I like to pretend that I was a polite, sweet child and that my shyness growing up made me an easy kid. But that’s a lie.
I’ve always been crazy. I’m hyper and weird and emotional and full of a thousand ideas. And that’s what got me kicked out of Girl Scouts.
Okay, so I technically didn’t get kicked out. I was super busy with dance class almost 20 hours a week and something had to give. But I did get kicked out of a Girl Scout meeting and when you’re nine years old that’s pretty much the end of the world.
It was fourth grade and I was really coming into my dramatic flair and comedic timing. I was always on the hunt for a captivated audience for which to perform my stand-up routine on the woes of cafeteria food.
My school district had been overrun by Republicans and old people voting against our school budget year after year, so a lot of our specials had been cut or downsized. The stage where we would have had our big fourth grade play (in which I surely would have been the star) had been converted into classroom space for art class. There would be no play.
I was devastated. With no audience for what would surely be my big break, I started partaking in shenanigans in other more inopportune times.
Girl Scout meetings were ideal. There were about 20 of us, and I was definitely the funniest one. We’d be quietly sewing our sit-upons and I would burst out with a crazy story or hilarious observation. The troop leaders usually smiled along and let me be. But not Mrs. Bowers.
A little background: Mrs. Bowers’ daughter was in my grade and she was also named Christine. That’s right, she was a name-stealer. We did not get along. Mostly because I was awesome and she was stupid.
Obviously this stupidity ran in the family, because Mrs. Bowers was the worst. I dreaded the weeks where she would run our meetings.
This particular week, we were doing some craft in the art room on the stage where I should have been becoming famous and not gluing glitter to dry macaroni.
For some reason, Mrs. Bowers insisted we be completely silent during this activity. There was really no reason for it and I was feeling restless, so I started up one of my routines. I had the crowd going with lots of laughs when Mrs. Bowers gave me my first warning.
I chose to ignore her and figured she would never follow through with her threat to remove me from the meeting. I continued cracking jokes as she glared at me. She finally yelled at me and the room became silent.
She came over, grabbed me out of my chair, and led me down the stage stairs. She told me to sit on the steps and not move until my mom came to pick me up. I could not believe her audacity. Here I was, a burgeoning star, and she thought she had the right to silence me??? Who did she think she was??? I was going to be famous and she was merely a bored suburban housewife with no sense of humor and an ugly daughter.
I started crying (no surprise considering I cry at everything, including car commercials). I could hear the sounds of my fellow Scouts whispering about me as they crafted.
That was my last year in Girl Scouts. I finally chose to commit fully to dance where I could be a total ham on a real stage and get trophies for it.
Trophies are so much better than badges.