If there’s one thing I love in this world full of pop up ads and endless, unnecessary think pieces it’s Girl Scout Cookies. Unlike esteemed author Todd Burpo, I have never visited Heaven, so the closest thing I can experience is grabbing a box of Tagalongs out of the refrigerator and savoring every last bite until I can audibly hear my body mumble “Type 2 Diabetes.” (By the way, if you’re not putting your Tagalongs in the fridge, you’re living like a pauper.)
But there’s a seldom-realized struggle attached to purchasing Girl Scout Cookies. It’s not the fact that they only come around a few months out of the year, because real fans stock up on them like a bear about to hibernate with Netflix for a season. The problem is that it’s impossible for a single guy to purchase them without looking like the opening credits of a Dateline special. Sure, Michael Keaton can chow down on them during the Oscars as Chris Rock peddles them, but most of us weren’t Batman in the ‘90s, so we don’t have that luxury.
The entire purchasing process is set up to create uncomfortable encounters. I mean, why should any group of young girls feel fine about a random dude walking out of a Home Depot carrying a snow shovel (or a dispensary, carrying a bag of weed) and approaching them asking for tasty treats? To make matters worse, I have a deep, raspy voice so these children probably feel like they’re being approached by the puppet from Saw. “I want to play a game. You possess a large sum of delicious cookies. I want to purchase those cookies. Do you turn those over to me for a sum of money, or do you hold onto them and pretend you don’t hear this horrid goblin speaking to you? The choice is yours.”
It’s just a weird transaction anytime a grown man has to hand a strange child money.
So what about online purchases? That has to be much less creepy, right? Yeah, because no interaction between an adult and a child on the internet has ever seemed the least bit inappropriate. I thought this would be the easiest route to go, so I got online one night and searched “girl scout cookies” on Facebook. My thought was that I could quietly purchase a few boxes of cookies in a discreet, low-key manner. Just to be clear, anytime you decide to do something online and insist on it being low-key and discreet, it’s already creepy.
I ended up finding a link to a girl’s selling page that her parents had posted on social media. The problem was that, with Facebook’s search algorithm, this result was someone that I didn’t know (and I certainly didn’t know their child). I was a friend of a Facebook-friend perusing through their child’s online treat store. Again, I put these thoughts aside and moved forward in my cookie-purchasing process. Surely not everyone that purchases cookies on here is an immediate family member or close friend. I requested a dozen boxes of Tagalongs because there’s no way I was going through this process more than once.
I plugged in my credit card information and shipping information and scrolled to the bottom to press submit, but an alert popped up saying that I had missed a piece of required information. Hmm. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I noticed a question I had overlooked. “How do you know Alyssa?” Who is Alyssa? Oh right, the adolescent I was buying cookies from. I clicked on the options and that’s when it hit me—this whole process is awful. The options were family, friend, co-worker, classmate, normal person you interact with on a semi-regular basis, a former bus driver, celebrity that’s making this purchase as a publicity stunt to virally market their newest project, step dad desperately trying to win her over, and finally this terrible, garbage option simply labeled “other.” Other! There may be no worse feeling than realizing it’s 2 a.m. and you’re sitting in your bed watching How to Make a Murderer and having to explain to a website that you have no earthly reason to be buying a dozen boxes of cookies from a child.
There is no possible way for a grown man to buy cookies from a child without looking like a ghoul. How is that not the most obvious statement that anyone has ever spoken? What’s the solution to this problem? Some might say that I could get someone else to purchase them for me, but that’s way worse. Am I going to hide behind a shrub watching through binoculars as my aunt snags up some Thin Mints for me?
I know there are lots of people out there struggling with severe issues, but this is the type of plight I face on a daily basis. Keep me in your prayers. Together, one day, we will all be able to join together and eat Girl Scout Cookies as one. Oh, also we can work on equal rights, the pay gap, health care, unemployment, immigration, marriage equality, gun control, voter education and police brutality. One step at a time, I suppose.
Rob Fee is a comedy writer based in Los Angeles. He has written for Playboy, Comedy Central and MTV.