Thursday, October 3, 2013


hat, vintage / silk blouse, vintage / shorts, AA / platforms, nicole / bag, vintage Coach / sunglasses, Anthro / belt, vintage

I love uniforms. From the time I entered kindergarten to the day I threw my graduation cap into the air I wished my schools had required them, but they didn't, so I joined activities that did. First came Girl Scouts, which is what this outfit reminds me of. I was so excited to become a scout and loved collecting all the camping gear I'd need to survive (and look cute) in the wilderness. But then, something horrible happened. I went to Girl Scout camp. When my cousin and I arrived everything appeared as I'd always dreamed it would; there was a lake for endurance swim tests and sailing lessons, hundreds of acres of woods to explore, and stables of horses just begging to be nuzzled. Just as I was planning what color wool socks I'd wear on my first hike, a startling figure darkened the doorway of the mess hall, silencing all of the campers without saying a word. That figure's name was Opis, and he, or, she, was my camp counselor. 

I say "he, or, she" because it wasn't clear what gender Opis was, or even identified with. Because of her giant breasts we settled on "she," but her six foot tall frame and thick five o'clock shadow was nothing we'd ever seen on a woman before. To an 11 year old who had a very limited understanding of the gray area of the gender/sex scale, Opis was intimidating, fascinating, and terrifying. I don't think we campers would have thought much of her beard had she been kind to us. After all, we were sprouting hair in new places, too, but Opis had the persona of a bull. Leave her alone and she'd remain aloof. Ask her where the extra milk cartons were for your soap candle project and she'd snort and stamp her foot, ready to charge if you pushed her further. 

Day after day we campers would line up single file, march to breakfast, march to our assigned actives, then march to dinner. It started to wear on us in different ways. My cousin and I wrote tear-stained letters home, begging our parents to come rescue us. The girls in the neighboring tent took advantage of Opis' neglect and sought refuge in drugs, or what they thought were drugs. Their plan to roll up marijuana leaves they found in the woods and smoke them backfired when it turned out they didn't know what marijuana leaves looked like, and smoked poison oak leaves instead. We woke up the next morning to the sounds of ambulances rushing towards the clearing by our tents, and the girls were taken away on stretchers, not to be seen or heard from again. 

Not that I stuck around to find out. The poison oak incident was enough to get my mother to take my cousin and I home early. On the way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen where I sucked down an extra large, lemon-lime Mr. Misty, listening to my mother fill me on all of the stupid things my brother had tried to do to my room since I'd been gone.  

"So, are you done with camping forever? my mother asked. 
"Oh, probably," I mused. "But I really like all the accessories."

1 comment :

  1. These photos are beautiful and that hat just pulls this whole uniform together. Of course, the photos are what I first notice and then I get really excited to read your stories and this has to be my favorite post. Sounds like a terrifying experience at camp, even the woman man's name doesn't have a clearly identified sex it goes with hahhahaha, thanks for the laugh today