Last March, I claimed altruism.
In the past, I have claimed nostalgia, gluttony and a weak will.
This year, I am once again searching for my own rationalization on why-oh-why-oh-why I cannot resist that thin, crispy, delectable chocolate indulgence that weakens all my self-discipline every February and March: Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies.
Oh, how cunning those Girl Scouts are! Last year, when I was already seeing foreshadows of what self-isolation was going to do to my weight-loss goals (and it wasn’t positive), those wily Scouts pulled on my heart strings. Their fundraising worlds were also turned upside down by the pandemic with no booths at grocery stores, no door-to-door sells and no offices full of willing customers for Mom and Dad to handle.
I bought a modest number of boxes of cookies at the grocery store in early March 2020, before everything went crazy. I should have been safe, but late in the cookie-selling season, the emails and Facebook posts started, letting folks know how bad it was for the Girl Scouts, who had plenty of stock on-hand and no sales force or outlets.
What’s a kind-hearted, veteran Girl Scout and queen of the Thin Mints to do? I bought. I paid shipping. And I ate them all.
This year, it’s all Madelyn’s fault.
It was a cold January day when all of a sudden, the precious daughter of one of my favorite cousins is on Facebook, doing her own video, asking for pre-orders of Girl Scout cookies. I probably would have bought zucchini bread, which I hate, from her, because she was so dang cute, poised and ready-for-her-Hollywood-close-up!
But I would have only bought one loaf of zucchini bread. I didn’t stop at one box of cookies.
Or one dozen boxes.
I did mix up the order a bit, throwing in some Samoas for my husband and a few boxes of Lemon-Ups and Do-si-Dos. They were just confidence boosters, however, proof that I could eat just a couple of cookies – if they were any of the above flavors.
Open the Thin Mint box, however, and I look like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
I did give one box away, but, my annual indulgence, rite-of-passage into spring of eating every Thin Mint cookie under the roof is still playing out. I will run out soon and get back to dieting.
Until next year…
Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.