When I entered the second grade, my mother dutifully signed me up for Brownies, which is sort of the baby version of The Girl Scouts (I THINK). I’d guess that I battled her for the honor because it seems like something she’d have been aghast by and something I would have found to be Full of The Awesome. Mostly because she hated it.
I proudly ran home from school after getting my poo-brown uniform and put it on. Back then, I was a sucker for anything that looked official.
Twirling in my mirror, even at 7, I knew it looked bad. The color was just…off.
But I looked official, and that’s what mattered to me. I strutted proudly around the house for awhile, alternating between marching and skipping, while my mother rolled her eyes at me. A couple of days later, she announced that I had to go to my first meeting.
Excuse me? I didn’t sign up for anything that required WORK. My mother laughed, the tables finally turned on me.
Dejected and annoyed by my lack of foresight, I trekked to the meeting and joined a bunch of ridiculously enthusiastic girls and their equally enthusiastic mothers who sat around in a semi-circle (women sitting in circles is something I would later be very, very afraid of).
They excitedly discussed how we could earn PATCHES!!! for our SASHES!!!! by doing THINGS!!!!
My own eyes began to roll back in my head as the meeting wore on and on. “Sisterhood” was discussed, as were things like overnight field trips and selling cookies. I was beginning to feel like the whole uniform thing really wasn’t worth the bullshit.
I never had any intention of selling anything and the very idea of sisterhood made me queasy and weak-kneed. I was pretty sure that I had to vomit and quickly.
At the next meeting, which my mother dragged me to, even after I faked the stomach flu and a fever of 109 degrees, it was time to make a “kneeling pad.” We had to sandwich two large pieces of vinyl between a piece of Styrofoam and stitch it up with green yarn. I wanted to actively kill myself, but I had no implements of destruction nearby. I considered trying to beat myself over the head with the Styrofoam, but I only managed to make it look like it was snowing.
On my head.
What the fuck was I going to do with a KNEEPAD besides try and smother my older brother with it?
My mother snickered when she saw me trudging back to the car with my creation.
“What the hell IS that?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said truthfully. “We’re supposed to KNEEL on it or something.”
I’m pretty sure you could hear her laugh for miles.
My abysmal failure at selling any cookies when it came time to “FUNDRAISE!!!! GIRLS!!!” and my inability to earn a single patch, finally convinced her to allow me to quit. She’d never insisted I stick with anything I didn’t really like, and I’m sure she was tired of me bringing home my pathetic attempts at craft projects.
I mean, who could blame her? One of the cats started using the “kneeling pad” as a “peeing pad” and ruined one of the carpets and my older brother had actually broken a tooth on one of my attempts at making a ceramic cup. It was time to admit that I was never, ever going to cut it as a housewife.
Ha. If those scary Brownie People could only see me now…hey…wait a minute.
Shit. Is it too late to become a heiress?