Have you ever heard of Amish friendship bread?
It’s not really a bread. It’s more of a cake. Actually, I can’t call it a cake—I’ve only ever seen the end result once in my life. In my experience with Amish friendship bread, it’s just a bag of goo. A bag of goo that requires as much maintenance as a sorority girl.
Someone drops off this token of friendship (bag of goo), with a page of instructions. Full page. And the instructions are things like, “Day 1: squish bag.” Got it. “Day 2: throw bag in the air.” Okay. “Day 3: add flour.” I think I’m on day 3. I’ll add some flour. And maybe squish it, because I don’t know whether I missed a day or not. It’s not that hard, but by the time you’ve been through about a week, you feel like Day 17 is going to ask you to sacrifice your firstborn. You have to keep track of the bag of goo, how many days you’ve had the bag of goo, whether or not you’ve missed a day of tending the bag of goo… it’s like a baby. An ugly, slimy baby.
And here’s where they get you: Day 5 (or thereabouts) is “Divide starter in half and share with a friend!” They put that early on, before you’ve given up. So before you realize what horrible thing you’ve done, you give someone a bag that represents your friendship and then you both destroy it and never speak of it again. I hope your relationship wasn’t really riding on this bread. Cake. Whatever.
Now that I’ve ranted for an entire page about Amish friendship bread, let’s talk about something far less irritating and considerably less gooey: The Boo.
We got this sign on our doorstep with a bag of cookies almost a week ago. (The sign looked a little different, but I’m lazy and this is what Google gave me. You get the idea.) The gist is that we got a sign, some treats, and a set of instructions telling us to make two copies and doorbell-ditch treats to two other people within two days. Keep it going!
This is the chain letter of snacks. Which is good and bad. Good: snacks. Bad: chain letter. Fortunately, this chain letter doesn’t include any threats about your grandmother dying or losing the love of your life if you don’t forward it.
It’s actually a great idea. It gives you an opportunity to do something (sneakily) good for your neighbors, it gives you a chance to really spread around some Halloween spirit before the actual holiday. It means everybody gets snacks—which everybody loves!
But it still has some hidden strings to it. I mean, am I a bad neighbor if I ignore this? If I eat the cookies without fulfilling the requirements, is that stealing? I don’t know the actual rules for this sort of thing. And if I drop this off to someone who hates chain letters, will they be happy or irritated? It’s flattery followed up with guilt! Who do I send this to? I’m not mad—I just legitimately don’t know what to do with it at this point.
So here I am, feeling like some watered-down delinquent every time I see this (nicely laminated) sign staring at me, because I didn’t even put it on my door to let people know I’ve already been “booed.” (Because part of me really wants someone to give me some more cookies.) And since it’s already been over two days, is my contract up? Has the obligation hit an expiration date? Am I off the hook? Or am I going to Neighborhood Holiday Hell? (And what kinds of punishments happen there, I wonder?)
Here’s the thing: if you really like these, let me know. I have one. I’ll give it to you. I’ll even give you some snacks. I just want to know that you’ll enjoy it. And if you’re the person who gave this to us, please, please doorbell-ditch the recipe for those cookies. I sold my suburban cultural soul for those things. And they were 100% worth it. Best cookies I’ve ever eaten in my life. I may die at the hands of my mother for saying it, but it’s true. Those were amazing cookies. ♦