Thin mint whore

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Recently heard at a TMA meeting: “My name is AGMA and I’m a Thin Mint whore.”

I know. Shocking. But I bet I’ll get a lot of views because I used the word whore.

It’s been my dirty little secret. For nearly four weeks every year, for the past 55 years, I have given myself over to a life of Thin Mint lust and passion.

It started innocently enough back in the early 60’s when I did my first stint as a Brownie. That’s how they do it – they get started when you’re young. They let you “sample” the goods, teasing you with things to come, knowing full well that you will want more. Much more. And I did.

Then I started supplying; selling them door to door when I became a Girl Scout. Back in the day, there was no parental unit taking an order sheet to work and getting hundreds of boxes in orders so you could become the Cookie Queen. We were hard core. We walked miles and miles (okay, maybe five blocks) knocking on all the doors. And if we had what you wanted in the little cookie sacks we carried, fine. If not, you were SOL. Life was hard back then…

Thin Mints always sold out first. Duh. The addiction ran deep even way back then. At 50 cents a box, they were kind of expensive. But they could have charged two bucks a pop and people would still have snapped them up. Such was the desire for the Thin Mint.

I’ve never quite gotten over my Thin Mint obsession. It subsided in college and in my mid-20’s due to lack of access. But when I had kids, moved to the suburbs and started to work in a large office, it came back stronger than ever. I was smack dab in the middle of Girl Scout nirvana.

Imagine my delight when I found out that, in the intervening years between 1971 and 1984, the Girl Scouts went to an ordering system! No more door to door sales. Now I could order as many boxes as I wanted and NOBODY had to know.

I could bring two boxes home to the family, and only eat the occasional one or two cookies to make it look like I was in control. In the meantime, I had ten boxes stashed in my desk. In my prime, I could consume 1.5 boxes a day. They tasted good going down, but the sugar high was not pretty…. And there were always the telltale chocolate crumbles all around my mouth and desk. Pathetic.

I even had my own personal supplier. My BFF at work was a troop leader. I was in deep. Really deep.

A couple of times, I gave up Thin Mints for Lent only to devour two of the six boxes I had stashed in the freezer, at sunrise on Easter morning… I felt like such a dirty girl.

But like most of the 1960’s & 70’s head banging rockers who “overindulged” back in the day, I mellowed with age. I’ve come to understand the serious health risks of sending that much sugar and saturated fat coursing through my body. Plus my access is again severely limited. The nest emptied out in 2002. And with our move in 2006, I no longer work in an office or live in the suburbs.

I was adjusting to a Thin Mint-less life. My cholesterol and blood sugar numbers were normalizing. The sugar headaches had stopped. It was all going along great. I started thinking I’d gotten the Thin Mint monkey off my back until…. Until…..

I discovered the Girl Scouts had “pop-up” sales booths in our local grocery store. Right across the street. Oh the humanity!

But I was stronger than I was before. I’d started running and went back to school to become a Massage Therapist. I was eating healthier. I began traveling to countries whose citizens had never heard of Thin Mints.

For a couple of years, Girl Scout cookie time would come and go almost unnoticed. I would purposely avoid going to Kroger on the weekends when the little temptresses would be selling their seemingly innocent wares. Innocent my ass…

But old habits are hard to break. The least little upset in the Feng Shui of life can renew the old passions; latent desires. Like this past Sunday.

I saw a woman at church with some Thin Mints. She was delivering them to people who had ordered GS cookies last month. I wasn’t one of them. But the image of that green box started drilling down into my brain. Down to my very soul. I couldn’t quit thinking about them. Beads of sweat started popping out on my forehead. My palms got moist.

I was still feeling anxious and jumpy when I got home.

“I wonder if the Girl Scouts will be at Kroger today?” I too casually asked my husband. He got a worried look on his face. He saw that smoke of a distant fire in my eyes again.

Then, quite by accident, I discovered it. I couldn’t believe it. As much as I’ve bashed technology in the past, I take it all back. Technology is wonderful. And horrible.

There’s a smartphone app called (get this…) Girl Scout Cookie Finder. Download it, put in your zip code, and it’ll tell you the closest place you can go to get your fix.

Is that legal?

Of course, they were at Kroger. I got two boxes. They’re $4 a box now – I didn’t flinch as I handed over my $8. One’s in the freezer. The other box, minus six cookies, is in my body currently clogging my arteries and probably damaging my pancreas.

FYI, the six left over cookies went down the garbage disposal this morning. When the sugar high cleared, I came back to my senses.

I decided to strike a blow for clean living.

There might be hope for AGMA yet.

The love of my life

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In the movie Field of Dreams, James Earl Jones, playing the character of author Terrance Mann, gives an impassioned speech about baseball.

He tells Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, “The one constant through all the years Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Click here to see his speech in it’s entirety.  Get your hankie out if you’re a baseball fan.

That speech has been stuck in my head since I first watched the movie. The speech of someone who connects the present with the past and the future with one common, unifying thread. The speech of somebody truly passionate about something they’ve intensely loved since childhood. Something that’s brought them comfort through the bad times and joy in the good times. Something that is inherently good and unchanging.

But baseball? Hardly. I’m thinking that he was really talking about that foundational pillar of American society…

The chocolate chip cookie.

Think about it. Fill in “chocolate chip cookie” for “baseball” in the speech and it makes perfect sense. Way more sense than baseball.

Bake it and they will come.

As a young girl, my mother didn’t attempt to teach me how to cook. She did, however, let me make chocolate chip cookies. And so it started…

Through all the seasons of my life, my constant has been the chocolate chip cookie. Through all the uncertainty of life’s twists and turns, the chocolate chip cookie was always there to help bring calm and reassurance to my life. Though the good times, it was a celebratory focal point.

When I went into labor with both of my children, the first thing my husband did was to make a batch of slice and bake chocolate chip cookies to bring to the hospital. Seriously. I ate them after each baby was born when I was famished. It was sweet balm for the tired, but jubilant soul!

But don’t hate me for this – AGMA’s actually a dough person.

About 70% of the ccc’s I’ve eaten have been in the form of raw cookie dough. Which technically isn’t a “cookie” but I don’t want to get too caught up in details… If you’re a dough person, you understand. If you aren’t, then there’s no way I can explain throwing caution to the wind about consuming raw egg and answering this siren call of the naked, unbaked ccc.

It’s fascinating to note how access to the chocolate chip cookie has changed through the years. Back in the day when AGAM was growing up, you either had to bake them yourself (if you had any left over after the dough binge…) or you bought the rock hard, baked by elves, flavorless ones in the grocery store cookie section.  Yuck.

Then, in the 1970’s, the Pillsbury Company turned the chocolate chip cookie world on it’s head. They came out with the slice and bake chocolate cookie “log”. Revolutionary! Suddenly everybody had access to freshly baked, soft ccc’s (or ready made, hard as a rock ccc dough.) It was like Woodstock, but way better.

Peace, love and chocolate chip cookies.

To attest to the enduring popularity and societal importance of the chocolate chip cookie, cookie stores in malls became all the rage in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. But the cookies always tasted meh and were too expensive. Not good ccc karma. AGMA’s glad that fad is dying out.

But we’ve truly come a long way baby. Take a look at the refrigerated cookie section in your local grocery store now. It’s freakin’ mind boggling. All kinds of cookies in all kinds convenient forms – from the traditional slice and bake to “pre-chunked” cookie packages.

I know this because I was just there on Sunday. Buying some pre-chunked ones. I had the post-football beer drinking munchies. A few of them actually made it into the oven.

To clarify, the pre-made dough is fine in pinch if you’ve just had bad news or are desperate for the nearly narcotic calming effects of ccc’s. Or suddenly get a fit of the munchies. Or are having a baby.

But at heart, I’m really a purist. My favorite is made from scratch, gooey, soft chocolate chip cookies. And dough.  No nuts or other additives allowed. Just sugar, butter, eggs, flour, salt, baking soda, vanilla and quality bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks.

A balm for the soul and the fabric that hold us all together as a society.

The chocolate chip cookie.  The love of my life.

“It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”