I've been thinking about it, and either girls are big liars, or I'm abnormally mean. A few weeks ago when I still hung out with the transfers, Olga asked us to go around and say what our first impressions of each other had been. That's dangerous territory to begin with, it's either blatant compliment fishing, or it's looking for an excuse to say something catty. I bowed out, claiming I don't remember first impressions once I get to know people. It's only a partial lie, I only remember first impressions when they're dramatic, and usually only with men. (I remember meeting Marco because he's stunning and said he would take care of me at my first rugby party, I remember meeting Chase because...well...grandparents read this blog, but Chase is a Character, and my first impression was memorable. There's one former rugger (driven from the pitch by his ex-girlfriend who he can't stand to be within 69m x 100m of), who is perfectly nice, but who made such a terrible first impression on me that I could never look at him without feeling sort of disgusted and pitying. He taught me to never ever ever do a haircut though, for which I am grateful.)
So I didn't play the Say-Nice-Things-Or-Indulge-In-Cattiness game. I didn't really think about any of the girls that were playing when I first met them anyway. They all went around though, and they went the nice route, though it was pretty evident that they hadn't really given me a lot of thought either. That isn't my point though. When a girl is asked to describe another girl one of the first things she says is that she's pretty or cute, or something to that effect. I do it too, I've been called on it before, because it's so common it isn't actually helpful in giving a mental image. If you don't think someone is pretty though, and you say it, you sound awful. You seem super mean, and people assume you have some deep problem with this person, when that isn't necessarily the case. (I don't do this, I cave to social norms and just say everyone is pretty. It doesn't hurt me in any way, and for that matter I don't typically describe particularly unattractive people.) I'm not railing against the system here, because I understand why people have to be nice in order to be able to live together. What I don't understand is why people pretend to want to hear the truth when they clearly don't. Even then, when I thought I might want to be friends with these girls, had I told the truth about them I would've been out on my ear before you could say knife. So am I just mean? I don't say these things out loud, but do other people notice when someone's body spray, or hair gel or whatever it is smells so strong you know they've been in a room even hours later? Or when someone is smoking and maybe coincidentally, maybe not, also always upwind? I'm happy to look past these things, but I still notice them. I notice nice things too, but because almost everyone puts on the nice front I can't tell if I'm abnormally bitchy. But that doesn't mean I want you to tell me if I am.