Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Minty Fresh (Part 2)

The next week, I spent more time selling. In the past, I sold cookies on the nice days. On the days when I had nothing else to do and when it got closer to the deadline. If I was going to beat Steffy Miller, I was going to have to out work her and her parents. That meant hitting the pavement seven days a week. What had I gotten myself into?

I lived, breathed and slept those cookies. Tagalongs and Samoas were my life. I started making claims about the cookies. Healthy for breakfast. Won’t get soggy when double dunked. Thin Mints make your breath minty fresh. It was crazy.

I got up in the morning, went to school, ran home and hit the streets. When it was nice out it was fine, but then came the rain. With my umbrella in one hand and my order form in the other, parents were surprised I was out in bad weather. I think I got a bunch of pity orders. I was happy for anything. I needed to close the gap. My BFF hit the houses after I did, and they bought from her too. This had to work. It was an airtight plan.

I walked into my troop meeting that week waiting to hear the good news. The oak paper read that I was at 122 while Steffy Miller had 166. I had to hold back my tears. The gap might be closing, but it seemed impossible. I started to wonder if I could ever really beat her.

Deflated, I went home and told my mom the story. She said, “You don’t have to compete with anyone. Just do your best, and that’s all you can do.” That was nice.

My brother, who overheard the story, had something else to say. “You’re going to let Steffy Miller beat you.” He said her name like it was poison. “You’re crazy. She’s such a dork. You can beat her easy.”

My brother was ultra competitive. All he cared about was winning, and when he lost he couldn’t take it. But he rarely lost. Whenever we played sports, board games or even cards and my brother won he’d immediately blast Queen’s “We Are The Champions” throughout the house. I knew all the words to that song in my sleep, he played it so much. Celebrating each win as though he’d won a gold medal in the Olympics, that song was his national anthem. Winning was his life.

“Don’t quit. You’re better than Steffy Miller...you’re Italian. And Italians can do anything.” My brother always had this thing about being Italian. This nationalistic pride that made him feel like he had an edge. Nobody else in my family acted that way. It was weird. But then my brother started playing the theme song from Rocky, and my Italian pride started to kick in.

Dun dun dun dun-na-na. Dun dun na na na. Dun dun dun dun! Dun dun dun na duna dun dun.

Maybe there was something to it.

Dun dun dun dun-na-na. Dun dun na na na. Dun dun dun dun! Dun dun dun na duna dun dun.

Maybe I could do anything.

Dun dunanana duna DUN DUN.

Steffy Miller was only successful because she had parents that did the work.

Flying higher!

And they just brought the forms to their jobs and if somebody wanted to buy they got a sale.

Flying higher!

I was really selling.

Flying higher!

And I had what it takes.

Flying higher!

I looked at my brother and said, “What should I do?” He said, “Keep selling and don’t ever give up. Crush that Steffy Miller. You can do it. Crush her!” Then he went back to looking at himself in the mirror while I ran to use my Mickey Mouse phone. Energized from the Rocky music, I had a new idea.



  1. You could break her knees like Tanya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan.