Our encounter’s conclusion was foregone before I even opened the door, before your mother could turn to you with that “What do you say?” face, before you could cock your pigtailed head and say, “Do you want to buy some cookies?” You were adorable, your mother frightening. You made a great team.
I hesitated, just for a moment, before your reluctant salesmanship won me over. Thoughts of my own brief stint as a cookie barker flooded me with sympathy: hours spent hitting the pavement, hundreds of knocked-on doors, desperate pleas to strangers and neighbors to support the annual cause without a thought to their waistline. By which, of course, I mean giving up almost immediately and hoping Mom and Dad would agree to take the order forms in to work like everyone else’s parents did.
I smiled, I shrugged, I paid for a box of Do-si-dos.
Like I said, the circumstances were simple. You were a small and enchanting Girl Scout; I was a peckish twenty-something who was assuming no news on her celiac blood panel meant no celiac. In fact, gluten didn’t even enter my thoughts as I considered whether or not to fork over my four bucks. (I’m not sure what did enter my thoughts, because really? Do-si-dos instead of Tagalongs? What was I thinking?)
But here’s the thing, my dear Scout: I know how long I’ve known I have celiac disease. And I know how long before that I knew I might have celiac, and I know that it was before any of that that you sold me that box of cookies and told me you’d deliver it to my door in six weeks. I know precisely how long it’s been. And I won’t embarrass you or risk your mother’s wrath by revealing the figure here, but let me just say, it’s been more than six weeks. And no cookies in sight.
You live in my building somewhere, or so I assume, so one day our paths are sure to cross. Will I ask? Or will I just shake my head and disapprove from afar? Will I blame it on your troop leader, or your mother who coached you so well? Will I chalk it up to the inevitable leaning back girls do from sales careers? Will I forgive?
Look, I know you girls have been through a lot this year, and it’s not as though I can eat the cookies anyway. But it’s the principle of the thing. One fraud does not warrant another. I paid good money for those cookies. Four dollars for one measly box of the worst flavor! The least you could do is give me the satisfaction of staring longingly at the packaging, maybe taking a sad photo for my blog, then passing the cookies off to my roommates.
I must say, this failure to deliver does not bode well for your future job performance. Where’s your follow-through? And, more important, where are my Do-si-dos? Where’s your Scout’s honor? Is that for boys only? The Girl Scouts may have lost me as a customer already, through no fault of your own, but if my lifelong and complete inability to consume your wares hadn’t convinced me, you have. This time next year, I’ll be making my own. And you’ll be scamming somebody new.