So I was invited to this thing tonight, this direct sales thing that my next-door neighbour was hosting. It was a company that claims to sell chemical-less cleaning products. The woman who presented obviously knew her products, and was quite articulate. She was persuasive enough to convince me to buy a stupidly expensive dish cloth on the promise that this will end all need for soap, detergent, products and elbow grease forever, all with a 60 day money-back guarantee. At one point, she was flogging this miracle towel, which she claimed could dry off two adults. “At the same time?” I asked with mock incredulity. It was my personal comedic triumph – never have I thought and acted so quickly, or got such a loud laugh. I think I stole her thunder. I blame the home-made plonk, consumed nearly to excess. Anyway, this woman’s chief fault was her excessive use of the word ‘whatnot’. I’m thinking this product could launch the space shuttle, if the qualities implicit in the ‘whatnot’ were half true. So we’ll see… I’m hoping that the whatnot will clean the house for me.
I admire these consultants. Direct sales is a tough job and I know I couldn’t do it. I am not a salesperson. I think you have to have too much bullshit in you to do it well, an we all know I have no bullshit. I could change 15 adult diapers, but ask me to convince someone that they couldn’t live without my product? Well I can’t even convince my own husband of that. But seriously, those who love it do it well, those who don’t, well, it’s a job. That they will do for a short time, with much dread, little enthusiasm, and an early retirement. With a lot of leftover product and debt. My best friend (whose birthday is today) was saying she was looking for a home-based business she could start. But, she said, it had to be a product that she really believed in. I suggested the sex toy one. She could really get into that. I haven’t heard from her since. Either she loved my suggestion or she hated it.
A cute kid story, full of whatnot, before I hit the hay – Aimee, Jack and I were chatting the other night and the talk turned to bad words. Aimee told me, “Paige said a bad word”. Paige is 3.
“Oh, which word is that?” I asked.
“I can’t say it out loud, it’s too bad”, said Aimee.
“What does it start with?” I asked
“F”, she said.
“Oh,” I said. “Tell me what it is. I promise you won’t get in trouble. I just want to know if you know it,” I told her.
“I can’t,” she said. “It’s too bad, I can’t say it out loud,” said Aimee. Thank goodness, I thought.
“Whisper it. I promise I won’t get mad”.
She hesitated, then approached my ear. “Fuck,” she said, in barely a whisper. Oh, I thought. So she does know it. Darn.
“Hmmm…yes, that’s it. But you know never ever to say it out loud, right?” I said.
“I know, Mom”, she said, rolling her eyes. “Eaton in my class says that word. He says the other bad word, too.”
“Which one?” I asked with significant trepidation.
“The ‘a’ word. It’s like ‘as’, but with another ‘s’,” she said.
Yet another example of how our reach just doesn’t go as far as her friends’ anymore. I just hope we can still influence good choices – like not to use the ‘f’ word in public. Or the ‘a’ word. Anyway, I can take solace in the knowledge that she is still at least somewhat innocent, only slightly corrupted. I hope it lasts.