Thursday, March 2, 2017

2 of 31: Thin Mint Time

"Hay do u want any Girl Scout Cookies" the text bubble next to the tiny picture of my beautiful 14-year-old niece glowed on my phone's screen.

What do I do with that? My fingers quickly swiped across the keyboard as I composed my response. Luckily, my forefinger hovered above the send button. Just as quickly as it was composed, I deleted my entire response. The little inner critic living inside of me wanted to point out that "hay is for horses" and that questions end with question marks...even in text messages. But for fear of tarnishing my favorite aunt status, I relinquished my cell phone to ponder the issue some more.

And I did just that. I pondered long and hard, and I wasn't pondering whether to order Thin Mints or Do-Si-Dos (like there's even a contest, Do-Si-Dos all the way). And I wasn't pondering how to avoid my revolting habit of devouring an entire sleeve of cookies in just one sitting (that's easy, just avoid keeping milk in the house). So why couldn't I shake the bit of despair crawling its way under my skin?

It wasn't about the calories I would soon happily consume. It was about donning the green vest proudly displaying all my hard-earned badges and trekking from house to house.  Knocking on the doors of neighbors and strangers, a cheerful smile plastered across my face with the long form and pen in hand. "Hello. I'm Liz and I'm in troop 1198. We are selling Girl Scout cookies, would you like to help support our troop and buy some?" And when I had exhausted my neighborhood, I would then pick up the olive green receiver of our house phone, which was mounted on the kitchen wall, and awkwardly cradle it between my shoulder and ear.  Carefully sticking my pen into the appropriate numbered hole and dragging it around the rotary dial, the ring would signal that I could cross another name off my list. A similar spiel waited on the tip of my tongue for family members and friends who lived a bit further away. Caller ID didn't exist, and these phone calls were tricky because my aunts and uncles would no doubt pull me into a longer conversation that my script accounted for. At which point, I would craftily find a way to interrupt and pawn the phone off on my mother who would twirl that curly phone cord and chat for hours.

But still, the text message just felt so impersonal. I wondered if she was missing out and whether or not we were doing our children a disservice by not teaching them how to have such conversations. So yes, I had turned the crotchety corner, and with a shudder, I realized that I was about to reminisce about my two mile hike to school in the snow...uphill.  Never mind that I rode the bus. It was official. I'd turned into my mother.

At that point, I shook my head and reluctantly picked up my phone and texted my niece, "I'd like one box of do-si-dos for me and one box of tagalongs for Morgan please."

A split second later, the familiar ding signaled her reply.


I sighed and hoped that it would, in fact, turn out okay.


  1. It's funny to watch my girls try to have a conversation on the phone. I remember hanging for hours on the phone with friends. It's like they can't even wait to get off. I'm happy to hear that you are still the coolest aunt ever! :)

  2. Ah, memories of my Girl Scout days and a reminder that I currently have both Thin Mints AND Do-Si-Dos in my kitchen!

  3. I loved your parenthetical asides in this piece! The older I get, the more nostalgic I find myself becoming, so I can relate to this feeling.

  4. Also, I didn't know you were a Girl Scout! :)