Don't Make Me Try to Sell You On This

I would like to win the Best Humor Blog award in the Best Bloggers contest. I can’t say exactly why I want to win this, because I’m not a big awards type person. I don’t have any awards, certificates, trophies or diplomas hanging around my house. I just want to get a decent number of votes.

To get enough votes to beat last year’s winner, Cake Wrecks, I have to ask people to vote for me. This is a problem because I’m the worst at asking people to do things for me. My kids don’t know how to properly load the dishwasher or take out the garbage because they’ve gone their whole lives to this point without really being asked to help around the house. I take the “it’s-easier-to-just-do-it-myself” too far.

This is all due to the fact that I’m the worlds’ worst salesman. The email I’m sending out to my friends asking them to vote for me uses the word “sorry” twice because I have to ask them to actually sign on to the Blogger’s Choice Awards Web site and become a member with a password and I’m pretty sure you have to reveal your birthday. It’s bad, people. And I pointed that out in my email. Reading my email makes you want to go vote for my blog about as much as you’d like to go get an optional, mid-year mammogram.

In my email to drum up votes, I also blatantly promoted Cake Wrecks, which is a hilarious blog. It’s all about bad cakes that people have baked and it’s genius. See? I’m trying to beat her and I’m going to end up getting her more votes than me.

This is more proof that of all the jobs in the universe, a salesman is the least likely to be for me. It’s hard to describe how much I would NOT want to be a salesman, how many sales I would NOT make, how much commission I would NOT earn and how happy I would NOT be to wake up and go to work every day.

When I had just moved to North Canton, Ohio, the year was 1993 and Mary Kay Cosmetics was all the rage. Every displaced housewife was going pink and selling makeup. The list of new homeowners in the real estate section of the local newspaper was a big source of new customers for them. So when you moved, you’d get the call from some lady – or six - wanting to come over and do your free, complimentary makeover. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup and the stuff they sell at the grocery store is fine for me, so I would make a lame attempt to say no, I’m not interested.

But then my son made a friend and this kid and his dad were at our house one day and the dad said, “I hope you don’t mind but I gave your name to my wife. She sells Mary Kay and she wants to call you.”

Oh cripes. Shit. Damn. Hell. “Great!” I said cheerfully. “Sure, no problem!”

So Melanie called and she came over and did my free makeover. I always hate those things, because the makeover lady always points out all the things wrong that you’re doing and you end up leaving the makeover feeling like an ugly idiot who has spent the last 15 years putting makeup on like a 10-year-old who is playing in her mother’s purse. I had to hear about how squinty my eyes are, how big my nose is, how thin and undefined my lips are, how acne-scarred and doughy my face is, and the size of my pores – forget about it. I obviously needed the Mary Kay Supreme Kit with lotions and astringents to use at various times of the day, week and year. And after having my many facial flaws pointed out to me in detail, I’d be foolish to say no thanks on the beauty pack.

I had been through this before, though, so I used my skills to get out of the free makeover with just a lip liner and eye pencil, the two cheapest things in the catalog.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

Two weeks later, Melanie called again and said she needed a favor. She was in line to move up a level on the Mary Kay ladder of success and she needed to do a mock presentation in front of her supervisor. Would I be willing to let them come over and have her do her presentation to me? Sure. I hadn’t lived there long, didn’t have too many friends, and having a car in my driveway was sure to impress the popular girls in my neighborhood.

“Could you not bring the pink Cadillac, so my neighbors think I have real friends coming over?” I asked?

So they came over, I put the baby down for a nap, sent my toddler into the family room to sort coins and watch TV, and we sat in the living room. Melanie started her spiel. I was only half listening so I don’t really know what she was saying. I was trying to properly act out my role as customer in the mock presentation.

“Let me ask you something,” the supervisor butted in. She was looking at me very intently, her head jutting forward a little bit.

“What would be your ideal job?”

Who, me? I looked around just to make sure she wasn’t talking to Melanie or someone who had sneaked into the room when I wasn’t paying attention. This wasn’t in the script.

“Uh, well, my ideal job would be a job that I could quit before starting, because I’m staying home with my kids now and I did it on purpose and it’s working out pretty well.”

“So your ideal job would be something that you could do from home, with flexible hours to keep you home with your kids?”

“Noooooo, like I said, my ideal job would be not a job at all – uh, what’s happening here?”

I looked over at Melanie and she was smiling at me. I felt like I was being drawn into a cult. Don’t fight it, come with us, you’ll soon realize it’s where you belong.

Suddenly I realized this wasn’t a mock presentation at all. They were double teaming me and trying to get me to sell Mary Kay!

This was too hilarious for words. I said, “There’s something you need to know here. You don’t want me to be a Mary Kay saleswoman, trust me on this. I can’t sell.”

The supervisor was not easily discouraged. “You might be surprised at how good you are at it.”

“No, you’d be surprised at how much I would suck at being a Mary Kay saleswoman. I couldn’t sell water to a rich thirsty person in the desert. I still haven’t sold all the candy bars from my high school junior year Future Teachers of America fundraiser. When forced to sell something for my kids’ soccer teams, my sales pitch is: ‘You don’t want to buy any wrapping paper do you? I didn’t think so. Never mind. Bye.’”

They tried to lure me in for a few more minutes. They gave it an admirable effort, really. Every reason I gave, Melanie would say, “I thought the same thing! And now I’m making $75,000 a year and I haven’t missed a parent teacher conference or hired a babysitter in three years!” Eventually I convinced them I was not their next bottom layer block in the pyramid and they left.

I had to laugh. Me, selling makeup. What were they thinking? Armed with only my lip liner and a $4 eye pencil, how could I convince anyone to buy as much as a bottle of moisturizer?

If you got an email from me asking to vote for my blog as Best Humor Blog on Blogger’s Choice Awards, do realize the effort that it took. Please ignore all the sad-sack whining about what a pain it is to vote and how the other blogs are way funnier than mine. I’m no salesman and I don’t have an agent.

Want to vote for Just Humor Me as Best Humor Blog on Blogger’s Choice? I didn’t think so. Go to http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/ and do a search (upper right corner) for my name - diane laney fitzpatrick - and view my blog as Best Humor Blog, then click on “vote.” Sorry. And thank you.

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