Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Thin Mint Line

My passion for Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies came up in a conversation today about rationing vs. relishing, and I'm finding my musings disturbingly applicable to life beyond cookie love. The past few years, I've made the hard decision every year NOT to buy Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts that camp out in front of every grocery store. The reason is simple, but sad: The intense pressure of having Thin Mints available only once a year, makes the brief presence of them in my life a real two-choice dillema between sticking them in the freezer and carefully rationing them out to last as long as possible, or, just diving in and enjoying their minty crunchiness while it lasts, not thinking of each cookie as one less cookie for the rest of the year, but just being grateful for the cookie that is. This inner battle has grown so frustrating, that I've landed on not buying them at all, so I don't have to deal with the gain/loss battle of loving Thin Mints.

Well, as any of you intelligent observers of human behavior might have done, Cabe relfected my words back to me in this way:

"That's really sad: So basically, the thing you love the most, you don't let yourself have."
(His approximate words- he can correct me if he remembers them better)

But oh how true and sad indeed. Isn't that the struggle with loving anything/wanting anything/
hoping/risking anything? If you go ahead and buy the Thin Mints and eat and enjoy them, you will have to face the fact that they will eventually run out. Not buying the cookies saves you from having to do the countdown to no-cookies, but really, you jumped right to the no-cookie part, and never got the some-cookies and lots-of-cookies part of the story.

I'm not saying that risk is exactly like Thin Mints, because the Thin Mints will definatley run out, and what you're risking for is not a definate loss situation. But the risk usually feels that way. It's easier just to say no to the thing you want the most, so you don't have to face losing it. And because of that, you never ever get the thing you so crave.

Can we learn to be strong enough to enjoy the Girl Scout cookies while they're here, remembering even that a whole year may not be that long to wait for them to come again? Can we enjoy each cookie, and not just taste it as a precursor to loss? Can we go ahead and love with relish and delight, even knowing we might be alone in doing it?

6 comments:

Smruti said...

i love this blog and how you so smoothly intertwine thin mints with the huge life questions :) i'm a samoa(sp?) fan myself.

Keepitmoving said...

My yearly obsession is Passover Haroset. I look forward to it all year and then when it's finally time to eat, I usually gorge myself on the strange but simple mixture of apples and cinnamon, horse radish spread on matzo. Really, it's not much, but somehow the year of waiting, plus the l o n g and starving wait to finally eat at the diner, makes it worth it. I don't think it would taste the same if we ate it all the time.

When I was a girl scout my mom would buy cases of cookies and keep them in the freezer. Basically, I had thin mints available to me year round (or my obsession, S'mores) and eventually, it just wasn't special to eat them any more. It always dwindled down to the Do Si Dos, which most likely got thrown out to the birds.

Today though, give me a box of S'mores and it'll be gone in an hour. Yes I feel weak, gross and a little insane, but I can't help it.
At least my love of Haroset comes with ceremony and reflection- why can't Girl scout cookies be the same?

Garth said...

Buy more boxes.

Jeremy said...

What a haunting story. I do hope there is some resolution in a later chapter or I might get nightmares. i just don't know what to do with myself

Marissa said...

Hey KJ - I have one word: AMEN!!! Man, I definitely feel you right now. Your words really resonated with me. And my brain works the same as yours does - I am always seeing deep life meaning in the tiniest circumstances. I love your blog; it is so enriching. So anyway, thanks for writing that...I really needed to hear it. Love, Marissa =)

katrina said...

swansonian,

love for thinmints as well as people takes courage and boldness. buy more boxes, as our wise buddy Garth suggests! passion is suffering but what is life afterall?

love,
monty