A mini-van pulled into my driveway. This could mean only one thing. I pried my butt out of my chair and flew down the hallway with the grace of a gazelle bounding across rice fields in the Orient. Are there gazelles in the Orient? It doesn’t matter. My body launched into a triple cartwheel and landed on the banister, then I slid down it with my hands in the air and landed with a back flip and a petroleum jelly smile. Ta da!
I opened my front door to the Girl Scout of Few Words and, more importantly, her cookies.
Let me interrupt this Girl Scout cookie story with another Girl Scout cookie story. When I was a nine-year-old Brownie I was so shy that the concept of selling cookies to total strangers door-to-door made me want to cry, throw up, and hide under the bed. A non-scout friend tagged along for moral support and ended up doing all the talking for me, probably because she saw my face and realized that if she didn’t, I would cry at her, throw up on her, and hide under her bed. She was a good friend, even if she did teach me new four-letter words in her spare time.
At one house we sat for fifteen minutes while a woman and her elderly father pored over every cookie in the brochure. I awkwardly petted their yapping pet chihuahua on the head. It passed out to worship at the feet of the chihuahua goddess I’d suddenly become. Nervous and not accustomed to dogs, I ignored it. It loved me anyway because goddesses, even chihuahua goddesses, are always aloof, you know.
Meanwhile the woman and her father asked questions that I didn’t know how to answer. I hadn’t tasted the cookies yet and my friend had already recited the cookie sales script. Why did they have to ask me stuff? Why couldn’t they just leave me alone?
So when the Girl Scout of Few Words first showed up on my doorstep in January, I could relate to her pain. Yet I still made the mistake of asking questions that she didn’t know how to answer either. “What are the lemon cookies like?” I’d asked.
“They have, um, they’re lemon.” I’m not a salesperson, her eyes pleaded. The Organization is making do this so that I can wear a badge that will make it easy to rank my kind. Please order and let me go.
I saw the look, remembered the chihuahua, and decided not to ask a follow up question about the cinnamon cookies. We all know what her answer would have been anyway: “They have, um, they’re cinnamon,” possibly followed by a deep sigh.
When she and her dutiful parental mini-van showed up with my order, the desperate look in her eyes hadn’t changed.
“Hi!” I said, a little breathless from the few rounds I’d done on the pummel horse before I opened the door.
“Hi.” You know what to do. I know what to do. There’s no reason to bring conversation into this.
I paid and took my two boxes of Thin Mints and two boxes of Caramel de Lites off her clipboard.
“Thank you,” she said. I’m now done vocalizing for the rest of my life.
I don’t buy Girl Scout cookies because I enjoy them, although I do. I buy Girl Scout cookies because nobody did anything to me while I was selling them that warranted my crying, throwing up, or hiding under the bed. For that I’m grateful, and I owe it to other nauseated girls on the verge of tears to buy their cookies too.
By the way, I did not scrape up those gooey caramel coconut bits from the Caramel de Lites and lick them off my fingers. That’s appalling behavior that I do in secret on my own time without sharing the sordid details with readers.