From time to time, I catch myself declaring, “I don’t want to be that girl.”
Following shortly afterward, a deep, internal dialogue ensues:
“What does that even mean? What girl? That girl. That makes zero sense, yet, it is all so lucid.”
I try to define it. To try to figure out who that girl is and why she is such a terrible person to be, because one thing is definitely true, being that girl is not a good thing.
I began to analyze the combination of these two words, which, separate from one another without intonation are perfectly reasonable utterances.
If I use the phrase “that girl” in a conversation with a friend to describe another female, the response to this brief description is always a slow motion head nod, followed by an elongated “uh huuuh.” There is an immediate understanding. Little has to be said about the girl in question, as she is that girl and that is description enough on her character—judgement has been passed.
It’s such a negative connotation wherever it’s used and yet, I’m not entirely sure my friend and I, or any one person, has an agreement on what that girl is and what she does that makes her so despicable.
What’s even more abundantly clear, is that with a definition so open and girls being the way we are (so precious), all the double-x chromosomes sashaying the catwalks of life, at some point, have been that girl.
So what is and who is that girl and why is she so heinous? The theme I found in my research about this girl is that the most common thread is an object of affection. For demonstrative purposes, I have used the term “boyfriend” as the object of affection.
that girl classifications:
that girl (commonly known as the “other” girl): the girl who is dating, canoodling a guy she knows has a girlfriend.
that girl (commonly known as the girl who has no clue): the girl who is seeing a guy she doesn’t know is canoodling, dating another girl.
that girl (see also girl who defines herself by boy she dates): the girl who flakes on her friends whenever her latest love interest commands her attention.
that girl (often called self-absorbed): the girl who can’t stop talking about her boyfriend, cat, baby, allowance, and can’t understand that no one else lives in her magical world or cares.
that girl (see also girl in denial): the girl who makes excuses for her boyfriend of questionable judgement.
that girl (commonly known as girl who scares/manipulates her boyfriend into doing her bidding): the girl who has her boyfriend on a puppet string and rules him with an icy stare and guilt trip. ie: “You can do what you want, but I’m going to stay here and darn your socks in lingerie.”
that girl (see also bitch): the girl who cheats on her boyfriend, lies, then cheats some more till she gets caught or bored.
The sad truth is that at some time or another, every girl has probably been a semblance of that girl. It’s anticipated we mature and move on from the frivolities that so often accompany that girl so we don’t become that woman.
When I mutter those illicit two words to a friend that I don’t want to be that girl, a friend almost always replies and almost always means it when replying, “you are not that girl!”
At least not anymore.
P.S. There is also that guy. But that’s for another day.