whisper down the lane


I have written about gossip three times on this blog over the years (here, here, and here.)

As I have said before, I find people that are perfectly nice becoming collateral damage because they are judged quite literally by the company they keep, right or wrong. Or being targeted because they aren’t some cookie cutter Stepford Wife living in a cookie cutter development.

And it’s women who do the real damage here, not men. Why are women so cruel to each other? Some say it is a basic evolutionary drive of women that men don’t have. Some say it is low self-esteem. I think personally some people are just mean and have nothing better to do.

Some days I still feel as if I wear the Scarlet Letter, personally. No, not the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, although in a sense it’s similar. The Scarlet D for different. Yes, yes, shocking and sad as it may be, apparently once again I am failing Stepford Wife school? Whatever shall I do?

“People will question all the good things they hear about you but believe all the bad without a second thought.”

Well, I can tell you that increasingly I just do not care. Their problems are theirs, not mine, or yours.  Gossiping about someone because you really don’t know them or they don’t fit into a mold you decided they should fit into to make you more comfortable is just horse sh*t.  Yes, horse sh*t.

So this morning I heard about a gossip club. Yes really.  Apparently they even have a Facebook group ?   Here we are 2020 and some are still acting like an insipid bunch of 1950’s housewives?  I mean even I like to watch the Real Housewives franchises on Bravo, but y’all know that is not the real world, right?

So this group is not where I live thank the good lord but still are they for real? These “girls” gather under the guise of doing right in the community? Then do good in the community and stop throwing shade. And also? You aren’t from the Main Line, you don’t live on the Main Line, you are miles and miles away from the Main Line or anything remotely resembling what is left of it.

Dayummm, does that mean you are outed? Guess so, LOL.  Y’all are as bad as those who full body check there way into “society photos”. Never. Ever. In a million months of Sundays but thanks for the giggles.

I had to laugh when I heard about this gossip club because it reminded me when we were new to the Main Line when I was a kid.  My mother announced one night at dinner that she was invited to some sort of brown bag lunch with the neighbor women.

Now my mother was always an intermittent stay at home mom.  She worked, had a successful career. But the first few years on the Main Line was a transition for all of us, including her.  She also was a corporate wife at that time, and corporate wives had a whole different set of responsibilities, and that included kind of putting their lives in a way on hold for the corporate of it all.

My mother went to the lunch, which even I who was like 12 or 13 at the time,  found astounding. And weird.  My mother returned from the lunch somewhat shell shocked or gob smacked. Almost sputtering as to what the lunches really were about.

It was a ladies gossip club. You packed a lunch and brought gossip dessert and dished it. Shared the tea as it were. She couldn’t believe it. We all couldn’t believe it. It was the 1970’s and then we were wondering wasn’t suburbia better than a bunch of petty 1950’s housewives throwbacks?

Needless to say, my mother politely avoided future lunches…and generally speaking those women. And I remember during those early years on the Main Line one woman kept binoculars on her kitchen windowsill.  Seriously. And it wasn’t for bird watching and we will leave it at that.

It was crazy but it was real.  And even then it was destructive.  And back then there was no social media or Facebook groups or anything like that. But crap still spewed and spread like wildfire.

So here we are the 3rd day of 2020, and everything old is new again?

Aren’t we better than this?

I also have in the round about of life heard tell of another friend of mine being targeted. And why? Because she is very independent and essentially tells it like it is.  I respect that and it is how we became friends in the first place.  She championed me when I was being targeted by gossip that bordered on slander and she didn’t even know me then. But she knew it was wrong.

I remember another friend said to me recently that this bent towards malicious gossip is why people do not volunteer in their communities or elsewhere. You have these people who are like bunches of broody clucking chickens.  Ready to peck at anything that moves.  And why?  Again usually because someone is different.

Look ladies, we all don’t self-identify by development names instead of towns and roads. And maybe someone is a free spirit or an independent thinker. But does that make them bad people? NO. Get over yourselves. And stop it.

I do not pretend to be perfect. I just think we can do better.  And that includes not exhibiting behavior like this and then wondering where kids get the impetus to bully in the schools.

I saw this quote which sums it up:

Gossips are worse than thieves because they steal another person’s dignity, honest reputation and credibility… which are challenging to restore. Remember: When your feet slip, you can always recover your balance. But when your tongue slips, you cannot recover your words. — Karen Salmansohn

It’s not glamorous, it’s just being bitchy and destructive. Seriously? Try being actually kind to one and other.

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2 thoughts on “whisper down the lane

  1. I would like to let you know that you are a light in the darkness for me. Until I discovered Chester County Ramblings, I really had no idea what was going on “out there”‘ in our various communities. You keep me up to date on the very important things, as well as the interesting and beautiful ones. It is refreshing to hear that plain outspokenness is still appreciated. By this, I do not mean mean-spiritedness. Just being outspoken and saying clearly what you mean. Brava. Keep on keepin’ on.

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