Last night was pretty grueling and weirdly satisfying at the same time. Although my day as a 5th grade teacher was long, the 2 hours spent from 4-6 pm at our local grocery store was at a snail’s pace.
I was a Brownie and a Junior in the 70’s and early 80’s. There were two types of cookies then, Thin Mints and Scot Teas. They were $2.00 a box, and the boxes were bigger. We sold door to door in our mellow little neighborhoods. My parents just let me go by myself in our little cul-de-sac.
Now, there are about ten kinds, including Gluten Free Toffee-Tastic (gross, don’t bother) and kids are taught to say “our Thin Mints are Vegan” and “Would you like to make a donation to the Troops?” They are $4.00 a box and we swipe credit cards on our I phones.
My daughter is six and a Daisy Scout– wears a blue vest, so old-timers like me are a little confused by her uniform. Is she a Bluebird? What’s she wearing?
She hid most of the sale, behind the tall booth advertising our gorgeous troop of girls. She mumbled, she whined, she cried a little bit.
“What am I doing here?” I thought more than once as I glanced obsessively at the time. I was embarrassed with her lack of energy, the way she bit her nails and hid inside her jacket hood.
The other girl scout, a Brownie getting ready to “bridge” in the summer to Juniors, took over the selling, while my daughter learned to stock the cookies in a “rainbow” on the sales table. She became the lead merchandiser. Her confidence rose over time.
People walked by with cell phones and a dead stare ahead, it was like if they acknowledged us, they would lose all self-control. Some had no teeth and smiled their scary gummy smiles at us. Some surprised us and gave us a big preacher’s sermon about “staying in school” and “minding our elders” then they would buy one box, making our daughters work that sale!
And some were former Girl Scouts, who were stocking up for the season, buying 14 boxes at a time. The night ended on a high note. We sold 100 boxes with 16 boxes donated to the men and women in the armed services. I walked away proud but exhausted. This was much harder than in 1979.