Nineteen years ago last month (!!!!) I attended my first official outing as my husband’s (then brand-new boyfriend’s) girlfriend, when I went to the ceremony in which he would be presented with his Eagle Scout award. I was pretty anxious about this whole situation because it involved going to a Catholic mass, and I myself had never really ventured outside the protective bounds of my safe little evangelical, fundamentalist Protestant world.
Being the sensitive guy that he is, he picked up on my nervousness, and also being the kind of person who likes to
poke people in their vulnerable spots with hot, flaming, pointy sticks tease, he took advantage of my unfamiliarity with Catholicism to sort of “build the suspense” as it were, and allude to the fact that there was going to be A Very Special Surprise at this particular mass. Unfortunately, he was quite young, and hadn’t ever learned that there were people in the world who considered the Catholic Church to be the demonic offspring of the Anti-Christ and The Whore Of Babylon, and so was unaware of the increasing psychic burden he was placing upon me.
By the night of the ceremony I was completely freaked out, so I asked my mom if she would come with me, and she said yes. This was pretty hysterical now that I think about it, because if ever there were two “Good Girls” who would do anything to keep the peace and make sure that everyone liked them, it would be us (“What? Oh, you need some naked maidens to lie down on this altar up here, right underneath all those very large knives? Yeah, okay, sure. Where do we change?”) (So the moral of this story would be, Two Good Girls=No Protection Whatsoever Against Imagined Incursions By Hostile, Alien Religions.)
As it turns out, the Very Special Surprise ended up being nothing more than “The Blessing Of The Throats”, where they put two holy candles on your throat and bless you as a sort of a protection against getting sick, which, given the events of the past year, is actually pretty tame. (See: “Stool Transplants”, or, “The Horrifying Last Resort Treatment For C DIFF Which Thank God I Didn’t Have To Endure, But Which My Doctor Thinks Is Hilarious To Remind Me Of Every Time I Go In For An Office Visit, Even Though I’ve Been Free Of The Disease For Over A Year Now.)
But I am happy to report that everyone survived this incident completely intact, and he and I are getting ready to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary, and he has continued to be involved with Scouting over the years.
The reason I am bringing all of this up now is that he recently received the latest issue of “Scouting” magazine which has been lying on our kitchen table all week. It features a cover story entitled, “Camp Cooking Winners,” but every time I walk by I read it as “Camp Cooking Wieners“, which is no surprise, because despite my chronological age (thirty-six), I’m pretty sure that internally I’ve never gotten past the age of twelve.
However now that I am (allegedly) a grown-up, I feel a certain responsibility to “walk the moral high ground”, as it were, and refrain from even the thought of sexual euphemisms when it comes to an organization that deals with young children. I told my husband that I could feel the eyes of the Troop Leader featured on the cover following me whenever I walked by, silently condemning me for my improper behavior.
“Well if it really bothers you,” he said, “we can just turn the magazine over.” Which he did.
But unfortunately, this didn’t help at all. Because the entire back cover of the magazine is a full-sized ad which proclaims,
“NUTS FOR SCOUTING!”