I have to confess that I don’t really understand the unspoken rules of Girldom and I pay heavily for getting it wrong. A friend said to me that she thinks it’s because my mum died when I was 2 years old, and I wasn’t raised by a matriarch but instead by a man, who raised me as a boy. I don’t have the same insecurity radar that, I think, girls pick up from their mothers, or even, that instinctive spidey sense, for social situations. I am definitely, a bit thick when it comes to reading the signs, ‘Why are you kicking me under the table Hagar?’ But as I get older and I focus on raising my family and shaping my future I realise that it isn’t as important as it might have appeared in the past.
I believe that women should look out for each other but I don’t think that all women feel the same. This is when they draw handbags, stick out their claws and let the bitch-fest begin. In the mummy blogoshpere, there has been a bit of handbag bashing and hair pulling, I don’t know the detail but what I can tell is that there is female power struggle going on about who is head hen in the henhouse.
In the Milly community, it can be a hair pulling and scratchy place as well. It’s full of cliques and girl gang uppery. I see this often in the UK Milly community, whereas I think in the US they have a greater sense of community than we do here in Blighty. I think it’s because the US serving do longer deployments of over 12 months. The days of Raj are over and I think the dependent wife, who filled her day finding out which butcher provided the best cuts, wearing her husbands rank on her sleeve are phasing out. However, as the tempo of ops increases, I think there is a need for greater solidarity amongst the community and the Millies.
In my own personal circles there are a group of Millies who look down their nose at those who live on patch (the married patch aka military quarters) and think they are superior. This group of people were really close friends of mine years ago but dumped me when The Grenade was born because he didn’t follow the baby instruction book and he wasn’t a sleeper. We were the first to have kids and they blamed me for not being strict enough with him. I didn’t know what was going on, Hagar was constantly deployed, lack of a matriarch and baby train wreck head from intense sleep deprivation, meant I was in a fog. Rather than supporting me, they ostracised me and judged my parenting skills. It turns out that The Grenade has mild dyspraxia and maybe a dose of ADHD.
While this was happening a new Queen Bee joined the scene and she had an axe to grind with me. She didn’t like my platonic friendship with her husband and she wanted to boot me out of the group. She is incredibly well versed in female manipulation, ex- all girls convent boarding school she was an expert at working the henhouse, unlike me, an almost homogenous rooster. This decorative hen was a master at flattery and she woo-ed the other hens, who quite frankly had enough of the insomniac Grenade disrupting their dinner parties and so the expulsion began.
But there is a twist to this tale of expulsion. I thought that it was just your bog standard, bitchy, backstabbing, she is wearing the wrong shoes, type dumping but no. It turned out the Queen Bee had a dark secret that I nearly accidentally, without realising, unearthed, which I only learnt about after I was given the ‘radio silence’ by the gang. The Queen Bee one drunken night had ended up in passionate girl-on-girl tryst at a party that I had attended. A secret that she wanted no-one to know. A secret that I didn’t know and would never had known had they not expelled me. Not that I even care, both girls were consenting and had a great time.
I just got dumped recently by an old school friend who I had known since I was 11. She sent me the Dear John, in an email, in the same email that she was thanking me for the wedding gift I had just sent her.
“It’s all so difficult but to be brutal – you drive me mad and I just find myself feeling really annoyed. When we meet up I just want to withdraw and just can’t connect with you anymore. I really think that you are a talented writer but if you are going to succeed you need to tone it down and be less arrogant and less full of yourself. People change and don’t always stay friends for life and I think that it’s time to move on – I am sorry but I have had enough. ”
One of her issues is that I don’t tell her what she wants to hear and it drives her mad. She wants me to say ‘poor you’ but I am saying, ‘keep fighting’ and it winds her up. She wanted pity and I gave her support. Really, it didn’t need to be so terminal – it could have been an honest, candid conversation and this is the world of Girldom that I don’t understand because I am a what you see is what you get person. I am no angel, I am difficult stubborn, old goat and maybe it’s difficult to be my friend. By the way, she kept the gift.
Another ex-friend has affairs all the time with married men. It was a real problem with me because I don’t think it’s ok for women to have affairs with married men. I think women should be loyal to each other and not facilitate affairs. I was young when I knew her and wasn’t confident enough to say, I am sorry I have a problem with this.
I don’t shaft people, I don’t have affairs with married men and I am straight talking. I am loyal to women and to the sisterhood but to also men and other humans. If I can help I will. I don’t have an agenda. I don’t want to be Queen Bee. I am not looking for a gang. I am not looking to lead the push. I just want to write my blog, hopefully unite the community a little and help people understand our lives better. We do need to unite the community better because the reality is this. There is no money in purse, the numbers of serving personnel are being reduced, and yet the workload will be increased and we need to look out for each other more.
Women have enough to contend with just being, raising kids, living with men and managing our lives without other women getting all bitchy and stabbing them in the back. It’s a lonely path and it has cost me dearly but now that I am older, I can handle the solitude and at least I know in my heart and my soul, that I am doing the right thing. However, if you have it sussed and you would care to share with me the girl rule book then I would genuinely love to know because it is a mystery to me but if the rules are:
1.) You have to agree with everything I say
2.) You have to love everything I wear
3.) You have to love everything I do
4.) You have to be insincere and tell me what I want to hear
then like the Dragon’s on Dragon’s Den, I am sorry but I am out and the life of a hermit, here I come.