Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"c" is for cookie

I must preface this by saying how fond I am of Kym. I am very fond of Kym. Mrs. Pincus is too. We really like Kym and her delightful daughter Elle a lot. A whole lot.

There. I think I'm safe now.

As everyone knows by now, it's Girl Scout cookie time. I'm sure you know someone who is selling them. A neighbor, a friend, maybe even your own daughter. Perhaps you've been accosted by a pack of sash-and-merit-badge wearing youngsters waving brightly-colored boxes while exiting the supermarket. I know my wife has purchased a box or two from my niece. Okay, maybe more than a box or two.

Kym's daughter Elle, from what I understand, is a Girl Scout... or the "pre" equivalent of a Girl Scout. Whatever her current rank, she is entitled, and possibly required, to hawk cookies for her troop. Like most parents of Girl Scouts, Kym has solicited her co-workers to purchase a box of cookies. Kym, in her ever-gracious manner, has stressed that a purchase is "not necessary and not required and, by no means, an obligation." Kym called me and asked if I'd like to buy a box of cookies from Elle and she quickly added "no pressure."

"Of course I will," I replied, "I'd be happy to help Elle out!"

That was two weeks ago. That was the last time "Girl Scout cookies" came up in conversation with Kym. I saw or spoke to her nearly every day during that time, as we work closely together. But, the subject of Girl Scout cookies was never broached.

Until yesterday.

I work on the 36th floor of an office building in center city Philadelphia. Kym's office is on the 37th floor and and the 38th floor is the company's main reception area. All floors are connected and accessible by a bank of elevators and a beautiful wooden spiral staircase. I stopped by Kym's office to chat. She was busily pounding away on her computer's keyboard when she suddenly spun around and produced a piece of glossy paper, machine-folded multiple times. She began unfolding and it revealed itself to be a Girl Scout cookie order form. Kym poised her pen at the ready and reminded me that I had promised to buy a box, but I didn't have to if I didn't want to. Reaching for my wallet, I said that I would absolutely stay true to my word. I requested the chocolate and peanut butter ones (whatever cutesy name the Girl Scouts call them) and, as Kym scanned the massive grid of pictures and check boxes, I noticed that I was about to become the very first customer.

"Kym," I asked, "you haven't sold any yet? The cookies have been available everywhere for over a month already."

"I know. I know." Kym answered, still trying to locate the proper space in which to record my order.She scribbled my name on the thin black line, folded my four dollar bills into a paper clip and thanked me on behalf of Elle.

As I was about to head back to my office, Kym shoved a dog-eared copy of Us Magazine in my direction.

"Here," she said, "take this for your wife." Kym has tried to pawn copies of these gossip rags off on me before.

"I've told you before, Kym," I protested, "Mrs. P doesn't read this shit. She doesn't know the so-called celebrities in it and she certainly doesn't care about them."

"Well," she continued, changing gears, "could you run it up to the receptionist on 38 for me?"

I agreed. Another flight of stairs wouldn't kill me. And I could always take the elevator back down to my floor.

I headed out her office door again, when Kym stopped me with a loud "Oh!" followed by a reconsidered "Never mind."

"What?" I inquired.

Kym picked up the nearly blank order form and, with puppy dog eyes and a pouty lip asked, "Do you want to take this up with you and see if you can sell some cookies?"

"No, Kym," I said, "I'm not a Girl Scout anymore."

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