Scene in MLT: Girl Scout cookies for sale at Cedar Plaza QFC

A display of Girl Scout cookies at Cedar Plaza QFC in Mountlake Terrace.

Due to the pandemic, Girl Scout cookies aren’t being sold very much in-person. When I visited my grocery store today, I wasn’t met at the entryway by a uniformed scout almost pleading, “Do you want to buy Girl Scout cookies?” And I didn’t have to shake my head in shame and say, “Sorry, not today.” I could always feel their parents’ disappointment as they stood behind their kid. Probably been standing there for hours, hoping their stash of Tagalogs and Lemon-Ups would dwindle soon so they could pack up and get back home.

Tonight, I encountered the cookies inside the store, the boxes in neat, giant stacks. Almost too neat, too organized. No pleas from a scout to buy.

Although I would have loved to have bought a box of Do-Si-Do’s to take home and dunk in milk, it just didn’t feel right to buy them off the shelf.

My usual routine was disrupted. I didn’t get cash from the ATM, stride with pride outside, and present a scout/parent with my benevolence. I wouldn’t feel like I was saving the Girl Scouts of America with my $5. I wouldn’t get the joy of the kid recognizing “The-Man-Who-Was-Too-Cheap When-He-Entered” turning into “Mr. McGenerous.”

Instead, I would have felt like I was giving my money to a grocery chain, like I do almost every day. What’s the joy in that?

I must admit, however, my defenses have been weakened. The next trip to the store, I’ll probably get Trefoils and Samoas off the shelf. My purchase will count, the profits benefitting the Girl Scouts.

It’ll just hit different.

P.S. You may still find scouts selling from shielded booths, drive-through sites, or social media. You can also order online at: www.girlscouts.org

— By David Carlos

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