Friday, December 16, 2005


My mother was our Brownie/Girl Scout Troop Leader. A teacher, she was one of the few working mothers of my class, but she was the one who stepped forward, offered to start the troop, lead the troop.

It was cookie selling time, which was the main fundraiser for Girl Scouts. My mother, ever health conscious, ordered two boxes of the boring oatmeal cookies for our house. That's it. I, eight years old, was expected to deliver alone the prepaid orders of yummier Thin Mint (chocolate with mint) cookies and Tagalongs (peanut butter and chocolate) to our neighbors, knowing we would have none in our house.

I was weak, but my love for peanut butter with chocolate was not. I stole a box of Tagalongs from the stacks in our garage, and, hiding behind a bush in a neighbor's backyard, I devoured them all then threw the empty box in her trashcan.

Later that night, as I lay sick in bed, having confessed my crime and suffering from the ultimate tummy upset, my mother lay a soothing hand on my forehead and told me I would have to tell the troop what I had done, I would have to repay the cost of the cookies, and I would not receive the yearly cookie badge with the other scouts.

I have never stolen anything since.

One that persistently follows another.
"tagalong." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 16 Dec. 2005.