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 don’t know if I battled her for it or not, but I’m going to guess that I did, because that’s the kind of person I was am was back then. Always a sucker for a uniform, I proudly ran home from school after getting my poo-brown uniform and put it on.

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 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.

I trekked to the meeting and joined a bunch of girls and their mothers who sat around in a semi-circle (something I would later be very, very afraid of) and they all 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.

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.

What the fuck was I going to do with this 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 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 laughter for blocks.

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 they could only see me now…

Wait a minute.

Is it too late to become a heiress?

133 thoughts on “Future Homemakers Society Rejects

  1. I’m loving this post. And what was with the beenie hats? Do they still make them wear those? WHY? And orange socks that just scream “I CAN CRAFT and HELP and LIGHT A CAMPFIRE”.

  2. Not fair! My kneeling pad was also made with the wonderful vinyl sheets lovingly “stitched” together with yarn. Only mine wasn’t made with styrofoam but a small stack of newspaper…

  3. I was in future homemakers of america in high school. We had a projuect where we had to get stains out of several fabrics. I failed because I took mine to the dry-cleaners.

  4. I think one of my school pictures is of me wearing the entire god awful uniform and I am pretty sure I had either lost a tooth or I was pissed off because my mouth is pursed in such a mean and strong pout that some how ended up looking cute. The only good thing about the brownies is the name. (you should see my styrofoam snow flake sequined ornaments that are still in use on their tree to this day.)

  5. Omg I remember being a brownie, but my mother made me go to camp! I am so not sn outdoors person! And the pad? It’s a situpon so you don’t have to sit on the ground when they force you outside. Bitches gimmie my romance novels and reeses and fuck that outdoors thing! Lol

    1. I was going to say that it was a situpon- you beat me to it. I hated the Brownies and the one year of Girl Scouts my mom forced me to do. Not a fan of the outdoors. As comedian Will Durst said, ” I hate the outdoors. To me the outdoors is where the car is.”.
      Even my groovy situpon didn’t make me want to sit on the damp ground.

  6. Omg I remember being a brownie, but my mother made me go to camp! I am so not sn outdoors person! And the pad? It’s a situpon so you don’t have to sit on the ground when they force you outside. Bitches gimmie my romance novels and reeses and fuck that outdoors thing! Lol

  7. Gah, I hated being a Girl Scout. I lasted one year. The irony of this is that at this moment, this week, I am selling girl scout cookies at my office for my niece. I have sold more than 100 boxes (tax season munchies). When these cookies come in, I have to sort them and get them to everyone that replied to my obnoxious e-mail begging for my niece so that she can get a shitty beach chair or something.

    This is my 3rd year in a row doing this. Me the Girl Scout dropout. It sucks balls and I hate it and I swore after the first 2 years that that was it. Alas, my niece is having bully problems since the popular girl decided she didnt like her so NONE of the girls like her. (I remember this shit starting in Jr. High, not 3rd grade) so I took pity on her once again.

    1. Oh, see, I BUY Girl Scout cookies simply because I remember the torture of selling them. I don’t even like cookies, but I remember how awful it was to try and sell them door to door. So, out of guilt, I buy them every time I see a Girl Scout. Which means, I swim in cookies I don’t eat.

      1. At my corner of the office my group just sets out cookie trays for the passing munchers. We dont eat them either. Well maybe a few DoSiDoes, which I would think you would love in all its peanut buttery glory!

  8. I was a girl scout for a long time. Never too comfortable outside, camping almost did me in. One year, at camp, a creature got into our “tent,” and crawled into my suitcase and went to sleep. The tents were up on stilts, and the beds were up on cot thingies. I could hear the thing all night long, and could not fall asleep forever. All the little bitches in my tent thought I was making the shit up, when I told them in the morning. Like you could make that up!

  9. I remember Brownies. I made a stuffed dog that I still have to this day!

    Which was the only thing good about Brownies.

    My deep abiding loathing for camping dates back to being a Brownie at Girl Scout Camp for a week. My inability to sell anything to anyone was well documented by my second year in Brownies. And that was also when scissors became my nemesis.

    I was pushed into 3 years of Girl Scouts as well because “You won’t do sports and you can’t just sit around the house all day!”

  10. Back in the day where I lived it was the Bluebirds, which was I think the baby sector of Campfire Girls. I made it through one meeting. I sucked ass even back then at being popular, cute, and cheerful. To this day I am none of those , PLUS I hate anything crafty-ish.

  11. I was a Brownie for about a month. I had to quit because, even at 8 years old, I had the overwhelming urge to beat the crap out of all the other girls. My God, who would have thought something called Brownie could be so annoying?.

  12. Oh gee. I have to tell you, you got off easy. My mom was the troop leader. There was NO not going to the meetings! They were AT MY HOUSE.

  13. I second the comments about that awful color. I made it all the way to Juniors (the green uniform) but only because my mom became my troop leader and she would find alternative and fun (lazy) ways to earn badges. She and all of the parents got plastered during our campouts (can you say smore bombs). Even though I stuck it out, I suck as a homemaker. Girl Scouts only seems to give you the skills to be a cave woman with a penchant for fire and strange badge collecting.

  14. This is where being the youngest of 4 girls is helpful. By the time my turn came around, my mom was so worn down that I didn’t join one thing. Or rather, if I wanted to join something, I had to come up with the idea first. Which is good, because I’m not a fan of being outside and I absolutely refuse to sleep there!

  15. I quit Brownies after the troop leader’s whore daughter bit me.

    And I bit her back.

    Then I started horseback riding instead. Which is SO much cooler.

    Whore-biter-girl did me a favor, really.

  16. I think I was a brownie (once), however it must not have lasted long. I most certainly did not make it to be a “girl scout”. Which is good cause I am not much of an out doors type and really horrible as a housewife.

  17. Okay, um, my “kneeling pad” was also made of a stack of newspaper, but we called them “sit-upons”. The only thing we used them for was to start fires when we ran out of lighter fluid. Though, I did learn enough to know how to start a fire without using lighter fluid, I don’t find myself in many situations that that skill is required. I’d kick ass on Survivor. And? I may or may not have been kicked out of Brownies for not being prepared. Also, the troop leader who kicked me out may or may not have been my mom.

  18. Oh my god this was hilarious! Envisioning you at age 7 (in my head you have the blue eye shadow a la Becky From the Block) with the mega attitude was the best part. I was a brownie too, and I hated it. People were, like, way too peppy. I tried a few years later as a regular girl scout and it still sucked.

  19. I only joined Brownies because Stephanie Taylor got to wear her uniform to school on Thursdays. I thought that was so cool. What an idiot! I remember the damn song we had to sing at the conclusion of the meeting.
    “Make new friends, but keep the old.
    One is silver and the other gold.”
    Last time I checked, gold is a lot more valuable than silver. So are the new friends gold and the old friends are crappy silver? What about the new friends you make who you wish you’d never met? They should be like copper or some stinky sulfur.
    I did sell some cookies. Enough to get the leader off my back. And in an attempt to make brownie points (get it?) when it was time to tun in our earned money, I actually IRONED my cash. With an actual iron. So the ones would be more, ya know, flat. Because flat ones and fives go a long way in impressing the girl scout hierarchy. Yeah. Get some, bitches.

  20. I have nominated you for the Attitude and Gratitude Award! To accept follow the rules and share the love.

  21. It’s not called a kneel pad, it’s a “sit-upon”, and mine was made of newspaper too. I loved brownies and girl scouts until we got this really horrible leader who made us hike three miles up the side of a really steep mountain. Is it sad for me to still have my girl scout’s sash with badges? Because I do. I’m actually kind of looking forward to this baby being girl so I can get involved with scouting again. I’m such a dork! LOL!!;-)

  22. Not like cub scouts is any better. Same BS just different gender. Instead of yummy cookies we get stale popcorn. Course I soon learned that the advantage to having your mom/dad as troop leader or troop helper meant you didn’t need to do JACK and still got badges. Sigh.. No my dad was never troop leader my dad never did any cub scout crap with me, it was a place for my Mom to stick me so she didn’t need a baby sitter. Well I can proudly say i got kicked out when I told the one den mother to Shut the Hell up you F’ng C*nt. Because I wasn’t doing the craft project like her good little momma’s boy child was. The grounding and washing of the mouth with dial was worth never having to go back to cub scouts again.

  23. I frequently tout girl scouts/brownies as one of the more traumatic experiences of my young life-those 2 and four square.
    Our pad thing was called a situpon and we made them out of dark denim (which was so uncool back in the dark ages), newspaper, and yellow yarn. I took mine home and “decorated” it with bleach. A public flogging by my troop leader, who called me “Crazy Amy” to my face, promptly ensued.
    I also never made a night at girl scout camp without calling my dad to come pick me up.

  24. I’m trying to convince my son that Scouts would be better than football. He’s not buying it. Maybe he knows what you know.

  25. OhmygodIthinkIloveyou! If only because I wanted to be you as a kid. I wanted to be the girl rolling her eyes in disdain at the asinine activities. But no, I was not given that life. Instead, my life was a series of overzealous attempts to win my mother’s approval (not to be had). So I was in Daisies before Brownies. And I was the number one cookie seller every year. That set the stage for a lifetime of overachieving which would eventually lead to a complete nervous breakdown in my early twenties. So count yourself lucky, yo. Wow. What a Debbie Downer I am. Sorries.

  26. Ok, I’m too old to remember what my situpon is stuffed with, but the outside is leather (pleather?) and my mom STILL USES IT for gardening.

    I never really got along with groups of girls, so I didn’t stick around in scouts long. Rainbow girls in middle school was far worse, because the girls had gotten way catty and all hated me. Yeah, good times, good times. Thank god for band. Saved my social life and turned me from a shy wallflower into a woman who’s not afraid to talk to anyone, and actively tries to make people blush.

  27. There’s only one thing those kneely pads are good for and I am CERTAIN they don’t teach it in Brownies….

  28. I was a bluebird (part of the Campfire Girls, a way less cool version of Girl Scouts) for a whole year. While the uniforms were better (they were blue), the girls were incredibly clique-ish, so even at 6, I knew I didn’t fit in. And so began the geekiness that has been my life.

  29. I wonder if they knew how lewd creating a kneeling pad actually seems. Several very inappropriate thoughts fluttered through my head as I read that one.

    I also was an unsuccessful Brownie but somehow I think we are better for it ;).

  30. I was a brownie too. and I’m still bitter that I never got that deluxe art carousel for selling a shit load of cookies. Brownies and Girl Scouts basically just exploit children to make a buck. Jerks. Yeah, that’s right. I can hold a grudge for a VERY LONG TIME.

  31. I wanted to do it for some weird reason – I get there and the two woman in charge were named Mrs. Damm and Mrs. Rump. And no, I didn’t make that up. And Mrs. Damm’s kid was like the worst boy in school, a psychopath really. No one really wanted to be in his basement let alone with two very oddly proper woman named Mrs. Damm and Mrs. Rump.

    It was a bizarre chapter in my life.


  32. Oh wait – speaking of girl scout cookies you do know there was recall this year? At first they said it was due to a FOUL SMELL AND TASTE but I think they decided that was kind of scary and changed it from foul to ‘off’…

    And really fouls kinds strong. How bad would a cookie have to smell before its labeled foul you know?

  33. Brownies………..Brings back a bad bad memory. It was a snowy day, but not enough snow to close school. Just the kind of snow that actually stays off the roads and piles up to about 2 inches on every surface. Anyway, the brownie meeting was canceled. I……was in the second grade, or was it first….I was pretty young and think it may have been first grade………..Anyway, I wasn’t notified. So, I got on the bus that I was to take on my ‘Brownie’ days. When I got off the bus, I noticed that I was the one and only child to get off at that stop. Being an optimistic person, I kinda figured that I was just the only one who rode the bus to the meeting.

    I get to the house and knock on the door. No Answer. I walk to the back yard and nobody is there and I knock on that door….No answer…….I sit on the front porch that is full of snow and started crying in the 14 degree, snow covered porch……..I was cold and tired and hungry and sad, but most of all frightened. I was seven!

    I forget how long the meetings normally lasted, but I was there the whole time….mom picked me up and I never returned to that troop again…..and gave up Brownies completely.

    During that time, a few people stopped to ask me if I needed any help and one of the neighbors offered me inside their home but ‘stranger danger’ was so ingrained into my head that I was even more terrified every time someone came up to me. I wouldn’t talk to them at all. I just shook my head no violently.

    Why didn’t someone call the police and report a bawling child sitting in the snow in 14 degree weather??

  34. My impression of scouts was ‘far too much time at arts and crafts, not nearly enough Pinewood Derby and rifle range.’

    My Mom was the Cub Scout Den Master, my dad the Boy Scout Troop Leader, so yeah, we were going to be in Scouts. The funny thing is that I didn’t mind most of it too much at all, except for the fundraising, natch, but NONE of my friends were interested. A group activity like that is NO fun if everyone is either older than, or younger than you are.

    Also in the ‘dirty use for the kneeling pad’ club…think if I made one for the wife it would encourage her?…

      1. Yeah, I think I’ll just stay happy with what I get, when I get it. lol

        Someone mentioned the newspaper stuffed ‘sit-upons’ and I’m certain that I made one at one point. I can’t recall if it was at school or part of cub scouts, but I do recall it being the most useless craft ever.

  35. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. I went from finding it okay to actively despising it, but I wanted a freaking sash with colorful patches – as soon as I had filled the front side, I quit. And most of the girls in my troop would have probably been quite happy about having kneeling pads just a few years later, but we never made them.

    The scary thing is now there’s Daisies, so they can snag the girls in kindergarten. My daughter wants to be one next year. I just hope they don’t expect me to freaking volunteer.

  36. Didn’t mind so much being a brownie… but then my family moved. So since I was old enough (4th grade) I became a green uniformed scout then and it didn’t last long. Being the new girl and spending a few days a week after school in a room mostly full of the “popular” girls in my school was not my idea of fun. I remember those camping trips we took. Some weren’t so bad; like my friends and I finding an economy tub of chocolate pudding in the dinning hall in the middle of the night and eating almost the whole tub. The bad was the one trip where I found out that there was not a “proper” bathroom to use for the 2 days we were there and I didn’t end up peeing the whole weekend.

  37. That you sucked as a Brownie is another reason why I love you. I had a church class where I had to crochet a hot pad for my mother and it sucked. SUCKED. All the other girls’ hot pads were perfect. The suckiness of my creation was so embarrassing to everyone (except for me) my teacher secretly made one for me. To give to my mother (who still has it). If you had excelled as a Brownie we probably couldn’t be friends.

  38. I was a girl scout from Daisy on to whatever you are in middle school. I wanted to quit somewhere around 3rd or 4th grade but my mom really liked being the troop leader so my attempts to quit failed for years.

    1. This is my fear for my niece. My sister is such a helicopter mom, and the troop leader for both my niece’s brownie’s and my brother’s cub scouts. My little girlie is having such trouble with mean girls that it makes me want to cry for her.

  39. The only thing I remember about Brownies was making this really cool belt out of leather loops. It was awesome. Then my cousin borrowed it and I never saw it again. That was not awesome.

    The only thing I remember about Girl Scouts was screwing up the stupid oath when I “flew up” or whatever they call it, and then after one week of their duller than dirt meetings, declaring it lame and quitting. Looks like I wasn’t alone.

  40. I had one year of Brownies as well, and I also made a situpon. I remember it fondly, looking a lot like the green-and-gold wallpaper in our kitchen. It was horrid and poorly made and the only thing, other than “Make new friends but keep the old,” that I remember from Brownies.

    After that year, we moved, and I think my mom and I just sort of pretended to forget that Brownies ever existed. “Ambitious” has never been a word you would use to describe me, so I was okay with never earning a patch.

  41. You have no idea how badly my girls have begged me to be in Girl Scouts or Brownies. When the kids wear their uniforms to school my youngest comes home in tears, such bad tears that I called up Girl Scouts of America and told them THAT I WOULD BE A LEADER.

    Do you even know how crazy that is? I work about ten hours a day and barely have time to pee much less lead a Brownie Troop. Thank goodness that has not come to pass yet, but I wait in fear….

    Sadie at heyMamas

  42. my attempt at brownies was a huge fail too. my mom finally helped me cheat so i could get some patches for that stupid sash just so we could both save face at some final ceremony.

    they really should just have a group and society thing for bad girls who will never cook, sew, or do crafty things and are still domestic goddesses anyway!

  43. I made a vinyl and NEWSPAPER Sit-upon, too, and considering I joined (also in the second grade) in fall of 1996, well, nothing has changed. Also, I had a freaking ugly vest instead of a sash, and pants where my best friend had a skirt. I looked doofy, she looked doofy but marginally better.

    In fourth grade, I moved up to Juniors, which had green sashes and vests, and spent most of the time sitting with my friend Caitlin and talking instead of doing activities. Juniors badges are way more lazy and fun than Brownies badges. In Cadettes (seventh grade) it moves soundly back into the hard work territory, and so after two years of that I quit.

  44. I was a Brownie failure. Meanwhile older sister EXCELLED as a freaking Brownie. She had badges galore, the leaders loved her. And man did that poop brown dress look terrible on me.

      1. Even TAN would have been preferable. Or forest green. But poop brown? Just completely setting us up for failure! 🙂

  45. oh, i totally rocked out at brownies. i loved that shit like no tomorrow. i think i really loved it because there was a fried chicken restaurant named Brownie’s in our town and i figured that there must be some kind of correlation between the two and it was only a matter of time before they started giving us fried chicken at the meetings. i don’t recall there ever was fried chicken.

    my sister was not in brownies. as a young teen, she was in something called Canadian Girls In Training (in training for what? i don’t know. neither did she) (it sounds kind of perverted, doesn’t it?). they had this cute little ditty that went:

    “aye-aye-a-yike-us, there’s nobody like us, we are the girls of CGIT.”

    i used to sing it back to her like this:

    “aye-aye-a-yike-us, nobody likes us, we are the girls of CGIT.”

    i still pull it out and blow the dust off once in a while. it’s still funny to me.

  46. I was a brownie, a girl guide and a spark, the pink little losers that gradate to brownies. My mother made me stick it out; I am convinced she harboured some deep resentments…

  47. My little sister was a brownie and I used to go to her meetings and sit on the side, watching, pointing and laughing.
    It brought me so much joy…until I read this post.

    She’s an awesome homemaker, puts me to shame.
    In fact after I had my first kid or three, she used to come over and watch me juggle them, while nursing, doing dishes, being barfed on, changing diapers etc…

    She would sit at my kitchen table, watching, pointing and laughing.

    Did we get an answer about the heiress thing?

  48. I desperately wanted to join the Girl Scouts because my best friend was in it, so despite the fact that my family went camping and my mother was crafty and could have (and did) show me a lot of that stuff, she took me over to the church basement to sign up. And they wouldn’t let me in. Too many girls already or something. Because my mother was non-confrontational, that was that. As a result, I didn’t taste a Girl-Scout cookie until I was an adult. Imagine that.

    1. I’m not a huge fan of the cookies. I think I’m still scarred from going door-to-door. I don’t think you missed, much, dude. If you want to come over, we can sit in a circle and make kneeling pads.

      1. I’m sorry — I see kneeling pads, I think knee pads. I think knee pads, I think Monica Lewinsky. I am a horrible person for thinking these thoughts anywhere near the Girl Scouts.

  49. I was in an awful GS troop – full of chores. My mother lead my sister’s troop but wouldn’t lead mine and they were always doing fun stuff. So I quit. But I’m a leader for my niece’s troop now and I aim for the troop to be about what the girls want, not what the adults want.

  50. ROTFLMAO!!! I too had to make a sit upon. I however, wanted to earn every patch they made so I made it my mission to do so. Sorry brownies didn’t work out but now they make grown people uniforms and some are deserving of merit badges!

  51. The situpon- even if used as intended- sounds like shitloads more fun than my Brownie experience: learning to prepare a parcel for the mail and singing God Save the Queen. You Americans get all the breaks!

  52. It’s never too late to become an heiress; however, it seems like these days you also have to be a skank to be an heiress, and you, my dear, are not a skank.

    And of course, Mimi is going to be the uber-Girl Scout. You’ll be ironing and sewing on patches until your fingers bleed.

  53. In hindsight, and after knocking the poop brown uniforms,
    I think the brownies could be a useful organization if they pumped it up a bit. Ditched the dresses and give more variety to the earning of badges, more unisex.

    Brought it up to date a tad..

  54. I, too, am a Girl Scout dropout.

    I trudged door to door attempting to sell cookies.

    I bought most of them.

    I hated the camping trip and the girls whose parents worked in big offices, doing all the work for them and rounding up millions of sales.

    I’m so glad I’m – sniff – alone.

    Oh, and 4-H, too. Everyone in my town did it.
    One year, and I realized if my cookies were going to get marked down for not all being the exact same diameter, this was Not For Me.

    1. I think my parents bought the whole 11 boxes I sold. Because they are SAINTS. Also, thank GOD I never had to do 4-H. You got marked down for your cookies not being the same diameter? Holy BALLS am I glad I never had to do that. SHEESH.

  55. Wow, I used to want to be a girl scout, didnt’ know about the Brownies. Now reading about that seems to suck big time! lol Although I love the outdoors, knitting, crocheting or making sit-upons is not my idea of fun. Tried knitting and crocheting once. I hate crocheting. Knitting, well, I am just plain lousy at it. What started to be a shawl ended up being a really really tight knit scarf. lol

    Love your blog btw!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *