I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
November 17, 2015
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came to a list of suggested friends. At the top of the list was a woman we’ll call Maggie.
“That’s weird,” I said when I saw her photo. Maggie is already my Facebook friend. Or at least, she used to be. When I clicked on her profile photo, I learned that our virtual relationship had changed.
You know where this is going, right?
Maggie had unfriended me.
“To each her own,” I said with a wavering voice, trying to shake off that sinking feeling that comes when you discover someone has kicked you to the Facebook curb. I don’t know Maggie very well, but I do see her nearly every week at my church, so that was a little awkward. But her unfriending couldn’t possibly have been personal, I told myself. I mean, I had no history with Maggie whatsoever– We hadn’t had a chance yet to get beyond the most general conversations. Remembering that Maggie’s best friend, Trish, had recently friended me, too, I checked her page to see if there were any clues as to what might be going on.
That’s when I discovered that Trish had unfriended me, too.
“Are you kidding?!” I sputtered. Like Maggie, I see Trish every week at church. And like Maggie, Trish and I had had no interaction beyond polite conversations about our kids and the weather– yet the fact that both Maggie and Trish had unfriended me in the same week let me know they’d had some sort of pow wow about me and together decided to give me the big Facebook heave ho.
“This isn’t fair, you know!” I said hotly to Trish’s smiling profile photo. “I mean, come on! You didn’t even give me a chance to properly offend you!”
Beyond that, what exactly was I supposed to do when I saw them again? Whisper “Dislike!” and give them a murderous look? Pretend I didn’t know what they’d done? But they had to know that I’d eventually know– I know that they knew that I knew that, and I know that they knew I’d know! And seriously– What could I possibly have done to deserve this? I sighed and put my head in my hands.
“Women,” I muttered. “Why am I so freaking bad at women?”
Yes. As much as it pains me to admit it, this kind of thing has happened before. Ever since junior high, in fact, I’ve suspected that there was some sort of Woman Code Book, and to this day, I have no idea how to get my hands on it. I imagine this Code contains hundreds of pages and footnotes and annotations and amendments, and without it, figuring out what to say and do in any sort of social situation involving women is just plain hopeless.
Over the ensuing decades, I’ve managed to pick up what I believe are a few Woman Code basics– enough to get me in the door, socially speaking. It’s only a matter of time, though, before I’m exposed and unceremoniously booted right back out, without ever quite understanding why. Eventually, other women always seem to figure out that I don’t actually speak their secret language, beyond “Where is the toilet?” and “Can you please tell me how to get to the airport?” And that’s just not enough to qualify for membership.
And so I stand to one side and gaze in quiet awe of all the women around me who’ve clearly memorized the Woman Code, and breezily live it out day after LuluLemon clad day– They’re the ones forming tight gaggles in the hallways on Parents Night, the ones whose Facebook pictures always feature Girls’ Nights Out and Girls’ Weekends In and Girls’ Brunches and Girls’ Retreats, the ones who are always on their phones, the ones who always seem to know just the right thing to say and do whether they’re at a tennis match, a cocktail party, a funeral, or a fundraiser, the ones who have seven different BFFs, and at least a hundred Fs, which they’re constantly running into with much squealing and hugging and catching up. They know which occasions call for flats and which demand heels, when to wear full-on makeup and when to go without. They know which hairdresser is the best in town and which exercise instructors at the gym will get you in shape the fastest.
They know all of this, the code, the language, because they know. They just know.
And I don’t. I don’t know. And at times, all this not knowing is excruciating.
I’m bad at women, y’all. Yes, it’s given me plenty of hilarious writing material, but the truth is that in real life?
It’s not all that funny.
Header image via Charlotte/Flickr Creative Commons