Ensemble Piece

I know this comes as a complete shock, but I am not what you’d call a “joiner”. I don’t belong to any sort of association, club, organization, or guild. The only activity I do that involves the participation of others is a once-weekly mat Pilates class at the yoga studio downstairs — a class that usually consists of just me, the instructor, and one or two other people.
I have never been a big “communal” person, and I’m definitely not a “team player”. A few years ago, when a diminutive “boss” relieved me of my obligation to work in his office, he cited as one of the reasons the fact that I was not a “team player”. (I told him that I refused to play on a team that had such a lousy coach … but that’s another story for another day.)
When I was eight, I joined the Brownies. But of course the Brownies were wasted on me. Not only did I hate the other little girls, but I loathed, detested, abhorred, and otherwise hated the crafts. I didn’t understand why anyone would want a tambourine made out of two flimsy paper plates filled with dry beans. I don’t know what words I used back then to express that something fucking sucked, but I know I uttered them under my breath the entire time I was stitching those two paper plates together with colorful yarn.
I sucked at selling cookies. I dreaded going from door to door trying to sell those things. In fact, either I’ve repressed the memory completely or else I didn’t do it at all, because I have no recollection of actually doing it. I’d like to think I managed to sell at least one box to the people who lived on either side of my house, but I really don’t think I did. No, I earned the coveted Cookie Monster patch the only way I could: by having my father take them to the office and unload them on his co-workers.
So why did I join the Brownies at all?
Do you really have to ask?
For the uniform, of course! I mean, who could resist the traditional Brownie uniform? The brown dress, brown belt, ankle socks with the impish Brownie emblem on the turned-over cuff. The pins. The troop number patch. The … the … the … beanie. Ahhh, that beanie!
How many hours of stomach pains and dread could have been avoided had I just confessed to my parents that all I wanted was the outfit? Yes, all I wanted was the outfit, to wear in the privacy of my own bedroom, where I could gaze admiringly at myself in the mirror. Alone!
You see, with me, it always comes down to the outfit. I don’t hike (yes, your second shock of the day), but I have a cute pair of hiking boots that I used to wear with shorts and a denim shirt when I wanted to fancy myself the outdoorsy type. I don’t ski, but I like to envision myself in a fabulous ensemble: form-fitting, somewhat shiny black pants/leggings; sleek black turtleneck; cobalt blue hoodless jacket with a silver-buckled belt cinching the waist; furry black headband pulling my hair off my rosy-cheeked face. (Boots? What boots? My leg is faux-broken and in a cast, and I am propped up in a cushy chair in the lodge, by a roaring fire, sipping hot chocolate and nibbling on chocolate chip cookies. I am also attended to by a stunning ski instructor who would rather adore me than be out “on the slopes”.)
You know, right now, I think I’d join a ski club and endure a long bus-ride (!) up to some ski resort somewhere, just so I could wear that outfit. (I’ll need boots to wear, though, pre-faux-leg-breaking!) When and where are we meeting?
P.S. Now I want a brownie. No, not this kindthis kind! Care to join me?)