My favorite time of the year has nothing to do with weather or leaf color. It isn’t tied to school breaks or seasonal clothing. Instead, it’s linked to the heavenly combination of mint, chocolate, and wafer. Dear friends, it’s here: Thin Mint cookie season.
Some call the special time from January to March “Girl Scout cookie season,” but that title is far too broad for connoisseurs like myself. Plus it’s insulting to the cookie that, since childhood, has been at my side (e.g., hips). Anyone who knows me is aware of my long history observing Thin Mint cookie season. Several years ago, my friend, Terry, found fabric with a Thin Mint cookie print and sewed me a pair of pajama pants. That treasured gift was a skillful combination of my three comfort essentials: flannel, elastic waist, and Thin Mint cookies. Wearing pajama pants that honor my beloved treat while eating that treat is, well, it’s a dream come true (I aim low).
Over the years, my passion has made me somewhat (freakishly) anxious (obsessed) about securing my Thin Mint cookie cache: three initial, pre-ordered boxes (later reinforced at sidewalk grocery store sales). My overzealousness inevitably leads to embarrassment and/or injury. Several years ago I accidently grabbed a Scout’s long hair when I pulled my order from her hands. Note: I’ve since suggested that Scouts wear hairnets during deliveries, at least to my house. Last year I chased down a Scout mother’s minivan because I mistakenly thought she shorted me a box. I ran after her Odyssey like a Labrador -- and ate the cookies like one, too.
Part of the excitement surrounding Thin Mint cookie season is anticipating what drama will unfold. I didn’t have to wait long. Last Tuesday, one of my co-workers, Amy, announced that she put a Girl Scout cookie order form in the kitchen. I nearly stumbled over my swivel chair getting to it. As I filled in the blanks, my hand shook like I was signing a peace treaty. I decided to order five boxes: three Thin Mints for me and two Samoas for my husband, the idea being he’d get too full on toasted coconut and caramel to go near my Thin Mints.
Pleased with myself, I went back to work, where my office mate, Heather, said, “Don‘t forget to order Girl Scout cookies from my daughter!” I had completely forgotten that she, too, had a little girl selling the cookies. I confessed, “Heather, I just ordered from Amy. I’m sorry.” She pretended to be strong, reassuring me that it was “okay,” but how could it be? Every time Heather sees Amy, she will be reminded of my Girl Scout cookie order betrayal.
In an effort to make a mountain (and column) from this mole hill, I talked about the faux pas to another colleague, who said, “Yeah, I always spread out my cookie order. That way no one has hurt feelings.” Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll tell you why: thoughtfulness and short-term memory were compromised by the insane need to quench my thirst for Thin Mints ... suddenly I’m in the mood for a Thin Mint smoothie. My only defense is to plead gluttony.
Heather didn’t seem traumatized by the event (the cookie business toughens Scout mothers), so I thought it best to put my lapse in Girl Scout cookie order office protocol behind me. Little did I know that the episode was a preview for my 2011 Thin Mint cookie season of shame -- more about that in my next Odd Angles.
Stay Tuned for Part II: Crushing dreams along with my record for chasing a box of Thin Mints