I couldn’t tell you when Girl Scout season starts, but for me it is typically flagged by some child in a green vest looking at me with sad eyes on my way out of the grocery store when I’ve already spent more money than I anticipated on things like cheese and wine. Whoever came up with the idea to get these kids to beg you to buy cookies was a genius, because even if they weren’t delicious, I’d probably buy them out of sheer guilt.
But I don’t hate Girl Scout cookies. I’m a cookie addict. I keep my last box of “emergency cookies” in my fridge for months once I notice the last of the children hustlers have disappeared on my way out of the store.
So when I was having a long week last week, I called my parents while waiting for the bus up at Northgate Transit Center. It isn’t a dangerous place. I mean, I live in Seattle, so a “dangerous” area is a far cry from what is in my realm of knowledge here.
But I typically see people talking to themselves there or sleeping on benches through the course of the week. Like I said, I don’t feel unsafe, but it’s definitely not the ideal territory to be selling Girl Scout cookies (as most train stations/bus stops likely would not be). The little girl begging strangers to buy cookies with sad eyes would not work quite to her benefit there.
I was on the phone with my parents, running my mouth about the week when I saw my first green vest of the season skipping alongside her father, with her grandfather tugging a little red wagon full of cookies behind them. In that moment, I lost all sense of rationality and reason.
The little girl stopped talking to her dad and locked eyes with me, smelling my weakness like I was the weak gazelle, knowing I was going to cave for cookies, got a big grin on her face and got ready to pounce.
They were definitely in transit to the mall or someplace else, but this kid knew a sale when she saw one.
“Do you want some cookies?” she asked, grinning ear to ear, exposing a missing front tooth.
“I don’t have any cash on me!” I said sadly, phone still glued to my ear as my mom was putting up with me talking to strangers for the thousandth time while staying on the line.
“DAD!” The girl screamed in concern, jumping in the air. “Don’t you have the thing for your phone?”
The dad confirmed that I could, in fact, use a credit card now, as apparently Girl Scout technology has adapted to increase the cash flow.
I apologized to my mom, telling her I had to buy some cookies and I’d call her back and hung up, immediately feeling rude, my addiction overtaking all rational thoughts in my brain.
I handed the dad my credit card, and watched as my bus pulled into the station. I told them that they had about 2 minutes because I was on my way to meet a friend for dinner and had to catch that bus once it got into the right bay. I secretly debated how bad of a friend it would make me if I was 30 minutes late to dinner because I prioritized buying cookies over making it to dinner in time.
The dad’s hand started shaking as his daughter yelled “Hurry Dad! Her bus is coming! Hurry!”
The grandfather pulled out my boxes of Thin Mints, and I shoved them in my bag. The sale was finally complete and I ran toward my bus, thanking them for the weird bus stop sale, and realizing that maybe whipping out a credit card in the middle of a bus terminal was not the best decision for me or a child trying to sell cookies.
I made it to dinner on time, proudly told my story to my friend, who laughed, but then told me that he personally was going to cut back because of the number of calories in the girl scout cookies and that they weren’t great for you.
“Fuck you,” I lashed out, only partially joking. “I guess you aren’t getting a box of cookies now,” I threatened, as if maybe I was actually going to give away my precious thin mints.
“I don’t really like Thin Mints as much anyways.”
I looked at my friend in a way I’d never seen him before, as suddenly after knowing each other for nearly a decade, our friendship was on the crux because of our differences with girl scout cookies.
Later in the week, someone brought Girl Scout cookies into my office. I’m all about the Thin Mints, but there was a box of Savannah Smiles there, and as I sat through a training, I kept popping the bite sized lemony powdered sugar cookies into my mouth.
Before I realized it, I kept going back for more, and had to push the box away from me, as I was sure I was making an ass out of myself by almost eating the entire box by myself, a trail of powdered sugar around my lips pointing out the addict I was. And I shamelessly sat there and ate more.
I figured maybe this was a vice I did not have the self control to trying to kick any time in the near future, calorie count and all.