Would You Like a Box of Thin Mints?

Two little neighborhood girls knocked on our door the other night and asked if we were interested in making a purchase for “a charity.” What they were selling and who the charity was does not matter for the purpose of this post. After they left, I got to thinking about the days when my friend Karen and I were those two little girls.

It was sometime in the sixties, and Girl Scout Cookie Season had arrived. Karen and I decided that selling to our relatives would get us nowhere. With my large family, there was too much competition, and Karen had a very small family. She and I decided to expand our territory and sell to the residents of the nearby apartments on Cherry Lane.

We explained to our moms our business plan, and they gave us their blessing. That was such a different time. Thinking back on it now, I am shocked that we were allowed to go door to door selling cookies to strangers. No one came with us. We were on our own. But those were the days when, as you all know, Karen and I walked to school together unaccompanied when we were in kindergarten.

Our parents did not worry that we would get injured crossing the streets or that some unsavory person would snatch us off the streets of Boonton, never to be seen again. It was a time of trust and innocence.

So off we went with our order forms and pencils in hand to convince the residents of the Cherry Hill Apartments to buy our fifty cent boxes of Thin Mints, Shortbread, or Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies. It was a brilliant idea, because we were able to hit a lot of people in a very small area.

Now no one rings our doorbells selling cookies anymore, and I admit I am happy because I prefer my Tollhouse cookies to a box of Samoas or Thin Mints. Now the scouts can be found lurking outside Walmart or my neighborhood bodega (Dad knows that is one of my favorite words from “the list.”) with their moms selling all the favorites, including gluten-free cookies. It is easier for me to refuse their stares and sales pitches at those locations than when they come to my house. I just have a hard time saying no to cuteness at my doorstep.

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