I am starting a lemonade stand.

When you spend about 21 years of your life as a gawky, closeted lesbian, much time is passed listening to Savage Garden, watching British romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant, and voting for Kelly Clarkson on American Idol – practices that effectively delay adolescence by about fifteen years. Suddenly, you find yourself in your early 20s, thrown into the cruel cesspool that is coming of age. Here you are, at age 22, drinking klassily like a 15-year-old boy at a New Hampshire boarding school. Suddenly, you are 24 and find yourself in a scene reminiscent of the middle school dance you tried to avoid.  It has followed you to this San Francisco lesbian bar where time seems to have died at or around 1998. There is Alanis Morrisette is blaring on the Dolby surround sound. There is little to no dancing, a lot of sheepish grins and glares, and plenty of people walking around in pants that don’t fit properly – yourself included.

And one day you wake up at age 25 and you just really, really want to run a lemonade stand. It’s a beautiful temperate day in the Bay Area and you think it will be better now than it would have been at age nine in Texas – a chubby, perspiring Vietnamese kid standing alone in unbearable Houston humidity, quietly uttering “Lemonade for Sale” to an empty cul-de-sac. The thought of that pre-pubescent voice reverberating in vast nothingness is enough to launch a series of lemonade stands!

Stand 1: Lemonade named after formerly closeted 90s pop stars, sold at the San Francisco Dyke March in June of 2012

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Featuring:  The Lance Bass (Mango Lemonade), The Queen Latifah (Nectarine Basil Lemonade), The Ricky Martin (Watermelon Lemonade), and The Sporty Spice (Indeed, she is gay in all of our imaginations…Strawberry Mint).  And my partner as an extremely suave lemonade hustler.

Lemonade Stand 2: Jenny from the Block Lemonade Stand – Jennifer Lopez themed lemonade, sold at a yard sale in the Upper Haight, July 2012

Price: “Our love don’t cost a thing, thing, thing – donations accepted.”

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Featuring: “Waiting for (it) toRipe” (Basil Nectarine Lemonade) and “I’m Real (Strawberries) REEEEEEMIXXXX Featuring Mint” (Self Explanatory).

This one was inspired by my irrational love of Jennifer Lopez for introducing non-Tejano music listening ears to Selena.  As we all know, in Texas, Selena is Jesus, Jesus is God, and God is president because Barack Obama is a Muslim.*

Coming soon to Washington, DC – stand 3: Flamboyantly pink lemonades named after conservative Supreme Court Justices.

Featured flavors to be determined, but it will most definitely feature a “Clarence Thomas” lemonade with quiet, near silent tones of mint.

*Editor’s Note:  Barack Obama is not a Muslim.

I am, seasonally, an advocate for the Girl Scouts of America.

Each spring, I post my ode to the thing Thomas Edison wish he had invented: Girl Scout Cookies.  I find that although my writing and my politics evolve with age, my love of Girl Scout Cookies is constant, steadfast, unwavering.  A foreword to the original entry written in 2010:

  • The secret ingredient baked into Girl Scout cookies must be methamphetamines.*  Otherwise, what other logical explanation is there for my being able to inhale two full lines of cookies mindlessly and within a single two-minute sitting – often alone and in a room with melancholic lighting.
  • I am livid that the Short Bread cookies are a fixed item on the cookie menu.   They’re the thimbles of the Monopoly pieces, the Chris Kirkpatricks of NSYNC, the Millard Fillmores of US Presidents.  So much space on those Little Red Flyers could be made for Samoas, Tagalongs, and other unintentionally racially-charged cookies.
  • Every year, I approach a Girl Scouts cookie table with a very resolute goal of leaving with no more than two boxes.  And, every year, those sharks dole out the same marketing ploy, forcing me to leave with at least three boxes of cookies.  Something about me seems to say, “send the littlest Asian” because I always end up head-to-head with a bespeckled third-grader who sifts and fumbles through boxes, clumsily handing me my Lemonades and Caramel deLites.  It is enough for me to exclaim, “FUCK ALL Y’ALL, I’LL BUY THE ENTIRE STAND.”
  • It is 2013 and nothing has changed – except there’s a Girl Scout app now!  OMG.

Written in Spring of 2010:

As I sat down on the bus this evening watching a mother and her daughter fumble through boxes, I was reminded that this week begins the best season of the year.  Yes it is, indeed, Girl Scout cookie season — the most celebrated, socially acceptable, delicious form of child labor in the world.

I partake in the mass consumption of Samoas, my favorite cookie, despite objections to the culturally insensitive cookie name for a few reasons.  First, I am not going to lie — I am a pretty big hypocrite.  I am, after all, a 23-year-old San Francisco liberal and hypocrisy is as frequent as pretending to know who Marcel Proust is in this city (no, he is not a tennis player).  Second, I have an insatiable sweet tooth, embodied by the miraculous disappearance of jars of Nutella in this apartment.  The final reason can be relayed in a story:

When I was an elementary school student growing up in Houston, Texas, I wanted to be a Girl Scout.  I wanted to see what the inside of the neighborhood club house looked like.  I would later find out that it merely had four walls and an old, questionable couch rather than butlers carrying around decadent finger foods like corn dogs.  Mostly, I just wanted to see what white people did on the weekends.  The lone five or so white girls in our neighborhood were all Girl Scouts and they seemed to have Babysitter’s Club-esque fun.  I would later find out that white people in Texas sold cookies, canoed, went to church, and voted for George Herbert Walker Bush.

I think I was about 10 when I asked my father if I could become a Girl Scout.  My father, a Vietnam War Veteran and, thus, an embittered conspiracy theorist proceeded to tell me that the Girl Scouts was a large scale government operation whereby little girls sold cookies in an effort to fund and expand the United States military.  Please imagine receiving this very serious exchange, conducted in Vietnamese, during your formative adolescent years.  Suffice to say, I did not become a Girl Scout, but I did attend Georgetown University.  Yes, those two are related.

From then on, I opted to sort of live the Girl Scout life vicariously through the consumption of their cookies.  On a serious note, I have always told myself that when I have daughters, I would give them the option of becoming Girl Scouts (unless, of course, the military expansion is directly proportional to the selling and consumption of Do-Si-Dos).  And I was further reminded of this when I proceeded to purchase three boxes of cookies.  My seller was an adorable Asian girl who looked exactly like me when I was that age.  Wow, I am a sap.

Speaking of which, can we please discontinue the Asian girl bowl haircut?  It is traumatizing.

Editor’s Note:  They’re probably not made out of methamphetamines.  It’s a joke, Girl Scouts of America attorneys.