Soon we're going to delve into fourth grade's magnum opus, We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?, a tale about a group of boy-crazy gals of varying hair shades who form a club to stave off their testosterone addiction. Since we're going to be, uh, "in da club," as it were, for quite a few posts—the story is 24 pages typed, and most of that is single spaced, egad!—I thought it would behoove us to first discuss the grave, grave importance of clubs to the elementary schooler. And also because I have some club paraphernalia that's just begging to get on the Internets...
Half of the allure of the club was the sense of community/common bond, or at least co-conspiracy. I don't know about you guys, but most of my clubs tended to involve an element of secrecy—and then, of course, lording those secrets over people who were NOT in the club. Because the other half of a club's allure—let's admit it—was the fun of excluding other people. Kids are kind of jerks that way.
The first—and definitely most embarrassing—club I can recall being a member of was in third grade, and... well, I'll just let these Club Notes speak for themselves:
Name: USA crushers
What: Crush something on a boy's midsection (balls) or kill people (beat them up.)
Meet at benches
Talk beat up T.M. [I believe this is shorthand for "Talk about who we're going to beat up tomorrow."]
Girl stuff [I guess the "slaves" got to cut out early.]
I would like to stress that no balls were actually harmed during the brief lifespan of the USA Crushers (prematurely cut short—dare I say, neutered?—when Jessica's mom found out about it and nearly had a nervous breakdown). We did subject the "slaves" to a hazing ritual in which they were supposed to crush their own balls, but I believe we let them get away with some light taps to the "midsection." Michael had a crush on Jessica, so I think he may have gone at it with a bit more gusto in an attempt to impress her. Yes, by hitting himself in the nuts.
Seriously, the USA Crushers were all talk. Most of that talk was about who deserved to have their balls crushed, hypothetically. I think we thought of ourselves as vigilantes. Hypothetical testicle-maiming vigilantes. Or something. Oh, what do I know? I was only an assistant.
Our next club, in fourth grade, was strictly for the ladies—no balls allowed, crushed or otherwise. Check out this club ballot written up by Jessica:
Club names: VOTE:
5. Rinkets [I'm pretty sure that's what it says; I have no idea what it means.]
6. Vibrations [Uh, ew?]
7. T.G.'s [If I'm not mistaken, that stands for Tough Girls.]
Club colors: VOTE:
1. Pink purple
2. Purple & Blue
3. Yellow & Green
4. Pink Green
For those of you not of age in 1988, that's Friends Forever for the girls and True Love Always for the boys. Our official club name and colors, though, I have no memory of. It's quite possible we never voted, as most of our elementary school plans came to little, if any, fruition. But thanks to this magical time machine called the Internet, you can ALL cast your club vote! (See polls—but if the Rinkets wins, I might demand a recount.)
I did, however, find this list of proposed club activities for the Heartbreaking Brooksie Vibrations.
I. boy books
I don't know why I felt I needed this, as my diary was pretty much a boy book already.
2. list faults
Pointing out your friends' flaws? Always a great idea!
3. write rags to riches
4. secret names
5. code letters
These kind of go without saying, don't they?
6. share secrets
7. dream books
9. record book
Not quite sure what we were recording...
I0. make-up EX.
Does that stand for makeup EXPERIMENTS? I think it does!
II. make clothes
I was really excited for us to fashion some, uh, fashions until my mom burst my bubble with the concept of "seam allowance." We probably had to settle for puffy painted Hanes. Again.
I2. held at members houses
As opposed to the playground, I suppose.
In fifth grade we had two clubs. The first, the K.I.D.S. Club (whose acronym meaning has long been forgotten by me), was spearheaded by my friend Sherron and had an actual point—which was (shockingly!) NOT to detail our obsessions with 10-year-old boys! Instead, its aim was to petition the U.S. government to declare a national Kids' Day. Oh, yes it was. I remember having at least one meeting, but I don't think our petition was ever signature-ready.
The other club was, of course, the requisite Baby-sitters Club ripoff, because who doesn't want to leave their children in the hands of an elementary schooler?
A Baby-Sitting Club
United Kids and Sitters
I was serious as a heart attack. Or at least Stacey's diabetes.
President - Katie
Vice President - Jessica
Secretary - Sada [Appropriate, because although the self-righteous, ahem, "individual" Dawn was inexplicably my favorite BSC-er, I was in actuality more like Mary Anne. Sans Logan.]
Treasurer - Casey
Alternate Officer - Maggie
And if the alternate officer wasn't enough in-your-face BSC poaching, there was also this:
5. Other ideas:
Kid-Kits (boxes filled with toys, books, and games to take on jobs)
Actually, maybe I was the Kristy in this scenario. Frightening. Naturally, this club was doomed as well. Too many logistics and, oh yeah, turns out we had very little experience actually watching children while unsupervised. Go figure.
NEXT TIME: Can they live without boys? Here's a clue: The book was originally titled simply We Can Live Without Boys. And then I added the ...Can't We?
10 months ago