Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A-hole in One: The Juggler Who Dropped His Balls

This installment of A-hole in One was sent to me by Karen Song, a blog reader from Northern Virginia (DC Metro). This story, involving her teenage daughter, Kate*, is about a shift in perspective and perception after a brief stumble from the deceptive ways of a class A A-hole, a juggler who really dropped his balls. I chose to post this piece because we often preach to our girls the importance of girlfriends- we study it, we have research behind the benefits of nurturing our female friendships. And yet, we still fall short in supporting the idea of a community of girls/ women continuing to support each other and look out for one another outside of our intimate friendships. There often seems to be a quiet acceptance of the idea that in order to pull ahead in a our competitive world, girls, as they mature, must be especially competitive with each other, undermining each other, accepting  an uneasiness or mistrust of one another instead of celebrating each other’s accomplishments or developing a legacy of sisterhood. Here is Karen's story:

My daughter Kate, a junior in high school, is a really sweet kid.  She is 16 and is still a bit shy and insecure but really seems to be coming into her own.  And she is really blossoming in terms of her appearance and the boys are starting to take notice.  She is on the cheerleading squad and a few months ago a boy named Aaron who is a star football player approached her after cheerleading practice. After chatting for a bit, he asked her out on a date.  She was thrilled beyond belief!  This would be her first date and she couldn’t believe he even knew who she was.  But then after a phone conversation or two, she didn’t hear from him. The days went by and he never followed up on the date that he had set.  She was crushed, though not totally shocked, since her friends had warned her that he was a bit of a jerk.  Then, to add insult to injury, she discovered he just started dating another girl named Valerie who is very pretty, popular and, well, rather buxom too. Fair or not, she was quite resentful toward Valerie and bitter over the whole situation. She also declared to me that she now hated all girls with big boobs.

Well anyway, one day during lunch at the cafeteria, Valerie stopped by Kate's table to talk to her.  She asked if it was true if Aaron stood her up, which of course Kate confirmed.  Then Valerie told Kate that she wanted her to watch something.  Valerie walked over to Aaron's table where he was with all of his football buddies.  There was a brief exchange between the two and Kate overheard Natalie say "you don't get to juggle women!"....and then SMACK!....Valerie slapped his face and walked off.  

Aaron sat there in disbelief, rubbing his cheek. Kate took this all in and of course enjoyed every second of it. Valerie then came back to talk to Kate and told her that the slap was for disrespecting Kate. She told Kate that she also told Aaron that she no longer wanted to date him because he was not a gentleman.   Kate was blown away by all of this. 

This has been the gift that keeps on giving as the girls are now good friends. I’ve met Valerie and she is a lovely girl. She is quite intelligent and has been accepted to Dartmouth. She has been a good role model for Kate. Needless to say, Kate is no longer resentful of buxom girls.

I was also contacted by Valerie who was happy that I was sharing their story.
She wrote, “Also, I feel a need to explain myself a bit, since my reaction that day probably seemed overly dramatic, harsh, etc.  It's hard to describe the swell of emotions I felt at that moment.  The very idea that I was dating a guy who treated women like toys was so disturbing and made me feel "dirty" if you will.  I felt I needed to send a strong message that his behavior was unacceptable.”

* All names have been changes

1 comment:

  1. A wonderfully written and wonderfully illustrated story that should be inspiring to women of all ages. A well deserved "you go girl!" to all involved.