I was never cut out to be a Girl Scout. I never realized this at the time, of course. During my Troop Days, I believed I exhibited excellent leadership skills and an uncommon capability to digest cookies by the box. I like Thin Mints, I thought, which is why I make a great Girl Scout.
When my parents told me I had to quit, I was enraged.
"Natasha, you're way too old for Girl Scouts."
I guess my snake skin pants and scrunchies did seem to scream "mature," but I still wanted to be in a troop. I still wanted to go camping, I still wanted to build fires, and I still wanted to sing songs about some guy named Joe who worked in a button factory and had a large family and pushed the button with his tongue. I wasn't ready to give that up. I liked Joe and I liked his buttons. But, being in elementary school, I had no say in the matter. I was upset for about six days until I realized that I made the worst Girl Scout imaginable for many different reasons.
Before I continue, I must say that I did have some great experiences and that some of the Troop Moms were wonderful, kind, even hilarious women. But I'm not here to write about those stories or those women. I'm here to write about the bullshit.
My parents received phone calls on multiple occasions from fellow Troop Mothers about my "behavior" toward their daughters.
"Hi, this is Mrs. Stick-Up-My-Ass, I'm calling about Natasha."
"At our troop meeting today, she told my daughter that if she wanted to be cool, she needed to grow her hair out so she didn't look like a boy."
"Hi, this is Mrs. I've-Let-Myself-Go, I'm calling about Natasha."
"At our troop meeting today, she called my daughter an idiot."
"Hi, this is Mrs. Fupa, I'm calling about Natasha."
"Are you now."
"At our troop meeting today, she gave my daughter an entire speech on what a gay person is and what a lesbian is and then went on to elaborate on the fact that some men like to dress up as women and sing in clubs."
I'm sure there were more, but these are the only ones I can truly remember. Why is it that parents laugh when they discover their child has told some absurd lie, but when a kid is honest, they want to punish them? I remember telling someone's mom that her son said he was must have the window seat in carpool because his parents would not allow him to sit in the middle, and she giggled. But I enlighten my peers on REALITY and DIVERSITY, and my parents get an angry phone call. As if my whole troop would become homosexuals after hearing about what it was.
BEWARE OF TROOP 69!
I hated the green vests. I voted for the sashes, and no one else did, and I told them they had no fashion sense, and you know what they told me?
"You don't have any patches, anyway."
Alright, so this was true. But did they really have to point that out? What assholes.
Besides, all the patches were completely one-sided. "Fire-building" and "cookie sales" and "tubby;" where's the "tardiest" patch or the "most likely to make a girl cry" patch? The whole system was biased.
One meeting, one of my last, in fact, we had a "growing up" discussion. All of the mothers came as we sat in a circle and talked about period blood, kissing boys, and when we would have to start wearing a bra. I had been wearing a bra since Kindergarten. No, not because I needed one, but because it made me feel older. Plus, my Kindergarten teacher had called my parents about my "flashing problem" and the bra fixed that. It didn't stop the flashing, but it certainly hid the nips. So as we sat around and discussed this, I alerted my fellow scouts.
"I have been wearing a bra for years."
The mothers erupted in laughter.
"You might not ever need one, sweetie! Unlike my daughter, who's gonna need a lot of support if she has her momma's genes!"
They all continued to laugh. Those mother fuckers.
We went camping once and I forgot my water shoes. I had only one pair of shoes at all, which I would need for the remainder of the stay, so as all the girls spent hours playing in the creek and catching tadpoles, I had to sit on the bank with a couple of the moms. That's when I noticed that I wasn't the only girl in my troop on the sidelines.
"Did you forget your water shoes, too?" I asked her.
"No, I have some," she replied, holding them up for me to see.
"You have some?! Then why aren't you in the creek?"
"Because I don't like playing in water."
"Oh, well then can I wear your shoes? I love playing in the creek!"
"No. I want them."
"I'll give them right back when I'm done."
"I don't want to share."
I turned to the moms.
"She won't let me wear her water shoes and she doesn't even want to wear them!"
"Well, Natasha, she doesn't have to share if she doesn't want to."
"You should have remembered yours."
I turned back to the girl and tried a different tactic, since the moms were obviously going to be of no help.
"Give me them."
"Yes. Right now. Give me. The shoes."
"I'm telling!" she screamed as I started toward her.
Then she told on me. And I was told to leave her alone.
Those douche bags.
I sold cookies. I sold a lot of cookies, in fact. I remember cardboard boxes piled up the walls near the front door of my house, waiting to be delivered.
They waited. And waited. And waited.
I remember one day, my parents finally realized they were there. That may seem absurd to you, but that kind of stuff happened a lot in my house.
"THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!" they shouted. "WE NEVER DELIVERED THEM!"
"Want me to deliver them now?"
"No. It's much too late. These have been here for months. We might as well just keep them."
I kid you not. Those cookies were never delivered. I realize now that this might be why I was "too old for Girl Scouts" when I was ten. Because it was that year that we kept all of the cookies I had sold. And we ate them. And they were delicious.
I like Thin Mints, I thought, which is why I make a terrible Girl Scout.