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A Divorced Dad's Girl Scout Kookiness

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Brian Legate/Flickr
Brian Legate/Flickr

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This email message may contain work product, non-work product, meat by-product or other information which is confidential, privileged, entitled, prissy, or simply dumb. This information is intended only for sole use of the sender, as well as anyone he accidentally copied, or anyone who happened to be in his office when he left the computer on and his email open. Any dissemination or distribution is prohibited, except as Tweeted, posted on Facebook, or mentioned in passing.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel

SENT: Monday, February 4, 11:17 AM

TO: All

SUBJECT: Cookies!

Dear Colleagues,

My daughter Cindy recently joined the Girl Scouts, so we're selling cookies. Yum! I hung the order form in the kitchen.

Boxes are $4 each, and there's no need to pay until I bring in the cookies. It's considered cheating if parents buy their own kids' cookies, so thanks for your support!

Joel

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Wednesday, February 6, 9:29 AM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Cookies!

Maybe you missed my last email -- we've gotta move some Girl Scout cookies! Feel free to email me if you can't write against a wall or don't have a pen (of which there are plenty in the drawer next to the coffeemaker).

And remember, it's all for a good cause: If Cindy sells enough boxes, she wins an iPod case.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Monday, February 11, 4:31 PM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Cookies!

I understand they're not the healthiest cookies in the world, nor the most delicious, or even particularly attractive. But if they tasted like Mallomars, they wouldn't need Girl Scouts to sell them, now would they?

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Thursday, February 14, 2:00 PM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

Happy Valentine's Day!

As many of you know, Cindy is from my first marriage. Her stepfather, Steve, is selling cookies in his office, which I hear has its own chapter of Overeaters Anonymous. Just saying.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Friday, February 15, 3:22 PM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

Yes, I saw those Girl Scouts hawking cookies in the lobby downstairs. It's fantastic one plays the mandolin and the other can scat, but don't they seem a little old to you? I swear one had tattoos. And I'm pretty sure they're selling last year's Savannah Smiles. Again, just saying.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Tuesday, February 19, 6:04 PM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

Did you know Girl Scouts keep kids off the streets? Above the order form, I've attached a photo of Cindy in her uniform, next to a photo of a teenager from Intervention.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Thursday, February 21, 3:12 PM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

Steve's office just bought an entire case of Samoas. Of course this isn't a competition, but know every box you buy from me is a vote for real dads.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Sunday, February 24, 2:34 AM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

i hate you all.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Sunday, February 24, 2:36 AM
TO: All
SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cookies!

Please disregard an email you may have received two minutes ago from me. I hit SEND by accident, and it wasn't meant for you anyway. It was for my parents.

FROM: Schwartzberg, Joel
SENT: Friday, March 1, 10:01 AM
TO: All
SUBJECT: End of Cookie Sale

The cookie sale is over. Final tally: Cindy sold 9 boxes of Do-Si-Dos and a single case of Samoas. Not enough for an iPod case. Not even enough for a temporary tattoo. This week, Cindy quit Girl Scouts and joined a Carly Rae Jepsen tribute band.

But don't feel guilty -- I realize it's hard to afford a four-dollar box of cookies when you're spending six dollars on coffee every day.

And, by the way, I know which of you bought from those tramps in the lobby because I stole their order form. So when I bring in my nine boxes of Do-Si-Dos - which were bought and then donated to me by a very close family friend -- don't even think about asking for one.

Though a failure in the cookie trade and a lapsed Webelo, Joel Schwartzberg is a nationally published personal essayist and author of the collection The 40-Year-Old Version.