In the second grade it was decided that I should join the Brownies, a pre-Girl Scout program that was guaranteed to provide hours of fun, socialization, and life skills too numerous to count.
Yeah, right. Like I bought that for a minute. I knew it was a ploy to try to get me to play with other girls my age and get me out of Mom’s hair. The problem was two-fold; I liked going to the newspaper office with Mom and "editing" her column, and, basically, I didn’t like hanging around with kids my own age, especially the girls.
There, I said it! I was a loner. Still am. But if I had to hang out with other kids, boys were preferable because at that age they hadn't got a clue that they were being manipulated, so I could be the boss. From an early age I was known a Bossy Liscomb, although there was a certain kid who called me Liscomb P…comb. You know who you were and I have a long memory. Just sayin’- and your name rhymed with baloney.
The Brownies troop for our neighborhood met at Maple Street Church.There were crafts involving Popsicle sticks and glitter. There was Kool-Aid in a punch bowl on a folding table, along with healthy snacks like those little packages of processed cheese-products and crackers with the flat red thing to spread the fake cheese on the crackers with. I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid. The so-called uniform was a vile brown that did nothing for my already washed-out complexion and clashed horribly with my red correctional shoes that were allegedly correcting my allegedly flat feet.
I really wasn’t into the crafts and I knew nothing I did would ever earn me one of their stinking patches. I evidently didn’t hide my displeasure well, because later in life I was told that one of the troop leaders reported to my mother that I was casting baleful glances at everyone around me.
Since I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, I think we can safely assume (even if it does make an a** out of you and me) that it was either the glitter, the glue used to make Popsicle stick crafts or the uniform that caused my eyes to swell up like my eyelids had been stuffed with cotton balls. I was allergic to something, and this time it wasn’t school. It wasn’t the “cheez ‘n’ crackers” either because I ate them all the time at home too.
Therefore, albeit with some pitiful wailing on my part (but moooooooommmm it’s booorrringggg) I didn’t last long. Mom probably was mad at buying the uniform I hardly wore a la the ice skates, the ballet shoes, the swim fins and so forth. I’d like to think that she was really secretly happy to have me back in my rightful place, by her side at the Maple St. office of the Danvers Herald.
I’d also like to think that if she’s looking in on me from time to time she’s happy that I write for Danvers Patch, and itching to edit my columns.
In closing, I’d like to add that my good friend Kimm tells me that she was kicked out of the Brownies for mischievous behavior unbecoming of a Brownie. My cousin Carla tells me the same excuse was given for kicking her out of Rainbow Girls. It’s rather a pity that I didn’t hang in there long enough to join the club of the blacklisted myself; I bet more of those so-called baleful glances would have done the trick.