Okay, so not my FIRST experience because I did go to public school where anything from the brand of shoes you wore to the brand of shoes you didn't was cause for public ridicule...but my first ADULT experience of Girl World.
It was a doozy.
After settling in to my first grown up home....a Navy housing apartment, I met my quadmates, April, Jen and Candy. We all lived in interconnected units and saw each other 17 times a day, whether we wanted to or not. April was the first girl I met and after five minutes, she offered me the use of her washer and dryer. This was a BIG deal. We certainly didn't have such fancy things in our first place and she was awfully proud she did. It was then I found out why she would no longer talk to her next door neigbor, Candy. They had a falling out over these precious appliances. Apparently Candy took April up on her offer much too often and so Candy decided to go get her OWN washer and dryer and not only did she do this terrible thing, she got a model that ALSO had a hat drying rack insert. For shame! (those white sailor hats looked like hell if you tried to tumble dry them. This rack was a big deal. A way bigger deal than Pam Anderson's) So April hated Candy and Candy holed up, not sure what to think of it. I rarely saw her.
Then there was Jennifer. Country bumpkin, lover of the pipe weed and April's best buddy. They got along great and got along well with me. Until they realized...I liked Candy too. As a matter of fact, out of all four of us, Candy was the most put together. She had her degree, worked from home and was going back to school in her hometown once her husband was finished with school in Orlando. Candy was the one who went with me to my first sonogram appointment and had a lovely lunch and library visit afterwards.
Well...that went over like...well...I won't use the phrase Jamie always uses. It has to do with a punch bowl and something you usually only discuss when dealing with dirty diapers...so yeah...we'll leave that out.
Time goes by and April and her hubby are shipped out. He didn't make the cut. Failed out of power school. That left Candy..Jen..and me. But wait, Jen HATED Candy for getting the same washing machine April got remember? They were MORtAL enemies.
Along this time I met the girl who would become my very best friend. She's still my best friend. We clicked immediately and starting spending a lot of time together. We were both expecting babies and had a lot in common. She was two blocks down and we spent pretty much every day together after we met.
I was still friendly with both Jen and Candy, afterall, I had no grudge with them, I just met a new friend. I still hung out and talked on the porch and always said hello when seeing them. But things started to change. Soon, Jen and Candy were best friends, even though they previously couldn't stand each other and it all boiled down to me not playing the game. You see, I never took sides. I had no iron in the fire. I figured I would just be nice to all of them because no one had done anything to me.
But that was the wrong choice, you see....when you don't pick sides, then you have by default. You are the enemy. If a girl like this has nothing on you, nothing to hold over you head or gossip about you, you're kind of SOL as my mom always said. Soon, I got glares and giggles when I'd come home. Saying hi, only to be greeted with eyerolls and more giggles. Apparently, I became very funny for some odd reason.
And it was baffling. I had not changed. I had done nothing different and yet, two former enemies couldn't quite bond over their similiaries because they probably didn't have much to begin with. Except me. I suppose having a common enemy was the one thing that made their friendship work and honestly, at that point, I didn't care. They could have each other. I had a wonderful husband who was kicking ass in school, a new best friend who was so funny, awesome and amazing and a new baby on the way.
Oddly enough, after Candy left, Jen was really, really sweet to me all over again. I was sweet back, but didn't bite the cookie she was holding out. No time for that crap.
They eventually all moved away and just mere months before moving, we got the best neighbors ever. No drama, no gossip, no cattiness. Just a good old boy with his good old girl, some beers and a charcoal grill and many, many nights of sitting outside, talking, visiting and enjoying each other.
She was cool. So was he. But he wasn't in the Navy. She was ;) Ha!! ;) Awesome!