I see London, I see France

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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!

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17 Responses to "I see London, I see France"

  1. My Cloth Diaper Stash

    Wow, how exciting! Sounds like a great trip! I wish I had the opportunity to do something like this when I was that age:)

  2. Heather - Acting Balanced Mom

    How exciting for Teen – that sounds like a trip of a lifetime!  Hope the cookie sales go well :) My hubby has a connection at work who always hooks us up!

  3. Felissahadas
    Felissahadas 3 years ago .Reply

    Make sure the Teen brings a really good camera and remembers to take lots of pictures. I regret not having more pictures from my travels in Europe.

  4. Amy
    Amy 3 years ago .Reply

    Ah…Cookie Season can’t come to end quick enough…what we do for our girls…let’s hope they appreciate and remember!  For one day, it will be their tired back and achy legs too.

    The entertainment value of selling cookies in the subway must be PRICELESS!

  5. Chrissie B DiAngelus
    Chrissie B DiAngelus 3 years ago .Reply

    I JUST posted about this the other evening after I saw a gal and her grandfather stake out a Blockbuster near my house. My son wanted candy and I told him we had to support the cause :)  However, my post was about what the good partnerships look like…where they are…how to teach business lessons to young girls about partnering – rather than just take the “I’ll set up my table anywhere” approach.  Because they ALL set up at Acme.  What’s the right mix?  Because we all need the traffic of the Acmes but what about the local coffee shops?  What about the local business women chapter events?  Even if the girl has school preventing her from physically being there, she could ask for 5 min to pitch her Girl Scout story to a group of women execs who were probably Brownies or GS in their days, and then say her mom will be helping her sell them or another colleague will take orders – or better yet, online orders.

    I’m all about helping these 10 year olds think outside the proverbial box.  The sooner, the better because heaven knows that sort of creative thinking is what is lacking today in the workforce and will be in dire need when they enter it in 15 years. 

    It’s great you are helping her and I second the “performance” aspect of the subway.  What about staking out one of the regional rail lines between 4-6pm?  I’m in Swarthmore and the Wallingford stop as well as the Swarthmore one gets mega traffic.  And it’s less likely you have to deal with the “spare change” dude. 

    Congrats to your girl on her Euro opportunity – awesome.

  6. Erika
    Erika 3 years ago .Reply

    Wow what a great opportunity for teen! I love your cookie selling tales – those are sure to be remembered!

  7. JDaniel4smom Smith
    JDaniel4smom Smith 3 years ago .Reply

    What a wonderful opportunity she has to travel!

  8. Barb @ A Life in Balance
    Barb @ A Life in Balance 3 years ago .Reply

    Getting to travel internationally is such a wonderful opportunity for your daughter!

  9. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    She wanted to get a job.  I told her she was outta here! She has the rest of her life to work!

  10. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    Thanks! I’m really happy for her.  

  11. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    The GSEP council sets up our booths and we have to take turns and stay in our area.  Which can be tough if others aren’t following the rules.  I would like to take credit cards and set up an online shop, but the majority of my customers are cash and carry.  I REALLY like the local business women events and I plan to use that idea this weekend. 

    I would love to do a booth at the regional rails but again, there’s an area restriction.  But as always, I’d rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.  If you see a knitting woman and a semi surly teen, that will be me!

  12. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    The love hate with the cookie sales is so weird! During the season I am exhausted thinking about the sales, then I miss the time I spent with my daughter.  I encourage any mother and daughter to do at least ONE booth to cultivate that bond. The stories I plan to tell my grandchildren will be hilarious!

  13. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    I love cookie connections. Those are like icing on the cake.  I looked over the paperwork for the trip and she goes EVERYWHERE.  The Vatican, Windsor castle, the Eiffel Tower…It’s going to be awesome for her!

  14. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    It is awesome.  I think my mom did the best she could, but I’m a twin.  She would have killed herself trying to sell cookies!  I say I’m going to be like the father from the movie Amelie and just book a trip and GO.  

  15. Mrsrkfj
    Mrsrkfj 3 years ago .Reply

    I couldn’t find your blog.  I would love to read that post.  Can you give the link?

  16. Heather @ Localfunforkids
    Heather @ Localfunforkids 3 years ago .Reply

    Great post! I had the chance to travel at the end of college and it was a major life changing experience. I hope she soaks in every minute and really appreciates this gift. : )

  17. agrandelife
    agrandelife 3 years ago .Reply

    She is so lucky! What an amazing experience for her!

Keep the conversation going. Comments welcomed!