Friday 20 October 2017

The art of the bitch

Bitching, if we're honest, has always been something of an art form, but now, Sophie White finds the practice has transformed thanks to technology

We can hold our enemies accountable on Whatsapp
We can hold our enemies accountable on Whatsapp

Sophie White

I was introduced to the catty intrigue of bitchiness in senior infants. I was meticulously grooming my new Troll doll's purple hair, when the coolest girl in Mrs O'Gara's class walked over and said the words every socially awkward girl in Our Lady Of Mercy Convent School longed to hear: "Cool Troll doll". I nearly passed away from sheer delight, until, she dealt the cruel follow-up dig: "I used to have one just like it".

Now, I respect what a brilliantly executed put-down this was. She allowed me to momentarily feel like an anointed one, before dishing out the disdain-laden, subtle shift in tenses "used to have one".

While I was still trying to fathom why what sounded like a compliment felt like a slight, she delivered her final devastating blow by producing a Polly Pocket, an item no one in Our Lady Of Mercy had ever seen. The assembled girls were awed, and I understood that I had lost this little social transaction. However, I did gain some insight into an activity that was to become practically a source of cardiac exertion for the next 20 years: the art of the bitch.

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