Over the summer, I made a decision I never would have predicted for myself.
Some peer pressure played a role. I had already done some things which made the final step a lot easier, but that didn’t make me less nervous as I reached the point of no return.
I joined the Girl Scouts.
The whole thing started last winter when my daughter’s troop needed parent volunteers for an event. I said I could help, but ran afoul of the rules which say chaperones need to be registered Girl Scouts.
I didn’t blame the troop leader or the organization as a whole. People have to be vigilant these days, and I didn’t expect an exemption even though most of the parents in the troop know me.
My wife had registered with Girl Scouts exactly for these kinds of situations, but we found she had more and more conflicts with the times they needed chaperones. Because of volunteering at school and officiating wrestling, I had all the necessary clearances. I just needed to register.
The whole notion of being macho has pretty much passed me by. I like to think of myself as a pretty modern guy who doesn’t think people need to constantly define themselves by historical and outdated gender roles.
But the Girl Scouts? I will eat all of their cookies – and believe me I have tried – but I don’t know if I could pull off wearing a sash. I could probably handle a skirt if they made me wear one because, despite my beer belly, I still have nice (albeit hairy) legs.
But the Girl Scouts? Back in my elementary school days, it wasn’t even cool to join the Boy Scouts. I still keep in touch with a bunch of people I grew up with. They might remember that fact and make fun of me.
In the end, I could not say no to lending a helping hand. To make sure I went through with things, I think my wife filled out the paperwork for me. Or maybe she did that because I am lazy and forgetful, and she wanted to make sure I didn’t procrastinate my way out of this situation.
Since I signed up in the fall, I have cheerfully signed up to serve as the parent in charge for a couple of activities with no ill effects. I still have complete ownership of my Man Card.
But I have discovered one problem. As my daughter and I worked together at a local store selling cookies, I started asking her about some important details for a new Girl Scout. That’s when I realized why I may have trouble fully assimilating.
The Girl Scout sign requires you to raise just the first three fingers on your right hand. Some random wrestling injury – or a collection of small injuries – pretty much makes that impossible for me. I can barely touch my thumb to my pinky.
Thankfully, no one has asked me to do the sign since I registered. They might kick me out. But do they know how many cookies I can eat? Hopefully that will save me.