“You Are SO Strong, Kelly!”: Effectively Comparing Tragedies for the Modern Teen

Girls, let’s face it. We all love attention. Why else would I devote the entirety of Page 12 in this month’s issue to properly selecting handbags for every mood?

Well, if you ever find yourself invited to hang out with a group of four or more fellow acknowledgement-starved girls, be ready with these surefire weapons of attention hoarding. At some point in the night, one girl will bring up a childhood tragedy – i.e. her parents’ divorce – without any prompting whatsoever. At first, you will likely be made remarkably uncomfortable by this ungraceful over-sharing, but IGNORE your instincts of logical social understanding. You’re going to want to jump on this bandwagon, break your leg because you didn’t quite make it onto the back of the wooden slab of the moving wagon, and then have a terrific story about how hard it was to cope for those first few months as the leg was healing and how you lost so much weight during physical therapy and that’s how your eating disorder began.

Let’s get started!

  • Step 1: Think of something that happened to you. Then, EXAGGERATE. Hyperbole is your best friend here. Embrace it. Coddle it. Make it some hot cocoa. You’re gonna want to keep it close. Remember that time your mom took away your kazoo when you were eight because you wouldn’t stop bringing it onto the school bus and blowing it into Michael’s ear and then his mother called yours and complained? That’s your seed. Pepper in how the kazoo was actually a classical piano, and that it was your only source of artistic release because you, as a second grader, were in fact forced to raise your baby niece due to to your brother’s jail time. Oh, your brother is a successful hedge fund lawyer and doesn’t have any children? Forget it. No one needs to hear that boring shit.
  • Step 2: Two Words: ONE UP. Deidre had a very serious condition that prevented her from being able to leave the house until age 13? TOP IT. You can do better. Not only could you not leave your home until junior year of high school due to your mother’s tyrannical agoraphobia that fucked you up forever (“And THAT’S why I hooked up with Greg that one night, guys! I’m dark and twisty!”), but you were also bed-ridden for a year due to an overdose of sit-ups trying to impress your dad who you’ve never met. None of this is true? I’ll tell you again. FORGET IT. All you have to do it use your brain and make your tragedy sound just a little bit more severe than the last one confessed. Attention will shift to you immediately. Fuck Deidre!
  • Step 3: Sympathize. Keep telling the other girls how strong they are to have gotten through X. Additionally, you can sneak in comments about how you completely understand where they’re coming from, A.K.A. making everyone else think that you went through that thing, too. Attention’s back in your court!
  • Step 4: Snatch up whatever’s left. Be a vulture. Fly around the body of a tragedy that has yet to be mentioned, swoop down before anyone else can, and tear it to pieces. No one has probably mentioned harming themselves yet, and no one probably actually has ever done so, but girlfriend, it’s every girl for herself here, so GO FOR IT. Again, every rational instinct in your body will be telling you that this is messed up and that you guys should probably just stop this senseless charade of comparing tragedies for the sake of feeling artificially close to people you met just two months ago because you have little else to grasp onto. But if you don’t ignore these impulses, you’ve let all of us at GirlzZone down.

Looks like you’re all set for Girls Night In! Now, get to story boarding, ladies!

And for a helpful treat, turn back to Page 12 and peek at the “Brooding” purple leather satchel! Perfect for the occasion!

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