While at her local Starbucks, parenting expert Michelle Icard found she could not enjoy her drink because of the girls at the table next to her.
The 43-year-old listened in horror as the girls "trashed another girl they knew."
"They were so loud and I was crawling out of my skin – I was so physically bothered by what they were saying. I kept thinking, 'this is going to stop, one of them will say something to redeem themselves,' but it never happened. They were bashing her over what was clearly a popularity issue – and they were talking about gifts they'd received and how tacky they were."
After fleeing before losing her sanity, Icard posted about her experience to her Facebook page. On the suggestion of a friend, she went back to the Starbucks. Seeing the girls were still there, she bought them another round of drinks...and left a note:
"Hi Girls! I sat near you today in Starbucks and listened as you talked. You three are obviously pretty and hard-working. I wish your kindness matched your pretty exteriors. I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show – and you laughed. About a girl who couldn't be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you … and you sounded so mean and petty.
"You are smart and you are pretty. It would take nothing from you to also be kind. – M."
Icard left the coffee shop before the girls could read the note. She went on to tell People how high school popularity can hide bad behavior, and most "likely they feel like they have the pretty card so they can get away" with bashing other people for their hard work.
"I wanted to speak their language, but also to show them that you have a lot of power with that prettiness and you can hide behind it or you can be kind and it won't take anything away from you."
Unfortunately, not everyone has that kind of insight at that age. Hindsight is 20/20.