When the Teen was about four, I used to say to her:
I see London
I see France
I see your underpants
This was to help her learn to sit and behave like a lady.
This was also around the time I allowed her to dress herself. We were headed to the park one day, and she bent over to pick up a stick, saying “I bet you don’t see any London.”
The Teen is living a dream of mine, and I’m doing my darnedest to not live vicariously through her. She got accepted to a 14 day European Tour. She will visit London, Rome, Paris, and Switzerland. So that means I’m selling cookies like it’s nobodies business.
Fortunately, this year, cookies sales are steady, despite some interlopers. Nevertheless lugging cases have introduced me to a new ailment: back and severe knee pain.
I used to be able to carry at least four cases at once, bounding up and down steps to set up booths, hawking cookies like an old time newsboy. Now I feel like the Willy Loman of cookie sales, a scratch and dent cookie seller. I can’t stand as long as I used to, the cold chills me to my BONES despite the many layers I wear, and my knee swells at the end of the night. I’m exhausted, but like the Little Engine, I keep chugging away.
Social Media has provided me with an opportunity to meet up with a scout leader from Oregon who will send me a case of Thank U Berry Much and Savannah Smiles. #Teamchunk is very happy about that!
As I sell cookies, I have learned that people are a curious bunch. If I had to choose my favorite place to sell it would be anywhere that college students are. There are a few who are contrary just for the Hell of it, and those who are nonconformist because it seems better than trying to fit in, but for the most part, college kids are fun to be around. They haven’t had life kick them in the ass yet, and they are supportive (probably because it’s their parent’s money) and also give great advice to the Teen about future options. Much to the chagrin of the Teen, we have been asked if we are sisters and some express surprise that I am actually her mother.
I also had the opportunity to sell in the subway. The weariness of the people as they pass by my table, or stop to chat for a few moments is sad. They just seem beat up, like Friday can’t get there fast enough. But selling in the subway is also entertainment in itself. There’s always someone practicing an instrument, usually a saxophone or bucket drum. Around seven, when the rush is over, the homeless come out. Every last one of them asked for a quarter or spare change. (In my Robin Harris voice, What the F*CK is spare change?) What is ONE damn quarter going to do? A quarter, really? What can you get with a quarter? A loosie cost fifty cents!
One of the men had his head cocked to the side, shuffling slowly past the table; another man rapidly stuck his tongue out, sliding his hand in the token machine for any loose change. Still another walked dragging his leg. I kept thinking am I in an audition for the Walking Dead or are they about to do a dancing flash mob to Thriller?
I’m already counting down the days. Truthfully, my hips can’t take any more cookies and each year the shenanigans seems to get wackier.
March fourth, I’m waiting for you!