Thursday, October 20, 2011

Humiliation and volunteerism. Also Girl Scouts don't eat cookies.

So.  Girl Scouts.  Right?  Yeah.  We're Girl Scouts now.

I was in charge of snack yesterday.  I brought bananas and a box of Halloween sugar cookies.  Because it's the last meeting before Halloween, I wanted to be festive.  But you know what?  I kind of got the impression some of the other moms were...less than pleased about the cookies?  Maybe I was being paranoid.  But some of them were like, loudly, "You can bring that cookie home and have it after dinner."

Good grief, people.  I brought bananas.  They all happily ate their bananas.  Your kid can't have one single cookie at 4:00 in the afternoon at a Girl Scout meeting?  I mean, I'm kind of all about healthy snacks.  The Princess basically eats nothing between meals but fruit and veggies, period.  So I'm ok with a random cookie every now and then at a somewhat special occasion like a Girl Scout meeting.

Does anybody else find it somewhat ironic that cookies are not welcome at a Girl Scout meeting?

Oh, also?  This happened:

So.  Basically everybody at Girl Scouts is healthier and better-looking than me.  Got it.

Also?  Richer.  OK, we recently moved, and it was kind of an insanely expensive experience fraught with unexpected costs.  Then we had to buy 8 new tires because both cars decided to become death traps in the same month.  Whatever.  These months happen, right?  Well, we joined Girl Scouts in the middle of this, and while I'm told Girl Scouts will never cost us a penny ever again, ever, because cookie sales (cookies, people!) are so very lucrative that the Girl Scout experience is self-supporting...there is a little bit of a start-up cost.  Registration fee, dues, uniform...all told close to $80.  Fine.  I get that, things cost money, and I'm fine with it, and we can afford it. this month.

The Girl Scout leader acted basically cool about it.  I said I'd pay next month, she didn't give me any grief.  But you know, I can pretty much read minds, and I just know she's judging me.  My inner monologue is something like this:  She thinks I'm lying, she thinks I'm going to keep showing up here with my freeloading kid and our evil unhealthy cookies and soak up the activities and take the patches and never pay a penny.  I'm like the Wimpy of the Girl Scouts.  And why are these women so pretty?!  That one did not give birth to that child.  No way.  They're all staring at me, they know I haven't paid the dues, and I don't own anything made by Nike, and I never stretch or drink enough water.

I will gladly pay you Tuesday for character-building enrichment activities today.
OK.  So at the end of the meeting they announce that we'll be having a "Founder's Day" celebration next month, with cake and snacks, a whole party.  Moms are asked to email the leader and let her know if we can bring fruit or pretzels.  Meanwhile I'm spending the whole meeting trying to avoid said leader so we don't have to address the money issue yet again because she never remembers that I said November 1, I can pay on November 1!

So I sort of sneak out the back door at the end of the meeting, avoiding eye contact.  That night I get an email from the leader:
Hey! I forgot to ask you today. Do you have the money for dues, registration, and the tunic? Just let me know what you can do. Thanks!

AAAARRRGH!! The horror.  I mean, do you see the judgement in those lines?

My response:

Sorry! I meant to talk to you too. [this is a lie
Ok here's the deal. We just moved to town in August. It turned out to be a very expensive move... lots of unforeseen costs that we're still trying to recover from. I fully intended to pay all of this on October 2nd, then Princess was sick [so we missed that meeting]... and now by this point in the month we're broke again! Ugh. I swear this is not our usual situation. It's just a weird transition period we're in from moving. 
So. Payday is the first of the month and I will absolutely pay everything we owe at the next meeting, November 2. Alternatively I'd be happy to give you a check tomorrow postdated for November 1. I'm so so sorry that I can't do better than that right now. It's embarrassing, honestly. Lol. I PROMISE I don't usually do stuff like this. Thank you so much for letting Princess still be part of the group. Once we get past this weirdness we'll be model scouts!

Also- I'm a cake decorator, so I wanted to see if you needed a cake donated for founders day? I could do some kind of girl scout themed sheet cake if you want. Otherwise just put me down for pretzels or fruit, whichever you still need. 
Thank you for everything! Princess is a little shy at first but she's loving Daisies and I know she'll open up soon.

Sigh.  Ramble much?

And can we just examine that second-to-last paragraph?  "I'm a cake decorator, so I wanted to see if you needed a cake donated"???  "I could do some kind of girl scout themed..."  WHAT??

People, yes, I have been known to decorate cakes.  Wedding cakes, even.  But I have formally announced to the world that I am taking a break because between my kids and my job and my house and my writing I just cannot handle it.  They became a chore, they became a source of absolute frustration and misery for me.  I do not decorate cakes.  I hate cakes.  

So yeah.  "I can decorate a cake for you, for free!  Totally!  You in no way asked me to do this and I would've been fine just buying a bag of pretzels at the grocery store but let me speak up and volunteer to cover the humiliation of putting my daughter's Girl Scout membership on layaway, OK?  Let's just forget that whole money thing and HEY, I'LL MAKE A DESIGNER CUSTOM GIRL SCOUT CAKE FOR YOU!"

So yeah.  We're Girl Scouts now.  Kind of.


  1. You rock. They are lucky to have Princess in their silly troupe. And ... I totally totally get it. I have owed everyone in my life at one point, including my younger son, who for some reason has some ability to manage his money. Dang him.

    My boys couldn't do scouts, etc because I have too much snark to be around other moms. That's why I like the internet so much.

    You're still a genius. But maybe break a wrist or something to get out of that whole cake thing. ;-)

  2. Can't wait to see pictures of the Founders Day masterpiece! You should go way overboard to make it healthy. Applesauce-gluten free-agave sweetened and all that.

  3. And this is why I NEVER want my daughter to join Girl Scouts! I don't need to be reminded by Nike Mom that her butt looks better than mine in leggings (not that I would actually wear leggings), and I don't need to be reminded that it's hard to make ends meet, and I don't need to be reminded that I offer to do things that I hate ALL THE TIME and as I say it out loud, I'm thinking to myself "Shut up! What are you doing? Why are you offering to do that? You are NEVER going to actually do that!"

    Good luck with Girl Scouts!

  4. LOL. Well, when you put it like THAT...

    On the other hand, you look at her little face in that group of little girls happily digging in the dirt and planting flowers and giggling and learning and you think, well...

    I STILL shouldn't have offered to make a stupid cake, though.

  5. Solution: Load the cake down with sugar and butter and tell Nike Lady it's totally Fat Free and only 100 calories a slice. Then send a small cake to her house each week, Nutrisystem-style. Problem solved.

  6. Ha. Loved your post, Jo. We're birds of a feather, you and me.

    IF I end up making a cake, it will be FABULOUS. I really have no choice at this point, right? :) But the leader has still not responded to my I'm wondering if she's somehow discovered my blog and is not speaking to me. That would really cap off the whole girl scout experience well, right?

  7. I felt like a homeless person when I turned up for my daughter's scout meeting... you can read about it in my post today.

    btw. I hope to see photo's of the most amazing cake soon... no better way to get 'back at people' than being totally fabulous, which you are!

  8. thanks! and thanks for dropping by. let me know how the unnecessarily complicated and highly impressive craft project goes! ;)

  9. This is totally something I would do. In fact, right now I am searching online for some overly creative craft project to do with my son's preschool to impress all of the snooty moms. And I am not remotely creative. On a completely different note, love your argyle blog background.

  10. LOL. Well, when you put it like THAT...

    On the other hand, you look at her little face in that group of little girls happily digging in the dirt and planting flowers and giggling and learning and you think, well...

    I STILL shouldn't have offered to make a stupid cake, though.

  11. That'll teach them to ever ask me to bake anything ever again.

  12. Breaking a wrist is starting to look like a viable option.

  13. Okay, the disqus thing lags a little and I had to click the drop down arrow to put the comments in the order I wanted them (oldest first), but it looks good so far.


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