Friday, February 14, 2014

My foray into organized girlhood

When I was in elementary school, we lived in Dayton, Ohio. That's why I go back to Dayton a few times a year, you see. I have lots of family there. So I lived there in a little suburb of Dayton and I had friends who lived right next door. I had acquaintances across the street and I had someone you'd never guess who lived on the other side of our house. More later on her.

So when we lived in this neighborhood that was cram-packed with children, I lived next door to two girls, Kim and Belinda. Kim, Belinda and Caron: all the same age. Belinda and I went to school together, I think. But I have zero memories of Belinda in school. Funny, I just realized that. All the memories I have of her are neighborhood memories. Kim went to the Catholic school not far away.

One day, pretty early on, someone started a Campfire Girls Bluebird group. I told my mom how much I wanted to do this and I am fairly certain at least one of the Kim/Belinda pair was doing it and I was either being "encouraged" to join or I thought I would be left out if I wasn't a part of it.

Let me digress. A few years ago, I asked my mom what she would say of my adult personality that was identifiable from my early childhood. She told me something about not remembering what she had for breakfast and I never did get any clues as to how long I've been awesome and did it begin early on, etc.

But here is one thing I can tell you about myself. Bluebirds was for the birds then and to. this. day. I cannot imagine being a part of a group of women and actually enjoying it. That isn't to say I haven't tried. I have. I spent years in a group of women here in Des Moines and we did good things, but it felt exactly the same as the Bluebirds did way back in the early 70s.

My memory is probably really incomplete and my mother will be of no help because she's busy trying to sort out breakfast, but as I recall I went to one Bluebird meeting at which we tried our hand at making some sort of craft (another adult failing of mine) and when I left that meeting, which in my mind was the first and only meeting I attended, I knew I would not be back.

Not ever.

And that was that. I never once joined another group of that sort. Except for when I moved to Des Moines. Then I did. But do you know why I did? I was being "encouraged" to join and I thought I would be left out if I wasn't a part of it.

The neighbor on the other side was younger than I was. I'm not sure how much I want to say about her because I don't want certain Google searches landing on my blog. How do I put this? Her dad was the publisher of a magazine that had pictures of ladies girls people without their clothes on. He may or may not have been shot by someone back in the 70s and ended up in a wheelchair.

Anyway, this is what her photo looks like on the interwebs now. She did not look like this back in the 2nd grade or so.

P.S. that women's group resulted in one lifelong friend and for that I will always be glad I was there to meet Cindy. OTHERWISE, it was the Bluebirds all over again. Like the time I brought treats and was indelicately told I had brought too much. Yea, like that. 


Rose said...

Hmmmm--so you're like that, too? I just don't have the desire to join groups....of any kind. I think it would be too long to go into...but trust me...I just am not a joiner. I think about joining a quilt guild...but that is all

Caron said...

I hope if you join the quilt guild, people are friendly. That's the worst part, I think. And maybe the worst are the groups that claim they are friendly. Like the old saying, "Never trust the man who says 'Trust me.'"

Montanagirl said...

I'm afraid that I fall into that same category: I AM NOT a joiner - of ANYTHING, NO HOW, NO WAY. As to why, I'm not sure. I just don't want to be tied to a schedule, or "having" to do something I don't feel like doing, and then end up being a disappointment to someone. My Husby is not a people person either, so we hang out together a lot, and are perfectly happy.

Rambling Woods said...

I am a friendly that possible? I don't like groups and every group I have joined, especially related to my health, I have left... So too for the Brownies...sigh..not a group child either...hugs..