On My Honor, I Promise to Buy Your Cookies

For the first time in…actually I don’t know how long…I didn’t buy any Girl Scout cookies this year. 

Not for lack of trying, mind you. I posted my GS Cookie Buying Policy on Facebook and Twitter, but no one came forward.

For the record, my policy is this: If a Girl Scout asks me to buy a box of cookies, I buy a box of cookies.

You see, I had to scrape together the courage to ask people to buy cookies from me for six years during my childhood. As I was born without the saleswoman gene, I hated every single minute of it. I cringed at the very thought of walking up to someone and asking them to buy something from me. I would rather floss my teeth than sell things. I’d rather floss someone else’s teeth than sell things.

But I did it. It was what you were supposed to do. You raised your hand and, on your honor, pledged to serve God, your country and mankind and live by the Girl Scout law…and sell expensive cookies. 

The worst was when I managed to steel myself enough to ask someone to buy a box, and the person told me, “Sorry, I already bought some from Mary Jane over there.” And from across the room, Mary Jane would smile smugly and brandish her order form, which was already completely full of people’s enthusiastic orders. Mary Jane’s mom took the order form to work for her so Mary Jane didn’t have to do all of the hard work of asking people to buy cookies. Mary Jane’s mom always unquestioningly bought Guess jeans for her, too, just so you know. 

Or sometimes people would smile kindly but tell me that they really didn’t need to eat any cookies, so thank you for asking but they were respectfully turning me down. To which I now say: “Who really needs to eat cookies, I ask you?” Who turns down a trembling seven-year-old girl in a brown beanie because you need to lose five pounds? The deeply cynical part of me wonders if there’s not some bad karma out there floating around for those people–like an extra ten pounds. You see, what those people should have done was order one box of something simple like those shortbread Trefoil cookies and then doled them to company with cups of coffee. Or purchased one lone box of Thin Mints and put them in the freezer for later. OR they could have bought a box and given them to a skinny friend. That way, they didn’t compromise their diet but they didn’t have to reject poor little knobby-kneed Brownie me. 

And so, as an adult, I have made it a blanket policy to buy at least one box of Girl Scout cookies from any young lady who asks me herself, either by phone or in person. That’s the key: she has to ask me herself. But she can rest assured that I will never, ever turn her down. 

One of my friends has promised to send her daughter to me next year when she’s old enough to start selling Girl Scout cookies. Zoe, mark me down for two boxes of Tagalongs. And if no one else asks me, I might bump it up to three. 

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About jenniferlarsonwrites

I'm a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee. I have a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in English from Rhodes College. I'm a born-and-bred Southerner who spent a few years in Southern California, a rabid baseball fan and a would-be grower of tomatoes. You can also visit me at LinkedIn or on Twitter at @JenniferLarson.
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3 Responses to On My Honor, I Promise to Buy Your Cookies

  1. Mindy says:

    I am laughing out loud because just last night I was calculating how much I have spent on Girl Scout cookies this year and it is nearly $100!!! My husband is going to question my sanity when these cookies start rolling in, but I can’t help it. I, too, was a Girl Scout tasked with going door to door to see those darn cookies. I’ll send you a box of Tagalongs. I think I have about seven coming my way.

  2. Okay, you’ve given me some new perspective. Not that I slam the door in girl scouts’ faces or anything, but I somehow forgot the days when I had to sell frozen pizzas (?) door-to-door to raise money for my school. God, that was awful. I will forever buy anything from any kid, anywhere!

  3. Tom Soule says:

    It’s been quite a few years since I sold Girl Scout cookies.. It’s been quite a few years since my daughter has been a Girl Scout. I always buy cookies though. First, they are delicious (well, except for the low fat, low sugar ones that the Powers-That-Be came up with for the dieters). Second, I was a Boy Scout and we had REALLY CRAPPY things to sell. Light bulbs, tickets to scouting exhibitions, stuff like that. Yep, I buy stuff from every kid I see, too. Especially Girl Scout Cookies! Oh, and it’s getting to be Girl Scout Cookie time here in Seattle.

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