‘Girl code’ follows teens into adulthood
The alarm goes off at 6, and I am up and racing to the bathroom before my brother or sisters have the chance to wipe the sleep from their eyes.
At 15 years old, my morning routine changed from a ponytail and a quick thumbs up in the mirror to an hour-long beauty session consisting of flat-ironing my hair, tossing all the clothes from my closet, screaming at my reflection in the mirror and waiting for my mom to go to work so I could sneak her mascara and a splash of my grandmother’s Allure perfume.
Puberty arrived with hormones and a new need to impress boys at school. I became aware of what I thought my flaws were, how my clothes fit me or how people would see me. The classroom was a stage and and its bright lights were unavoidable.
In this, my final year in middle school, my favorite cousin moved to town and joined our group of friends. We were at each other’s houses almost every day. We made the festivals and other events together. Soon enough, cousin Carlie and best-friend Felicia fell for the same guy.
Felicia had dated him for a few weeks. Right after they broke up, she caught Carlie flirting with him in the hallway. Felicia felt like her new friend did not properly sympathize with her breakup and Carlie, chastened, agreed to sit down and talk about boyfriends.
The pact that followed was based on open communication and respect for one another. We called it the Girl Code.
The rules were simple: Once a girl called dibs on a boy, the other friends were forbidden from flirting with him. When a friend made her sentiments known, the others were obligated to emotional support and pep talks. If needed, they were available for the role of wingman.
If a relationship ensued and, inevitably, ended, the boyfriend was off-limits to the others — unless given explicit permission.
The last rule was absolute; breaking it was unforgivable. We were each able to pick the guy that we truly crushed on, and our friends could not, under any circumstances, consider him for anything other than friendship.
Once we all agreed to terms of the pact, Felicia acknowledged that her feelings weren’t that deep for this ex-boyfriend and gave Carlie permission to date him.
Daniel was another matter. Felicia’s feelings still ran deep for this one. Fifteen years later, he remains just a friend. No one violated the pact.
Girl Code may have been created by hormonal teenagers, but our vows remained. More than a decade later, it remains an unbreakable bond. It endured even as we grew older and matured, and became moms ourselves.
Sierra Kondos is a Lamar University student and freelance writer.