Sunday, March 18, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies Can Bring Us Together

Today was our turn, mine and Princess O's, to do our three hour shift outside the grocery store selling GS cookies. Did you catch that, FOR 3 HOURS! We did this last year a couple times, so we knew what to expect. If it had been a normal day weather-wise. But it wasn't. It was freakin' windy and even more freakin' cold! And guess what smart person wore flip-flops? That's right, me. I was the fool standing outside in freezing wind for three hours wearing flip-flops. I was trying to hold on to a grocery cart full of cookies that was being blown all over the place, keep my jacket close to my neck, and my curly hair out of my face. Didn't work. (I finally twisted my hair into a messy bun, a bummer because I was having a great hair day.) Thankfully, I can feel my face now, but my feet are still cold.

Here is a picture of the lovely Princess O, and she really rocked the sales today. I'm so proud of her! Also, she didn't sell quite enough through her family to meet her goal, so hopefully the sales today will bump her up. I hope. I hope, hope, hope! Otherwise, it's turning into a door-to-door thing, and none of us wants that. Really.

The funny thing about GS cookies is how personal they are. These cookies have been around forever and everyone remembers which one is their favorite, even if it's just, "the coconut ones" or "the mints". Every person we sold to today knew exactly which cookies they preferred. And that wasn't all! A lot of these people had stories to go with the purchasing.

We got a lot of people buying, "just one more box" because they "already bought a ton" from "my neighbor/co-worker's daughter/granddaughter". We heard a couple very personal stories from women for whom buying GS cookies brings up memories of a mother who has passed away, a daughter who doesn't live around her, or a granddaughter who has the same name as one of the cookies. I was touched, moved by how open these women were to a stranger (me) selling them a $4 box of cookies. Maybe next year we could set up a table and chairs, let these women chat amongst each other, finding empathy, sympathy, healing over a box of thin mints and some hot tea. GS cookies are an emotional icon for these women.

On the other hand (because you know this has to happen, too, right?) I don't understand why so many people couldn't be bothered to at least acknowledge these cute, little girls. The girls were polite and smiling as they asked people coming out of the store, "Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies?" So many people, men and women, old and young, simply passed by without a word! Without a smile! Purposely looking the other way! I swear one lady was pretending to talk on the phone. (I can't prove it though. Since I've done that myself, I'm not judging her too harshly, although now I see how incredibly desperate it is.) These girls aren't supermodels or millionaires. They're 8. They're raising money for a worthy cause, not clothes and video games. Really, these people can't be bothered to at least say no thanks? Boo.

One man was so incredibly rude to my shyest Girl Scout, passed right be her twice without even looking at her even though I know he heard her sweet little voice. I wanted to shout, "HEY! What? You're rushing home to cure cancer? You had to buy some Wheat Thins for a great emergency you have to run off to? You're words are so precious you can't spare one for this little girl?!" Sigh.

I just kept smiling, and so did my little Girl Scout. One lady, a really short lady, was walking really fast into the store, and she actually put her hand up and said, very sternly, loudly, "NO. I don't want any." She looked funny because her legs were moving really fast and putting her hand up threw her off balance a little bit. She almost fell because she couldn't bother to be polite. Wow! That's crazy!

The people I most enjoyed watching were the ones who saw us, and went to the other door. We did have another table there, but they couldn't see it. (ha, ha!) Then there were the excuses. "I'm on a diet" was the most common. To which I replied, "The best reason to break a diet, GS cookies!" The second most common excuse was lack of funds. I totally understand this. Who really wants to pay $4 for one box of cookies? I wouldn't! But the money is for a worthy cause, and that is the real reason to buy those cookies.

Altogether, I loved hanging out with the girls. Third graders are fun and funny, not too serious yet, so we got to joke around a lot. My daughter specifically asked me to stay with them, and that felt good. I just wish it hadn't been so cold and windy!

1 comment:

  1. Oh....I"d love about 10 boxes...but my gallbladder would not. Most people are so nice. Glad it was , overall, a great day