Posted at 2:30 PM Feb 04, 2010By Andrea Grimes
Girl Scout cookies are kind of gross.
Girl Scouts are cool, and cookies are cool, but man, the combination of the two has resulted in some seriously overblown love for a mediocre snack. In American pop culture, the Girl Scout cookie has reached mythological status. Thin Mint, Tagalongs, Caramel deLites. Merely saying the words inspires awe and reverence among mass throngs of people.
Kate Harding has some interesting thoughts over on Broadsheet, with regard to the illusion of scarcity and desperate nostalgia.
Which brings us to the most obvious reason for Girl Scout cookie mania: the illusion of scarcity. If you miss your chance, you will have to wait an entire year to get another shot at the real thing, which we all know is infinitely more satisfying than the numerous facsimiles available in the supermarket year-round, let alone something crazy like homemade cookies fresh from the oven.I'll tell you what's not to love: the taste, texture and overall distribution process of Girl Scout Effing Cookies. In the realm of delicious desserts, Girl Scout cookies can't hold a candle to a creme brulée, a molten lava cake or heck, even a Swiss Cake Roll. But here's what else: I love even less the fact that this very blogger once bought into the hype. Once upon a time a couple days ago, I re-Tweeted a Girl Scout cookie article, affirming that "I love a Thin Mint."
... Maybe it's nostalgia. After all, one bite of a Girl Scout cookie takes you back to a time when people wrote elegant letters instead of poorly spelled texts, when popular music didn't sound like so much noise, when "The Wizard of Oz" was only on once a year. Or something. Basically, it's about tradition and ritual and tasty chocolate coating -- what's not to love?
Well, I don't. I mean, not any more than I like any other choco-mint flavored cookie. But I was swept up in the yearly novelty (is that even possible?) of the Girl Scout cookie. And I am ashamed of myself. I bowed to the wafer hegemony, the sweetness ideology. But the truth is, I don't think about wanting Girl Scout cookies all year long, and I'd be fairly surprised if more than five people on this planet actually do. Heck, I don't even go out of my way to buy them when they're in season. And I certainly don't appreciate teaching kids to run around and try to out-sell their peers, even in the name of charity. I am never more thankful to be a freelancer than when I realize I don't have an office wherein I will be pressured to buy coworkers' kids' crap--and that includes Girl Scout cookies. How did I manage to forget that?
You win, Kate Harding: I was swept up in the illusion of scarcity and also the nostalgia--which is strange, 'cause I dropped out of Brownie scouts because even in elementary school, I thought that shit was weird and conformist and I didn't want to get a badge for sewing a damned pillow. So, I actually don't have many fond memories of Girl Scouts or their cookies.
Girl Scout cookies, I want no part of you. You are boring and overpriced. But most of all, you remind me of how an otherwise critical and thoughtful individual like me--indeed, thousands if not millions of thoughtful people like me--can become caught up in cultural hype. And that saddens me. Quit reminding me I am but a mortal, Girl Scout cookies. For you give me hate in my heart.