Friday, March 9, 2012

In Which We Scout for Girl Scouts

Dear dedicated fans of the sweet tooth,

Every spring, we herald in the anxiously-awaited and eagerly anticipated arrival of Girl Scout cookies.

Girl Scouts, decked in their little sashes, stand in the doorways of grocery stores and hawk their wares to customers coming out.  It's hard to turn down those big eyes and red noses and pink, ice-cold hands.  At least in the Northwest states, those intrepid little girls have to brave various weathers and snow, even in March!

My personal favorite has to be the thin mints, with my new favorite of tagalongs coming in at a close second.  My husband's preferred drug of choice is the samoas - those might be competing for second place with the tagalongs for me! 

I'm not promoting these cookies as a nutritious, additive-free snack - but I am promoting them as an addictive treat with fond memories from my childhood and the added bonus of raising funds for helping girls in the Scout programs.

At the end of February, my mom and I were sitting on her couch discussing how much we loved those delectable packaged compositions.  I determined that I must absolutely have some that very night!  We couldn't remember when the season started, but in years past my Mom had purchased them for Mr H's birthday in March and she seemed to recall that they were always almost out of season by the time she bought his gift package (last year she bought him a whole case of Samoas!!).  We hadn't yet seen them at any of our local grocery stores, but we called the grocery down the street.  They said they hadn't seen any girls yet but that they were usually there by now.  We went online to the Girl Scout website and looked up, by zip code, which stores near us should have some cookies. 

And then we set off on our mission!  We mapped out a large, wiggly circle that would take us by eight stores all purported to have Girl Scout cookies for sale, hoping that at least one of them would have a stand.  One by one we drove into the parking lots, coasted past the entrances and exits, and were disappointed to find nobody standing outside with the carboard boxes of sweet goodness! 

Dusk had fallen, and it was getting dark.  We were less than a mile from home now, our spirits low but our hope still beating timidly as there was one final stop.  Perhaps there would be someone ... perhaps ... perhaps!

Suddenly my Mom cried out, "Look!  Look ahead!" 

I looked up.  Hark, what sweet song of joy, what uplifting of formerly cast-down spirit!  Written on the rear window of a black suburban in front of us were the words of angelic hope, of gratification once denied now satisfied. 

G.S. Cookies help girls do more!

I pointed a trembling finger.  "Follow that car!" I screamed.

On cue, the G.S. Cookies suburban whipped down a side street, out of sight.  Mom halted, turning on her turn signal to follow.  Three cars in the opposite lane slowly went by, perfectly spaced so she had to wait for all of them.  I craned my neck, trying to see where our Beacon of Hope had gone - and then as the final car passed, a kid with a backpack on slowly started trudging across the street, blocking our path.

"No, no!  Walk faster!" Mom exclaimed.

"I'm watching them!" I screeched. 

Finally we could turn down the street after the disappearing Beacon.  The red tailights sailed over a hill and around a curve as they pushed past the normal speed limit.  My mom drove as fast as the law would allow and I leaned forward in my seat.  "I still got 'em in view!  They took a right!" 

We seemed to crawl around the corner just in time to see the black suburban disappear around another corner.  We tailed them deep into the heart of the neighborhood until they turned into a driveway. 

Mom hit the brakes.  Engine still running, I tumbled out of the car.  Breathless, I rushed the woman exiting her black suburban with two children in tow.

"Do you have Girl Scout cookies?!" I gasped.  "We've been searching all night - - and we haven't found any - - we really want some, your car window ..." I babbled on.

The young mother seemed surprised, and her husband approached, having just parked their car at the curb.  "Yes, we do!" he said.  "Come inside, come inside!" 

Rejoicing, we parked our car and followed them inside, where we loaded up on boxes of samoas and thin mints and tagalongs.  The little family was more than thrilled to help us out - it was their first year, and they had been nervous they wouldn't be able to sell all the cookies.  Seemed to me they were doing just fine!

Did you grow up with Girl Scout cookies?  Were you yourself a part of Girl Scouts?

Happily crunching,

Mrs H



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