knew by my surprised reaction, and Nanny's tone that it wasn't good.

Mom simply spoke to her calmly. She's used to this.

The woman sitting at the next table over with her friends however (who are also patients there), decided to make fun of my grandmother.

She made fun of, and laughed at my grandmother.

Never ... ever in my almost 44yrs have I EVER wanted to kick the ass of rudely disrespect an elderly person.

Until THAT day!

I seriously wanted to go right over the table and yell at her.  Tell her exactly what I thought of her making fun of someone who can't control their actions or words.

Get right in her face, and let her know that if she EVER made fun of my grandmother again, it would be ME she would deal with!

I wanted to come down on her and let my bitch flag fly high!

But, I didn't, of course.

She's an elderly woman in a nursing home.

She may not have understood that other people could hear her.

Instead, I simply looked over at her and her friends with my evilest glare, bit my tongue, HARD, and focused on enjoying the rest of my visit with my grandmother.

I can't say it didn't bother me, because it did.

I thought about it after we left, on the drive home, and wondered to myself what that woman was like when she was younger?

Was she a nice person?

Or was she always a mean girl?

Once a mean girl, always a mean girl?

I don't know the answer to that. 

I realize she's there for her own reasons, and may not even be in her own 'right mind', but prior to the incident she was sitting there having a conversation with two other people and then later walked away on her own.

Whatever her health issues, she's definitely in a better place physically and mentally than my grandmother.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I see no other explanation for her actions.

And if I'm not ... Seriously? In a nursing home, making fun of other patients.

That's just mean.

So, here's a little secret for you, for those who don't yet know ...  NOBODY likes the mean girl.

Not at 7 ... or 17 ... or 70.

Don't be a mean girl. 

Be better than that. 

Someone's granddaughter will thank you for it.


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