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I Was in The Girl Scouts

Filed under : Childhood Stories

Written on April 18, 2015

My sister is three years older than me. Much to her chagrin while growing up, she didn’t have any sisters. But, she had a younger brother who looked up to her that she could torment, and a father who wanted his son to be a masculine man of sports and manly shit. Being the deviant genius she was, she used all these elements to have fun in her own little way.

My sister tired of just dressing up her Cabbage Patch Dolls and Barbie dolls and wanted to dress up real humans instead. Being that I was too young to know any better, she’d convince me that my mom would “LOVE to see you in this dress”. I didn’t know boys weren’t supposed to wear dresses, and I loved seeing my mom laugh, so it didn’t occur to me that I shouldn’t just go along with my sister’s little schemes, no matter how ridiculous I looked in skirts and dresses. The only thing my mom ever said, after she stopped laughing her ass off, was “you need to take that off before your father gets home”. I, being an idiot, just figured they didn’t want my dad to think he needed to take us somewhere fancy on account of my being all dressed up.

Over time, my sister started applying makeup on me when she dressed me up. My mom rarely saw that, as my sister would tell me “oh that makeup’s all wrong, you should take it off before Mom sees it!”, as if it were my fault, but I complied because I figured my sister knew better. By the time my sister was of makeup-wearing age, she was a goddamned expert. She had years of experience testing out blushes, lipstick, eye shadow, and more, on her little brother. She was something of a hero to her friends from her years of practice on my little boyhood face.

When my sister joined The Girl Scouts, my mom had to take her to all their events and campouts, and since my dad was always working and I was too young to stay home alone, she’d drag me along with them. As was the case when I first saw my sister go off to school and I cried that I couldn’t go along, I also lamented being left out of whatever this cool little club was that my sister was involved with. My mom, and my sister, repeatedly said “it’s just for girls, Mitchell”. The logic didn’t sit right with me, because I used that same line of reasoning to my sister when she’d tried to dress me up, but she said “boys can do girl things, too!”. My mom wasn’t fond of me pulling that line on her, but I said “….that’s what Meredith told me! I can do girl things too! Why can’t I be a part of her girl club?!”, and she realized she was out of arguments.

Most of the time, they just played games like “Red Rover”, or hopscotch, or sang the two-person-clap rhyme of “Miss Suzy”1. I got along fine with the girls, and I learned their goofy games, and I got pretty good at making friendship bracelets2. For whatever reason, no one seemed to mind my presence.

When it came time for the shining jewel of The Girl Scouts – selling cookies – I was again told I couldn’t participate. They couldn’t have some little boy wandering around selling cookies, apparently. But, since my mom was the chauffeur of taking a group of girls various neighborhoods, I whined again that I should be allowed to sell cookies — I thought, all this time, that I was just a Girl Scout waiting for his uniform. I’m not sure how she wrangled it, but somehow my sister got me a girl scout uniform and tucked my hair into the Girl Scout hat, and I got to go along and sell cookies with the rest of the girls. Apparently, a young boy cross-dressing in order to sell cookies alongside his sister was a great marketing campaign, cause my sister lead her troop in door-to-door cookie sales.

Fast forward to my high school years, I thought it hilarious and ironic how much shit my sister gave a young goth Mitcz when I walked into the kitchen wearing eyeliner and a skirt. She’d laugh and wonder what the fuck I was doing. The only thing I could say was “well… you started it”.

I still love skirts and makeup, but there’s not enough pockets in skirts and makeup is a lot of work to do daily.

  1. Miiiss… Suzy had a steamboat. The steamboat had a bell. Miss suzy went to Heaven, the boys all went to HELLo operator….” 

  2. god how I miss making friendship bracelets