The Pretenders

I went to a wedding once.
Not so long ago.
It brought many things to life for me.

The art of pretending – being the main one.

I’d been at the wedding less than an hour, and I noticed a group of girls I kinda know. You know the ones you’ve met before or are friends of friends, people that you may even be friends with on Facebook but wouldn’t really stop in the street and say anything more than a “Hi, how are you going?” in passing.

But a wedding out of town is different, well, to me.

Even though my gut instincts were telling me not to, I made an effort to go up and have a chat, so I didn’t appear to be rude.

Standing with the girls that I kinda knew was a thin, curly-haired woman whom I recognised from Instagram. She was slightly Insta-famous but not really either, and for this story, we will call her Wannabe.

We all had a brief chit-chat where I had told them they looked great – which they did and asked how things were going…

These girls were the wives of the groomsmen or, at the very least, close friends. I was a family friend of the bride. She is a strong, confident woman who is always beautifully done up and took no shit from anyone. And even though she is 9 years my junior, I can and have learnt a whole fuck-it load from her.

Anyway, after my short friendly chat, I joked to them that my Spanx would be coming off and thrown to the horses by the end of the night – I wasn’t being hypothetical – there were actually horses there.

Wannabe scoffed at me.

“Who wears Spanx?!” She said as if she’d just swallowed a mouthful of horse shit, and her little body was now toxic from it.

I was like, “Well, I do. Five kids and my body isn’t what she used to be.” I lightly joked.

Wannabe replied to say that one of the other girls in the group, we will call her Work-Done, “…has had six kids, and she doesn’t need to wear Spanx.” As she looked my body up and down with that same I-just-swallowed-horse-shit scowl.

She was trying to humiliate me.

While I was internally ashamed for being overweight, for using my kids as an excuse, for making an effort to make friends, I awkwardly laughed, said something lame and walked away.

If I was not already insecure, at that moment when I could feel their eyes and hear their country town sniggers behind my back, I became ten times more so after that moment.

Fast forward a few hours later…
Wannabe is smashed and trying to be my best mate. She’s confessed to me she hates her husband and wants to leave him. She’s asking me for advice on what to do. She tells me she is miserable and life’s shit. Wannabe Insta girl with her “perfect family”, “perfect life”, I-don’t-wear-Spanx is all her own version of horse shit, and now she wants to be buddies.

Fast forward to the wedding being over…
The last of us were outside waiting for taxi’s, and I’m told by the groom that he’s glad he got to hang out with me coz I’m actually a cool chic. This is the opposite of what he’s been told by the groomsmen because of my reputation.

I felt a stab to my chest.

Who was saying shit about me and why?! Was it the wives who, surely, had better things to talk to their husbands about than someone they hardly knew?! And more importantly, what was it that they thought they knew?

Surely not the rebellious teen I was 24 years ago.
Or the insecure single mother I was 17 years ago. A teen mother who had lost her brother to cancer, who was going through a fucking tough time trying to survive and allow her children to thrive. A single mother, a broken woman who just wanted to feel loved as a package deal, important to someone and lovable.

Fast forward a few days after the wedding…
I find out that Work-Done with the six kids has had … well, work done. She’s had her boobs done and stomach liposuction, among many other things. Good for her, but don’t tell me I’m a piece of fat shit because I haven’t had work done but still want to feel gorgeous and fit into my dress, so I felt the need to wear Spanx.

Fast forward a few weeks later…
Wannabe and I are about to cross paths at her country town fair. She’s seen me. I know it. Yet she does everything in her power to pretend she hasn’t and walks by me with her nose in the air and the husband, she hates, on her side.

So I say fuck you.

Fuck your judgemental attitudes.
Fuck your small-mindedness.
Fuck your need to make others small so you can feel better.

This type of bitchiness is what causes so much damage to others.

People with power or people who think they have power.
People who think they know better.
People who think they know me better than I know myself.

Spitting out toxicity makes them more poisonous than anything I have ever said or done.

Fuck them.
Fuck them being all high and mighty.
Fuck them, thinking they are better than anyone else.

You can take your 12k followers and string them along in your pretend world. You will get tired of it eventually. The walls will crumble, and you know what, you are probably pretty sad.

But I also want to thank you.
Thank you for the lesson.

Thank you for showing me my gut instincts are spot on. I knew you were gossip mongers who like to drag others down.

Thank you for showing your true colours. I will no longer allow you to be a part of my life – in truth, only virtually any way.

Thank you for reminding me that the women I do have in my life are beautiful. Inside and out.
They are my cheerleaders.
They are my tribe.
They are my heroes and a massive part of my world.
They know me.

They know who I am and what I’m about, and they would never, EVER, take to small-mindedness to make another woman feel insecure or small.

And I’m glad.
So fucking glad, extra blessed and wholeheartedly grateful for your reminder of who I am, how far I’ve come and who I love and why.

If only your hearts could be as wise.

LD ||

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