Venus Trapped in Mars

30 April 2014

Jenny Francis

I don't want to intimidate you with what I'm about to say but...

.... I was voted on the All Star softball team for Huguenot Little League 11-13 year old division. 

I know. Impressive. I'm not sure how they missed me at that year's ESPYs but I'll continue to stand by for the life achievement award. 

So when you make the All Star team (subtle brag, you're welcome), you leave your team and move on to play with a whole new group of girls.

So here I am, an 11 year old. I get the list of names of the girls on the team and I start crying because they are all "popular" girls. I didn't go to private school, I went to public ---- home of the 450+ graduating class. So you better believe that cliques dominated, and the "you can't sit with us" girls ruled the school. That shit will mess with your head when you're a kid. Which is so unbelievably sad, because life goes on to be so wonderful. I just wish there was a way we could tell the kids today that this is nothing. Just wait until college, it will be the time of your life. You will be popular, not in the sense of being a mean girl in a clique, but in the true meaning of the word; SO MANY FRIENDS! 

But how do you tell an 11 year old tomboy that? 

So I head to my first practice with my head down and hat pulled over my eyes. Petrified. The coach says grab a partner for warm ups and I want to run home. But I don't know anyone here, they're all terrible  mean girls that are so much prettier and cooler and more popular than I am!!!!!! 

Jenny Francis (I've changed her name for this story, of course) immediately skips up to me (the 11 year old All Star mode of transportation) and asks if I have a partner.



At the end of that practice Jenny invited me to her birthday party that weekend. I told my mom about the invite, and then told her that I wasn't going. In so many 11 year old words, I was basically assuming that she was a raging bitch just like the rest of the girls, regardless of the pity partnership earlier.

To make a long story short, because that is what every blogger should attempt to do... my mom forced me to go to the party, just as any parent of an only child should do. Jenny was the kindest, sweetest and most welcoming person I'd ever met. She wasn't changed by being one of the popular girls. She thought for herself and as it turns out, I ended up being the bitch for judging a book by its cover. 

From then on out, whenever I would doubt myself, or talk about the "popular girls", my mom would simply respond with, "Jenny Francis" and the discussion was over. 



But guess what? To this very day, I still make this mistake, if you can believe that. 
Oh she is prettier than I am, she won't like me. 

Oh she is thinner than I am, she won't like me.

Oh she has such nicer clothes than I do, she won't like me. 

Oh she has more money than I do, she won't like me.

Oh she is friend's with ____ she won't like me. 

Oh, she won't like me......... 





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34 comments :

  1. So true...I don;t think woman ever grow out of this, its goes from high school to college to who is the better mom.... oh the joys of life!

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  2. I appreciate you writing this post. My daughter is going to be 10 this year and I already see some of this happening. I wish I could snap her out of it and give her a look into her future and have her see that the little petty stuff she's going through now won't even matter in the long run and to not waste time worrying about it...and just enjoy being a kid...because you grow up SO FAST!

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  3. It's always hard to look past the hesitation of "she won't like me." I almost didn't start talking to one of my best friends because she was SO much prettier and I just assumed we wouldn't get along. Turns out she is the sweetest person. Now I know better but I still have my Jenny Francis moments. Wait...does this mean we can be friends even though you're cooler than me? :)

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  4. haha that's why I always try and assume I am the coolest one in the room! For real though, having those moments of doubt is hard, but we have to remember that we all have them including Jenny Francis.

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  5. Once you've been burned by one mean girl (mine was in 1st grade) it's hard to rebound and be trusting again. I do need to remember that more often than not the girl is a Jenny Francis and not a Heather Jones (my made up name for the first grade mean girl).

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  6. you know that is awesome. there are probably (maybe) people out there that we are jenny francis to, right? we just gotta remember that people are people. it's hard to remember that sometimes.

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    1. Lol! I hope I'm a Jenny Francis to someone.

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  7. I really love this post. I think we're all guilty of this sometimes but it's great that you have such a solid example of a time when it wasn't true.

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  8. Great post, and so true! It's so easy to get sucked into the viscous circle of thinking people think badly of you so you think badly of them etc.etc. Sometimes you really just need someone/something that will be there to snap you out of it.

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  9. It's such a hard thing to stop doing!!!!!

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  10. I love this! I do this too - if a woman I meet has a great outfit and looks impeccably put together, I automatically assume she's some snooty bitch. ...Why? Because she has great taste? It's such a weird thing we do!

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  11. it pays to be open and nice to everyone so they don't think you're a mean girl. always be the jenny francis to other people!

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  12. I love this so freaking much. Everyone should have something like this they can remind themselves of when doubt creeps in!

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  13. I <3 this! It's definitely true that there are "popular" people out there who are also genuinely nice people. Plenty are the bitchy ones who give them the bad names, but the nice ones exist & you should at least give everyone that chance to prove themselves first.

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  14. I think we all still do this, you're not alone!

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  15. Great post, and it's crazy how that kind of "popular girls" mentality sticks with us. I have a similar person that I have to remind myself of-- she and her friends from the cheer squad are still friends, but she's one of the few who added me on Facebook and occasionally "likes" my posts and pics, even though I wasn't cool enough to be in her crowd in high school. At our high school reunion, some of her group were still the same ol', "we're hot and we know it" bitchy and the total stereotype of Orange County housewife (seriously I would not be surprised if they auditioned for RHOC), but she's this down-to-earth, all organic and DIY mother of the sweetest toddler. Anyway, the point being, I have to remind myself of her every time I want to judge the pretty girls. She's my "Jenny Francis."

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  16. I was thinking about this today. I'm not one of the "popular" girls, I never was, and you better believe I have those silly thoughts nearly every day. Heck, I have them when it comes to blogs. "Sarah's blog is so fancy and pretty and there's no way she'd ever like me".

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  17. This is such a great post! Sometimes I think everyone feels this way, event the "popular girls".

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  18. Loving on this post today! Sometimes I still feel like that 6th grade girl thinking about the "popular girls" when in reality, you really just need to give people a chance.

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  19. I LOVE THIS. Seriously, great lesson and great reminder <3

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  20. So this is awkward.... mine is S a r a h W e b b. S a r a h W e b b.

    Laces out, Dan.

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  21. I do this all the time. I always assume people won't like me because they're better. It's tough, this growing up thing, where you have to interact with people who aren't like you.

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  22. I am the worst about doing this with bigger bloggers. Can't even count the number of times I've stopped myself from commenting because I assume they won't like me. Great reminder!

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  23. I'm 25 years old and I still meet Jenny Francises all too often. Which is silly, because Tina and Amy are my role models for female friendship, yet I assume for literally no reason that other women will dislike me inexplicably. Thanks for writing this :)

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  24. This resonnates so well with me. I think we all have been there. Maybe even those cruel popular girls. I feel that other bloggers/friends/acquaintances won't like me either and then I am a "no" woman, but lately I have been trying to be a "yes" woman and go out more, put myself out there more and remind myself that there are nice girls out there. Great post.

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  25. You've just summed up my whole life. Ok, I exaggerate, but yes, 11 year old girls are MEAN. At least you got an invitation. The 6th grade girls in my class told people not to invite me to a party…in FRONT of me. Talk about mean...

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  26. In middle school I was really trusting of everyone and on more than one occasion that ended up biting me in the butt, so then I became your 11 year old self and second guessed every friendship and whether any girl would ever actually want to be my friend, long story short high school is not much fun living that way. I'm so glad I've finally learned to get over that (mostly), life is much better when you don't second guess everyone.

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  27. YESSSS!! I thought one of my {now} good college friends was going to be a total B - turns out she is the sweetest thing ever and I'm so glad she started talking to me because I don't think I would have had the nerves to talk to her!

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  28. There is always a Jenny Francis around and I am mistaken about her
    #sigh
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  29. Oh this is not a post about my sister in-law Jenny Francis..................bugga..............lol

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  30. This is so great! It would be incredible if we could tell girls that today - that being kind to one another is so much better in the end - I wonder what they could accomplish together?

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  31. want to know what's funny? I think you are the Jenny Francis of blog land. I assumed that because your blog (and by extension you) were the shiz, I didn't deserve to talk to you. and then you kind of invited me to your birthday party! funny how things works out like that.

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  32. Jenny Francis! I love that.. lol. I have definitely made the same mistake as you.. I think we all have.

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  33. Great post, great mantra! I've probably missed out on more than 1 friendship by being too timid to follow up with it. No more!

    Jenn | Business, Life & Design

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