July 10, 2014

Queenpin

I was never a nice girl. The strange thing is I was far nastier before everything happened—I just knew how to hide it.

Afterwards, I softened. Felt pain and sorrow so acutely it was like a tumor throbbed behind my heart, a location that made it impossible to operate. But I would never show it. Went to the extreme not to show it. Hurt everyone close to me the way I'd been hurt. It wasn't fair, I reasoned, that I had to walk around with this ache and the others got to go on with their lives, as though nothing had ever happened. (Well, some of them did at least). It's not just that misery loves company. I felt I fucking deserved that company.

I'll start at the beginning. And then you get to decide. If I deserve my bitterness, my hotly coiled anger. Sometimes it tastes sweet, like the biggest, ripest watermelon at the state fair, and it's the only thing that can make me smile. Not even my baby can do that.

- - -
I never would have gotten into Smithson College if it weren't for my father. It's not that I'm not smart—I am, can read people like you wouldn't believe—I just never bothered to crack open a book. To live up to my potential, as teachers are fond of saying. You don't have to when you look like I do—a frosty blonde standing at 5'9, 115 pounds after a Big Mac (I never had to watch what I eat or exercise. Not like that Josie girl. Always running, all those endorphins chirping through her body. Jesus, I couldn't stand her.).

Most of my peers were accepted because of their 4.0 GPAs, their long list of extracurricular activities, their admission essays saccharine with purple prose. Smithson College accepted me because I had legacy. Because at the time, my father was CEO of the fastest growing financial software company in New York City, and he could write the school a nice fat check every time I screwed up, which was a lot.

I was a first semester senior in fall of 1997, and I was queen bee. Not like that was anything new. I had the older girls kissing my ass when I was just a twee little freshman. They liked the gunmetal BMW I drove, liked the way I could charge all the booze for the parties on daddy's credit card (liked my fake I.D. too), liked that I'd invite them to come stay at my parents' penthouse on Central Park South, the floor to ceiling bedroom windows like dead eyes always open on Central Park—a floating skating rink in green, orange, brown, depending on the season.

Still, it was nice to kick off the school year with true seniority. Even though I had been welcomed into the fray by the Handbag Mafia, which is a nickname the other students came up for the older girls and they wholeheartedly embraced, there was still a certain amount of ego-stroking involved. I had to make it clear that I knew my place. That was part of why they liked me.

Not anymore. Now it was just me, and my best friend, Biz, who, when I saw the movie Mean Girls years later, realized is sort of like Karen. Popular and pretty, but such a trainwreck hussy that she would always be first in line for the throne. And I was never giving it up.

The thing Biz doesn't get is that it's fine to sleep around, you just have to be subtle about it. The second she gets a drink in her, girl is hanging off the first ruddy-cheeked LAX player she can find. She's dragging him upstairs before we even go to the bars in town ("town" is being generous here—Smithson is in upstate New York bumblefuck, with a pharmacy, a pizza joint, and two dive bars holding down the fort). Then she proceeds to get so sloppy drunk that she falls asleep, slumped into the corner of the dance floor. She always rallies after final call, for the late night party, but only after I shove a key up her nose.

Biz and I live off campus in "Turquoise House," with four other girls. Smithson did away with sororities in the late 80s, after a hazing ritual left two girls dead and one paralyzed. Our little "Turq" group is about as close as you can get to the most exclusive sorority on campus.

Biz is how the whole thing started, actually. The first week of senior year, when I should have been in my Media and Society Class II (oh, small liberal arts colleges), she barged into my room. I was curled up in my bed, studying up on how to give a better blow job, courtesy of Cosmo. I'd folded the corner of the page down and sighed. "What?"

"I fucking just heard that Pat Denson hooked up with Bridget Mason!" she fumed.

I waited for her to say more but she didn't. "Who cares?" I shrugged. Pat was some junior butterball, his former Greek God body destroyed by one too many trips to the keg. He was still cute, don't get me wrong, but hardly worth losing sleep over.

"But I heard that Pat actually likes her. And he's supposed to be my date to the charity ball," Biz said, collapsing on my bed. She tilted her head, trying to read the blow job tips upside down. Biz had hooked up with Pat off and on over the last year. I guess you could say they had a 'thing.'

"Find someone else," I said. "Or better yet, don't go." I rolled my eyes. "Charity ball is lame."

"Maybe in the big city," Biz said, emphasizing the words big city to let me know she wasn't impressed with where I came from. One of the reasons I found myself drawn to Biz is because she isn't impressed by me, and she's one of the only ones. Well, besides my father, who just seems exasperated by me. Not that I can blame him. "But on the Main Line, it's a big fucking deal." Biz is from the suburbs of Philly, some tony grouping of towns designated as the "Main Line," and she acts like it's the goddamn center of the universe.

"Then just find someone else, like I said. It's still months away."

"I don't want to," Biz said. She added, forlornly, "Besides, no one else will go with me."

I don't know if she was playing me or not, but I felt bad for her. Biz's mom is always on her case—telling her she needs to lose weight, that if she could just take off fifteen pounds she'd finally have a boyfriend. She would never let her live it down if she came home for Charity Ball and didn't have a date. "What can I do to help?" I asked.

Biz instantly perked up at the offer. "Will you talk to Bridget? If you tell her to back off Pat I know she will." She snorted. "She's terrified of you."

"Fine," I said, and picked up my magazine again. "Now leave me alone. I'm learning about the grundle."

Biz waved her hand, dismissively. "Girl, I'll tell you everything you need to know." She got up to go but paused at the door. "Seriously, thanks, E."

"You owe me one," I said, not knowing at the time how true that was. Because after I talked to Bridget, everything changed. And nothing was ever the same after that.





61 comments:

  1. Interesting... i like it so far

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  2. I'll give this a chance but I already don't like the way Elizabeth speaks... the slang, the cursing, the I-am-better-than-you attitude. But it certainly didn't take her long to mention Josie!

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    1. Agreed. I love Jessica's writing normally, but I don't care for the style here. Not yet anyway. I would've liked her to start on college, not from the present and flashing back to college. I also didn't care for the mention of Josie so soon. I'm going to give it a chance, but so far I'm a little disappointed.

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    2. I disagree, I really enjoy her crass behavious and attitude She's a completely different character than Josie. She actually seems more aware of herself than Josie at the beginning of her story. But that's just IMO.

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  3. I like it so far! My only complaint is that 5'9", 115 lbs sound awfully underweight. That's the only thing that irked me. Elizabeth seems spunky and real, with a who give a **** attitude. I like it.

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    1. That weight/height ratio struck me too! I put it in my comment below as well.

      http://poetsandheartbreakers.blogspot.com

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    2. In my early 20s I was 5'9 125lbs of coke head skinny no boobs and fat ass. Seems right to me if she has no body.

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    3. Lol I'm 21, 5'9 and a 110lbs. Always been small. It's not really that unusual.

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    4. ^ In addition, my mom had the same weight/height ratio when she was my age. People are built differently.

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  4. I liked this post a lot more than I thought I would and can't wait to read what happened that caused everything to change.

    http://crazyadventuresinny.blogspot.com/

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  5. <3 Can't wait to keep reading this new story!

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  6. Elizabeth is a little too fond of fragments for my taste. I'm intrigued though.

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  7. this was AWFUL....

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  8. I like it! To everyone complaining about her attitude and the way she speaks... she's not Josie, she's not going to sound like Josie, she's never going to be Josie - She's Elizabeth. OF COURSE she has attitude! I think it's great. The writing was on point, as well. Great job!

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  9. love this so far!!!

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  10. Eh. Not sure about it. Stopped half way through just to see the comments..

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  11. Oh my this is going to be interesting! I agree 5'9'' does seem too tall for 115 pounds.

    I'm interested in knowing what that thing was that made her that way, although if she feels so so horrible all the time, like she says, then I would just suggest a trip to the psychiatrist...she seems unbalanced in those beginning paragraphs. I'll keep reading to see how I feel about her.

    http://poetsandheartbreakers.blogspot.com

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  12. Pretty intrigued so far! I must say I like Elizabeth's spunky energy and now she just doesn't give an eff.

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  13. Pretty intrigued so far! I must say I like Elizabeth's spunky energy and how she just doesn't give an eff.

    Highheelshappyhour.blogspot.com

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  14. I agree with Ariana. Wasnt sure how I would feel but I LOVE it so far. Obviously its going to be different from LSP so people looking for another Josie charachter should move on. But I like what you've got going on here. And as always, ignore the negativity. :)

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  15. It's not too skinny. I'm 5'8, 110-115 and I'm perfectly healthy.. im just lanky and small boned (plus no boobs.. boo!).. and if this is in college like I think it is, she's younger, so probably in her 20s, she'd be slimmer then

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    1. Exactly (regarding the weight/height ratio not necessarily being unhealthy. For some body types it definitely would, like women with larger bone structures, and maybe a normal metabolism; they'd have to severely restrict their caloric intake - maybe even eliminate whole food groups. But, for someone with a naturally small bone structure and fast metabolism, 5'8 and 115 lbs. is thin, but not unnaturally so. And, as this poster pointed out, the fact that she's young makes it that much easier for Elizabeth (and anyone with her body type/metabolism) to stay very trim, while eating pretty much whatever she wants. She doesn't sound like she has any sort of eating disorder or whatever.
      On another note, I really like this story so far! Elizabeth's character isn't somebody I'd ever want to be friends with (she's a true-blue bitch), but she *is* interesting to read about. Great writing; looking forward to learning more about this dark, complicated character...even if she *does* come off as a bit unbalanced.

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    2. I'm 5'3" 115 with a small frame and I'm a size 2, zero at some places and I consider myself super thin. At 5'9" at 115 she is like a stick. A healthy weight at that height is probably around 125-135. I think 115 is dangerous.

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    3. She's not a real person. Why is there a discussion about her weight. There are people who have this frame and metabolism. Let's just learn to accept it instead of trying to justify why we have some manufactured issue with it.

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    4. ^ 299% agree. Why is there a fuss about the body weight !!

      Btw, I am liking this new story line. And her attitude is indeed different to Josie's but they are 2 separate characters. :) will be waiting for the next post

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  16. I like it! It is very different from all the other blogs I read. It will be refreshing to have a bad girl storyline!

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    1. Chris - @nylonlover69 on TwitterJuly 15, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      If you like a bad girl, make sure you check out Reese over on http://hotmessinhighheels.com/

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  17. I like it so far, Jess! I'm intrigued!

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  18. I'm definitely intrigued.....Can't wait to read more.

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  19. Wow. I like it! Didn't think I would! If I didn't know what a b*tch she turns out to be I'd like her more than I do Josie. Hell, I kinda do like her more than Josie! Keep it up!

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  20. I love how people are irked by a minute detail such as weight and height. I think that it may not be real, but by including that detail, perhaps a bit wrong, shows that we may not be able to trust the narrator's story, she is Elizabeth anyways, that's just showing Elizabeth's view of herself. love love love the writing and her voice!

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    1. Nothing wrong with that height ratio. 5'10" and 120lbs here and have been that weight since high school which was 15 years ago. I also eat whatever I want and don't gain. People are too hateful towards thin people.

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    2. They can be, for sure. Also, so many like to compare their own frame/body weight with other's, assuming all things are always equal. Just because one person is very thin at such-and-such height and weight, doesn't mean another isn't perfectly healthy and happy at the same numbers...or even at a taller height and lesser weight. There's also muscle mass to account for, which weighs more than fat: one woman at 5'7 and 120 pounds can easily be trimmer than another at the same height and 5-10 pounds lighter, if the first has more lean muscle mass. The scale only reflects a part of our weight distribution. You just can't account for differing metabolisms and body frames; there's such an obsession with body image in our country, though, and everybody's a critic.

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    3. Did he/she just say "People are too hateful towards thin people."

      You're joking right? Because are never hateful towards people heavier or curvy people. Give me a break. I realize Elizabeth's weight shouldn't even be the focus of the post but your comment was pretty ignorant.

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    4. I'm my opinion responses calling others haters and defending being under weight are jarring. Elizabeth is unapologetic. She doesn't exercise so the muscle mad argument is silly. Where is the hate against thin people? If anything most readers are saying that they wanted her to be at a healthy weight. People are free to express that without some of you getting all emerge like it's you being talked about. You like bring under weight with a stick figure, no curves, more power to you.

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    5. Actually, you've got it backward: the comment about muscle mass being *heavier* states that lean muscle weighs *more*, which adds to the scale numbers. As you pointed out, Elizabeth doesn't exercise, so she'd have less muscle to add to the scale weight numbers. But, all that is subjective anyway, since everybody's body is different, and looks different from someone else's at the same weight. Elizabeth could easily look thin - but not unhealthily so - at her weight.

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  21. I'm from the Main Line as well, cool to hear about it! Great writing, not sure if this is Jessica or the new person, but very well written! Can't wait for more.

    http://tragedytwentysomething.blogspot.com/

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    1. This is written by Jessica, the same person who wrote Josie's story. Jess will continue with Elizabeth's story on Thursdays and the new girl will post on Tuesdays with her own story line.

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  22. I'm intrigued. I'm not sure what to think yet, but I definitely want to read more.

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  23. Seems interesting so far. Initially I didn't want to read about this character, but here I am.

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  24. I'm going to love this. I knew I was into it when she said that she was always a nasty person. I love an antihero

    There are a ton of blogs with good girls but this is unique!

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  25. I love it! Totally fit the bitchy attitude of Elizabeth that we knew about previously!
    Can't wait for more!

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  26. Wow, great opening! I already can't wait for more!

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  27. I'm in and anxiously awaiting the next post!

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  28. This was really refreshing can't wait for more.

    Check out my new blog I have another, but just started this one as well
    http://playingwithwildfire.blogspot.com/

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  29. Love this! A blog from the mean girl perspective.

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  30. What's with the hating about her being tall and thin. Hello! It is possible, we do exist. Her height and weight is not far fetched.

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  32. Jessica I love your work, keep it going.

    First I would like to go back to the finale of Josie’s story as I didn’t get time to comment on it even though I read it twice (it was that good).

    You ended the story perfectly and dare I say it felt like the end of a wonderful movie, too bad all good things must come to an end. I loved that Richard ended up with Josie and that you filled us in on all the main characters but one thing has been nagging me, what happened to Richard’s mother?

    Thank you so much for continuing to do this and bringing us Elizabeth story, I love it already and will be following it religiously.

    Also keep us updated about your book.

    Xoxo
    No. 1 fan from Nairobi Kenya.

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  33. are we seriously arguing about the weight of a fictional character, my god, find something better to do with your life. On another note, big fan of this, really interested to see what Elizabeth is really like. Have any of you ladies read the something borrowed, something blue series? If you have remember how much you were cheering for Rachel, and thought that Darcy was a royal bitch? but then you read something blue and did a total swap and completely sympathized with Darcy? I'm excited to see if Jessica can do the same thing here and get us rooting for Elizabeth. This will be interesting and I cant wait for more! Especially cant wait to read about the Peter aspect in her life.

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    1. I have totally thought of Jessica as the next Emily Giffin for the longest time. Loved watching her evolve as an author and I can see a similar pattern happening here! To be fair though, Darcy went through a lot of changes before she earned our sympathy (and Ethan's :P)

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  34. I love this story line. Maybe as much as I loved Josie. Check out my blog! coupledomage at wordpress.

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  35. http://coupledomage.wordpress.com/

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  36. Amazing writting!

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  37. I love villain stories!!! I am so excited I could pee my pants! I love love love it so far!

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  38. I'm excited. .I'm generally drawn to "villains" so i have a feeling I will love Elizabeth! Also my best friend is 5'8" & about 115 lbs. Very healthy, just how she is built :)
    Great job, jess!

    http://lovelifela.wordpress.com

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  39. I can't wait to hear more about Elizabeth's story. Should be interesting!

    http://newbeginning-newadventures.blogspot.com/

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