For the last four months, I have been the music director for my daughter’s elementary school musical, Alice in Wonderland (my dreams are filled with a late white rabbit and dancing playing cards). Just last night, opening night, the audience got a kick out of the boisterous music, every tongue-in-cheek line, and all of the characters’ personalities—especially the lovely, beautiful flowers in the garden.

Those flowers. So stunning and poised. Dancing around the stage in glittery dresses and sparkling tulle, that gaggle of lilies and petunias and daisies and more captured the audience’s attention with their beauty, their finesse, and their total cruelty toward Alice.

Wait, what?
That’s right. Rude, mocking cruelty. Even Alice in Wonderland has mean girls. Discourteous, judging, intolerant, and toxic people (er, flowers) that wind their thorny vines around us and squeeze until we feel just like Alice—about three inches tall.

Unfortunately, the mean girl culture isn’t confined to just Disney movies or popular teenage comedies. It’s not even confined to a gender. It’s a mean person culture. And it’s pervasive—a snake-in-the-grass trend that affects our children, our friendships and other relationships, and, more intimately, the military spouse environment.

There’s no perfect fix. No easy buttons or magic tonic marked “Drink Me!” Each situation calls for different remedies, different prescriptions in the medicine cabinet. But the clear assessment is simple: We each need to figure out ways to address the meanies in our lives, in our ‘hoods, in our FRGs/units. What will we do?