Girls Write Out
Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This is probably not something to admit, but the movie MEAN GIRLS made me cry. Because it's so dang true! Girls are mean. And you know what? They grow up to be mean women. Keep in mind, I grew up with boys, my best friend in college was a guy (Hi Edwin!), and I really wasn't around girls much growing up. But now that I’ve come through a lot of life’s stages, there’s really no shortage of women who have done cruel things, either out of revenge or jealously, and the older I get the less patience I have for this garbage. We are women, we should support one another! (This is not to be confused with the oblivious friend or someone unwittingly misspeaking with no ill motive or malice.)

As a Christian woman, I am shocked to know how much of this takes place in our churches, and often under the guise of “helping” us – let me explain something, when you “help” someone in the Christian sense, it is done in love. Never with the sidebar of nyah-nyah or with the admonishment of “You’re sick with this because you have unconfessed sin in your life.” Sheesh, thank you my local messiah – so do you, how come you’re healthy?

Now that I’m nearly forty, I’m fighting back. For you youngins, I want you to recognize this, and know who your friends are, and don’t let others undermine your confidence!

Here’s just a few things, mean girls do:
When you're dating a guy others want to date, and you hear, "I thought he was gay." Translation: "What would he possibly see in you? Doesn’t he know I'm available?"

When you get married, there may be a jealous girl who will try to undermine your happiness, "Really? Weren't you just dating so-and-so?" Here's he implication: Wow, aren't you the sleeze. I'm sure you just gave him something the rest of us wouldn't.

Fast forward to motherhood: "Your five year old doesn't read yet? What does his teacher say?" Translation: "Man, you have the stupidest kid alive. Shouldn't you get him some help for that? Oh, and my kid has been reading since he was three."
"Did YOU read slow?" Translation: "Does retardation run in your family?"

A sidenote: I’m the mother of four kids, and I think I’ve seen a lot. One son cannot get along with “my way or the highway” authority types. (I can't imagine where he gets that!) But one year, he had a teacher who labeled him a troublemaker early on. Now, as a mother, I made him follow her rules, we talked a lot about authority and God setting it up, and he had better do as she told him. But he was never going to like it.

So at the teacher conference, she gives me a book, "Parenting is Not For Cowards". The implication is that there's something wrong with my son and me for raising him. As she handed it to me, I nearly laughed. I thought, there's nothing wrong with him, he doesn't like you. FYI, I don’t think the book was to “help” me, but to show me the error of my ways. Luckily, my next son to have this teacher was a lot more compliant, so my parenting skills have since been redeemed.

When I was a young mother, I would really fall victim to a lot of these implications, but now that I'm older, and I see the personalities of my kids – and I know when they were young, they were just themselves and I wasn’t familiar enough with their personalities yet. BTW, They're all reading, they're all functioning, no one's taken a gun to school and they're all excellent students in Christian school -- and even if they weren't, they're my kids, and I love them. And I love my choice of husband, car, wedding ring, house, clothes, books that I write, and anything else you choose to diss. Translation: I am nearly forty, I will not be embarrassed, humiliated or moved by someone’s biased opinion.

(This is different from people who love you telling you you’re blowing it, by the way! We should always have an accountability group to tell us honestly when we’re veering from God’s path.) But if there’s someone who is making you feel like everything you do is wrong, or not as good as them. They’re not your friend, they’re working out some childhood insecurity. Love them, and if that doesn’t work, shake the dust off your sandals and find less toxic people because YOU are beautifully and wonderfully made, and ppphhht to anyone who doesn’t think so.

Oh I feel a disclaimer is necessary, lest you think I’m without sin here: I have my own toxic slip-ups – and since this sounds like I’m pointing fingers, I feel I should share. One time I found out my beau in college used my Ford Mustang convertible GT 5.0 (which I’d worked SO hard for!) to take out another girl – wasn’t he impressive? That night, my friend Marc and I went to his condo, and threw all his gifts, etc., over his condominium front lawn, which was a shared courtyard for about 20 condos. Revenge was definitely my motive – and I’m embarrassed to admit, it still makes me laugh out loud to think about his stuff all strewn there so publicly. So I’m not exactly repentant. But I shouldn’t admit that either.
Kristin Billerbeck  
posted at 2:49 PM  
  Comments (12)
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At 11:24 PM, Blogger eileen said...

It's wonderful to see a Godly woman with CONFIDENCE! I think you're pretty amazing. And I've lived wayyyyy much longer than you. So those reading the blog and posts: you've been given good advice!

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous alisa said...

Theres the Kristin I know and love! LOL. Also... theres a decent book called "Mean Girls All Grown Up" you should read.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Gina Holmes said...

You know, my mother said that when I hit about forty I'd care less about what people thought of me or said about me. I'm 35 now and finding she was right. Which is almost worth the outward effects of aging.

My goal by forty is to be able to say with a warm smile, "that's nice" whenever someone slams me in their sugar coated way.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Winter said...

I'm 26 and already pulling on that, I don't care what you think. Unfortunately for my Dh this is a touchy point cause it carries over into in-law issues.

Is it wrong to not care what non-Christians think of how many kids you have, and how you raise them, and what you think of their "advice?"

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Okay, kids are like vermin in the Silicon Valley, and I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Don't you know what's causing that?" And pointing at my kids. Oh haha, you're so original.

Truthfully though, I feel sorry for them because what did they care about? Who had the biggest Beamer and/or diamond. I really was able to have a heart for them when they made fun of us, and they did because hey, they wished they had cute kids like mine. LOL

In-laws. Sticky subject. Here's the thing I've learned. Vent to your friends, your husband thinks they're perfect, and when they tell you how to raise your kids? Smile politely, and later tell your husband, "Yeah, that's gonna happen." With a smile of course.

At 11:14 PM, Blogger south asia said...

Oh this was too funny! I'm glad to hear that in 15 years, I should be past caring about what people say, because I haven't quite learned that yet. Thanks, Kristin.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Corina Bowen said...

you go girl!
And what is so bad.. is that a lot of times, we let our guard down not expecting hurtful, UN Christian things to be said to us by Christians... So if it doesn't go along with what God says about u then really pray about it then cast it away..
Great post Kristin

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Yikes, how close to home you hit with todays post! I am 36 and just these past 2 months have had an online run-in with some (so called) friends from high school. Mean girls are always mean, they just don't change, makes me shake my head in wonder. I have learned over the past 14 years as a pastors wife that the hardest lesson in life is to keep my mouth shut. Course, it all goes back to the classic Disney movie scene when Thumper's mom reminds him, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all...."

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I got tickled pink over that, Kristin. Now that I'm on the backside of 50, I really do't give a flting flip what others think! Boy does it feel good. :o)

But now it's time to become a Titus woman and teach those younger women how to behave like Christians.

Lemme at 'em!

At 6:07 AM, Anonymous lindsey said...

Thanks for preaching to us!! Wow, how many times do I find myself hurt when women who are supposed to be my friends say such hurtful, hateful, awful things? Ladies, I wish I had the ability to say, "oh that's nice" or just take what they say and walk away. I am definitely going to work on that. I feel like I know how to deal with other situations, but I am just plain terrible at dealing with that one.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Lindsay, one word of advice. Pushy people FEED on your niceties, so when someone is clearly being rude, don't be rude back, but ask what they mean. Make them clarify their point, and then tell them, that makes me feel bad. I really think pushing back to those people is the only way to get thru to them, they aren't like people who don't mean ill. They want you to react, so I think it's good to hold them accountable right then and there.

I also find being honest puts them off guard. For example, my son not reading. Saying I was worried about it was honest, but I would say outright, he's not slow. He'll get it, but he's not a girl either so I don't expect him to learn as quickly. Just more two cents. See, those people want credit for their child's brilliance, and they're no more responsible for a quick reading child, than you are a slow reading child. Am I making my point?

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to the part about when a child is ready to learn to read. This indirect gloating of “Haha, my kid is smarter than yours” is just like the gloating that some did back when they were in school when they gloated they were cooler, smarter, stronger, or more popular than their peers. We were told to ignore them then, and we can do the same now. I have taught three boys to read and they started reading later than some children did, but are not stupid at all. Different children are ready to read at different ages, have different learning styles, and have their own mental strengths and weaknesses, and that certainly doesn’t make them is dumb or slow. I mean, many kids, especially boys, have problems reading at first, and they usually get over it at least by the age of ten or twelve. All three of my boys are progressively getting better at reading, and the older two are now good readers and they have taken to reading for fun. The younger one is showing an interest in reading road signs. I agree that these parents are just trying to take credit for their child’s brilliance. No child should be pushed to learn to read (or do anything else) early or before the child is ready, just to compete with other kids.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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