Sunday, September 11, 2016

I have something in my pocket...

I don't know why, but I was suddenly reminded of this song this morning.

This was probably the best rendition I could find within a few minutes of looking...

Yep, it's true.  There was a time in my life when I was a Brownie.  I don't remember joining because I wanted to.  I think it was something my mom thought I should try.  The one thing I remember about my two years in Troop 819 is that I hated-- HATED-- the uniforms.  And I had to wear it to school once a week, which I also hated.  The uniform that I wore in the late 1970s looked like this.  :(

My uniform also had a little brown beanie, knee socks, a sash, a belt, and a little orange "tie" that actually snapped.  This photo, by the way, was ripped off of eBay.  If it's yours and you want me to take it down, just let me know.

If you wanted to, you could wear pants or shorts to go with the jumper.  I don't think I bothered with the pants.  When I was young, most pants were too long for me.  That's kind of still true today.  I need petite sizes, even though I am not really small.  I just have short arms and legs and was probably intended to be more petite than I am.  Too bad I enjoy good food and booze so much.

I didn't like this uniform, not just because I don't like wearing brown, but also because I remember it being very itchy and uncomfortable.  The polyester blend fabric they used irritated my skin and I remember scratching all day.  I also hated uniforms, period.  I know some kids like uniforms because it makes them feel like they belong. I hated them because I don't like other people telling me what to wear.  I say that, even though as an adult, I can see why uniforms are useful.

As a little kid, I also hated having anything eat up my free time.  I was not one who enjoyed group activities or clubs.  I also took piano lessons and ice skating lessons during this time period.  I think I liked the skating lessons.  The piano lessons were also okay, although I didn't enjoy practicing.  But I don't remember enjoying Brownies at all.  I especially hated selling cookies and calendars.

Mercifully, my mother let me drop out of the Girl Scouts program when we moved out of northern Virginia.  Aside from wearing the ugly uniform, being forced to sell stuff, and after school meetings, the only thing I really remember about being a Brownie were art projects involving colored sand and pieces of macaroni.  Oh, and that song I posted above... along with this one.

Isn't this just nifty?

The funny thing is, I didn't end up staying friends with anyone I met as a Brownie or any of the girls I later met who were Girl Scouts.  For me, it was just another potentially cliquey group for girls.  And if you fit the right mould, you would make friends.  If not, and I usually didn't, you wouldn't.  People later came to appreciate me for being kind of different.  But when I was a young child, most children didn't.  I was considered "weird" and no itchy uniform could hide that.  And so, Brownies was kind of a source of pain.

I do remember finding the whole story about Juliette Gordon Lowe interesting, though... and kind of inspiring.  I remember reading her story even after Brownies was a distant memory.  It wasn't because I loved the organization, though.  It was because I have always enjoyed true stories about real people.

If I had children, I doubt I would encourage them to be Scouts.  Actually, if I had a son, I KNOW I would not want him to join the Boy Scouts, for a whole host of reasons.  The number one reason is that Bill's ex stepson got a job working for the Boy Scouts of America.  Having discovered what kind of a person he is and realizing that he completely lacks any of the personal characteristics the Boy Scouts claim to aspire to, I realize that if the Boy Scouts would hire Bill's asshole ex stepson, they could easily hire another asshole that might influence my offspring negatively.  Aside from that, I don't like the religious aspect of the Scouts, though it does seem less pronounced in the Girl Scouts than it does the Boy Scouts.  I think a lot of the moral and character building activities in the Scouts can be picked up in other organizations.  I myself had a good experience in 4H.

Anyway... sorry to those who read this and think I'm dissing the Scouts.  These are just my opinions based on my own experiences.  I'm sure a lot of people love Scouting and will always endorse it as a great activity for young people.  As for me, all it left me with were persistent memories of oddly catchy songs.

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