Taking a month off from writing does not prove good for the soul. It begins innocently enough; so, so busy. Busy bee planning decor for the wedding of a beloved niece, working two jobs and moving. The result? Crumbly, crabby, dismissive and disappointed in my usually good work ethic. And then I discover I never learned to girl fight. What? Odd discovery I know. Follow along.
At a recent gathering, we witness a woman behaving badly, like Real Housewives badly, in public, on full display. And had someone not literally, no joke, tossed her out the door, she may have made physical contact with any number of women at the soiree. Making a spectacle of oneself at a party, and having it not involve tipsy dancing, falling on the floor, losing one’s scarf or talking too loudly, is simply gauche. Party Girl in Question obviously has not mastered the art of the well-placed word, in the correct tone, as the most effective rapier in the girl fight arsenal.
What has me head scratching, however, is the idea that I don’t know how to girl fight. I know right? Do you? If someone threw a punch can you accurately say what you may do? You think you know until you watch such a melee unfold itself. One would hope some sort of cat species would stir from deep inside and enough scratching and clawing might ensue so as to keep hair in place and dresses from becoming disheveled. Since the incident I have pondered the proper response for ladies who generally just get happier with martini consumption and do not feel a need to box with others.
As a connoisseur of life’s finer things, public spectacle has never reached the pinnacle of art form for this girl. I do regard a French slap about the face with a fine leather glove quite charming but other than that, not so much. And although I adore it as a perfect response to insult, never have I have the pleasure of delivery. Public screaming, chastising, or antics causing others to stare–with the exception of loud requests for others to join in the dancing–are, well, distasteful. Thinking, thinking, thinking–what should a lady do if she encounters a boorish one for whom scene making is pastime? A list has come to mind, as you knew it would.
This, of course, takes into account that Bad Party Girl’s boorish antics affect you in some way: interfering with your crowd, your children, your personal space or God forbid, your safety. If none of the above is true, simply sit back and enjoy the entertainment knowing full well you’ll never encounter this one at a party again as she is sealing the envelope on her do not invite cards. However, scene making involving you or your kin probably need be dealt some sort of social blow. You do have your dignity after all do you not? Let’s call these strategies.
Strategy One: Do not under any circumstances forget the power of the eyebrow. A sharply raised brow has put many a naughty one in line, be it child, husband or ghastly other woman. Raise it high, but not too often lest it lose its effect. Remember always to pluck, wax or thread it to perfection so the arch is unmistakable. Tilt your head slightly and add a hmmmm.
Strategy Two: Known as the up and down, no one on earth sans penis has not been either giver or receiver of this one. It’s the stop, drop and roll of bitch looks. Stop completely, look deeply into her eyes and sweep your gaze down her body and up again. Perfect your look of disdain and move along. A hand delicately placed on the hip gives this method extra oomph.
Strategy Three: Wide eyed astonishment. Open your peepers as wide as they will stretch, make a small “O” with your mouth and place a hand in front of the mouth. Don’t touch the mouth–smearing your lipstick will ruin the full effect. A slight bend of the knee adds some drama.
Strategy Four: There is always the never fail provided by our sisters to the South. Place a hand about your heart, shake your head slightly and emit those famous words, “Bless your heart, dear” which we all know is short for, “Go home and stop making an ass of yourself,” in Southern.
Strategy Five: When it’s the talk of the town on Monday, don’t expand the gossip. Simply reply, “Oh my, that really was something wasn’t it?” letting everyone know you came, you saw, you disapprove and Party Girl in Question won’t be at your house anytime soon.
Strategy Six: This is the lowest of the low; to be used only when the blow is an unmistakable direct hit, uncalled for and you know Party Girl in Question well enough to know her achilles heel. For this particular doll, it’s weight gain. And to this party, she brought along quite a bit. Perhaps the best response should simply have been, “More cake dear?”
Of course, quips and rapier wit were tucked safely away in my head on said night. Instead I watched, sometimes in horror, other times in bemusement and yet others in pity. As one who frequently makes an ass of myself with little effort or premeditation, I can only imagine how it feels the next morning when bad behavior comes with planning which somehow doesn’t work out the way it was envisioned.
What did I do? Pursed my lips and grasped my pearls of course. A lot. In getting ready, I had considered a lovely bejeweled necklace, a gift from The Norwegian, but last minute decided the dark shade of my lace dress was a perfect frame for a multi-strand beauty paired alongside tear drop heart stopper earrings with a little shine to brighten the face.
And once again, I have pearls to thank for social success. Who knows; lesser jewelry may have found me wrestling in the mud. Pfft.