About six months ago someone said one of the most profound things anyone has ever said to me. The force with which this rocked me cannot be overstated. I mean, think around it. What could you say to someone when they notice that, “You like mean girls.”
Floored, crushed, aghast, speechless, dumbfounded. Surely not, after all, who sets out with the claim of, “I need to find a mean person; that’s who I am attracted to?” Obviously, there is no intrinsic health benefits to being romantically involved with mean people, as their meanness will inevitably spill over to you and loved ones. Adults are adults; it would be unwise to expect or desire that the person will change just because and no matter how they are treated. I can be mean, but am one of the more amiable people I know in quotidian interactions. I believe in smooth, kind interpersonal relationships. I believe in boundaries before resentment. And even though I fail a lot, I always try to be the bigger person. A chronically mean person would seem to be toxic to all of these values.
And they are.
But, can one word, “mean,” sum up the entirety of the person. Of the mean girls I’ve been with, I have found the most empathy I’ve ever encountered. I have found unparalleled generosity and fierce work ethics. I have basked in their willingness to laugh at life via kinship and fortitude.
How could one not love these creatures?
I’m especially made for such a person on other levels as well. I don’t hold a grudge, therefore the slights of rude women are easily processed with a little tolerance and forgiveness. I have the rage thing, so I get where they are coming from when it seems they’re trying to burn your life down around you. I also have the delegation thing, for when associates are caught in the crossfire, of course, not everyone can be saved, but that’s a risk of healthy living in the current era anyway.
Each of my mean girls elevated my ability to tap into intimacy, and have resulted in my many sexual revolutions (they’re more like self-image conquests, but, my blog, my revolutions). And each one of them resulted in some kind of self-improvement, usually something that I’ve wished changed for years, but am only able to acquire the appropriate motivation during or after these relationships.
Of course the worst part about a mean girl is that she can be a mean person. We all know that feeling of seeing somebody being shamed or abused. Our social defense mechanisms begin firing up when witnessing a bully’s trade. Even the bullies will stand up to other bullies. I feel the heat on my face when somebody begins mistreat another, even if they deserved it—nobody deserves it. We each know that from childhood. When we come to the aid of a friend or parent, maybe even a stranger at times, seen when even some dogs will pick up on a bully, there is a moment when we all know each other through the cruelty of others.
Maybe I find the perfect match and counter in the “mean girl.” I too suffer the internal fires of indignation, but am a placid lake to those still smoldering from their last firefight. I don’t judge these fair warrior goddesses; I have sat on these scales. And, despite my years of experience, my armor is still thin, while my Kung Fu grows stronger. They will get close easily, while I become more tangled in my partner’s evolving techniques. Either I will fall in the struggle, leave a trail of twisted hearts behind me, or I find my equal.
Either way, I will have faced off with some wicked powerful people, these women of will, and know I have lived a life few would brave, and fewer would embrace.
But when you’ve gazed at it from where I’ve been able to observe, like the diligent astronomer recording a supernova, the beauty is unmatched in our universe.
And my eyes remain open.