High School Revisted

Ok, so I didn’t really GO to high school very much. In fact my high school career consisted of attending 9th grade and the second half of 10th grade. (I transcended the first half of 10th grade, thanks for asking.) Then I went to college (which, to be absolutely honest, saved me from running off to become a circus clown).

Somehow, I think by simply not being there for high school, I missed learning about a whole bunch of stuff which I think of as the “politics of female friendship”. The friends I had in my brief high school career were either male or serious intellectual females who didn’t fit into the regular high school population, and who didn’t have any idea about the “politics of female friendship” either.

Then when I got to college everyone was an intellectual, and the women there were so concerned with their studies and with issues like environmental destruction, or human rights abuses, or how idiotic the government was being, that they didn’t engage very much in the “politics of female friendship”.

After college I got involved in the male-dominated computer industry and started, or worked for, a series of small computer and internet-based companies. And the very few female friends I had then, for whatever reason, didn’t engage much in the “politics of female friendship”.

The result of all this is that I never learned how to navigate the tricky waters of things like what to do when one friend tells you that another one was saying nasty things about you behind your back. Or what to do when the secrets you tell one person come back to you from someone else.

Now, in one sense, I do know what to do, I should ignore it and keep my brain occupied with intellectual pursuits. Or I should turn my attention to simpler friendships (ones with men and with women who are too occupied for this stuff) where these issues don’t arise.

But since coming here to Cancun I’ve found that the closeness of the female ex-pat community can be my biggest comfort. Female ex-pats stick together and the women I’ve become close to here give me a sense of belonging that I’m not sure I’ve ever had before.

So I’m taking a crash course in the “politics of female friendship”, but I’m flunking! I’m flunking badly and I’m seriously considering dropping out of the class altogether.

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