Why I’m Refusing to Buy Girl Scout Cookies This Year

I’m not taking a stand against the bad-for-you ingredients or boycotting the jacked-up price or the fact that Samoas aren’t called Samoas anymore (they’re now Caramel deLites), and I certainly don’t have anything against the Girls Scouts organization. I’m just turned off by the whole thing. Here’s why.

A few days ago I received a text from a mom I know that read: “It’s girl scout cookie time! Want to order some from Hannah Jones* at $4 a box? Let me know.”

I ignored it. First of all, a text? Clearly a cut-and-pasted one with no personal touch. Second, the mom is doing the selling not the kid? I see these people every week at dance class. Every. Week. I know the girl well. She could have asked me herself and I would have said yes. I would have ordered a bunch. I would have asked her questions about her troop and what they planned to do with the money. Despite this rant, I am not a scary person at all. But, a text?! C’mon.

Not to get all “back in my day” but back in my day when I was a Girl Scout, I went door-to-door and made the uncomfortable asks myself. My friends and I set up tables outside of grocery stores. We called our aunts and uncles in different states. There were always the girls whose parents brought their order sheets to work with them and they were usually the ones who sold the most — and got all the cool-seeming incentives — but my parents refused to do that for me. And I get it. Isn’t the point of having little girls sell cookies to teach them something about business? About interacting with other people? About going outside of their comfort zone to accomplish something that will ultimately make them feel really good about themselves? And perhaps most important, to teach them about rejection? I like to think that all my years of getting turned down from my mean old neighbor prepared me for some of the disappointments I’ve faced in the real world.

My daughter isn’t old enough to be in Girls Scouts yet, so I have no idea how it works these days. I’m assuming there are still plenty of girls who hit the pavement and do the selling themselves. I hope so. And sure, maybe I’m overplaying the importance of a box of cookies and being too old-fashioned about the whole thing. But I can’t be the only one who thinks this woman’s approach is a little off. Is it another symptom of the helicopter parenting world we live in? Or the technological one where face-to-face interactions are few and far between? Am I being too hard on another mom who’s just trying to do the best she can for her kid? Perhaps. And perhaps she just caught me pre-coffee on a rough morning. But I’m still not getting my Thin Mints from her.

Photo: Getty