Girl Scout Cookies Make Me Think of Krissy
Krissy’s parents let her drink Kool-Aid and so I got to drink Kool-Aid when I was there. My mother would have nothing to do with Kool-Aid. Krissy and I both had the Disney Channel, and we both watched the New Mickey Mouse Club religiously. Her favorite girl was Tiffany; mine was DeeDee. Her favorite boy was Damon and mine was Chase. We watched the MMC (I was just reminded of this insiders nickname after a more difficult google search than I anticipated) in the late 80s when our favorites were the stars of the show. The second wave of stars in the early 90’s included Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and the girl from Felicity. I wasn’t watching it then. The cast I loved had moved on to a short lived band called The Party which had one or two songs that did fairly well on Casey’s top 40.
It was at Krissy’s house where I first saw Dirty Dancing. It was also at Krissy’s that I first played Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers II, and III. My thumbs would be numb after spending the night at her house. She introduced me to The Babysitters Club books and we went to at least one New Kids on the Block concert together in St. Louis. I have a lot of good memories of this friendship.
Krissy’s parents smoked. That was weird. I had never been exposed to that much cigarette smoke. Their house always smelled like stale air and smoke. It was dark and a little cloudy. They had terrible carpets and furniture. And even at the time, I knew that although there were things that I could do at Krissy’s that I wasn’t allowed to do or didn’t have access to at home – Kool-Aid, Dirty Dancing, a Nintendo - I preferred the clean air and the well-lit rooms at my house. Krissy had chronic bronchitis and was sick a lot. Probably because of the smoke, my mom told me.
I also first saw (and probably heard) of birth control at Krissy’s. She had two older half-sisters who were in their 20s. One of them had a baby in the years that I knew Krissy. She wasn’t married. I didn’t know that could happen – having a baby without being married. I didn’t quite understand the abortion subplot of Dirty Dancing.
Sometime in the fifth grade, Krissy had our friend Amy over to stay the night. Krissy, Amy, and I were all in the same Girl Scout troupe. We had some kind of an event on Saturday morning. Amy had stayed at Krissy’s Friday night and had come to the event with her and her mom. I was already a little jealous that someone else had stayed over in my place. But as Krissy’s mom dropped Krissy and Amy off, I saw something that made me sick to my stomach with jealousy and rejection. Krissy’s mom stood facing Amy on the sidewalk outside the car. She put her hands on Amy’s shoulders. Krissy’s mom told Amy how glad she was that Amy had spent the night and what a pleasure it was having her and how they would love to have her come back any time. Krissy was standing near them, and I was just a little further off and completely within earshot. I had been spending the night at Krissy’s for three years and had never gotten this kind of attention from her mom. I had always been a good guest – I thought. I still think.
I was washing dishes on Saturday when this memory came to mind. I remember it so vividly by hadn’t thought of it in probably 13 years. As I write about it, I still feel hurt. Isn’t that weird? And it’s weirder because it wasn’t Krissy who chose Amy over me. It was her mom. I wasn’t friends with her mom; I was friends with Krissy. Krissy never spurned me or brushed me off. As I said, we were friend until she moved away. I think it was unfair for her mother to show that kind of favoritism toward her kid’s friend in earshot of her kid’s other friends. I had been Krissy’s friend a lot longer than Amy and had put in a lot more quality time with the Kerchers, but I wasn’t their favorite. That really bothered me. I don’t think I got much out of that day’s Girl Scout outing. I think we were collecting canned goods set out on neighborhood porches.