As The Cookie Crumbles, So Do My Excuses

Several weeks ago, I was at home alone when the doorbell rang. I answered the door to find representatives from a local Girl Scout troop doing what they do so well; selling Girl Scout cookies.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was not home so danger was not lurking behind the living room curtains. When Girl Scouts come selling cookies, I am cookie dough in their fund-raising hands.

“Hello, mister,” they chimed, “We’re selling cookies to raise money for… ” I immediately interrupted and exclaimed, “Yes, yes, I’ll take all you have!”

When the passion of the moment passed, I did not need a fortune cookie to know I was going to be in big trouble with the wife, one tough cookie. Catching me with my hand in the cookie jar is serious business with her.

After all, 27 boxes of Girl Scout cookies are rather difficult to conceal, let alone explain. I was about to toss my cookies when an idea presented itself. What I needed was a good surefire excuse.

Excuses, which are a way of life for many people, have been around as long as mankind. In fact, it was the first man, Adam, who invented the pass-the-buck phenomenon for the benefit of all those who would follow him.

It occurred in the Garden of Eden, if you remember your Bible stories, just after Eve encountered the serpent, enticing her to eat of the forbidden fruit. Eve immediately baked an apple pie a la mode for Adam.

When God confronted Adam with the situation, Adam immediately said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” This, then, was the beginning of excuse-making to get out of a difficult situation.

Although a man may have invented excuse-making, it took a woman to develop it into an art form. Men, you see, are too literal and unsophisticated to develop a series of plausible excuses.

For example, a man will say, “Bob, my wife won’t let me go fishing with you next Sunday,” and it stops there. Nothing needs to be added, Bob knows exactly what the score is. After all, he has been there with his own wife.

Women feel compelled to introduce the element of emotion into every situation. Why is it that women are more gifted than men when it comes to making believable excuses? I certainly don’t know the answer, and that’s the only excuse I can think of at the moment.

Getting back to those Girl Scout cookies, I knew I needed to come up with some excuse or better yet, several excuses to explain why I bought 27 boxes of cookies when I’m not supposed to eat cookies.

Because I’m just a man, the only excuse I could come up with was “the Devil made me do it.”

Unfortunately, my wife did not accept that excuse and I immediately knew I was in trouble. Exasperated, my wife decided to help me come up with a list of viable excuses to use the next time Girl Scouts with cookies knock on the parsonage door.

Reasons I can’t buy cookies:

* My mother made me eat cookies when I was young.

* I only eat cookies at Christmas and Easter.

* I don’t believe in eating packaged cookies.

* I’m satisfied with watching people on TV eat cookies.

* I’m too busy to eat cookies. Try another time.

* I don’t have any good clothing to wear while eating cookies.

* I’m too old and cookies really are for the young.

* I don’t believe cookies really exist.

* I don’t eat cookies. I prefer donuts.

* I’m afraid the roof will fall in if I eat cookies.

* My wife and I cannot agree on which cookie we like.

To put it mildly, I was impressed with the growing list of excuses my wife was able to come up with in such a short period. It showed she had practiced this art form for many years. I never could have come up with such a list on my own.

As I studied my new list, I was certain I could face any Girl Scout in the future. My wife does not share my confidence and no longer permits me to answer the door when the Girl Scouts are on the prowl. She is worried any preconceived excuse would quickly dissolve at the first sight of those cookies.

What is an excuse? An excuse is a lie at both ends, held together by the glue of convenience.

For some people, a bad excuse is better than no excuse at all. These people spend their whole lives justifying everything they do or don’t do.

After this experience, I began to understand all the excuses people have given me over the years for not attending church. Whenever I approached the subject, they seemed ready with some excuse and usually backed by plenty of others if needed.

I now see they spent quality time devising these excuses that, to their thinking, got them off the hook.

All excuses seem quite ridiculous in light of what the Bible says. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

Not all the excuses in the world will stand the test of eternity. That is just the way the cookie crumbles.

Death By Girl Scout Cookies – Losing Weight

Girl Scout cookie season is upon us and I was determined not to buy boxes and boxes of cookies this year. However, I was a Girl Scout as a little girl and believe in supporting the cause. So, I decided to purchase one box, and one box only.

No, I did not purchase those gooey, luscious, striped, caramel and coconut covered Samoas that I love so well. Nor did I fall prey to purchasing those silky tasting Thin Mints. Nope. I was determined to be smarter and wiser this year, seriously focus on my commitment to losing some weight. I purchased the Shortbread cookie that has a thin layer of chocolate on the back – my least tempting ones. My daughter and my niece love chocolate. Either or both were bound to want these cookies. I was feeling rather proud of myself… what a thoughtful mother/aunt I am.

Hah! As fate would have it, both were happy about my purchase until they found out it was the Girl Scout Shortbread cookies. “Any kind but those” they said almost simultaneously. No worries, I thought. I shall give them away to a friend. Day after day those cookies sat on my kitchen counter, beckoning and calling my name each time I walked past. I have GOT to get these cookies out of my house! They are going to be the death of me!

A week passed. Then another. Working on a project at my kitchen table around 1:30am one morning, I got an uncontrollable urge for ‘something sweet’. You guessed it! I unabashedly opened that box and ate two of those cookies. Darn, Sherry. You’ve got to be strong. Now I thought, how can I give anyone a partial box of cookies (Isn’t it amazing how we can rationalize anything if we think about it long enough?). As the other side of fate would have it, a couple more days passed, and those cookies didn’t live to see the light of day outside of my house. Once I opened the box, those cookies didn’t stand a chance!

Lesson learned. While I do believe in supporting causes, I can simply make a donation and walk away… without the cookies in hand. I can also choose to NOT bring sweets and tempting goodies into my home… free choice/free will. Final lesson, getting an insufficient amount of rest can derail your will power.

Have you ever fallen hard for the taste of Girl Scout cookies? Let me hear from you.

Girl Scout Cookies Have a Long and Delicious History

Girl Scout cookies have been around more than 90 years. It’s been quite a wild — and delicious — ride!

The Earliest Girl Scout Cookies Were Homemade

Girl Scout Cookies started out in the kitchens of the girl scout members with mothers volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to raise money for troop activities began as early as 1917, on the brink of the first World War and just five years after Juliette Gordon Low created the Girl Scouts.

Sensing a good thing, in 1922 the official Girl Scouts magazine, American Girl, included a cookie recipe that was given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts. It put the cost of ingredients for six- to seven-dozen cookies at 26 to 36 cents. The cookies could then be sold by troops for 25 or 30 cents per dozen to raise money.

Through the 1920s and 1930s, Girl Scout cookies continued to be made in the homes. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen.

From the Girl Scout’s Website here is one of those early recipes:

AN EARLY GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and the cup of sugar
  2. Add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes.
  5. Sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
  6. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.

Out of the Kitchens

In 1933 Philadelphia Girl Scouts baked cookies and sold them in the city’s gas and electric company windows. This proved so successful that in 1934 Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.

In 1935 the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York followed suit. Buying its own die in the shape of a trefoil, the group used the words Girl Scout Cookies on the box.

In 1936 the national Girl Scout organization began to license the first commercial bakers to produce cookies that would be sold by girls in Girl Scout councils. The love of Girl Scout Cookies soon spread nationwide.

During World War II, when sugar, flour and butter were in short supply, Girl Scouts sold calendars to raise money for their activities.

After the War the scouts went back to the beloved cookies and by 1948 a total of 29 bakers throughout the nation were baking Girl Scout Cookies. At this time they came in just three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread and the every popular Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints). The 1950’s and 60’s brought the suburb and shopping malls giving the girls a new venue to sell their cookies.

Baby boomers swelled the Girl Scout membership in the 1960’s as well as cookie sales. In 1960, bakers first began wrapping Girl Scout Cookie boxes in printed aluminum foil or cellophane to protect the cookies and preserve their freshness and in 1966 Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies were added.

Girl Scout Cookies are Still Delicious Today

In the fall of 2000 new box designs were introduced which show girls having fun and growing strong. A maximum of eight varieties are made by each baker including three mandatory ones (Thin Mint, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Shortbread).

When you see the girls outside a grocery, at the mall or at you door, buy a box or three. It supports a good cause and carries on a proud — and delicious — tradition.

From Wikipedia — The best selling Girl Scout cookies are:

  • Thin Mints (25% of total sales)
  • Caramel DeLites or Samoas (19%)
  • Peanut Butter Patties or Tagalongs (13%)
  • Peanut Butter Sandwiches or Do-si-dos (11%)
  • Shortbread or Trefoils (9%)