Like many of you out there, I have seen far too many girl fights on YouTube and MySpace. It is disturbing to see the violence, and particularly the premeditation in all of it.
I know that girls fight…
I was a girl once, albeit a long time ago.
But even the years (nay, decades) have not diminished the memories of that time.
For some of my girlhood, I lived in Maine, Massachusetts and then California. I still remember picking blueberries in Maine, just like in the Robert McCloskey book (without the bear!). I remember pushing my doll stroller through my neighborhood right outside of Boston, stopping to check on my baby and cover her with blankets when necessary. I have special memories of California, rolling down the hills in my back yard that were covered in what we called pickleweed, roller skating without knee or elbow pads, and turning over rocks to find lizards and other delights. I guess in California is where I honed my tomboy-ness.
Then my family moved back to New England, and I lived in New Hampshire for four years. These four years are when my girly-girlhood evolved, but it did take me a bit of time to shake the tomboy.
This was the time of my girl fight. My “fight” was, of course, over a boy. Well… it was both over and boy and WITH a boy. Robby was his name.
Robby was cute. Robby was smart. Robby was fast (as in running!).
And I liked him. Actually, I loved him.
Word on the street was that he liked me too, but how could I know?
Well, that message came loudly and clearly in a snowball to the face. My face.
A whole bunch of neighborhood kids were sledding down the great hills near my home, and Robby showed up with some more kids. Ah, the glimmer of hope that he would pay attention to me, and maybe even let me hang onto his ankles as we both sped down the icy hill… only to roll off our sleds in laughter and snowy delight.
Instead, my dream was interrupted by an icy snowball to the cheek. I still remember the embarrassment. The rage. How dare someone do this to me in front of Robby.
And the ensuing laughter stung worse than the snowball. Oh, what could be worse than the horror of peers’ laughter at a humiliating moment.
What could be worse? If Robby threw the snowball. Yes, he did.
So what was there to do but take a couple of steps in his direction. My mind was frozen on the perpetrator… not my crush. Then I broke into a run. I ran right at Robby, knocked him down, jumped on his back, and pushed him face-first into the stone-cold snow of New Hampshire.
I twisted his arm and made him say he was sorry. And he did.
Ah, the memory of that moment still makes me smile. Of course Robby was checked off my list after that little incident… even though my Dad told me that Robby threw the snowball at me because he DID like me.
That is my one and only fight of my entire life. And to this day, my smile is still mixed with a little I feel-kind-of-sorry for Robby for what I did to him in front of all of our friends.
It makes me wonder what has happened in our society that causes girls to methodically plan, perpetrate, and videotape ruthless acts violence against another girl.
And how they will feel several decades later.