Did you get your Thin Mints this year?
If not, then you are the only person within a 100-mile radius of me who didn’t get a box. Or twelve. Yes, folks, we have passed that time of year, that more-American-than-Thanksgiving extended holiday known as GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALES.
Some of you probably read that and experienced a personal moment, the memory of peanut butter Do-si-Dos exploding on your taste buds as if you were biting into the real thing. Good for you. Me, I wrote that sentence and heard the Shark’s Theme from Jaw’s.
If you got your Thin Mints, there is one thing I know for sure: You didn’t get them from me. With our collective troop sales rocketing into the four digits, my precious child, aided and abetted by yours truly, sold a whopping four boxes. Why?
BECAUSE I SUCK AT BEING A GIRL SCOUT MOM. In the 99-year history of our venerable organization, I am, I am quite certain, one of the worst Brownie moms the scouts have ever suffered. The blustery (read: hurricane-like) day we sallied forth to sugar-coat our city drove the point home.
My daughter and I arrive at our assigned post–outside a local market near dinnertime– to take over from a harried-looking mother and four soaked scoutlets who have already sold out of Thin Mints, Tag-Alongs and Samoas. “More are coming!” she says as she thrusts the crammed money-box into my hands. Her gaze shifts to my daughter. “Where’s her sash?”
I look at the other girls, decked out despite the impending flood in their Brownie regalia, patches marching proudly across their uniforms. Crap. Totally forgot about the sash. (Full disclosure: Totally lost the sash. Not a clue where it could be. )
“Um, she gets cold so easily. She’ll probably keep her coat on.” I glance at my daughter, who is in the process of flinging said coat to the sidewalk so she can play in the rain properly with her friends.
Harried mother ushers her girls home for dinner as we prepare to take over. Almost immediately people line up for their annual Girl Scout Cookie fix. “How much is a box?” asks the first woman in line.
Dunno. I study the cheat sheet, and I cannot help it: “FOUR DOLLARS???!!!” I cry out. “They want four dollars for these tiny boxes? Are they kidding?”
Whoopsie. I’ve noticed since menopause that I tend to be saying the things I think I’m only thinking.
The woman second in line steps forward. “Don’t the proceeds help make Girl Scout camps accessible to all?”
The Girl Scouts have a camp?
I clam up, selling a box or two of lemon sandwich cookies, mostly telling people they’ll have to wait or come back later for their Thin Mints, Samoas and Tag-a-Longs. Several people choose to wait, keeping us company. I mind my manners. Until…
I wonder what’s in these things….
When you are a mother in her twenties or thirties, reading food labels is the responsible thing to do. At fifty, when most of your conversations with girlfriends eventually wander around to whose husband is going in for angioplasty and which coworker has been diagnosed with diabetes, reading food labels is simply self-defense. So, while the lingering customers debate which is better–Samoas or Tag-a-Longs—I peruse the ingredients label….
“God in heaven, they make little kids sell this JUNK?!!!”
The area around me grows silent.
Okay, I admit it: I’m not cut out for this. I don’t know our troop number, I still don’t understand how the girls earn their patches, I don’t multi-task like I used to, and what is a Brownie Quest???
I like the Girl Scouts (not their cookies), I really do. I visited the web site today to look into this camp thing. Gosh, they do a lot of great things. Plus, there’s all those songs and secret hand squeezes and pledges and stuff. But we’re already taking violin and dance and gymnastics, hosting a Spanish class and embarking on unit studies at home. I need to sit down. I need to do things that do not require sashes. I think I owe it to the Girl Scouts of America to leave this particular rite of childhood to other, more organized mothers.
I’m going to make a batch of thumb print cookies now (agave sweetened). When my daughter gets home from school, we’re going to watch I Love Lucy on DVD. If the Girl Scouts come up with a patch for that, I may reconsider. Until then…