I frequently travel for work. I refuse to use a rolling bag (bad experience of tripping and banging into people’s knees), so I choose to travel with a backpack. Very collegiate of me, I know.
One evening, I decided to eat dinner at a trendy outdoor shopping area by myself. I often travel alone, so I’m use to keeping to myself. As I’m reviewing my dinner options at the outdoor billboard map, I hear:
“I like your bag.”
I assume it’s not directed toward me, because, well, I have a backpack… And the fact that there are several women walking around with bags that probably cost more than my car payment.
I turn around and a gaggle of young teen girls are huddled together and looking at me. “I like your bag. Ohhh… it’s a backpack.” Before I think it’s an honest mistake, the girls erupt in a synchronized titterly laugh.
It’s been so long since I’ve been the object of pre-teen cattiness, I didn’t know what to do. I shrugged it off and went along my way. As I thought about it, though, I wondered if this was what is considered an acceptable past time now.
As always, we come up with better responses well past the time to give a rebuttal to a snarky comment directed at us. Here are a couple of responses I wish I had thought of at the time:
- Thank you! It’s a Swiss Army backpack. I got it for a great deal! Let me show it to you. It has several pockets, which is great, and it can fold out so you don’t have to remove your laptop when you go through airport security. I like the gray because it usually goes with whatever I’m wearing, which is usually neutral, classic colors, but it could still work with bright patterns.
- Ladies, if you are trying to go for the catty bitch personality, you’ve failed on all levels. My backpack is probably the nicest, most expensive item I’m wearing. I’m so disappointed that you didn’t attack my frizzy hair or call out that my tattered shoes are from Target two seasons ago.
- Why don’t I buy you girls some gelato? I’d like to talk to you about how your hurtful, catty words and poor attitude toward other women, especially someone older, can affect your friendships and future opportunities. Here, have a seat. Let’s discuss why you chose to call me out and if it truly made you feel better about yourself or put you in a better standing with your so-called friends.
I understand that this is a small example of cattiness, but wouldn’t it be nice to correct this behavior while we, as ladies, are young, before it spirals out of control in the workplace or in an adult friendship?
What would you have said to them?