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PLEASE DON'T GROW UP TO BE THE MEAN GIRL

Cindy Maddera

We had haircuts scheduled for last week, but had to move them to Sunday because I decided to go to Oklahoma that weekend. Actually it worked out better this way because we have the Cabbage until Wednesday of this week (summer schedule) and she loves going to our hairdresser's. Casey, our hairdresser, works out of her home. She's got a little one woman hair cutting shop set up in her basement. It's her way of working on her terms while she does the whole stay-at-home-mom thing. That's why the Cabbage loves going over there. Casey has a little girl the same age as the Cabbage. They run around the upstairs, squealing and playing with as many toys as they can in a the shortest amount of time. 

I got my haircut first. Casey and I marveled at how fast my hair grows and how the last cut had grown out into this massive mop of hair on top of my head. She cut it super short this time and I love it. It's perfect for riding the scooter and the bicycle because when I take my helmet off, I can just run my fingers through it to fluff it up and it looks OK. Michael agreed. When I came out to tell him it was his turn, he told me he really liked it. I traded places with him on the couch and flipped the channel over to AMC where they were playing the Original Sabrina. I snuggled down into the cushions and watched a glamorous Audrey Hepburn waiting at the train station with her French poodle, David. This is when the Cabbage came running in with Casey's little girl. The Cabbage took one look at my hair and scrunched up her face. "Why does you're hair look like that?!?" she asked. I replied "because I like it this way." Then she sort of rolled her eyes and said "It's weird, but OK." 

Normally, hearing a little kid being brutally and rudely honest doesn't bother me. It's hard enough getting grown adults to realize that they may have said something hurtful, but the thing that got to me was the tone that the Cabbage used. She had perfected that dismissive, snobby mean girl tone of voice that reminded me of the mean girls from my school days. It made me cringe on the inside. It made me want to tell her playmate how I'd witness the Cabbage exit a bathroom stall and lick the palm of her hand before washing them. I didn't because I do realize that's just as bad behavior. I also will admit that this isn't the first time I've heard her use that kind of tone. Once after picking her up from a friend's birthday party, Michael mentioned that it was nice of that little girl to invite the Cabbage and we should remember that for the Cabbage's birthday. The Cabbage replied "well...I don't have to invite her." Michael said something to her about it. I don't remember what it was or if I even heard it over the roaring in my ears over the whole thing. 

I know I tried the mean girl routine once just to test it out. The minute the meanness left my mouth I immediately felt disgusted with myself and followed up whatever cruel thing I said with a heartfelt apology.  I was for sure on the receiving end of cruelty. One could argue that I did it to myself, refusing to ever really look the part of a typical midwestern girl. I want to scream out to the Cabbage to not be a typical midwestern girl, to not fall into the trap of being just like all the girls in her class. Mostly, though, I want to scream at her to not grow up to be the mean girl.