How to Sell Girl Scout Cookies Politely

Only if they are made from real Girl Scouts. (The author unfortunately does not have a digital copy of her in her Girl Scout uniform. Darn.)

Only if they are made from real Girl Scouts. (The author unfortunately does not have a digital copy of her in her Girl Scout uniform. Darn.)

It’s that time of year when gentle spring breezes waft the scent of delicious cookies towards our noses. Whether you call them tagalongs or peanut butter patties, we all need our fix of the famous Girl Scout Cookies. However, if you happen to be a Girl Scout (as I once was) or a Girl Scout parent, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you set out to sell cookies.

Door to Door

In my day, this was the #1 way to sell cookies, which was pretty awkward when both my sister and I were selling cookies at the same time (I have no idea how my parents dealt with it.) But basically, you went around your neighborhood, rang the doorbells, asked if they would like to order some cookies and boom, done. Then you went back around to deliver the cookies weeks later.

I believe the Girl Scouts discourage this practice now due to safety concerns. Anyway, if you are going to do it you must:

  • Take no for an answer. Cookie sales are not the time for high pressure sales tactics.
  • Say thank you to those who place orders and those that don’t.
  • Don’t ring the bell more than once or twice.
  • Always go with an adult (or a buddy if you are older, I guess. I quit Girl Scouts when I was 10.)
  • Promptly deliver the cookies after you receive them.

Parent’s Work

I was always jealous of the girls who would win the big cookie selling prizes because their parents worked in huge offices and would just bring the sheet in for them to sign up. I am still jealous of people who work in huge offices where parents bring in Girl Scout cookie sign up sheets. This is another instance where high pressure sales tactics are not appropriate. Just leave the sign up sheet in the breakroom or wherever with a note and let people sign up on their own. If you are the boss, it is doubly especially important that you make it clear that cookie purchases are optional, as often people feel pressure to buy things from their boss because they are the boss.

Cookie Stands

When I was in college, a group of Girl Scouts would set up their cookie stand outside our student center at lunch time and make bank, I’m sure. Those girls are going to go far in life because they realized the importance of location and the appetites of college students. Again, no high pressure sales tactics necessary. Just set up somewhere busy with a bright display of cookies and watch the money roll in. A few cute munchkins standing about asking people if they want to buy cookies is fine. Otherwise, pleases and thank yous are all you need.

How to Deal When Someone Doesn’t Remember You

None of these people are going to remember anyone they met.

None of these people are going to remember anyone they met.

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

Would you consider writing a post about what to do when someone you’ve met before reintroduces themselves? Do you tell them you’ve met previously? Do you just smile and go with it? I imagine there’s different protocol for the person doing this whom you’ve only met once before, compared to the person who’s ‘met’ you for the fifth time.


Introduced Again and Again


Official Etiquette

Miss Manners says that you just politely remind people that you have met.


Our Take

Jaya: Was it you don’t remember meeting someone, or they don’t remember meeting you?

Victoria: They don’t remember meeting you was the question, but we can do both.

So this happens to me allll the time.

Jaya: Absolutely, on both sides. I’m usually not offended if someone doesn’t remember meeting me.

There are a lot of people out there! I’m not special

Victoria: Haha yeah! I think it’s fine, especially when you are meeting people in a crowd or its a dark bar situation.

Jaya: Yeah exactly If it’s going on like 5-6 times I’m also usually not offended, it just signals that I’m not gonna be best friends with this person, which is fine, I got friends. I’d be more offended if it were in a business situation.

Victoria: I think it’s totally fine to say “oh we met at such and such a place.” But I hate it when people are like “we’ve met” and are really short about it. It’s like, jeez sorry.

Jaya: Yeah, give someone a break! Plus that doesn’t help me, now I just know we’ve met but have no idea where.

Victoria: Oh and sometimes if it’s been a long time, and I knew they probably wouldn’t remember me, I won’t even say anything. I’ll just be like, it’s nice to meet you.

Jaya: Definitely. Also, if I get a sense I’ve met someone before but forget their name, I like having my husband or a friend nearby so I can be like “oh this is my husband Matt” and then he goes “Hi, nice to meet you, what was your name again?” and then boom, I remember their name.

Victoria: Hahah nice trick. Okay and then if you are the one who didn’t remember meeting them, I think it’s nice to apologize and then say something about being terrible with faces or whatever.

Jaya: Definitely. Or if they bring up the night you met and you remember it being particularly drunken/dark/hectic, mention that.

Victoria: Yes! Now, if this is like the 6th time you’ve forgotten them…..maybe just run away?

Jaya: But yes, if it’s the first time it’s happened, I don’t think you can really get mad. But yeah any more it’s like, this person is probably a jerk and you can avoid them. Or maybe has face blindness. Check that they don’t have face blindness first.

Victoria: And maybe do the super businessy thing of proactively saying peoples names when you meet them so you remember them.

Jaya: Ugh that never works for me. I do that every time I meet someone and repeat their name in my haed and then it’s immediately gone.

Victoria: Haha yeah, I don’t do names either. I just never say anyone’s name unless I’m yelling across a room to get their attention.

Victoria : Did you know that the princess of Sweden is face blind? That must be a nightmare in that position.

Jaya: I love how you just know the princess of Sweden is face blind.

Victoria: I am full of fun facts.

I think also if you forget someone but you sort of think you have met before you can just be like, hey how are you????

And then later be like omg this is so embarrassing I am blanking on your name.

Jaya: Yes! I pull “nice to see you” a lot when I’m unsure.

Victoria: Yeah, I am pretty good with faces but not with names.

Jaya: Definitely. I don’t know, I feel like everyone goes through this, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to be understanding when it happens.

Victoria: Yeah, totally. And I mean, if someone is just being obtuse about it and you’ve met ten times, just ignore them and write them off as someone awful that you don’t want to deal with.

Jaya: Absolutely, there are better things to focus on that one person who can’t be bothered with you.

Though again, if it’s in a professional setting it makes it harder.

Like if a partner at your law firm refuses to learn your name.

Victoria: Yeah, I was going to say, if it’s business and they are senior to you, just keep firmly introducing yourself to them through a smile with gritted teeth.

If they are junior to you, get them fired.

jk jk

Thank Goodness We Don’t Have to Do That Anymore: The Guest Card

Things that are only possible with this many servants.

Back in the day, for a certain level of hostess (ie with a huge house and a lot of servants), guests would have quite a lot of options during their stay- whether they would have breakfast in their rooms (if you haven’t noticed, on Downtown Abbey, it is only married women who are allowed to have breakfast in bed), what they would like for breakfast, etc. Usually the hostess would ask these questions naturally during the first day of the stay. But the truly chic hostess would leave a little card in the guest’s room for them to fill out before dinner:

What time do you want to be awakened? …………………..
Or, will you ring? ……………………………………
Will you breakfast up-stairs? …………………………..
Or down? …………………………………………….

Underscore Your Order:

Coffee, tea, chocolate, milk,
Oatmeal, hominy, shredded wheat,
Eggs, how cooked?
Rolls, muffins, toast,
Orange, pear, grapes, melon.

At Bedtime Will You Take

Hot or cold milk, cocoa, orangeade,
Sandwiches, meat, lettuce, jam,
Cake, crackers,
Oranges, apples, pears, grapes.

That’s even nicer service than any hotel I’ve ever been to! Of course, this sort of thing was super rare and in no way would be expected today.

In a related note, grand houses also used to have “guest books” just like you would see in a fancy B&B or a historical site, in which all the guests would write their names, the date of their visit, and some comments. This was a way for the family to look back on who had visited them and when (a must for frequent hosts!) and a nice momento. These are great resources for historians today, as well.

How to Host an Overnight Guest

Not exactly the most welcoming. [Via Wikimedia Commons

Hosting overnight guests is the most intimate form of hosting since you are essentially signing up to share your living space with someone for a period of time. Now, the level of hosting can vary greatly- you are going to treat a one night guest, a weekend guest, and a long term guest in slightly different ways. But there are some key things to remember:

  • Figure out where they are going to sleep ahead of time ( I also recommend being upfront with your sleeping arrangements when you extend the invitation- let them know that they will be sleeping on your couch, the floor, the spare bed, etc. so those who cannot sleep in certain arrangements can decline.)
  • Make sure you have everything set up before your guest arrives. Blow up the air mattress and make it up with clean sheets, make sure the guest bed has clean sheets, etc. (If they are sleeping on your couch, you shouldn’t make it up until just before they go to sleep so you can both sit on it.) The idea is to not make the guest feel like a burden as they see you scramble to get everything together. Plus if you discover the air mattress has a hole or the blower is out of batteries or all your sheets are dirty, you will have time to remedy it.
  • Pull out a set of (again, clean!) towels for your guest to use and point them out to the guest when they arrive.
  • It’s nice to have some snacks and drinks available that you tell the guest to help themselves to.
  • Show the guest where cups, plates, forks, etc are stored so they can get them themselves.
  • Make some effort to tidy up, especially in the bathroom. You might not mind showering in a tub with a gross ring, but that’s because it’s YOUR gross ring.
  • Unless you know for sure your guest isn’t a breakfast person, try to have a couple of things on hand like toast, cereal, and orange juice. If you are a baker, make some muffins, or go all out and make scrambled eggs and bacon. It will really make your guest feel cared for and they will be happy not to leave your house ravenous to go to whatever plans you have for the day (unless you are planning on going out to breakfast!). Here is my etiquette confession: I can’t offer people coffee because I don’t own a coffee maker. But I do live literal steps from a bodega that guests can get coffee from, so forgiven?
  • If you and your guest are sharing your bedroom make sure to talk about whether you are ready to turn out the light and what time you want to wake up.
  • If you have a friend coming to visit, make sure you come up a list of fun things to see and do that you can share with them. They don’t know what’s good to do and you do! If they are coming for some other reason, help them out with figuring out where they are going, transportation, important things to know, copies of your keys, etc.

What To Do If Someone Gets Stabbed At Your Wedding

We were shocked and appalled to see this post on Reddit:

One of my [26/F] bridesmaids [26/F] stabbed and nearly killed my husband’s [26/M] cousin [30/F] at our wedding. What do we do with the gifts they both gave us, and what do we say to our guests?

Of course it was way too juicy for us not to talk about it:


Jaya: Okay so generally, I would assume the stabbing victim did not do anything wrong? Or less wrong than the aggressor.

Victoria: Yeah, generally.

Jaya: So you know, nothing wrong with his gift.

Victoria: Although, I don’t know how I would feel if they had been fully participating in starting and escalating the fight.

Jaya: Right, and unfortunately there don’t seem to be more details.

Victoria: I think someone suggested in the comments giving the stabber’s gift to charity. I think that is nice, or give it to the person who got stabbed.

Jaya: Yeah, or donating it to your cousin’s medical bills. I don’t think giving back either of the gifts is normal? Some people are saying it is.

Victoria: Yeah, that seems weird.

Jaya: I don’t know, if I got stabbed, the last thing I’m thinking about is the ice bucket I got you off your registry.

Victoria: And like, chances are they came a while before the wedding. And HEY, you totally deserve that ice bucket for having such a ruckus at your wedding. I would send the couple extra gifts.

Jaya: Right? Like, they’re staying you should rip up a check which 1. assuming you got a check, which maybe you didn’t and does that help/change anything?

Victoria: Yeah, so that’s that for the gift situation. For relations- I would definitely say call the family of the cousin who got stabbed to profusely apologize and express your total shock about the situation. And definitely visit at the hospital and bring flowers etc. And I would go so far as to say, write some kind of note or call the other guests at the wedding to update them that the cousin is doing well and that you can’t believe it happened, etc etc. specially thank anyone who went above and beyond in the situation to help.

Jaya: I totally agree with all your advice. Though I don’t think the couple needs to feel all that responsible. I mean, unless they orchestrated it. But it seems like they had nothing to do with it!

Victoria: Yeah! It’s just one of those things Oh and obviously never talk to that bridesmaid again.

Jaya: What would you even write? “sorry someone got stabbed at our wedding?”

Victoria: I mean, I would write something like “we deeply regret the tragic event that occurred at our wedding and want to assure you that [cousin] is doing well.”

Jaya: Damn you’re good at this.

Victoria: But a phone call might be a good idea unless the wedding was huge.

Jaya: And you know, I’m sure people will be asking, so it may not even be an issue of writing a note. You can just tell anyone who calls you that it’s resolved and your cousin is okay.

Victoria: I might write that on any thank you notes that hadn’t been written yet. Just because it would be weird not to mention it

Jaya: That’s a good idea. I love that a Google search to see if there’s a news story about this just brings up stuff about “backstabbing bridesmaids.”