Just when the Valentines Day chocolate is all burned off, those darn Girl Scouts come around with their cookies.
Full disclosure: I was a Girl Scout, and yes, I sold cookies. I hated the cookie selling back then. It was a pain in my young slacker ass.
I remember we were given huge poster size order forms. As much as I admired the colorful columns, I usually only had a dozen or less names on my sheet. I was not a cookie order go-getter.
Fortunately, for our Girl Scout troop, my cookie slackness was made up for by Lisa Lovell. Lisa sold millions of cookies. She was the kind of girl scout that other troop leaders would try to woo away with flowers, cards, or an extra week at Camp Hilaka (get it, the lake is high).
I've lost track of Lisa. I figure she either OD-ed or she's some international jetsetting business woman with a Bluetooth permanently in her ear so she can link to other members of the successful collective. Or maybe she's a humanitarian---the successful kind---like a doctor without borders or a WMD inspector. She could be a stay at home mom with a perpetually clean house. Who knows, she could even be a Girl Scout leader or cookie mom (the mom in charge of the cookies).
Back in the day, Lisa's order form was covered from top to bottom with orders as well as notes and leads scribbled on the other side. Lisa did not appreciate the aesthetic neatness of the form like I did. No, she used the form for its sole intended purpose---to sell cookies.
If she had the money, she probably could have hired an office temp to help her, but no one would be able to keep up with Lisa's brain. She hustled to get the orders and she hustled to deliver her cookies. I remember one time, after a troop meeting at my house Lisa used the kitchen phone to call her clients in order to catch them at work.
At the end of the year, Lisa always collected the most incentives for a job well done. I don't think she really cared about them. It was the thrill of the sale for her. If you sold 100 boxes, you got a T-shirt, and the loot just got better from there. I looked at the cookie prizes as a bad pipe dream---impossible to achieve but not really worth it anyway. I just liked to go camping.
Last week, outside of Trader Joes, the Girl Scouts had their table set up. After buying two of my staples, coffee and gin, I headed over to the cookie table. I always liked the part of the cookie sale when you got to set up a table with cookies. Maybe it's an instant gratification thing, but boxes of cookies were always easier to sell than orders of boxes of cookies.
So over I went to the cookie table, and I asked the Junior (who will be a Cadette next year) how much the boxes were.
‘Four dollars.' She told me. It had gone up.
I then noticed her vest with all the badges on it. I had worn some of the same badges. The wings meant she had been a Brownie and had flown up to Juniors. The star pins represent the years she had been a scout. She had a wildlife badge. I had earned the wildlife badge.
I looked at the cookies. The flavors hadn't changed much. There were thin mints, do-si-dos (peanut butter oatmeal), and tagalongs (chocolate with peanut butter). Those were my big three. There were Samoas with chocolate and coconut. As a cookie seller, I saw grown women go orgasmic over samoas before I knew what orgasmic meant. There were the short bread medallions which were pretty blah to me but my Mom liked to dip them in her tea. There was a new sugar free cookie which seemed so wrong to me.
Girl Scout cookies did teach me things. They taught me moderation. Since they only came out once a year, you had to eat them slowly in order for them to last. They also freeze really well---especially the thin mints.
I bought the thin mints and the do-si-dos. I passed the cash to the leader and dropped the boxes on top of the gin. I wished the scouts all the best. The Junior told me they were going camping in a few months. Good for them.
I loved the camping trips. I can start a fire with one-match. Yep. I've got skills. Looking back, I don't think Lisa Lovell ever made a one-match fire.