What I remember of girls scouts was this – We giggled too much and our girl scout leader grabbed Kim’s arm so hard it left a bruise and then during the next weeks meeting we wouldn’t stop talking about Strawberry Shortcake when she was trying to show us how to sew a sit-upon and then “for heaven’s sakes what would we have to sit –upon when we were out in the woods cooking our hobo dinners on the fire!” And so she grabbed Amy’s arm really hard and squeezed it until Amy stopped talking and her eyes welled up with tears and then we all got silent and big eyed except for me who stood up and said “You’re mean and you can’t do that to kids and get away with it, its abuse!”
I knew this phrase because I used to tell it to my parents all the time. I wasn’t actually abused; I just heard the phrase on some after-school special and used it whenever I was grounded, yelled at, or told to clean up after myself. I’m sure the scene went like this:
Mom: Why did you put chocolate syrup, butter, orange, juice, cereal and eggs all over the kitchen floor?
Me: I was making breakfast.
Mom: What a mess, I think you need to clean this up.
Me: You’re mean and you can’t do that to kids and get away with it. It’s abuse!”
So you can guess how thrilled I was to actually have a real reason to tell someone they were abusing kids! Oh it was so dramatic and I delivered my line with perfect rightousness. The scout leader just looked at me through squinty eyes and told me to act like a young lady. I was disapointed, it's not how the script in my head went. She was supposed to pull out a dagger and chase me while yelling about blowing her cover or something (just like Scooby Doo) and the rest of the Girl Scout would tackle her down and save the day. Instead, I went home and told my mom, who I think had to call Kim’s mom and then Amy’s mom to make sure they really did have little bruises on their biceps and it wasn't just me being theatrical, and then we didn’t have Girl Scouts anymore.
I don’t think the Girl Scout leader got in trouble I just think my mom told the other moms and nobody went to the meetings anymore. Or maybe we just all told our moms that day. I’m not really sure what happened because they don’t tell nine year olds about middle aged moms with alcohol problems who take on too much and then are ready to throttle the crap out of a group of chatty girls who can’t stop going on about how cute Chachi is and who is prettier Daisy Duke or Chrissie Snow and who was had the prettiest hair bows and the most friendship bracelets. Poor lady was probably just trying to spend some quality time with her kid. Still it’s no excuse; if you can’t tune out chatty little girls then perhaps you should find quality time with your daughter at the library.
I suppose that not nearly as bad as Mr. Bad News Hughes freaky bending over scoliosis checks but everything is traumatizing when you’re nine. I still think women that lead Girl Scouts are a little scary and I’m sure my long standing zombie phobia was caused by Thriller video that came out that year. I swear if you just lock your eyes straight ahead and moan while walking towards me with your arms out this grown woman will scream and run, or pick up the nearest golf club and whack you in the shins with it (and Dan as funny as this sounds don’t even try it if you ever want to sleep next to me again).