Recently there was a spat at our new home, following a timid knock at the front door. On our stoop was a girl, no more than eight, selling Girl Scout Cookies for $3.50 a pop. She looked back at her father once she saw my very bald, very skinny, very tattooed paramour and my socially awkward, gender ambiguous, very tattooed self. Before I could say, “We don’t want any of what you’re selling, we already own a vacuum and we’re atheists,” Simon agreed to a buy some ‘Girl-funding goodies, and promised it would only take a moment for him to find sufficient green to exchange for the green box.
The next five minutes were spent with the little girl hovering in the doorway of our house as Simon shook the change out of our dirty laundry, trying to scrounge up $3.50.
“We don’t have money to spend on fucking cookies,” I moaned, not caring if my foul language burned blisters into the wee lass’ cochleas.
Simon shot me a look that made it clear that while he was willing to deal with my veganism, fear of bees, and adoration of mid-90s trip-hop, he was not about to shack up with a purely evil, child-hating, cookie-reviling, penny-pinching jerk. After finding a dime inside of a tape case, he ran back to the door to procure his box of treats and bask in the glory of his good deed of the day.
Now, of course he wants to support a prominent organization and not break the heart of an unexpected ‘tween door-to-door saleschild, but I suspect that the real reason for his desperate donation was the taste of Thin Mints. Fundraising is a funny thing. It has to unite a respectable cause with the urgency of a deadline, and it has to provide a whopper of a benefit to the person donating. Or perhaps that’s just my selfish, miserly, Wicked Witch Of The Midwest point of view.
I bring this up because this week I am in New York, visiting family and attending a fundraiser for the online magazine that I noodle around on. I don’t get regularly paid to write for it, or to collect content, and I don’t believe any of its contributors, editors, or bloggers do either. The whole thing is a labor of love, especially for our very own Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown hybrid, author Stephen Elliott.
This Thursday, if you’re in the New York area, please feel free to attend The Rumpus ‘Raiser at Crash Mansion. The party starts at 7PM, and includes music by Will Sheff of Okkervil River, Timothy Bracy of The Mendoza Line, and Beth Wawerna of Bird Of Youth. There will be comedy by Kristen Shall (Flight of the Conchords) and Michael Showalter (Comedy Central’s Stella) as well as readings from James Frey, Andrew Sean Greer, Jonathan Ames, and This American Life‘s Starlee Kine. I’ll be there. You can buy tickets here.
Seeing strangers will numb the pain of being away from Oklahoma, which I miss with an odd reverence. As for my better half, I know that he’s chowing down on the box of Thin Mints stored in the freezer.
And I’d like to state for the record that I feel really guilty for my reaction to the Girl Scouts. It was less than I have spent buying a tub of cookie dough, and being poor shouldn’t mean depriving anyone of cookies. Besides, the first Girl Scout cookie sale was put on in 1917, in the town of Muskogee, in my new home state of Oklahoma. If you’re craving some Samoas, Peanut Butter Patties, or Do-si-dos, click on the Girl Scout Cookie Locator and find the nearest council to give you your fix.
Drop me a line, chastise me for being a cookie curmudgeon: AinsleyDrew at gmail dot com. And thank you to everyone who donates, of course.