Free Cookies

A childhood memory popped into my head the other day. I feel like this is one that you may see and say, “That happened to me, too!”. Let’s see.

I remember going to the grocery store as a child and walking by the bakery counter where, inevitably, one of the workers would come out and give me a cookie. More often than not, it was a Dare fudge chocolate cookie. Those were so good.

Sometimes, if I was going by the bakery section and there wasn’t anyone around, I’d wait in the general vicinity and try and get in the eyeline of an employee behind the counter. Because I knew if they saw me, they’d probably offer me a cookie.

As I write that, it sounds like Little Paul was learning how to manipulate others.

Definitely not. Okay, maybe a bit.

I don’t want you to get the impression that I got a cookie every time I went to the grocery store. I didn’t – far from it. Nor was I angling for a cooking every time. I wasn’t. If it happened, it happened.

It wasn’t Cookie Heist O’Clock for me, though if it was that would make a great acronym of CHOC – the first four letters of chocolate chip cookie.

This memory unlocked a whole slew of cookie-related memories.

It made me realize that the older we get, the less likely we are to be given free cookies. Sorry to hit you with such a dark truth.

I think I was in Grade 4 when my elementary school library was running a “promotion”. If you read a certain amount of books, the librarian would give you a small two-pack of Chips Ahoy! cookies. What a deal!

It never really struck me as odd, until now. It’s not your traditional school reward. It’s not a sticker, or a pencil, or one of those pens with a string on them so you could wear it around your neck, even though you never would.

I seem to remember them running out of cookies at one point and the librarian had to create a tally so we would receive the cookies we were owed, whenever a new shipment (Was there a shipment? HOW DID THIS WORK?) came in.

That would never happen these days. These schools don’t even want to put pepperoni on the pizza for Pizza Day anymore. There’s no chance a pack of cookies is going to be dangled as a reward for reading.

Another example of free cookies coming my way was whenever I’d accompany one of my parents to a doctor’s appointment. It was one of those dry Arrowroot biscuits that actually don’t taste that bad. I liked them.

They’re a far cry from the fudge chocolate cookies being given out at the grocery store, but very on-brand for a doctor’s office. They probably helped with my digestion and I didn’t even know it.

Was there a phase when adults felt like it was their duty to supply children with free cookies? Is it somewhere in the adult handbook? I’m writing this post and it’s becoming quite comical to me.

Don’t worry, I’m not done yet. I have another cookie occurrence.

There was this mall we would go to in the summer and their food court was top notch. There was a McDonald’s, Mr. Sub, and Dairy Queen, to go along with a bunch of other places that Older Paul would enjoy, but Little Paul didn’t pay attention to because I knew where my bread was going to be buttered.

A married couple worked at the Mr. Sub. I’m pretty sure they were the franchisees. I was Little Paul, I didn’t know business terms.

Anyway, they were so nice and always said hello, even if we were just walking by. They made the best subs, too. The bread was unlike any other Mr. Sub location. My senses will never forget it.

Whenever my mom brought my sister and I there for lunch, they would give us free cookies. Even if we were eating something else in the food court and hadn’t gotten subs, they’d see us and bring cookies over.

How cool, right?

No one does this when you’re an adult. We have outgrown the age requirement. We don’t get freebies for looking cute, while sitting in a food court with your feet dangling under the table.

Go try it. Sit there all day. No one is bringing you anything.

Prove me wrong.

Looking back, it was really cool of all those adults to give me cookies. It made me feel special. Kids love that feeling.

You know who else likes to feel special, though? Adults. Where are our free cookies? Where are our grand gestures of kindness from strangers?

Non-existent. Why? Because we get upset when someone holds a door for us and we’re too far away, so we have to speed up. We are an ungrateful bunch, us adults. We don’t deserve cookies.

I am only half-kidding.

Am I bitter no one offers me free cookies in public places anymore? Honestly, not really. If it came with a meal, sure, cookie me.

But do I want a double fudge cookie stuck between my teeth while walking through a grocery store? No. That’s uncomfortable. Besides, everywhere I go, I feel like the #1 target for strangers looking to strike up a conversation. I don’t need fudge flying out of my mouth.

Grossness in Aisle 2.

EDIT: I recant my statement. I would accept that fudge cookie in two seconds.

The children can keep their free cookies, okay.

Us older folk will be just fine with our daily emails from companies we bought one item from four years ago, and…and our group chats that are a hoot even though they constantly need reviving, and our….our…uh…our drinks with 50% of the letters of our first name written on the cup.

Yeah! All the fun things that bring us joy!

Who needs free cookies? Not us.

We are fine. Just fine.

Dandy, even.

Did you receive free cookies at the grocery store as a kid? Where else did you receive free cookies? What cookies do you like? Why aren’t adults nicer to each other?

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14 Responses to Free Cookies

  1. Paul, I don’t recall ever getting free cookies as a child, or anywhere else. Had I been asked, I actually like most cookies and wouldn’t have turned down any…especially at that price. This makes me think about a story I saw a couple of days ago where the Girl Scouts are debuting a new cookie for next season called Raspberry Rally. It is being compared to their Thin Mint cookie (which I love). That sounds delish, but what surprised me is the new cookie is only available for online purchase and delivery. I wonder how I can go about asking online for a free Raspberry Rally to try before purchasing a whole box. I also wonder with our current inflation running rampant in the US what those bad boys are gonna cost. A free cookie would be wonderful right about now…in any flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie says:

    I LOVED THE FREE COOKIES!!! OH MY GOSH!!!

    At Christmas this year, two of my students gave me homemade cookies as a gift.

    I did get free dessert when I was little at Red Lobster – I’d be sitting in my high chair being all cute, waving and saying hi to people and the store manager loved me so much he brought the whole table (my famjam) free dessert

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bill says:

    You give me a free cookie, I’m eating the free cookie. I don’t care if there’s fudge in my teeth, a free cookie is a free cookie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You know what, as soon as I posted this I thought about it some more and realized I would take that fudge cookie so quickly if offered. You’re right, a free cookie is a free cookie.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rebecca says:

    Oh, man, I remember receiving free sweets as a kid! I vividly remember walking into Krispy Kreme and the workers would offer me a free glazed doughnut (looking back, so unhealthy and also I don’t think they would be free today!). Guess it was because I was a kid and cute (haha), but now I don’t even know if people still do that today, even in these COVID times…those were the good ol’ days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yes! The free donut happened to me too! I don’t know about your Krispy Kreme location, and I don’t want to burst your bubble, but the one I went to would give a free donut to everyone standing in line. I guess it was their way of saying “thanks for waiting”? The line was always long.

      Very true, I don’t know how many free things will be given out nowadays. Any public platter, plate, or bowl with a sign next to it that says “take one” probably won’t exist again for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

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