Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Possible triggers ahead: grabbing and groping without consent.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Decorated for Chris...
Disneyland Haunted Mansion Decorated for Christmas and Halloween (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I was in Girl Scouts, I made myself do plenty of things I didn't much like.

I don't really like camping.  I hate haunted houses.

And, okay, the camping thing might have been a vicious cycle. The haunted house thing is more explicit.

See, like any group, my Troop had stories, legends, in-jokes.

Even if you were in the Troop at the general time the thing -- whatever it may be -- happened, if you were not actually in attendance at that moment, you weren't going to understand.

Since it was impossible to predict when a "thing" would happen, it felt -- to me, at least; I don't think any members of my Troop read this, but if you do, feel free to speak up -- like skipping an event was risking alienation from the rest of the girls. It wasn't like a "before your time" joke that made us look up to the older girls and look forward to the day when we would succeed them.  It was a reminder that I didn't fit in. If you miss out, you don't belong.

Cue the haunted houses.

I hate haunted houses, as I stated above.  I could give you reasons for days, but I don't have to justify it to you, so I won't.

Basically, no matter what you do with your haunted house, from "adorable and benign" to "true crime unsolved mysteries" to "parody" to "impressively high production values", I'm just not going to enjoy it.   

(I do enjoy ghost tours, though. I'm agnostic on the existence of actual ghosts, but I don't believe one is going to grab me.)

So that's a long tangent, but it should give you some background on why I felt so conflicted, to the point of real anxiety, over whether I should go on the haunted hayride with my Girl Scout Troop.

At best, I was going to find it a waste of my time. At worst, a jackass with a mask and a (fake) weapon was going to grab me.

At best, something memorable would happen and become part of the Troop's mythology.  At worst, I'd miss it and it would be another strike against my ever fitting in, ever belonging.

Pretty heavy choice for a little girl.

I'm still afraid I'll miss out.

I'm still terrified I'll never fit in, never belong.

Having been criminally groped on the street on two separate occasions, I absolutely still distrust people who are in a position to grab me "for fun" when they're "officially" not allowed to.

But on the plus side, I've gotten a lot better at telling those people to f--- off. 

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