“When I was in second grade there was a group of girls who called themselves ‘The Club.’ The Club was Chrissy’s idea. Chrissy made the rules for the two other girls in The Club. On certain days, the trio would co-ordinate clothing or hairstyles. As far as I could tell, club meetings involved standing in a corner of the blacktop with arms crossed, talking. At the time, I was only interested in playing at recess. Chrissy sometimes glared at me for reasons I never understood, but I did not care much about The Club…That is, until I was specifically excluded.”
I was becoming friends with a girl named Grace. One day she told me that she couldn’t play with me. Chrissy was inducting Grace into The Club that day.
The next day I asked Grace to play at recess. This time she told me, “I’m in The Club now so I can’t play with you today.” When I asked her why, Grace said, “That’s what Chrissy said…I do wanna play. Maybe tomorrow.”This continued for what seemed like a long time to me. Sometimes Grace would say, “Maybe Tuesday- or next Thursday.” Another girl I liked and talked to, Stephanie, was an original member of The Club. One day she also told me that Chrissy said she couldn’t play with me. Apparently, Chrissy was making rules about what days The Club members could play with other kids. Eventually the girls’ excuses evolved into, “Chrissy says I can’t play with you.”