I have sensed Girl Scout cookie season on the horizon now for a while. There is a change in the air when I know it’s right around the corner. But I hadn’t seen them in person in Seattle to fill the cookie void in my life.
I mentioned this to my parents on the phone one day, as any rational person would, when my dad mentioned that he had already bought cookies at the grocery store in Indiana.
I figured our cold and shitty February weather in Seattle had perhaps disrupted the cookie selling time-table. But Indiana has had a worse winter than Seattle by far, and those girls were out hustling in the snow and ice.
Maybe Seattle Girl Scouts just didn’t have it in them. I wondered if they would even appear this season. I have still been wearing a winter coat in March, so maybe they weren’t built to sell cookies in this kind of weather.
Then when I least expected it, it happened. The sun had finally started peeking out in Seattle, and the Girl Scouts emerged from their hibernation.
I was walking out of Trader Joe’s and saw the table with four of them chanting and trying to drum up business.
After picking up my groceries, I stopped by their table, and one of the mothers there pushed a shy girl standing in the back up to me, who quietly asked, “Would you like to buy some cookies?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “I’d like some thin mints please.”
She looked at me, downtrodden. “We are all out of thin mints.”
“What about those lemon ones with the powdered sugar? Savannah Smiles?”
“We are sold out of those too,” she said. I could hear myself accidentally crushing a child’s spirit. I instantly regretted walking up to them in the first place.
“All we have left is what’s on the table.”
One of her friends jumped in and said, “Have you tried the S’Mores yet? They are my favorite.”
These kids had their hustle going strong, and as guilty as I felt, I figured they must’ve had a good day to be sold out of every cookie that I wanted.
I apologized, wished them luck, and walked away feeling like a complete asshole.
Then a few days passed, and I went to my local grocery store, seeing tables set up outside and knowing that I would have another shot to redeem myself and make up for ruining one child’s life by making another one’s day.
Not one of them even acknowledged me when I walked into the store. And when I walked out I heard a tiny voice say as if she didn’t really give a shit and was bored, “Do you wanna buy some cookies?”
I went to buy them. I asked if they accepted credit cards, and the other child just pointed up to the handmade sign that said they accepted Visa and MasterCard.
I was not feeling the vibe of these kids, who could give a fuck if I bought cookies or not. I wanted the other troupe from the Trader Joe’s day.
But being the addict I am, I went ahead and bought two boxes as one of the girls swiped my card on her iPhone square and had me sign with my finger like it was putting her out to make her work this hard.
I didn’t appreciate the attitude, and I also didn’t feel redeemed for turning away from the troupe a few days earlier.
I wanted to share some helpful tips about being less bitchy as a 7-year-old to get more sales, but then again, I bought the cookies anyways so did it matter? These girls had the last laugh. They knew they had a product that would sell itself.
I contemplated their attitudes the whole walk back to my apartment. But at the end of the day, regardless of the salesperson, the cookies tasted just as sweet.