During the 4 1/2 years I spent working juvenile probation, I was very aware of the prevalence of "mean girls" in the community. I focused my work on females (no one else in the office wanted to deal with them; my coworkers stating they were too dramatic, so my boss was more than happy to give me the female cases). I can't tell you how many times I had a girl in my office crying or ranting over the bullies at school. I was constantly listening to stories of a group of girls "banking" (slang for beating up) one another. It's CRAZY out there. But until last week I'd never witnessed one of these incidents first hand - except in the movies.
Last Tuesday we went to the All Comers track meet again. This is open to anyone and everyone in the community who'd like to come out and run. It's a family friendly event, and indeed, large groups of families show up. All kids who run get medals (but adults run too).
We arrived early so I could do my usual track workout (which I do every Tuesday). It poured rain, so I had that whole drowned rat thing going on by the time All Comers rolled around.
Even though there were lots of people, I noticed MeanGirl right away. She was strutting around in black capri tights and a form fitted white tank top. Stick thin, there was no doubt that she could pull off this outfit. Long, rich brown hair swung with panache in her pony tail, tied neatly with a large white bow. She wore full makeup, even though it was a hot and steamy day.
I also noticed another girl right away. Let's call her NiceGirl. She was gangly and had a small pot belly, sporty unruly curls and she wore an ill-fitted hot pink tank top and a white running skirt. A sprinkling of acne dotted her t-zone. Her stride, as she jogged around, was just slightly clumsy, as though she'd just had a growth spurt and hadn't quite adjusted yet.
Both girls ran the 800, a two lap event around the track, with a large number of males. The girls were in a pack of about 5 individuals who seemed to stick together in like pace. Things seemed to be going just fine until the back corner of the last lap. Suddenly, MeanGirl took off. NiceGirl had been ahead of her, on the inside. MeanGirl, who was behind, suddenly SHOVED NiceGirl with both hands. And I do mean SHOVED. I watched in shock as she then passed on the inside (a big no-no in track events).
I turned to look at two of my fellow Striders members who'd been watching this play out.
"Did you SEE that?"
"YES! And at an All Comers meet too!"
MeanGirl was pulled aside by an older man who was on that end of the track, and he talked to her for some 15 minutes. I don't know who this guy was, but I can only hope she was getting one heck of a lecture about her etiquette. Seriously, it was all I could do as she sashayed past not to make a comment myself.
What ever happened to kindness?