in retrospect, it wasn’t like Mean Girls at all
I remember being a high school freshman and meeting all these interesting people in the choir with me. They were quirky in a way I deeply admired. They listened to the Beatles, watched Saturday Night Live, and were *gasp* vegetarian. I’d never met anyone like them. I compared these girls to the girls on the pom squad with me… blonde girls with boyfriends and fancy lip gloss. I felt so awkward.
When I was a pom, very few of the girls were my friends. I spent most of my time with the other freshman who took honors classes. But mostly, I wanted to be friends with the older choir girls. I recognized them as authentic, years before being authentic became my credo.
I quit dance. The high school years went on and I found myself with some fascinating friends… we had Chinese takeout in parks, dressed up in vintage dresses and sang barbershop quartets, played Disney tunes on bottles filled with water. We traveled to choir competitions, theatre competitions, weekends at Lake Michigan. They taught me the joys of Goodwill, the fabulousness of Jones Soda, and how not to drink peach Schnapps.
And, as awful as high school was, with its rumor mill, its crazy evangelicals, and a shit load of dramatics that seem made for an ABC Family original series… I learned a lot about myself. I mean, yes, I look back and only see scenes from Mean Girls on the surface, but there are moments when I realize without those friends, I would not be who I am. I am grateful for all those Madrigal dinners, cast parties, girls nights at Papa Vino’s, and outrageous games of Honey, I Love You.
I admired their quirky authenticity and their funky idiosyncrasies. And then one day I looked in the mirror and realized I embody exactly that which I had once admired.
So, though it’s likely you’ll never see this, thank you Abbey, Emmy, Erin, Kat, Caitlin, Abby, and Cassie. You taught me how to be me.