One of my lovely Single readers was bullied by a gang of Married women the other evening, and I am as mad as a sack of hedgehogs on speed. It was a potluck supper, my reader brought a spicy dish, the Married women made faces and one actually said, "No wonder you're Single."
Not to be judgmental or anything, but I wonder if the divine light of grace left this Married woman's soul that instant or if it had been cast out long ago.
Frankly, I think "Now wonder you're Single" counts as fighting words, and I am indulging in a fantasy where my reader whips out her pearl-handled revolver and shoots her verbal assailant in the heart right over the jello salad. My reader is, of course, arrested, but she is in luck because the judge is ME, and when I hear that the soi-disant "victim" said, "No wonder you're Single," I bang my gavel on the desk and say "Case dismissed."
Being a woman's woman does not mean I am blind and deaf to the evil that women do. I have a long, resentful memory, and I could list dozens and dozens of girls and women who screamed, yelled, mocked and hurt my feelings from Grades 3 to 13. Occasionally they invite me to be their Facebook friends, ah ha ha ha. My all-girls high school, by the way, was utter heaven compared to co-ed elementary school, which was like the Lord of the Flies with sexual touching. And if the female bullies, child and adult, of elementary school were not enough, there were the bullies of Girl Guides, women's hockey, ballet and piano lessons. Ah yes, dear Mrs "Your-brother-is-so-talented-what-is-wrong-with-you?"
Looking on the bright side, however, years and years trapped with female bullies taught me how to cope with them, and I had very little problem from them in high school. That was a very good thing, for whereas the girls of elementary school had emotional torture down to an art form, the girls of high school were into physical violence.
The way to cope with female bullies is to not give a damn. My elementary class was small; there was no escaping "the Popular Girls." My secondary class was huge; I quickly found girls who were a lot like me and ignored the wilder sort. (The wilder sort still get together, and their Facebook photos, showing them tanned and fake breasted, are sadly hilarious.) I have a few favourite memories of my high school bullies; after a day of nasty whispers that Evelyn was going to beat me up, I found Evelyn and said "I hear you want to beat me up." Evelyn had a hangover, so she told me to forget about it. Happy days.
Anyway, off I went to university, and I have rubbed along pretty well with most women my age and younger--except abortion rights activists, of course--ever since. Older women are often a bit trickier to deal with, since they were brought up to fear younger women. It is sad. Personally, I love younger women. Competition is just not my thing.
Some women never get beyond the bully stage. As a temp, I got to see what women who waste their lives in purchasing departments are like, and it was certainly awful at times. I've seen mean-faced middle-aged women plot against another middle-aged woman and shriek with laughter when they made their victim cry.
Another way to cope with female bullies is to avoid them. Cut them right out of your life. If there is one making your life hell at work, tell your supervisor. And if the hell continues, quit and tell your supervisor why. Quit at a time that will be the most difficult time for your supervisor to replace you. You won't be there to deal with your supervisor's frustration, but the bullies will.
Bullies at work are hard to deal with, but there is absolutely no need for any woman to put up with a bully in her social life for more than 30 seconds. Family life--well, you may need a counsellor. But social life? No way. I advised my reader to never have anything to do with the Married Woman bullies she had to deal with ever again. Saying "No wonder you're Single" is emotional abuse, almost as much of an assault as a punch in the gut, and no-one should put up with that.
In my next fantasy, one of the married bullies, missing the scapegoat of her twisted little set, phones up my reader and invites her to another party. And my reader, beginning to plan a fun event for that very evening, tells her she would rather stick lighted fondue forks in her eyes, thanks. Buh-bye!
Update: Speaking of fondue forks, some nice person has sent me a raclette from England without including a card or anything. My husband has brightly suggested that it is a bomb from Al-Qaeda at last. If it was you, please send me an email. Thank you!
Update: The raclette was from my brother in raclette-loving French Canada.