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The Politics of Girl Scout Cookies

February 8, 2011

We’re just barely into 2011 and already the world is in turmoil. Egypt is breaking apart. California’s economy is a sinking ship. Toyota is recalling thousands of cars. And probably worst of all, Girl Scout Cookie season is in full force and it’s more political than ever.

It used to be that you were buying Thin Mints and Do-si-dos from the cute  Daisies, Brownies and Girl Scouts themselves. You felt a sense of pride shelling out a few bucks to get that little girl to camp, remembering how you once sold cookies in the neighborhood, at the grocery store, or in front of the video store (I’m dating myself).

But now, it’s a whole new ballgame. You’re not buying from the Scout herself. You’re buying from mom and dad, who just happen to be friends, colleagues, bosses, school acquaintances, and family members. Now it’s personal, on an adult level. Feelings will be hurt. Friendships severed. All over boxes of cookies!

Just the other day, I go into work and there it was … the cookie order form on the wall. This one belonged to my new boss (his daughters are Scouts; not him). Knowing I can’t pass this one up, I happily checked the box next to the Trefoils and Tagalongs. I can do two boxes. I’m feeling okay.

I then turn on my computer and the  Facebook status updates are being furiously changed by my friends and fell0w-parents pedaling their cookies. Buy from me, says one. Support my daughter, says another.

One colleague posted a video of his little girl asking us to please buy her cookies. Sophie saw the video and thought that cute kid was her. How can I resist that? Put me down for some Samoas, I said. Later that evening, another friend is asking me to support her kid. And then I find out Bryan (who doesn’t even like Girl Scout cookies) committed to two boxes of Tagalongs from one of his friends. Before I can say “no more cookies,” I’m asked to buy a box for Operation Thin Mint. Who can say no to the Troops?! That’s just downright unAmerican.

I’m starting to have a panic attack and it’s only Day 3 of cookie season! How many boxes have I committed to? Am I going to have to budget half of this month’s salary to the Girl Scouts? (At $4 a pop, it’s not that far off.)

I practically slammed my front door on a neighborhood girl the other day because I’d already given at the office. And how sad is that, really?! That little girl is going door-to-door, the way it’s supposed to be done. I’ll probably be so riddled with guilt by the end of cookie season that I’ll be wondering my neighborhood streets looking for that poor kid so I can set things right.

And did I mention that this year, the pressure is really on because those little salesgirls have the cookies right there in their hands? Gone are the old days where they’d take your order and you’d wait two months until the blessed treats arrived. Now it’s instant gratification. The boxes sell themselves. And I’m not sure this is a good thing.

So please – those of you who know me – don’t ask me to buy another box. I don’t need the calories. My pantry is full. And I’m tapped out until payday.

Oh, the cookies... (Google Images)

Google Images

 

13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 11:42 pm

    I haven’t bought any so far, and I’ve only been asked once, by my next door neighbor. She’s in fourth grade and now I’m feeling guilty that I said no. I think I’ll knock on her door and beg her to sell me some.

  2. Megan permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:12 am

    I’ll remember this next time Gavin is selling his Cub Scout popcorn. LOL. BTW, I feel the same way. I’ve bought from 4 already!

    • leahsinger permalink
      February 9, 2011 10:21 am

      It seems like the Cub Scouts are far less competitive with respect to sales. Of course, I’m happy to support you and Gavin!

  3. February 9, 2011 9:25 am

    Haha! I just got asked to buy cookies too *sigh* Something came up and I had to run, hopefully she doesn’t remember to ask me again lol. I only buy the lemon cookies from my boss. Good luck. I hope you don’t get asked again lol

    • leahsinger permalink
      February 9, 2011 10:20 am

      Oh, the lemon creme … I forgot about those! I may need to dig up another $4.

  4. February 9, 2011 9:52 am

    Haha, so true! There is so much guilt involved with these cookies and all the other school fundraisers. My parents would never bring my order forms to work for me when I was growing up. They went with me door-to-door, but wouldn’t ask their colleagues. I was mad at the time, but understand now! As for the cookie overload, I usually just donate most of my obligation orders back to the Girl Scouts so I don’t have them in my pantry! I can’t be trusted.

    • leahsinger permalink
      February 9, 2011 10:20 am

      Same here! My parents would laugh in our faces if they were responsible for selling those cookies. It builds character, I say.

  5. February 9, 2011 10:13 am

    Thanks for bringing this very important issues– and the politics it entails– to light. Thankfully, my circle of friends seem to have daughters who have either outgrown or dropped out of the Girl Scouts organization. And I don’t have a doorbell.

    I say thankfully, not because I don’t want girls to sing about making new friends and such, but because I have no willpower when it comes to thin mints (truly American) and shortbreads.

    • leahsinger permalink
      February 9, 2011 10:19 am

      I have seriously considered removing my door bell to avoid these exact situation.

  6. February 9, 2011 12:43 pm

    Totally agree!! I, for one, love those gosh darn cookies. At our grocery stores, the girl scouts camp out and hunt you down as you are heading to your car. At least, the girls soliciting you are girls that you know! My sweet little neighbor girl came and knocked on our door, and she is getting my full order this year. Unless of course another girl asks me, then I’ll probably decide that I need another box (or 50) of Samoas.

  7. February 9, 2011 7:04 pm

    I love this post, Leah! I can’t believe they aren’t really ‘door to door’ anymore–Facebook? OMG! There is too much pressure, on such a sweet old-fashioned product. Don’t get me started on “Sally Foster wrapping paper!”

  8. February 9, 2011 8:07 pm

    I never knew it was a season for selling cookies and I think by reading your comments
    Leah just committed to few more boxes.

  9. February 16, 2011 9:06 pm

    Classic Leah! Just classic! You had me LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!! You hit the nail right on the head with this one. I bought three boxes from my coworker, who’s niece is a Girl Scout. Now, given, I went to her (I needed my stash, you know), but you make such a profound point with this post.

    Great, great job.

    Shari

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