by Crissi Dillon
There’s a little Jenna Burke in all of us.
Our very first impression of her in the season premiere of The Bachelor is when she flubs up what she was going to say to Ben Flajnik upon their first meeting. From there, you can see Jenna mentally (and verbally) overanalyzing* the entire moment, possibly deciding the outcome before the party has even started.
From there, she’s cast into the group of women, and it becomes more and more clear how uncomfortable she is to be there – particularly when conflict reared its ugly head between her and Monica Spannbauer, a much more outspoken and play-to-the-crowd gal.
Finally, she disappears to cry it out in the bathroom, furthering her outcasted position among a group of women who have already judged and sentenced the tearful blogger without access to a fair trial.
Jenna became the girl inside of us we try to hide. She’s our inner voice telling us we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough. She’s our every attempt to be part of the popular group while remaining firmly planted on the outside looking in. She’s our awkward fail at comebacks, every fumbled blurted-out word we wish we could take back (“Maybe we can share a tampon”). She’s the crazy, insecure girl we all possess that Facestalks our exes, waits by the phone on a Friday night, overanalyzes the situation, and texts a love interest multiple times to make sure they’re not lying dead in a ditch by not answering our calls. She’s the chick in all of us who doesn’t see just how adorable we really are, especially when we’re not even trying.
The JB in me cringed as Monica repeatedly slammed her, both to her face and behind her back. Then she continued to kick her even when it was obvious Jenna was already down. And the meanness wasn’t just between Jenna and Monica. As the women sized each other up, catty remarks were handed out easily (“Screw you and the horse you rode in on”). So was judgment over women who were mere strangers only hours before.
And suddenly, right there on the TV screen was an in-our-face example of what goes on in almost every female frenemy-ship out there – whether between the best of friends, a mother and daughter duo, sisters, mothers part of the same playgroup, co-workers, acquaintances, or simply a woman who is jealous of what makes another woman great.
And the hard truth came out. We all possess a little bit of a neurotic and tearful victim Jenna Burke. But we’re also guilty of being a catty, tear-others-down bully like Monica Spannbauer.
*ironically enough, Jenna Burke’s blog is called The Overanalyst.
Crissi Dillon is the moderator of SantaRosaMom.com, and is the events editor at 707.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.