For some reason, I spent the early part of last week really looking forward to checking out “Little Women of LA”, Lifetime’s new reality show about a group of actual “little women” pursuing their careers, love and friendship in the City of Angels. Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of reality shows. In fact a few years ago, “Basketball Wives of LA”, “Real Housewives of ATL” and “Love and Hip Hop” all started to look identical to me and I gave up on them completely. But every once in a while I do like to tune into reality TV that explores different lifestyles. I guess I feel in some superficial way I feel like I’m actually learning about something. So whether it’s Amish living in the city or little people trying to raise a family, I get intrigued by the challenge of people changing and lifestyles that are vastly different than my own.
Well, I guess I’ll say “Little Women of LA” wasn’t completely disappointing. I tuned in for the second episode last week and it was interesting to learn about the challenges Terra, Tonya, Elena and friends face particularly because of their stature. But in no time it was clear they had the same problems (exaggerated or not) that all the other 20 or 30-something year old women were playing out on national TV: jealousy, drama and enough shade to hold down the lighting section of Lowe’s.
Episode 2, “Little Women, Big Drama” is all about beef and competition. When Traci reveals that she and her fiancé have set a wedding date, this ignites a race to the altar with friend, Christy, whom although isn’t engaged proceeds to take some of the girls engagement ring shopping for her dream diamond. Traci deservedly feels like Christy is unfairly trying to steal her shine and beat her to Bridezilla status. I’ve written about women being careful to allow their friends to have “their moment” in the past. I feel like many of us feel threatened when witnessing other friends reach milestones like pregnancy and marriage, that instead of being happy for them, our insecurities force us to rush to be able to say we’re right there in the running too. It requires a lot of maturity to fall back and say, “It might not be my time now, but it’s coming. And right now my job is to take care of the pass so my friend can nail this shot.”
But for some reason, Traci annoyed the hell out of me by reminding everyone that she was engaged first and Christy was trying to steal her moment. Milestones work both ways. If you’re the one who’s expecting or just got engaged, just like you expect your friends to be happy for you and let you enjoy your moment in the sun, you have to understand that at some point life goes on and your friends aren’t obligated to make your baby or wedding the center of their universe. I’ll be getting married this fall, and from day one I’ve reminded myself about what’s important: That I’m marrying the man I love and that we enjoy that day and the people who are there have a good time. You won’t catch me bugging out if someone can’t make it or chooses to pay their school loans instead of making a trip for one of the most important events of my life. Because let’s be real: As important it is to you, you can’t expect your wedding or baby to be people’s first priority, nor should it be.
I think you also have to be understanding that these moments can bring out the worst in people. It doesn’t mean they don’t support you or love you, but like I mentioned earlier, for many women witnessing their friends picking out bridesmaid dresses and baby clothes, it can be a sobering reminder that maybe their biggest achievements in life right now are being able to get a that new coupe with no co-signer or finally finishing school although it may have taken a few extra years. Don’t be the diva that gets so caught up in, as Drake would say, “We made it!” that you forget your friends have feelings and their own issues going on. Even if you feel like you’ve won some imaginary race or you’re relieved because you’re one step farther from “cat lady” status or embarrassing speed dating, be sympathetic (but not accommodating) to the fact that friends might be in their feelings and don’t necessarily want to hear about your wedding cake flavors for months. Your moment is just that: a moment. And although it may feel like your whole life, for others it’s only a moment in there’s.
Consider yourself lucky if you have friends that spend their days cruising your Pinterest board for baby furniture or feel like a day of fun is spending their afternoon at Carter’s with you when they really could be at happy hour nursing a margarita. Know when to turn down; no one wants to talk about your pregnancy cravings every single day. Do all women deserve their moment? Yes, as long as they keep in mind that moments are just that moments and good friends know when it’s time to move the hell on so we can talk about something else.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.