While enjoying a couple of dollar beers at a RiverDogs game with a large group of friends, an old gal pal and I defected from the rest of the crowd to smoke and catch up on each other’s drama.

However, our focus quickly turned to indulgence in my most beloved hobby: people watching. Screw baseball — this is truly America’s favorite pastime.

“Jeez, check out J-Lo,” my girlfriend whispered, as she nudged her head toward a girl in a brown velour track suit complete with hot pants.

“Bless her heart, someone forgot to tell her not to leave the house like that. I’m just sayin’,” I retorted. This is one of the greatest learned rules of Southern lady etiquette: you can say anything you want about anyone, as long as you sandwich it between, “Bless their heart,” and “I’m just sayin’.” When you do this, the slate is clean and prepared for your next verbal bashing.

“Oh, poor guy, he’s gay and he doesn’t even know it yet,” my partner-in-crime giggled, referencing a college kid in a pink polo shirt with a popped-up collar.

“Well, if he and his buddies keeping drinking the dollar beer, maybe it’ll be his lucky night!” I added, before stopping myself and making the out-loud realization, “Man, we are some catty chicks.”

I don’t mean to talk trash about anyone, especially people I don’t even know. But for some reason, when I’m rocking a beer buzz and engulfed in the security blanket woven by my dear friends, it just naturally comes out. Girls do check out other girls — not because we want to “get with them,” but because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to each other. Ladies, don’t deny it — we can emulate Rosie the Riveter and scream about the virtues of unity and “girl power” all we want, but you know that when an attractive female sashays by, you can’t help but glance at her ass and make note of its girth. I think that’s part of the reason I dress down so much — if I don’t attempt to make myself look cute, than maybe I can dodge any scathing critiques by other females, because who would ever be threatened by a chick wearing a doo-rag in public?

  Once again, my insecurities move to the forefront in this little weekly confessional. Obviously I wouldn’t feel the need to comment on someone’s crispy bangs or prominent camel toe if I was comfortable with myself. But Jesus Christ, sometimes they make it so damn easy. I’m only human, people!

Without proper self-regulation, my inner belittlement knows no bounds as far as I can tell. Like a virus, it can be all consuming, but I try to take my daily antibiotic of empathy to suppress it. I refuse to believe I’m the only one who thinks this way.

At a young age, we somehow got it into our prepubescent, boy-crazy skulls that we’re all in competition with each other. School dances, superlatives, those dreaded Valentine’s Day card pass-out sessions — we were bred to give each other the observant eye and vie for male attention. And as shallow and sad as it is, it’s a tough misguided lesson to shake.

As my girlfriend and I stubbed our cigarettes out and made our way back to the gang, I couldn’t help but notice a group of girls who quickly traded glances and huddled up as we walked by. Bitches.

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