I wouldn't last 10 minutes on The Bachelor.
For those of you readers who knew me in high school, and even those who know me today (25 years later), this might not come as a shocking confession or surprise, but I'm a good girl (define good however you choose - it will probably fit). And 'good girls' have a real hard time hanging with the bitches.
After 10 years of watching the cocktail parties and group dates and poolside chats full of back-stabbing and pouting and threats and overall mean girl behavior by the lovely ladies on The Bachelor, I still get nervous.
Am I more than a little scared of hard-edged, potty-mouthed, tough girls who speak their minds and get in your face?
Do the party girls who obviously live their lives recklessly and without abandon (i.e., have a lot of random sex) scare me?
(sidenote - I had mistakingly written 'scar' instead of 'scare' up there before this post went through editing, but am now thinking that worked just as well and maybe I shouldn't have corrected it?)
Does it matter that I have a good 20 years on most of them (not to mention that I do not, nor ever will, know them)?
So since you and I are building a nice little friendship, I think it's time I come clean about a few things.
And to make it easier for you to follow along, I've divided my life up into three stages.
An evolution of goodness, if you will.
And please, be nice.
The High School Years -
Something you should know right off the bat (and that might help make a little more sense out of all of this, perhaps) is that I had to make a traumatic move in high school. And by 'traumatic', I mean t-r-a-u-m-a-t-i-c.
The summer between 9th and 10th grade, I had to move from my familiar (for the previous 4 years anyway), small-town high school in Washington with a total enrollment of around 400, where I was a varsity cheerleader (don't be too impressed - remember the numbers) and pretty much knew every other person in my school, to a high school in Scottsdale, Arizona where my sophomore class alone numbered around 560. A place where not only was I a lonely fish in a gigantic ocean for about 6 months, but for some reason got mistakenly recognized as some girl named Karen multiple times my first month there.
By spring of my sophomore year I didn't eat lunch way out on the bleachers of the baseball diamond by myself anymore (that often) and had actually sort of found a friend or two (if the goth girl in my geometry class who was also new to the school counts. Which it totally does not).
Then in April (1985 - Holla!) I tried out for the Pom Line...made it...and had 11 other instant friends.
|Fall 1986 ~ bottom row, left side. See how nice I look?|
See, here's the thing.
You might think that because I was new and trying to fit in at an enormous high school where the girls got new convertible VW Rabbits or Mustangs for their birthdays and there were desert parties after every football game, I'd have caved to the peer pressure (of which I can honestly say I never felt) and gone to the dark side.
But for reasons that are way too deep and dark and dangerous to get into on this little blog....I didn't. I couldn't.
I remained good. Nice.
I turned down the cigarettes and beer and wine coolers that were offered to me.
Were the girls that smoked the cigarettes and drank the beer and wine coolers my friends?
Sure they were.
I didn't judge....I just didn't participate.
Instead, I found a few great friends who I kept the closest; who, like me, found it much more fun to go to CoCos (think Perkins) after the football games for banana splits or to a late movie instead of to a drunken desert party.
And boys? I didn't have a boyfriend at all in high school (cue the sad violin), although I desperately wished for one.
Oh, I still went to a couple of important dances. Junior year I went to Prom with a friend of a friend who I'd been set up with (awkward), and I went to Senior Prom with my best boy friend who I spent two solid years of high school fervently wishing was so much more (but - of course - was waaay too nice - and terrified - to do anything about).
Oh, most certainly (in fact, I have the distinct honor of being voted just that in my Senior yearbook...with that best boy friend, coincidentally. It was mortifying).
And then I graduated.
The College Years -
I pledged a sorority right away, and the nice girl died.
Nah, but sorority life does throw all kinds of bad choices in your face right away, and I did have to learn to sip a beer when necessary...you know, to keep up appearances (if I'm being honest, I much preferred a Vodka Collins, which surprisingly is hard to come by at fraternity parties).
Within a month of being at A.S.U., I met a cute boy after a football game on fraternity row who (surprise surprise) seemed to like me back.
I was instantly smitten (please keep in mind the fact that I had never had a boyfriend).
Over the course of a couple of weeks, he asked me to his fraternity barn dance, and I asked him to my sorority barn dance.
We went to his on a Friday and had (what I thought) was a fun and fantastic time.
The next day I told my friend I really liked him....and she told me that when I was in the bathroom he'd told her I was really cool....but was just too nice.
And then...then...I still had to take him to my dance the very next night.
Suffice it to say, I wasn't all that nice.
|Despite my happy face, I was killing him in my mind.|
In about April of my freshman year, I remember breaking up with a guy (or vice versa) and being totally depressed and my wonderful friends taking me out to the Olive Garden (shut up - I love the Olive Garden) and me crying and saying, "To HELL with it!! I'm DONE being nice! I'm gonna be a BAD girl."...and then they laughed and laughed and nothing really changed, despite some very valiant efforts on my part.
Later that same year, that boy....the one in the picture above....returned.
And man, did he work the charm.
And it worked.
And years later, when I asked him what made him come back, he said, "....you were the nicest girl I'd ever met, and I realized I couldn't let you go." (Or at least in my mind it's something a lot like that).
And 24 years later, he still hasn't.
The Adult Years -
It seems that despite the fact that I never got drunk in high school or had casual sex with random boys or did any sort of recreational drug or have never smoked a cigarette in my life, I've managed to turn out just fine thankyouverymuch.
And much like when I was in high school, I don't judge (that much)....I just don't participate.
I've had my share of wild times ('wild' being a relative term, of course), and have done and said a fair amount of things that in hindsight I probably shouldn't have (a girl can't be 'nice' all the time).
I've managed to have all kinds of good fun, just not the type you can get arrested for.
And something that I've learned through the years is that being nice certainly doesn't come without its faults.
I'm sure I am perceived by some as being judgmental, not because of anything I've said, but simply by the fact that I make different choices than they do.
I can bitch about people who annoy me (and especially people who I know bitch about me) like nobody's business. I just do it at home (you are welcome, Husband).
I am misunderstood - a lot - for having all my shit together, because I don't really have any vices other than my nightly tumbler (or three) of wine and the occasional Appletini (and by occasional I mean bi-weekly), and because my kids are also nice girls. But I'm actually a lot like the great and powerful Oz, pull back my curtain and I've got all kinds of insecurities and disfunction going on.
So maybe the nice girls aren't always really that different than the mean girls, when you get right down to it (except for the glaring fact that we aren't skanks, of course).
It's all in how you deal, I suppose. With everything.
So let's go back to The Bachelor.
To the girls who most definitely weren't the nice girls in high school or at their community college or trade school. The ones who aren't so very nice in the Bachelor mansion either.
They would ruin me.
Because still, even at 43 years old, party girls and bitchy girls and rule breaking of just about any kind make me supremely uncomfortable, no matter if they're 24 or 44. Although I'm older and a hell of a lot wiser than they are, when their claws came out I'd be huddled in the corner of the patio in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and singing Wham! songs under my breath for distraction.
Although...I could totally skewer them on my blog now, which would be super fun.
But that's just not very nice, now, is it?
Wanna be a nice girl? Give this big brown box a click!