On my honor, I will try…

by Jane Moneypenny

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I saw a pile of them with their colorful signs outside the grocery store. “GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!” They had smartly blocked off one of the main entrances and customers happily handed over cash for the boxes and boxes of delicious cookies.

Back when I was a Girl Scout in the late 80s/early 90s (Troop 720), a box of cookies were $1.50 and double the size they are now. Samoas used to be called “Caramel Delights” and the selection was smaller. To tell you the truth, I hated selling cookies. I hated that time of year; I’m knew I wasn’t a salesperson, even at the age of 8 (and I was painfully shy). I just didn’t have the connections of my parents being a high school teachers or working in an office where people would flood to buy them.

When we moved to a new neighborhood in 3rd grade, I could no longer hit up the usual patrons from the last 2 years. So I got dressed in my uniform with my proudly decorated sash of badges and went on my way. In the driveway, I bumped into the girls across the street, also in their uniforms. My parents being friendly kind people purchased a couple boxes from them and they scurried along. I went straight to their house and rang the doorbell, thinking the same courtesy would be granted to me. The door opened and the girls’ mother gave me a snide look when I asked her if she wanted cookies.

“No, I don’t. I have daughters that are Girl Scouts and they’re already beating you around the block.”

I thanked her and ran home horrified and asked my mom to drive me back to the old neighborhood (only 10 blocks away) to sell to the the kind old man that always happily put money down for a couple boxes, even if he had been hit up earlier by other kids.

It’s one of those little vivid memories that always flashes in my head at random times, especially during this season. In fact, anytime I go back to New Orleans and drive by their house, I l feel a sense of humiliation. Isn’t it amazing how experiences like that can still send waves of feelings down your spine? A certain smell will send me back to a time 10 years ago or the smell or alcohol/urine/crawfish will make me long for Mardi Gras and crawfish boils.

So be nice to those girl scouts! Even if you don’t buy cookies, just be NICE so the poor kid isn’t traumatized for life.

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