My neighbor’s youngest daughter (a preteen) thinks I’m the mean old lady next door. She sells Girl Scout cookies every year, and every year knows we buy multiple boxes of these cookies (my husband has a sweet tooth like no other and brings the cookies to his office for his afternoon snack, because grown men need afternoon cookie breaks at their office, right?), yet she hesitates ringing our doorbell to take our order. So each year her mom runs out of her house when she sees me in the driveway to ask if we would like Girl Scout cookies. And every year I say YES with a huge smile and I welcome the girl over to take our order. I make it clear that even though I have a “no soliciting” sign, Girl Scout cookies — and anything else she wants to sell for sports or school — I will gladly order from her. Yet every year the mom hesitates to send the daughter over and claims this daughter is afraid to ring our bell, “due to the sign.”
Fine. Whatever. I am aware of when Girl Scout cookie selling season is and during those weeks I spend a lot of time in my driveway getting in and out of my car in ultra slow motion, hoping the mom will see me and run outside all friendly like. (We’ve lived next to each other for about 20 years and have the “wave and smile and be friendly while doing yard work” kind of relationship. One time, years ago, we tried to socialize and we sat around a fire pit for a few hours without anything to say. It was an awkward evening that neither of us wants repeated.)
But now it’s Girl Scout cookie delivery time and my cookies have not yet appeared. Friends have gotten their cookies. Seems like all the other troops I know of in our area have delivered the cookies ordered from them, and are already setting up cookie selling booths in front of stores. I have passed by many such booths this past weekend, not purchasing any additional cookies because I know that when I return home my cookies should be delivered. But they haven’t been.
And then this evening as I was getting out of my car the neighbor mom was about to get into her car, and she yelled over, “Is it okay for my daughter to drop off your cookies today? She was afraid to ring the bell … due to the sign.” What the what? I ordered these cookies! I want these cookies! I told both the girl and the mom to ignore the stupid sign. In this case the sign means nothing, SINCE I’VE ALREADY ORDERED THE COOKIES and I’ve already explained for the past six years or so that she is to ignore the sign when selling cookies and other goods.
“Of course it’s okay for her to come over with MY COOKIES,” I kindly say to the mom, with a huge smile plastered on my face — the smile I reserve for my meetings with her. Then I’m told the daughter and my cookies will be over in 20 minutes. So I wait, patiently, with a blank check and a pen in hand. I delay my son’s shower, my dinner, and doing the laundry in order to not miss the doorbell nor to make her wait at the door one second longer than necessary (don’t want her spending any time reading that sign and getting nervous, or worse, running away). It’s been one hour and twenty minutes and she’s still not here. No girl. No cookies.
Maybe I shouldn’t purchase cookies from her, since she’s so afraid of my homemade “no soliciting” sign. Yes, the sign is blunt and effective at deterring the many annoying salespeople that used to come by daily, BUT I’VE TOLD HER IT DOESN’T APPLY TO HER OR GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!
AND I WANT MY COOKIES!
Okay, good news: As I was typing this she finally came over and I have my cookies. It took her an hour and a half to get up the nerve to ring my bell!