Look, I know this post is long, but it is SO worth it. I promise.
I've always found this particular experience of my life to be pretty funny, even when it was happening. I hope it changes your life forever, as it did mine.
Once upon a time, I used to go to girls camp with the Young Women's program at my church. Girls camp was always a joyous event, full of laughter and good memories and overall happiness. It happened to be my fifth year going, in which I was to be a YCL (Youth Camp Leader). It was my job to be over 5 or so girls in the 3rd year group. My job was to be their mentor of sorts, and to provide general friendship and a good example in my wise old age of 16. Two of my dear friends were in this group (a one Holly Hall and a Hailee Maus), so I deliberately chose them to be under my direction.
One of the requirements of being a YCL in this particular year was that the girls I was in charge of all slept in my tent. So, there was me, Holly, Hailee, and two other girls who I had never met. One was fairly pleasant, and the other...let's just say she didn't have the happiest disposition of the girls at camp. It was clear that she was at camp against her own free-will and volition, and was going to take her displeasure out on anyone who stood in the way of her being miserable (me being one of the main targets of this frustration, as I was supposed to make her go to activities, etc). For the purposes of this story, we shall call her DENver (yes, the capital letters do make a difference. It's DEN-ver).
I believe it was on our second night there, that another good friend of ours sneaked over from the 4th year camp to spend some quality time in our tent with us. The pleasant girl and DENver had (or so I thought) gone to sleep. At the very least, both of them had promptly put in headphones, laid down, and closed their eyes. Suffice it to say, I assumed them incapable of hearing our conversation. This was where my folly began.
There we were, the four of us, all trying to sleep on a queen-sized blow up mattress. I don't know how much you know about blow up mattresses, but when they claim that one of these is a "queen," it's really only about the size of a small full. So, as was necessary, we all laid on our sides, in what some would call a "spooning" position. We thought nothing of this, other than the fact that it was funny that we were spooning with one another on this tiny bed, and laughing all the while at the ridiculousness of it all. All of our fun was in complete innocence.
To make matters worse, we were all tired and, as a consequence, feeling rather silly. Caley (the sneaker-over) kept saying the word "spoon" in a very deep voice as she wrapped her arms around as many of us as she could and squeezed us together as hard as she could (which, if you know Caley, can be very hard indeed). Our foolishness continued, until Caley said to me, "Brooklyn, if we're not married by the time we're 40, will you be my lesbian friend?"
Let me pause to give you a brief interlude on my relationship with Caley. We were the best of friends, and comments like this were not uncommon between us. Mainly it was our way of saying that we would still be friends long into our lives, and probably that we would grow up being so silly that no man in his right mind would marry either of us, and we would end up being 2 old cat ladies living together.
Back to the story: I quickly responded with "Of course!" and the moment passed after some laughter from our friends. Soon enough, our discourse ended, and we all drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, as our morning activities ensued, DENver was her usual, grumpy self. She had another grumpy friend at camp, and they had banded together in their anger at being at camp against their will. DENver had asked to move into the tent with the other grumpy girl, which I assumed was because the tent was bigger (ours was rather small) and also just so they could mourn the loss that they wouldn't be able to make out with their boyfriends for an entire week while being held hostage at our horrible camp.
At breakfast, somehow the topic of our conversation in the tent the previous night came up. However, one of our leaders (basically just one of the adults over our camp) overheard, and asked us what in the world had gone on in our tent that night. We simply told her that Caley had sneaked over to our tent, and that much foolishness had ensued. However, it was at this point that I was made aware of the connection between our conversation the previous night and DENver asking to move to another tent.
Apparently, she had overheard the whole thing, and was now terrified of me because I was, clearly, a lesbian. Being 13 years old and having to share a tent with a 16 year-old lesbian can, I imagine, be rather terrifying. So much so, in fact, that you must remove yourself completely from the situation. I could understand why DENver had done this.
However, being a YCL, and therefore requiring myself to be an example to the younger girls I was over, I realized that I must rectify the situation and make it known to her (and I'm assuming all the girls in her new tent, who I was certain she had told) that I was not, in fact, a lesbian. I didn't want them avoiding me for the rest of the week like I was going to come after them in a lustful rage.
I thought I had timed my approach wisely. I was very wrong indeed.
When I walked into their tent to give my speech, most of them were changing their clothes and were, consequently, in their underwear. This did not help them to believe my story.
However, I did the best that I could to tell them that I had merely been joking around with the other girls in my tent, that we weren't lesbians, and that they didn't have to feel weird around us.
I don't think that it worked. They avoided me from there on out.
I didn't ever really care. I'd done my very best to tell them the truth, and I knew that their bad attitudes were probably the main inhibitor of my truth-telling. I was only fearful that they would tell all the other girls in our year, and then they would all avoid me.
This story ends well. DENver and her unhappy friend were both sent home from camp the next day for bad behavior. Their wish was granted, my reputation was saved, and camp in general was much happier from that moment on.
I will never forget, however, my brief period of being a supposed lesbian. Also, I never hesitate to share this story when on a camping trip, and in fact did so recently. I thought I was only sharing it with my tent mate, but apparently shared with every tent within the vicinity/hearing range of my tent.
All is well, and I have shared one of the happiest memories I have with you. I hope it brought you as much joy as it did for me to live it, as well as to write it.
Goodnight, all. And, if we're both not married by the time we're 40, will you be my lesbian friend?