Pay No Mind to the Cookies

Self consciousness takes a back seat to getting the job done


There are a number of things I enjoy in this world. Quality chocolate, tasty treats that don't have a lot of yucky-for-you stuff in them, and a really good deal, to name a few.

It seems like I hit the jackpot one day when I wandered into Whole Foods for a few items and saw one of my favorite cookies on sale. For context, these cookies are usually priced at $4.69 a box, and there are only six, individually wrapped cookies per box so this is precious cargo. The sale price was a whopping two boxes for $5, so you can imagine my unmitigated delight.

I went to the cookie section to see how many boxes were left on the shelf and saw only a few. Not one to be daunted or ready pass up this incredible opportunity, I forged an immediate plan to buy what meager stock was left and ask for a rain check to buy more when they restocked. I went upstairs to customer service, cookies in tow, to make my request.

"How many boxes do you want?"

That was the question, wasn't it? I asked her how many cookies are in a case.

“Twelve. And you get a 10% discount for buying an entire case.”

Sold. Sign me up for one case.

Then I realized, oh wait, there were both milk and dark chocolate varieties and I want to get some of each. And as you’ve probably already realized, you can't mix half of one case and half of another case to buy one full case for the discount. What to do?? That would mean two cases. Could I do that? My first cookie-case purchase ever and already I’m doubling down… Wasn’t that a little crazy? After all, they weren’t to sell for my Girl Scout troop. In truth, they were mostly for me and the occasional visitor; I wasn't going to be passing them out for Halloween.

But they are individually wrapped and they would keep for quite a while, so what the heck. I won't buy cookies until 2017.

“Two cases. One milk and one dark.” I felt like a daredevil.

The day came when the cookies arrived at the store and were ready for pickup. But there was one twist: only the one case of cookies had arrived. The dark chocolate case was backordered, and it could be some time before they would be available.

I may not be a Girl Scout but I am nearly always prepared. Anticipating the unwieldiness of carrying home 12 boxes of cookies, I brought a bunch of Ziploc bags down with me to the store to transfer the cookies into the bags, consolidate my load and carry them home in my tote.

And then I got to the store.

I decided to go downstairs, just to check, if there were any boxes of the dark chocolate cookies still on the shelf. There were! Four of them, in fact. I brought those with me to the counter and requested my case of cookies. I probably set a new record for total cookie purchase by any one person. Let them talk, I decided.

When the girl at customer service found my case, she put it up on the counter.

14 boxes in a case.


That was even more cookies.

But I was getting the 10% discount for buying the whole case and the customer service rep assured me she would give me the sale price for the four dark chocolate I had scored downstairs and give me a rain check for the rest.

Who can pass up that deal?

After she rang everything up, I took the box over to an empty checkout counter to redistribute the wealth. And then I realized it all fit so nicely in the big box. Maybe I should just take it home that way?. After all, riding the subway is a bit like roulette, particularly on the weekends -  you never know how it's going to go. Containing everything in a nice, sturdy cardboard box might make the trip easier.

So off I went carrying my mega box through Union Square to the train heading uptown. It was beyond crowded. No problem. The box sat on the floor and I squeezed myself into the cluster of people. Perfect! When the train got to my stop, I hauled the box up from the floor and edged my way out of the car and upstairs to street level.

And then I heard it.

It was a cross between a bang and a slapping sound. Like the sound of a box of cookies hitting a cement floor. The mega box’s bottom had given way and one of its milk chocolate covered inhabitants slipped through the flaps.

Time for a return to Plan A. I set up camp right there in the station, taking 18 boxes of cookies, opening them one at a time transferring each group of six cookies into Ziploc bags.

I see a number of curiosities living in New York City, but usually I'm the spectator,  not the sport. This time was different.

People were mesmerized by the shiny silver wrappers of each cookie and saw the word “Chocolate” written on the boxes. Too tempting.  Passers-by began to pause, wheels in their brains clearly turning. What is she doing with all those cookies?

A family emerged from the subway staircase and came up onto the street level. The husband noticed me and the cookies.

"Se vende?" he muttered to his wife.

Looks like I had my first customer. Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of selling them. He saw the shiny, individual wrappers and probably wanted a snack.

The markup would be incredible, but  those of you who know me know I don't give my cookies to just anyone. I had no way of knowing if these cookies, with their fairly decent ingredients, gluten free and tastily enrobed in chocolate, would even be appreciated for the miracle that they are (those of you who have tried various gluten-free cookies know exactly what I'm talking about).

After all, these cookies were very special to me and I had gone out of my way to get them. So as tempting as it was to make a quick buck, I did not want to part with my cookies ... and let's be honest, even if I was ready to part with my cookies, I don't have a license to sell cookies in the train station.

A bit puzzled by my silence and lack of eye contact, the man and his family continued on their way.

I kept my head down and continue to transfer cookies into bags. When I was done, I packed myself up, took the cardboard box, filled it with the 18 empty boxes, and placed it by the trash receptacle with the hope that all would get recycled.

And then, as the final act in my performance as the curious cookie oddity, I took a picture of those boxes for this very blog. If I didn't get funny looks before, I sure had them now.

All in all, I don't mind that people looked at me funny or that they went home and possibly told someone about the crazy lady taking photos of empty cookie boxes.


Because, I got this story, I got a great deal, and I've got lots of cookies. Yes, it was well worth it. And, I'll remember that the next time I’m considering doing something that might look crazy to someone else.