Sunday, February 26, 2012

UPDATED: The One Where People Are Assholes to Little Girls

You may have noticed, if you have gone anywhere near a bulk-buying club store, a grocery store, a home improvement store, or an outlet mall at all this past weekend, that it is Girl Scout Cookie Time. 

Yes, during the middle of lent.  So much for, "serving God...", right?  Although I'm pretty sure that God is fine with teaching girls leadership skills through the shameless promotion of cookie selling.

I have, as usual, a bug up my ass.  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of people; they tend to be assholes, and selfish ones at that.  But this past weekend, I have experienced two very wide extremes.  And I wish to discuss them both.

First, I want to talk to you about the Girl Scouts.  I was a Girl Scout.  Likely to get me out of the house long enough to regain some sense of sanity, rather than to ensure a future in leadership.  But I went, I did things, I wore the lame poly frock, top, and beanie.  I earned some patches, probably.  Meh, is the sum of my history with Girl Scouts as a child.

Then the Boy Scouts came along, and seemed to be in a vicious race with the Catholic Church, to see who could do the most PR damage the quickest.  Between the juvenile-reach-arounds and the anti-gay BS, I had grown weary of their crap.  Also, I'm not a fan of most neckwear for men or boys.  Ties are fine.  Ascots? Kerchiefs? Dickies?  No.  So Scouting continued to be "Meh" for me.

Then I had Princess.  I may not have told you this, but she is slightly distractable.  Slightly a free spirit.  Slightly a total doot-ta-do.  So when I got the little quarter-page flyer talking about leadership, crafts, sisterhood and community, I called.

And so it began.  They start like any crack dealer.  "Oh, here.  Have this.   It's awesome, try a little, buy a little more."  Or in the case of the Girl Scouts, "C'mon over to my place for a little get-together. I'm sure I can hook you up with a troop.  But if not, you could lead! It's really easy, and a fun way to be a part of your girl's life.  It's only 2 nights a month.  You'll love it."

Every. Damn. Time.

I signed away my life.  I think they have me down for the 25-year plan, I will have to check my contract. 

Then, I got a co-leader. She seemed cool, and the girls that wanted to join our troop were pretty cool.  So we began.

Each month, we had to go to Council meetings.  We would get info about upcoming events, cookie sales, etc.  But many of the ladies were a bit unfriendly, seemed standoffish.  My co-leader and I did our own thing, knowing that meeting the needs of our troop was our goal.

Fast-forward 3 years.  Our girls LOVE it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  They love their Girl Scout sisters, they love meeting new girls, they love taking turns leading portions of the meeting, having an input into what we do, and why.  And how we do it.  They have really done so many awesome things.  They have spent their time delegating, problem-solving, creating, and giving.  I have been moved to tears more times than I care to admit.  These girls are becoming people-stewards of the earth.  They care, they love, and each year I see their progress towards leadership.

And each year, the girls sell the cookies.  Yes, they have Palm oil in them.  I'm sure I got a handout about GS trying to find responsible sources.  Whatever.  Yes, they are $4 (or so) per box, and they aren't necessarily worth it.  Whatever.  Neither are the Twinkies.  Or the Boneless Wings in your cart.  Who cares? Maybe you think lots of money goes to administration.  You're wrong, but I'm not here to argue that.  Maybe you don't like that some poor little boy who feels like he is a girl somewhere in our country was admitted into a troop and somehow this is going to tear at the fiber of Girl Scouts.  You are also wrong.  And you're a fuckwit, because you take someone pure and sully it with your hatred.  But I'm not here to argue that point-I don't want to make you look any more intolerant than you are.

My girls have an agenda.  It's called the Girl Scout Law.

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

That's all.  They have no political agenda.  They don't even know what a political agenda is.  They don't care.  They want to have fun.  And somewhere along the way, they learn things.

I'm here to tell you that my girls, ALL my 13 girls, learn so much.  The ones that are shy learn to speak up. They learn to speak to adults, answer thoughtful questions.  The ones that tend to be bossy are learning to wait.  The ones that are impatient are learning to share, and to take a back seat to another Sister.  And all of them?  They are learning valuable sales skills.  They have practiced math, approaching people, using manners, making change, and being graceful.

That's right.  They are learning grace.  How?  Well, the world is full of assholes that don't like Girl Scouts, don't eat cookies, are on a diet, don't have money, already bought dessert, or have some political justification for being rude to my babies.

Thank you, Assholes. 

Without people being assholes, Cookie sales would be just one more time where they shill for Da Man, getting "oohs" and "ahhs" from Grandparents, never knowing rejection, never understanding the importance of not letting "NO" drag you down. Today, they are just little girls, trying to sell some cookies so they can go to the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary and donate some to local charities. 

Tomorrow, these bitches will fuck you up.  Because you snapped, "NO!", because you ignored them completely or worse, looked at them with irritation, they are learning the valuable skill of not taking adults' bad behavior personally.  They are learning not everyone wants what they got, even when they smile. 

They will stay in my troop, they will grow and learn and become leaders.  They will be the bosses, the managers, the leaders of the future, and they will remember that some of you are assholes.  Some of you ignored them when they were small, some of you have no tact, no self-respect, no decorum.

And my little girls?  They will destroy you.

And to those that listened to each sweet teeny tiny voice, who asked the girls, "So, what's 4 plus 4?" or, "How many boxes can I get for $20?"---Thank you.  Those of you that didn't want the cookies, but gave a couple bucks anyways, those of you that donated your boxes to our Armed Forces oversees, thank you.  And to the man that came up with tears in his eyes, turned to us moms, and said "thank you for what you're doing for these girls", I got a big ass THANK YOU!!!!!! for you.  Because you told us you knew there was some BS in the media about Girl Scouts lately, and you didn't want any cookies.  But you made a point to come over, to tell the girls "Good job", to make sure we all knew that we were appreciated.

Girl Scouts are volunteers.  We work hard.  Not for the patches.  (The godforsaken patches!  Hell, I might chip in to get rid of the patches).  We do it for our girls.  We do it because we know they are at risk, most of the schools are failing them, society is becoming a cess-pool.  People are so full of hate, lies, deceit, and selfishness.  We have to, as moms, do our best to counteract all that bad.

Girl Scouts does this for our girls, for millions of girls worldwide.  Maybe our particular girls don't need your donation, don't need your purchase.  But guess what they choose to do with some of the money they raise? They donate to Sisters helping Sisters, which provides camp and scouting materials to girls that can't afford it.  Yes, our girls are out in front of stores during the torrential downpours and the scorching sun, selling cookies to help their fellow sisters, sisters they will never meet.

Leave your politics, your hate, your rude ass at home,  Because these girls?  These girls are going to kick your ass some day.  Like the badasses I am training them to be.

UPDATE: One of the wonderful moms in our Troop insisted that I remove the black from her daughters' faces so I didn't look like a kidnapper.  And she loves our troop, and is proud of her loudmouth leader.  And she's awesome.  That's all for now.

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