Sunday, May 6, 2012

Regina George walks among us

The phrase “mean girl” evokes a very specific image for most people: a popular, pretty teenage girl who dresses in the latest fashions, commands the hallways of a high school like a CEO commands a business meeting, and who’s nice to your face but calls you a bitch the second your back is turned. The movie, Mean Girls, put a face to mean girls everywhere: Regina George. Regina George is the quintessential Queen Bee mean girl—she puts mean girls I knew in high school to shame.

Janis: And evil takes a human form in Regina George. Don't be fooled because she may seem like your typical selfish, back-stabbing slut faced ho-bag, but in reality, she's so much more than that.
Damian: She's the queen bee - the star, those other two are just her little workers. 
        -from Mean Girls

Mean Girls is based (in part) on Rosalind Wiseman’s book Queen Bees and Wannabees. Tina Fey (who I adore) did an amazing job adapting parts of the book for the movie. The book focuses girls and friendship and what Wiseman calls “Girl World.”  Wiseman defines the roles in Girl World (Queen Bees, Targets, Bankers, Bystanders, etc.) and how they interact with one another. It’s a fascinating book. I highly recommend it and her follow-up, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads. I wish I had read these before I stepped into a classroom or admissions office. Navigating Girl World isn’t easy but Wiseman provides a pretty great map.

One of the things that I found fascinating about Wiseman’s book is that Girl World doesn’t just exist in school—it exists in every social or work situation/network you encounter or exist within (that goes for guys too). I can tell you who’s who within my office and my different groups of friends. I worked for a Queen Bee mean girl and it was devastating. While I’ve never been called a mean girl, I know that I exhibited mean girl tendencies during my junior and senior years of college. If ever there was a time to call me a mean girl that would have been it. I was in charge of a lot of things in the drama department and I took it very seriously (probably more so than a lot other people in the department). I was not always nice to everyone and I know that I made it particularly difficult for a few people who “crossed me.” Some people would just describe my behavior as bossy but I’m pretty sure I was a mean girl. I like to think that I’ve made up for that behavior and have not had any mean girl moments since.

I’m moving back to Virginia at the end of the summer and have been in town for the last week for work. I spent today looking for an apartment an had a total mean girl experience that almost derailed my day. I actually don't mind moving (obviously) but there are two things I hate about it: packing and looking for an apartment. Both are time consuming and can be very frustrating. Looking for an apartment is a lot like making a new friend. There are lots of questions you have to ask and like when you hang out with a new friend, you have to feel comfortable and at ease in your new apartment/community. I felt that way when I moved back to New Orleans for college and to a lesser extent, when I moved to Alameda. I believe that the staff of a building is the first indication of whether or not you're going to enjoy your new "friend." The staff doesn't always live in the building but they are there to sell the experience to you and make you feel like you belong.

The first place I looked at today was fine-nice size, the location was good but I didn't feel it. I couldn't see myself living there. I moved on to my second stop which was at a building that describes itself as "urban apartment homes." I hope that gives you a clear image of what this building is and the type of person that might live there. I'm not entirely sure that I am that person but I wanted to take a look at it since multiple people told me that it was a great place and that the neighborhood was amazing. The neighborhood is great-cute coffee shop across the street, walking distance to some great restaurants and a theater but the whole area definitely gives off a "too cool for school" vibe. I put that aside and went in anyway.

I'm an organized mover so I had already spoken to a person from the leasing office about some of the basics. When I entered the office, I was greeted with fancy furniture, Mark Rothko coffee table books, and a mean girl. The leasing office was not separate office spaces; it was an open room with a receptionist and the agents immediately behind her.  So I heard the leasing agent when she said, "Are you trying to ruin my day?" when the receptionist told her I was waiting. Instead of greeting me, she immediately launched into why I shouldn't have come first thing and that she was totally hung over from celebrating Cinco de Mayo. And then she introduced herself and asked me my name. She pulled up the information I had given on Friday and noticed I had actually spoken to someone from their central leasing office so it "was all probably wrong and I had probably been told the wrong information." Way to be a team player. 

Sadly, she was right. My information was half correct and I had been told some very incorrect information about leasing and availability (which is also on their website so they need to get on it and make some updates). I would have been totally fine with the situation if she had told me any of this in a professional and polite way. Instead, she told me "You shouldn't have even bothered coming here today. There's nothing I can do for you and I don't really have time to do this today." Awesome. Then asked me if I wanted to take a tour. No, I don't want to take a tour and I don't want to spend anymore time with you. I did not say that. Instead, I said no thank you and left. 

Rudeness is one thing; I can deal with rudeness. But she was just mean-a mean girl. I'm sure that I didn't fit into her perception of a tenant of that building and I had clearly interrupted her day.  She set a tone for the building and the experience that I would never be able to get over if I had decided to live there. She was a mean girl and I'm fairly certain that being hung over had nothing to do with it. She might not have been Regina George but they're definitely sisters in meanness. I was pissed off when I got out of there. And it must have shown. When I got to the next place, the leasing agent asked if I was okay. I told him what happened and I think he felt bad. He couldn't have been nicer but while I liked this location better than the first apartment it still wasn't it.

My fourth stop ended up being the best of the day and as long as my application is approved, I'll be signing the lease and moving in July 29. The place is very nice and the apartment is what I was looking for this time around. Pumpkin will even have a huge window with a ledge so she can sit and look outside all day long (from 7 stories up). I waited in the lobby for about 20 minutes and every single person said hello to me. That's the kind of place I want to live. No fancy furniture, no ridiculous coffee table books. And no mean girls.

1 comment:

  1. Stop trying to make "fetch" happen.... :) Welcome back to VA.