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The Booths

March 1, 2017

Written by Marykate O’Malley mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne PA 
The setting: The Acme in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania at the exit to the store
The situation: 2 Girl Scouts and their mothers selling cookies at a booth on a Sunday morning.
The result: Lots of laughs and cookies sold. Many purchased by the mothers, many consumed by the Girl Scouts.
What I learned:

Things people say when 2 American girl doll looking Girl Scouts ask… do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?

-They say nothing and keep walking, looking straight ahead.

-I bought some yesterday.

-I buy them from my niece / granddaughter / neighbor / fill in the blank family member or friend.
-Yes, may I have 2 thin mints.
-I have a fill in the blank medical condition (which always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable).
-Yes! I was a Girl Scout and so I have to support.
-Yes but I would like to donate to the Troops.
-I will buy one box of s’mores for you to share (to the little American girl dolls in their vests and badges).
-I have 3 boxes at home.
-My wife / husband / roommate / significant other won’t speak to me again me if I come home with one more box.
-I would love a caramel delight.
-I will have a peanut butter patty and thanks a lot. I always buy these for teachers, the thanks a lot.
-Or children walk past glancing expectantly up at their parents.
-Or spouses walking past looking expectantly at their respective spouse.
-Or friends who recognize you circle back to purchase 5 boxes. (Thank you!)

-Or because after asking “would you like to buy some girl scout cookies” 74 times starts to feed a bit mundane, the Girl Scouts took on a Queen’s English accents and quipped to passerbyers “would you like to buy some girl scout biscuits?” And when a father with a young daughter named Lucy with bright chocolate brown eyes that followed the 2 cookie girls with fascination called out, “toot a loo” with a perfect British accent, the girls doubled over in giggles.

The British accent turned to a Brogue and a “top o the morning to ya.” They then turned to Siri and google translate to ask in Spanish, French, German and Swahili – “how do you say would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” And is it me or does Siri always sound slightly disappointed. She could have a lift or a lightness to her tone but I almost feel like I am inconveniencing her  or she doesn’t agree when I ask to speak to ____ instead of ____.

They were able to generate tears, as they asked with long faces and a lisp, speaking slowly with melancholy, “would you like to buy sum girl cout cookies?” I suggested a song and dance and demonstrated with the boxes as props. They said, “let’s stick to the lisp.” Well played Girl Scouts. Well played.

They bought a box for an Acme employee who knew the scouts from being there every weekend. His favorite kind. He thanked them, touched by the kindness. Flocks of Villanova girls dressed up entered in groups of 2 and 3 and left with bouquets and flowers and cards. We guessed about what event they had and settled on something to do with a sorority.  Attendees from Our Mother of Good Counsel across the street shopped after mass let out, couples shopped, parents with children and babies whose eyes locked on the older girls selling cookies with awe.


My mom generously volunteers to sell cookies with my youngest and helps at the booths. She was a Girl Scout and tells us about going about her neighborhood with a red Radio Flyer wagon when they sold for .25 a box.
Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies? Even with all the taking and tracking of orders, the picking up, and delivering – I am sad the season is over. Like every season it seems. And like every season you need to enjoy it while it is happening – with laughter, enjoyment, some dancing, generosity, and leaving the space you just occupied a little brighter because you were there.


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  1. Mandy the Cookie Mom

      on March 2, 2017 8:01 am

    My favorite: the accents (especially English) when selling biscuits. An amazing rendition: the girls had fun, the customers enjoyed it and they managed to make some money for a great cause.
    Thank you for the story! Now for a Thin Mint….


  2. Marykate

      on March 18, 2017 8:37 pm

    Thank you Cookie Mom! You know you cookie moms are my hero – I truly don’t know how you do it! Cheers to a great season!! XO


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