13 December 2006

Why Do They Call Them Thin Mints?

Apparently it's Girl Scout cookie season. I heard it on the Today Show. These cookies have their own season. Hunting season, the holiday season, football season, Girl Scout cookie season.

These are the only cookies that people will drop $40 for and not bat an eye. What are they, like $6 a box or something? And we order in advance, too. Then, before our "real" order arrives, we buy from the little girls stationed outside Safeway to hold us over until the real order arrives. After the $40 order arrives, we hit the grocery store station again, because now we've only got eight boxes left, and the season is almost over!

People get possessive of Girl Scout cookies. Seriously, people claim boxes.

Back off my Tag-a-Longs, bitch, you should've slowed down on your Thin Mints!

Oh, please. You know you've thought it, if not said it outright.

It's not quite that rough in my house, but last year my daughter did cover "her" box with threats in bold Sharpie, aimed at potential cookie thieves. I thought this was intended for her little brother until I saw "This means you, Anyu!" in fierce Sharpie strokes. Complete strangers think nothing of approaching each other over Girl Scout cookies. "Hold up ... dude, hey, where'd you get those Girl Scout cookies? Do they have any Samoas left? Thanks!"

What is there, crack in these things?

Girl Scout cookies have become part of the fabric of American society. Even when I lived in Germany, Girl Scouts were there, swarming through the US housing areas and camping out at the PX. You think it's bad here? Girl Scout cookies in Germany were the ultimate Taste of Home.

When I lived in Hungary, there were no Girl Scouts, thus, no cookies. Sometimes we'd get lucky, and someone would go visit the States during Girl Scout cookie season. I actually felt sorry for those guys. It went without saying that anyone traveling across The Pond came back with a cooler of various requested items: Arby's Beef & Cheddar, Taco Bell, KFC, whatever. It didn't matter that it sat 15 or 20 hours in the cooler; people would inhale that stuff like it was manna from heaven. Anyway, it sucked to go back during Girl Scout cookie season. You had to take an empty bag to bring the cookies back, in addition to the cooler.

Amazing how much that taste of home comes to mean. You tend to hoard items that you can't get easily. Like cake mixes or cheddar cheese. I once hoarded some Jiffy corn muffin mix so long that little moths got in the boxes. We were devastated. Jiffy corn muffin mix in and of itself sucks, actually, but it -- along with creamed corn -- is necessary to make corn pudding/spoon bread. The cans of creamed corn survived, but the Jiffy mix was toast. No spoon bread for Christmas that year.

I think those years without have lead to some hoarding behavior of Girl Scout cookies, even now that I'm back in the Land of Obesity. Last year I bought way too many cookies. Yes, I claimed boxes, as did everyone else in my house. I hoarded so much that several boxes went stale.

I was like Gollum with the friggin' ring.

I mean, the hoarded cookies were too stale to eat, but throw out Girl Scout cookies? Bitch, please! Every once in a while I'd try one, like maybe it wouldn't taste stale if I dipped it in coffee first or something. My son finally discovered a stale box in my desk at work.

Dear Son: Score! Girl Scout cookies!
Me: Son, you don't want those -- they're so stale ...
Dear Son: They're Girl Scout cookies. They're fine.
He would not be dissuaded by a bit of staleness. At least they didn't go to waste.

So, this year, I'll try to remember that I'm back in the land of Girl Scouts and it's not necessary to lay up a store for the next six years.

05 December 2006

Crafty in a Good Way

Today we had the annual Holiday Craft Fair here at the college. I don't get crafters. My mom and sister can craft the hell out of anything. My sister quilts. By hand. My mom has a whole room devoted to crafts and sewing.  

A room.

My mom once made a series of these dolls -- nuns, actually -- that were friggin' hilarious. Sister Mary Garcia is the one I remember.  She had a tie-dyed habit and a peace symbol for a crucifix. The other nuns were suitably scandalous.  People bought those dolls. Paid money.

Then there's my Aunt Nelly. She used to crochet vests, scarves, and toilet paper covers that looked like dolls. (the TP goes under the skirt.)  When I was a kid, I was stylin' in my crocheted vests over my turtlenecks.

The craft gene completely skipped me.

My younger daughter got the craft gene. She got the cooking gene as well, courtesy of my mom and sister. Even better, the gene has mutated in her -- she turns out these crazy twisted things. Like the time she made Christmas cookie cut-out dolls complete with cookie underwear, among other accoutrements.  

I don't know why all this domesticity skipped me. Not that I want to be a crafter. But it would be cool to cook up a gourmet meal. For fun.

We're doing our holiday potluck at work this Friday. I am already stressing -- ohmygod, I have to cook! Crap. I'll probably just get something from Trader Joe's and call it a day.

I may not be a crafter, but I am pretty crafty. In a good way, not a craft way.