She was so sweet and innocent, lying in wait a few months ago outside the grocery store, her mother a watchful sentinel a few feet away. It seems eons ago, before distancing and daily death counts.
“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”she asked, her eyes bright and hopeful. Whether I would like to or not seemed irrelevant. How could anyone live with themselves by saying no?
She was a child devoid of deceit or duplicity- unknowing of ulterior motives or profit, offering something as harmless as cookies (my apologies to diabetics.) “Yes, yes I would love to buy some cookies.”
Now to choose: Samoas? How odd to name a cookie after a group of South Pacific islands. Thin mints? no- a cookie is a cookie and a mint is a mint, and never the twain should meet. Tagalongs? No- the word suggests a struggling straggler or an unwanted third wheel; a cookie should not be demeaning.
Do-si-dos? A square dancing cookie? What marketing brainiacs do the Girl Scouts Of America rely on? Can’t they come up with more creative and exciting names? Where are the Cinnamon Orgasms or Vanilla Virgins? What am I thinking? These are the Girl Scouts, for God’s sake! Wait- right in front of me. Peanut butter sandwich cookies. Nothing pretentious or insipid- they are exactly as what they are named, and a bargain at five dollars a box.
And I look upon her as I hand her the money and bask in her purity, so earnest and pristine, standing dutifully in her cute archaic uniform. She smiles appreciatively, a child still unmarked by the horrors of life.
I leave, knowing I will never eat the cookies, having bid adieu to my sweet tooth ages ago. I will give them away. But I don’t. The box stands on the kitchen counter, like a wholesome monument, keeping vigil.
These are the dark hours- this is the time of plague. Neither men, women or empires last forever- nor do little girls.
These are the fearful times- the fragile times.
I will keep the cookies, protected within the sealed box. They give me hope, blunting my thoughts of a time when girl scouts and their cookies may be no more.