Jenny can trace back to the Girl Scouts her troubles. The one great obstacle she faces in life undoubtedly had its start even earlier – preschool surely – but memory is comfortingly cooperative and offers no hard evidence. The Girl Scouts - Troop 451 in particular - furnished stark opportunities for Jenny to display what she likes to call her sore thumb gene.
Genetics provides an overarching reason for why she always feels so glaringly out of place, not only releasing her from any fault, but also handily speaking to the question of why she is such an unsociable being. Or is it asocial, or maybe antisocial? She hardly cares.
The problem is not limited to the Girl Scouts, to one lone traumatic event buried deep in her childhood psyche - a failure to sell her quota of cookies (Mom bought them up) or the embarrassingly unbroken hunter green of her sash, onto which myriad badges of achievement should have been crookedly sewn. No, her inability to ‘get along’, her disinclination to belong, is all-pervasive and, ironically, all-inclusive.
Like Groucho, she never cared to join any club that would have her. Church? She is so vehement an atheist that the Universalists are scandalized, the Buddhists shocked. Sewing circles? She draws blood far too often and, worse, is constantly asking who Catherine is and what her relationship to Mr Darcy is, anyway. No, wait. That was her problem with the East End Early Bird Book Club. But surely the East End Early Birds was that bunch of foodies who systematically eschewed dessert.
There Jenny sits, drumming her fingers before a snap-down shirt, yellow neckerchief and that awful sash across the Girl Scout’s Manual. Troop 832 has requisitioned a new leader and Jenny has, once again, failed to find admissible justification for gracefully bowing out. The summer and ensuing school year yawn before her as she looks on aghast. What’s even worse is her daughter. Her popular, easy-going, daughter is horrifyingly, damnably, absolutely over the hunter-green moon.
333 words for including CLUB 3a : an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically; also : a group identified by some common characteristic
b : the meeting place of a club c : an association of persons participating in a plan by
which they agree to make regular payments or purchases in order to secure some
advantage d : nightclub e : an athletic association or team