Odd Girl Out

Note: It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve last written. Life has been crazy. It’s been awesome and not, as life tends to be. When I took a peek in the draft folder, I came across this post. Part 1 is that post. Part 2 was written after.


Part 1: Draft dated 6/13/16

So, I have this book that’s been super hard for me to read. It’s called Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls and it stirs up a whole lotta something in me. I mean I guess it’s good as it brings awareness to how girls and women treat each other, but frankly, it pisses me off. It’s the proverbial light going off, “AH! See? I knew it!” That’s what it’s like for me.

It’s my suspicions being confirmed.

While I know some are quite gifted in passive-aggressiveness and just plain meanness played off as “what do you mean? I didn’t say that.” (If you excuse my language, it’s what I call a mindf*ck. Because there’s just no other way to explain it.) I do believe, in some few cases, the manipulation and game playing is built into their DNA and they have no clue. Then again, I suppose you could be brought up or trained this way…

I find that sometimes I’m anticipating malicious girl behavior when there isn’t any. Then after I beat myself up about thinking that way. This is what it’s like to be programmed to think and feel a certain way. After our move, I have so much clarity about this because we have no ties here. No history to draw from. Sure, it still happens but it doesn’t cut as deep.


Part 2: Last night.

Fast forward a few years and here I sit very involved in the community in one form or another. And I’m not sure I like it. I have things to offer and I’m willing to do the things others won’t, but it amazes me how one act can be misinterpreted and snowballed. Real friends ask questions. You know, talk it out. Fake friends belittle you behind your back and feed the fire. Then it spreads. (Ever have a good relationship with someone and then suddenly it becomes awkward? It doesn’t take long to figure out there’s been some mudslinging going on and now their perception of you has changed based on someone else’s misinterpreted story. Fuel, fuel, fuel.)

They say history repeats itself and the signs were there all along. I chose to ignore them because they felt like “my people.” I have learned that is so not the case. When you’re new to an area, there are lots of differences – mannerisms, how people behave, even “tag sale” vs. “yard sale” it’s all different. So you make allowances. What seems rude at first glance might not be in “their language,” so you choose to ignore it. Then time proves those gut reactions were right.

Truth? It is disappointing. Truth? Turns out, I don’t want to be surrounded with people like that anyway. Truth? I have things to offer, but it is not the best use of my time dealing with drama and with people like this. If I am giving up time with my family, my real friends and my business, I am not half-assing it. I am all-in and doing what I can to make whatever it is better than it was before. I make the investment and throw myself into the task at hand. At what point is it just not worth it?

Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting!

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my husband and I are taking the plunge. We are opening a screen print and graphic design shop here in Orange, MA. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey together!

Side note: The question I get most is “Will you still paint?” Yes. Yes, I absolutely will.  Bring on the commissions. 🙂 

Support Orange Graphix

As we transition into this new phase, we are faced with lots of challenges that come up with opening a new business. And a good chunk of that is financial. Crowdfunding doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, but I have decided to hold a “Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting” sale. This is a great way to support a local business AND get some cool art created during the 100 Paintings in 100 Days project. (FYI: That project will be hard to top. It was so intense! But I may try another soon…)

Day 96

Paintings, like the one above, are ready and waiting. Pick one price or two, it’s totally up to you. No matter what you choose, you have my deepest gratitude. By buying yourself (or someone you love!) a painting, you’ll not only get some art and you’ll be part of this bigger project that’s happening right now.

Search “100 Paintings” in the shop section to pick your favorites and support a local business. 

With love and so much gratitude,
Amber

PS: If custom apparel or graphic design appeals to you, your business or club/sport/facility,

The insignificant is significant.

Why do people feel so comfortable in what they say to little girls? 

For the record, I highly doubt this is strictly a gender issue, but in my experience of having one of each, my daughter receives far more direct comments that shut her down than my son ever did.

As an example, my daughter has been told:

  • “Shouldn’t you be finding your parents instead of talking to me about your dance bag?” (said by teenager)
  • “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than go to your dance recital.” (said by adult)
  • “I want to play there and you’re gonna move.” (said by kid)

And that’s within the last six months.

I get that marathon recitals and marathon (seemingly insignificant) talks can be much, but how do people decide it’s okay to say these things to her? I haven’t witnessed them all being spoken, but when I have I used the moment to teach her how to handle the situation. And there are times I totally had to set the boundaries myself, “no. she’s not gonna move. and you’re gonna leave.”

In the face of these comments, for the most part she laughs it off (a tactic I use myself) and goes about her way. But there are times that this girl is crying out to be heard. It’s usually when she’s trying to say something and her brother doesn’t want to hear it, because that’s how siblings roll.

But how many times does she NOT cry out, because it’s someone she’s not that close with?

It may seem like it doesn’t hurt, but it does. To me. Here’s my little girl who’s strong, but definitely a free loving spirit and these things are being spoken into her life. Of course, there’s lots of love and care spoken too, but the negativity hangs around. It’s stickier.

So far, these comments don’t seem damaging, but at what point does it become that way? When will that little girl realize what people are saying to her? Or does she already?

Again, I don’t feel this is only a “girl issue” because I’m certain it happens to boys too, but does it really happen as often?

Inquiring minds and all. 

Side note: This post was written in the wee hours of the night. Why? Because the dance bag comment was made today (yesterday) and I somehow made the connection between this comment and so many others in my sleep. This realization was strong enough to wake me up. (Those who know me, know that when my body sleeps, it sleeps. The realization was strong on this one.)