Who Me, Nervous?

As sure as death and taxes,
it came around each year…
Girl Scout cookie sales.
Time to don my uniform
and hit the pavement.

Oakley Lane had seven houses
on each side of the street.
I started at the bottom and
worked my way up the hill.

My strategy was simple…
smile and hope for the best.

In the 1950’s, there was only
one variety of cookie to sell…
no Thin Mints or Shortbreads.

It was vanilla and chocolate
sandwich cookies, period.
If that didn’t tantalize their
taste-buds, I was doomed.

I trudged from house to house,
secretly hoping no one would
answer when I rang the doorbell.

Better yet, if a Girl Scout emblem
sticker was on display I figured I
could skip that house, as it signaled
they had already done their civic
duty by purchasing cookies.

After what seemed an eternity
of sweating bullets, I finally
arrived back home.

I had survived another outing.

The Fuller Brush man covering
our neighborhood didn’t need to
worry. His job was safe, as I was
definitely not cut out for sales.


Inspired by Daily Prompt – Nervous

Call Me Old-Fashioned (WPC)


Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit
like pulling out my Christmas card list,
gathering up the stamps and address labels,
spreading my cards and envelopes on the table
and sitting down to send personal greetings
to friends and relatives.

When I was growing up in the 1950’s, we
always had a family Christmas card each
year. The cards traveled far and wide to
hundreds of people. There was a large
basket with holiday themed decorations
to hold the stacks of cards we received.

While I send far fewer cards today, I still
look forward to hearing back from people
and reading their notes scribbled inside.


WPC:  It’s Not This Time of Year Without….

A Trip To The Store


I recall accompanying my mother shopping
in the late ‘50’s and early 1960’s.

This wasn’t Saks Fifth Avenue, mind you,
just local retailers, independently owned.

Upon entering the premises, a sales associate
immediately offered assistance.

The clerk queried to determine customer needs.
Items were pulled and brought to the dressing room.
The sales associate checked back regularly to clear
unwanted merchandise and bring additional sizes or styles.

A seamstress was ready with tape measure and pins in hand.
Basic tailoring of apparel was complimentary.
Items purchased were neatly bagged, boxed or placed
on hangers, once wrinkles were removed with a steamer.

Regular customers were addressed by name.
Sales associates became familiar with the individual
preferences of customers and often gave a heads up
when new merchandise arrived which might suit
their particular needs.

Fast Forward to 1985

My mother needed a new spring jacket. I accompanied her
to a local mall. It took a few minutes, but we finally located
the coat department.

Two sales associates were busy straightening and
stocking merchandise. Neither greeted us or asked
if they could be of help.

My mother was short on energy and patience. I started
browsing the racks, picked up some items, ushered
her back to the dressing room and helped her on and
off with jackets.

Another trip to the floor found both sales associates absent.
I gathered up more items and… BINGO… found a winner.

When we exited the dressing room, the sales associates
had magically reappeared and were standing at the register
chatting away.

When I caught their attention, they began arguing about
whose sale it was. Although ready to blow a gasket,
I calmly explained the obvious…I had done all the work
helping my mother and the sale was rightfully mine.

Jaws dropped in unison.

The transaction was completed forthwith and we were
on our way.  (I never received my commission check.)

Fast Forward to 2016

A trip to a big box retailer is easily a half-marathon event
that requires navigating an arena-sized facility where
unsuspecting customers can spend the rest of their lives
unless they leave a trail of bread crumbs behind them.

And don’t count on those employees decked out in matching headsets to acknowledge your existence.

The best I can determine, they only communicate with each other… or maybe Mars.

Meanwhile, brick and mortar stores wonder why more and more people choose to shop online.

It’s quite simple.

We prefer to be ignored in the comfort of our own homes.