Oh Girl Scout Cookies…My Tumultuous Relationship with Cookie Sales

If you’ve wondered where I’ve been for the last few months, I’ve been selling cookies. Well, not me per say. My daughter and her Girl Scout Daisy troop have been selling cookies but because they’re in Kindergarten (and because I’m an idiot combo leader/cookie mom I’ve been doing a lot of the cat herding cookie sales legwork.

I’m not sure if I completely forgot about the whole cookie thing when I brought Maddy to that first Girl Scouts informational meeting or if I just completely underestimated how soul time sucking it was going to be. As a first time Girl Scout leader/cookie mom I went into the season looking like a large and in charge Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman and came out looking like a not emaciated version of Tom Hanks in Castaway, cause so. many. cookies (the Castaway reference absolutely dates me but I’ve got 2 small children so the only movies I’m up to date on are animated. Also, I spent 20 minutes trying to find more current references and realized after being sucked into a Buzzfeed article on horror films I needed to let it go and move on. Yay ADD).

Anyways, after a few heart stopping moments and more than a few cookie-themed nightmares, COOKIE SEASON IS OVER! FINITO! DONE-ZO! We survived and I learned a few things along the way. Whether you have a Girl Scout or just enjoy eating Girl Scout cookies, read along to find out what leaders/cookie moms go through to get you your Thin Mint fix every year.

10 Things you’ll learn in your first Girl Scout cookie season:

  1. Trust the initial order. You will look at that number and think there’s no way in hell your troop will sell that many. You will downsize. And then you will find yourself waiting in line for 75 years at the cookie cupboard when you sell out your tiny initial order within 5 days.

    selective focus photography of skeleton
    Actual picture of me in line at the cookie cupboard. Photo by Chris Mitchell on Pexels.com
  2. You’ll start out the season with crisp, beautiful tracking sheets lovingly crafted with adorable fonts. You’ll have all your forms and sheets in a beautiful folder you purchased just for the cookie season (or if you’re a little extra, a 3 ring binder). You’ll have a box of lovely new pens. And by the last booth you’ll be crossing your fingers that the numbers are right while making haphazard tallies on a coffee stained receipt with a broken crayon.
  3. Your kids will wait until you’re in the middle of transferring 52 random boxes on Smart Cookies to announce they’ve done something really stupid like stick a marble up their nose which is now stuck (#truestory)                                      

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    So it wasn’t a marble despite what he told me. But it was a REALLY BIG BEAD. Sigh.
  4. You’ll make a mental note of the boxes of cookies you took from your kid to stress eat while making transfers (and removing marbles from noses) but you’ll remember wrong. You’ll always take a minimum of 2 more boxes than you remember and you will steal money from your kid’s piggy bank to pay for it. After all this whole cookie thing is basically their fault. It may be from your Girl Scout or it may be from Marble Nose. They’re both to blame, really.
  5. You’ll work through all 5 stages of grief during the final days of sales:

Denial: We still have 4 whole days left! Definitely enough time to sell al 218 boxes of cookies! Especially the 23 loose boxes of ShortBread that approximately zero people want! No problem. No problem at all.

Anger: Stupid cookies. You viciously kick at cases (but with slippers and like a softly vicious kick because you’re mad not stupid and you may need to exchange that case) while muttering under your breath iterations of the following: “Who thought selling cookies was a good idea? I’m pulling my kid out of Girl Scouts next year. Never again. All cookies of all brands can burn in the bowels of hades.”

Bargaining: This takes two forms.

The first is the plaintive prayer to whatever higher being you believe in:

Dear (choose your favorite higher power),

I promise with all my heart that I will never again slink past a charitable sales booth like the tight fisted cheapskate I am if you’ll only let me sell the rest of these Thanks-A-Lots that no one wants to buy.

Amen.

The other more practical bargaining is found in Facebook groups around the world and looks something like this:

HAVE 4 BOXES OF LEMONADES! WILLING TO GIVE UP! WILL THROW IN A FULL, UNOPENED CASE OF THIN MINTS, MY FIRST BORN, AND THE RIGHTS TO ANY AND ALL ORGANS AT ANY GIVEN TIME. PIC FOR ATTENTION!

Depression: “We’re never going to sell all these and I’m the worst troop leader known to Girl Scout-dom and no one likes me and I may as well just start eating the damn things because I’m going to have to pay for them anyways and that one Pinterest article said the Sauv Blanc I have on hand pairs really well with Lemonades…”

Acceptance: We’ll make it. We have a plan and we may have to pay for some but it’s not as bad as I thought!

Then there’s a 6th stage that reminds me a lot of having a baby called “total blind forgetfulness” in which you fondly look back the day after your last booth and think, “aw that was fun! I can’t wait to see how well they do next year!” Meanwhile your significant other is surreptitiously Googling divorce lawyers…

6.  At least once you’ll calculate the price of the rewards your girl will be receiving and compare it to the amount of time, effort, and psychological angst you’ve experienced in the past month and you’ll wonder if 9:00 am is too early to drink.

7. A minimum of 5 boxes of cookies will get dropped into a puddle during door to door sales. MINIMUM. 

8. Your child will decided in the last 3 days to change her goal to some prize that you need to sell 960 boxes to get and she’ll have sold 200. You’ll explain to her that you don’t even have enough cookies in your possession to get to that prize and then you will be witness to the largest tantrum seen since the great puppy debate of 2015.

9. You’ll create an amazing booth design and spend hours coming up with clever puns to draw in customers and literally no one will read it. You will shed tears when you toss it in the trash can (RIP Cassieo”Peanut Butter Patties” and “S’more-ion)

10. You really will be proud of your girl and her troop for working so hard. Through all your own complaining and stressing you’ll remember that the most important thing is the girls and their growth and you’ll be in awe.

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