Why Can’t We Be Friends?


Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Daughters, Friends, Humor | Posted on 14-05-2012

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Why can’t we be friends? Well, I tried. But she was a bitch.

Here is how it went down.

My daughter met a friendly girl in her third-grade class. Annie* was another turquoise-leggings-wearing child with a quirky sense of humor. Oh goody, a new friend for my daughter! My daughter got Annie’s number and plans were soon made for a play date.

A few days later, I called Annie’s mother, Nancy.*

*All names changed because, well, there’s always the awkward P.T.A. run-in.

Nancy and I clicked! She was so nice. We were the same age. We swapped stories. There was laughter. We were both mothers, juggling work and activities. Oh goody, I may have found a new friend too!

We scheduled the girls’ play date for a few days later. Annie and her mother came over and I invited them in and gave them a tour of our home. The girls giggled and ran upstairs and instantly began organizing a puppet show.

Then, Nancy handed me an AdvoCare sample. And that’s when all the trouble began.

Turns out she is an AdvoCare distributor. AdvoCare is all about energy-boosting supplements and vitamins to give you more energy, lose weight, and “improve your performance.” I later learned that Nancy is pretty famous infamous in our neck of the woods. A power seller. And she is infamously annoying too.

The AdvoCare sample, called “Spark,” was a berry supplement to boost one’s energy. I took the sample, thanked her, and promptly tossed it into my kitchen junk drawer.

This little packet had a life “spark” of its own.

Back to the play date. There were puppet shows, dress-up, a stuffed animal parade. drawing, Kung Fu Panda. Popcorn, chocolate pudding, sliced apples. The girls laughed and shrieked. A great play date.

When Nancy picked up her daughter several hours later, she asked me again, “So are you going to try the energy sample? Just add it to your morning smoothie. You’re gonna have so much energy! You’ll feel great! I do!” Lots of smiles of encouragement.

“Yeah, I’ll try it,” I lied. I had no intention of adding this packet to my morning smoothie.

  • Stubborn? Maybe. “I am NOT taking HER supplement,” I thought.
  • Righteous? Maybe. “I don’t want fake-sugar, red powder in MY smoothie.”

The next day, I get a call from Nancy. Oh goody, I thought, she’s calling to schedule another play date for the girls since they had so much fun. Uh no.

Nancy: “Have you tried the AdvoCare sample?”
Me: “Not yet.”
Nancy: “Are you planning to?”
Me being wimpy: “Yeah, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Soooo, do you want to get the girls together sometime next week?”
Nancy: “Sure. Your daughter can come to our house after school on Wednesday.”

It’s a plan. The very next day, I get another call.
Nancy: “I’m hosting an AdvoCare party and would love you to come. It’s on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.”
Me (cringing and lying): “Oh that sounds fun but I can’t. Maybe another time.”
Nancy: “Well, I’m having another AdvoCare party the following week. Can you make that work?”
Me (feeling put-on-the-spot, I wimped out, but was getting mad): “I’ll check and get back to you.” Then I hung up. “What is her DEAL?!” I thought.

Her deal is that she is making her money off of selling AdvoCare and the way she does it is by hosting parties. “What is MY deal?!” I thought, “Why don’t I just tell her no?”

I hate going to fake parties. “Fake parties” where you’re supposed to mingle, hear the presentation, and buy whatever is being sold. Candles that smell like candy canes, potpourri that smells like peaches, make-up that makes you break out, and AdvoCare supplements and vitamins that give you oh-so-much-energy. And you feel forced to buy something because the hostess is a friend of your friend. And you don’t want to be cheap. So you try to mingle. You drink a glass of white wine and eat the Triscuits and wonder why there isn’t more to eat. After all, you’re buying a candle for twenty freaking dollars. Shouldn’t that warrant some good cheese? Or some seven-layer-bean-dip?

I appreciate that these entrepreneurs are taking action to make money, with a flexible schedule, that enables them to stay home with their children. But I don’t appreciate when the selling turns to selling-by-force. It’s manipulative and annoying.

A few days passed–before the second play date–Nancy called me again.

Nancy (persistent): “So, can you come to my party?”

Me (getting a little ballsy): “No, I’m not really into going to those types of parties.”

Nancy: “I’d be happy to schedule a conference call with you to tell you all about AdvoCare.”

Me (A freaking conference call?? Finally, I’ve had it.): “You know what? I’m not into AdvoCare. I have plenty of vitamins and supplements. I don’t need any more.”

Nancy: “But I think you should hear more about AdvoCare. It’s really a great product.”

Me: “I don’t mean this to be awkward but…” (And you know by saying that, it’s going to be awkward) “I feel like you’re pressuring me to buy AdvoCare whenever you talk to me. And I don’t think that’s cool. I mean, I’m glad that our daughters are friends, but I won’t be buying any AdvoCare. Ever. So please stop asking me.”

There. I said it. Totally awkward.

Nancy: “Um, OK.” She sounded weird. And that was the last time I heard from her. Second play date? Never happened.

And THAT is why we can’t be friends. Um, Nancy, don’t use your daughter as a way to sell your products. That’s just awkward. And when the mothers say no, don’t pull mean tricks and ruin sweet, childhood friendships. That’s just mean.

I haven’t spoken to Nancy since. But I do see her gold Honda Odyssey around town, with a ginormous AdvoCare window cling on the back. And now that I can see her coming from a mile away, I get the SPARK out of there!

This post is one of 50 cool blog posts, part of the Yeah Write Challenge. Read them all and vote for your 5 favorites this Thursday.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

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Comments (101)

Hahaha! Yep, I have had this type of encounter around my ‘hood. For me, it was the Avon mom. She was a nightmare and I would hide whenever I saw her coming. Finally I had to confront her and it was not pretty. Maybe I’ll blog about it. It’s cringe worthy. Haha!

This is probably why I suck at selling. I don’t want to be THAT friend. I sell Mary Kay now and every other month I send out an email that says “30% off if you buy by this date”, and that’s just so I don’t lose my discount. I’ve made pretty much $0 at it. But I still have my friends, well the ones who didn’t abandon me during the separation. And now I’m babbling when all I really meant to say was GREAT POST!

It’s no different than Amway, Pampered Chef, Mona Vie, Tupperware….et al. They structure it so that anyone who behaves like a NORMAL human being will only go down in flames and lose their shirts. It’s the idiots with no soul who excel in that market.

She sees no problem with using her child as ‘contact bait’ because that’s the bottom line. SHE NEEDS CONTACTS. And seeing as she’s willing to whore her kid out so she can prey on weak-willed mums with low self esteem to keep shilling her crap it can only be assumed that she has sold her soul already.

That’s right. If anyone reading this is in ANY multi-level marketing scam…YOU HAVE NO SOUL. There, I said it.

Good on you, girl. If you’d bought anything…she would have been like a lamprey. Slowly sucking the life out of you, while getting fatter and screaming “MOAR! BUY MOAR!!!” :shudder: The real pisser is that these people are told, “If your friends and family don’t buy your stuff, they don’t support you and aren’t real friends.”


Ha ha! Great comments! See, I would totally buy something if YOU’RE ALREADY MY FRIEND. But don’t fake friend me and don’t use your kids to fake friend my kids and don’t invite me to fake parties.

I’m more real than that.


Hey, I have a great product that can really help you power through those awkward situations! It”s called IdontCare. I’m having a an internet Power Session, and I think you should come. If you can get just fifteen of your friends to come, too, you’ll get a Special Prize after the Internet Power Session!

Yeah, I couldn’t sell crap to my friends either. But I would probably buy Mary Kay from you because you’re you.

Thanks for the compliment!


If it’s cringe-worthy, you’ve gotta blog about it! Glad you confronted her. I finally had to assert my boundaries that this behavior was just not cool.

Thanks for writing!


Oh Pippi…you so pesky! 😀

I despise the HARD SELL. And using her legging wearing 3rd grader to push pills and supplements is just horrible. I rarely hit the home party circuit b/c I do not have the disposable income. Every once in awhile i will go if a good friend is desperate for a warm body. I make it quite clear that I won’t be buying anything and am just showing up for the appetizers…so they better be good!

LOL! Does it come in an air freshener so that you can clear the air?

Love it,

Oh don’t you know it!


I know! She totally used her daughter to make a sell.

If it’s a true friend I will go and maybe buy something.

And you’re right, if it’s a party, the apps had better be good. So far, it’s been pretty lame crackers and grapes. Boo!

Thanks for writing!

Wow, this is really quite terrifying and kinda sad for her daughter.

I agree. The thing is the girls had so much fun together and could be great friends. Now my daughter says her daughter is mean to her at school. Sigh. People are weird.

Thanks for writing!

Shame on her! Using her daughter as a front to sell her products. Good for you for taking a stand!
I hate it when people try to pressure you into buying trinkety crap like that. It irks me when kids do it outside of the grocery store!
Glad to know I’m not the only one ego thinks those parties are lame!

I’m so sorry that happened to you. Actually, it’s probably happened to everybody. But that was a little over the top. It’s people like that that gives people like me a bad name!

I am an Advocare distributor, but for years I was afraid to ALIENATE friends. So I just used products quietly and enjoyed my discount. That’s it.

Then, this past December, I started using more of the products in an effort to lose weight. I’ve lost 30 pounds, and people come to me now to learn more. Leading by example keeps my conscience clear. 🙂

And from there, I tell people… if you want to try it, you really should sign up for the wholesale discount. And usually they do… and encourage their prospects to do the same. It’s like getting a finders fee!

I’ve taken this approach, and am now earning what feels like an HONEST supplemental income each month, about $1000 per month and growing.

I’m all about keeping it positive. Perhaps it’s a slower way to grow, but it definitely keeps my reputation in tact!

Thanks for reminding me what NOT to do! 🙂

Yeah, she was using her daughter. With friends like that, well, they’re not really friends, are they?

I love a good party–and I will go to a “fake party” if my friend is really a friend, just to be nice, but usually I have better things to do. Like clean toilets. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

I appreciate your comments! It sounds like you’re a great AdvoCare salesperson–you know how to sell without being annoying or inappropriate. And congratulations on the weight loss and for being a positive role model!

If I am in need, I now know who to go to. 🙂

Thanks again for writing,

The fact that her daughter has turned mean is the weirdest part. What the heck did that mom say to her to make that happen?? Sounds like her “once was cute daughter” is on track to become a mini-me of her bossy, inappropriate mom. Sad.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…


Being in a military area, EVERY navy wife is selling SOMETHING! I’m like, “No, I DO NOT want to go to your scentsy, Avon, Mary Kay, pampered chef, etc… “PARTY!” And it’s even more messed up when they keep their daughter from yours. What a twisted bitch!

You crack me up. And yep, pretty much summed it up.


I feel so sorry for her daughter. How will she be able to sustain any friendships out of school it her mother tries to exploit them in the pursuit of ‘filthy lucre’? Um…? What kind of food does she feed her kids anyway?

I feel so bad for her daughter! Poor thing probably really enjoyed playing with your daughter…and now? Nothing?? That’s so mean! I hope she’s selling lots and banking her money…she’ll need it to pay for her daughter’s therapy.

I know, right?! Good point about therapy.

Thanks for writing!

Yeah, it’s sad. Mean Mommy Munchies cereal, I think.


I’m glad you got rid of that stalker and put into practice a firm “NO” enough times for her to hear it.

Sometimes it may take a few tries to be heard.

Thanks for writing!

It always amazes me how people believe that selling their products is worth more than great friendships. I value my friends too much, but sadly this same situation has happened a few times.

I love your blog! Sorry if I am your new stalker:)

I learned that she has just become the new PTA vp. You know what that means? A whole bunch of new moms to hit up for sales. Yikes!

And thank you so much for your compliment and comments. I love visitors! 🙂

Nancy sounds like a drug dealing speed freak. Speed and meth boost your energy and make you lose weight too. And like speed, you think your “product” is the best thing ever and you obsess about it. Then when you become a dealer you’re both addicted to the product and to making money off it. All social interactions become about your product. You think you’re a real business person because you’re spreading the word, hosting parties, networking. But that’s all nonsense. Really you’re just a peon who is doing all the work for the actual company without them lifting a finger. You feel like a joke. You start sweating. Your relationships suffer. You become more obsessed with selling in order to prove to yourself that you have this under control. Your whole world becomes about your product. People are just potential customers to you. You start using your own product more and more. You have become the neighborhood drug pusher.

I know how this is. I thought a coworker liked me but it was actually just her trying to get me to come to scentsy parties. People. If you are selling things to your friends expect to lose your friends. Keep work and friendship separate.

Best. Observations. Ever.

You sooo hit the nail on the head.

Thanks for taking the time,

So glad you were able to say no. I don’t know I would have been able to, and I would be the pathetic person sitting in the “meeting” getting roped into buying something I would never use!

Way to go!!!

I am in a direct selling company and find it impossible to believe I have no soul. That’s a bit extreme!

In my experience, you run into individuals like Nancy who have yet to figure out that not everyone you meet is interested in what you do. She should have dropped her selling angle when it was evident Pippi had no interest.

Direct selling is like anything else. There are those who do it well and DO develop positive relationships with their customers. Then there are the Nancys……..

I still have a soul;)

It took me three times. But I finally got it right. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

I think generalizing is generally a bad idea. This particular seller didn’t take my hints. And when I said no for real, she didn’t want to be friends.

I’m so glad you’re not a Nancy. See? I would probably buy stuff from you. 🙂

Thanks for writing,

Pippi, are you my soul mate? One of my bloggy pals (Tracie at Crack You Whip) tipped me off to your incredible post, and by the Coincidence Power of the Universe, I happened to write a post on the same topic on the same day.

Check it out if you get a sec (although, gotta admit, yours is way funnier):


I will be back to read more! So glad you feel the same way as I do about those “faux” parties!! and the very REAL pressure!!!


Thanks for stopping by! And, yes, I think we are soul sisters. I just read yours. Love it. Equally. If not more. 🙂

Are you on Twitter? I’m @PeskyPippi. And I’m gonna highlight your blog on my new FB page.


I had a writing client that was doing multi-level marketing. I edited the sales handbooks for the women who will buy these products and try to offload them. Unfortunately, it’s a pyramid scheme. From a compassionate standpoint, I’m sure “Nancy” was just following orders from her sponsor (the woman next up from her in the pyramid). What’s really strange is that you are forbidden to go traditional routes, such as taking out ads or opening a shop, and of course you can’t go retail. The whole thing is designed for you to attempt to reel your personal contacts and family in. Which ultimately means you’ll probably spend more buying the stuff to resell than you’ll sell.

The thing that I really hate in life is that sense that people are using you. I always try to be real and have real connections. Don’t mix business with pleasure. Don’t ingratiate yourself to someone, pretending to be their friend, when what you want is their business. The two often mix eventually, but it’s just fake to use friendship to try to get something you want out of someone else. But of course that will never end…

True. Nancy was doing her job. And she did a good job at pissing me off. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

Good points. I am friendly in my business interactions but not businessy in my friendships. I’m glad that I’m not in pyramid marketing. I don’t think I would do well at mixing.

I appreciate your input!

My dad used to be that person. It was so embarrassing going to a birthday party or what have you and my father would hang around and try and sell his crap…lol. I resented him doing that and he could never understand why I refused to do the pitch with him…I mean COME ON.


Nice post. Brought me back to my childhood. bahahaha.

Oh no! What did he sell? My mom and I signed up to sell Shaklee products “way back when” because we had this great discount. But we never sold anything because it was just awkward. We used fragrance-free soap and drank these horrific powdered drinks for years.

Ah, memories.

Thanks for writing,

UGh that is so annoying! It’s super rude of her to always push that on you. Good for you for standing up to her – but its a shame that its your daughters who suffer. Grrrr. She needs boundaries.

Yeah. She needs boundaries. Or a punch in the face. Hee hee. Just kidding. A little.

Thanks for writing!

woah. why would anyone think that’s the way to go about it? well. i guess a person who’s more involved with her own success than actual relationships i guess. super bummer for both you and your daughter!

My mother-in-law attempted to sell her products at my baby shower to my friends, who were too polite to say no and had physically been trapped in a corner. My mother saved them.

How unfair for both little girls that this women couldn’t table her apparently natural annoyance so that her daughter could have a friend.

Wow, your own MIL? At your baby shower? To your friends? Yikes.

People. Sigh. Can. Be. So. Annoying.

Thanks for writing!

Super bummer indeed. Oh well, there are lots more people to befriend in life.

Like you!

Thanks for writing,

I totally wanted to cheer when you told her no! Awesome…very, very awesome. Too bad she let that ruin a sweet friendship between children, but good for you! I hate those “fake parties,” too!

Thank you! I was indirect at first, but she wouldn’t take the hint. Then it was like, “Listen you!”

Thanks for writing,

Obviously Ms. Advo whatever missed two very important lessons. Shopping bites the big one so why would you want to mess up a party trying to sell stuff. Second lesson goes something like You never date your kid’s friends parents and you never try to sell stuff to them. That just makes it all awkward if your kid actually likes their kid.

Dude, I so hope she reads this post. She needs to know how totally annoying (and wrong) that is. This was a really cute story and made me giggle!

What a crappy situation!
I feel bad for the kiddos in this one, but good for you for standing up to her.
At least you got an entertaining story out of it! Haha.

Ha. I distribute AdvoCare but not like that. If you ask me about it, awesome. If not, awesome.

Sorry you had that ridiculously awkward experience. lol

Obviously all AdvoCare sellers are not the same. And, who knows, I may ask you about AdvoCare someday!

It was a good learning experience for me to be more direct, I guess.

Thanks for writing!

That’s for sure. With my blogger antennae always on, you’ll never know what story might come out of a funky situation.

Thanks for your comment,

I’m glad it got some giggles. It was just a really drawn-out awkward experience that caught me off guard. I, too, was giggling when I wrote it because it was so strange how it all panned out.

Thanks, Dude!

I know how persistent they can be 😛

Persistence is part of selling. But sometimes the “customer” needs to be persistent too. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

My daughter’s just become ex friend has become involved in some or other pyramid sale thingy. She has even started talking as if she is in a cult. Telling us that our negativity will drag us down. It is sad when Moms get in the way of children’s friendships.

lol …. I can relate to this … and I have a few friends that sell things … some are better than others about not pushing people … I also hate when they tell me I can go to the parties but not buy anything because I’m flat axx broke … but how can you go to that kind of party and not buy anything lol 🙂

Hahah! This was hilarious! I was in a similar situation with a chick that kept begging me to have jewelry parties. I caved.
Worst. Idea. Ever.
She worried me for months after. I finally had to forbid my daughter from playing with the “jewelry party kid.”
Why can’t our kids’ friends’ mothers just chill the heck out? Its no wonder I don’t like people.

Nancy needs to learn what the word subtle means. Wow. Just wow.

I’m not a fan of those “fake” parties, either. I’ve stopped going to them.

I know that person–or least someone like her. They sell a thing that looks like uncooked wheat germ and will make you rich , famous, good looking, healthy, and poop on a regular basis! EWWWW

I so agree with you! Don’t get dragged down!

Thanks for writing,

Yeah, it’s hard to go to the parties without buying anything. Plus you can buy all that crap on eBay anyway. 🙂

Thanks for your comment,

Bahaha! Yeah, some people suck. Period.

Thanks for the laugh,

Subtle. She. Wasn’t. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

Sounds like a terrific product! Not!

Thanks for the smile,

I’m sure you did what countless others before and after wished they had done, so kudos for having the, um, balls to do so, not that I ever took you for the shy type 🙂

Haha! I try to tread waters carefully when it’s a sensitive situation but balls-out is definitely more fun. 🙂

Loved your comment,

Soooo…you don’t want to come to my Stella and Dot party? I’ll have triskets AND wheat thins. And M&Ms. It’ll be so fun. And there super not too too too expensive pieces of jewelry.

UGH. i’m sorry, but using your child to sell ANYTHING (advocare, speed or otherwise) should be a federal offense. and i HATE those parties, even the ones where i kind of like the product (purses and jewelry come to mind). because really, nothing says true friendship like “buy this!” sorry she turned out to be such a fraud.

Wow that was unbelievable! It is a crying shame that your girls were caught in the middle. That makes my blood boil. WTH is wrong with her?

On a writing note, I love how you started this piece and then took off with it. Ellen

You had me at M&Ms and Wheat Thins. 🙂

Here is my RSVP,

Fraud happens. 🙂

I agree with you. What is irksome is being “forced” into something. If I want something, I’ll buy it. If I don’t want something, I don’t want to be forced to buy it.

Thanks for your comment!

Yea!!! I was cheering at the end. I’m so glad you said something because I have been in similar situations and never said anything. You stood up for all of us mamas pressured by hard sale friends!

Yay! Thanks! Now maybe the next time you are in this situation, you can stand up and speak out. You and your time are valuable. Why let other suck it up.

Thanks for writing,

I have heard from others who know her that she acts like this with everyone. I also learned that she will be vp of the PTA next year. Whaddya know, more Moms to prey on. Sheesh.

Thank you so much for the comment on the writing. Means a lot coming from you.


I feel so lucky that I am so clueless and non-product-using that I get to be that blunt, crunchy, dowdy lady who says, “Mmmmm I don’t use any [fill in the blank].”

Of course, I also don’t have freaky pushy people like that around. At least not that I have noticed.

Very funny and real!

Maybe I need to be more blunt, instead of that beat-around-the-bush kinda person.

Glad you think it’s funny and real. Those are two most excellent descriptors.


Yup. That’s awkward. Wow. What balls on that woman. Sad that you didn’t get a real friend out of it. Erin

that woman should be drummed out of the advocarecorps…and it sounds like she’s teaching her daughter precisely the same sorts of behaviors. Good for you for not caving in to peer pressure (I rpobably would’ve eaten the triscuits, bought the damn product, and been pissed off).

Yep. She had balls. I’ll give her that. I had to get some balls, too, to deal with her!

Thanks for writing,

Noooo! Don’t eat the Triscuits! 🙂

I have eaten the Triscuits, bought past products, and have been pissed off many times before. I finally had enough.

Thanks for your comment!

I’m so impressed, I would have ended up going to the damn party, resenting the hell it, hating her, hating her daughter, and being miserable. What an awkward position to put you in!

This makes me glad I’ve always refused to go those “parties” just on principle. Also I’m awkward at normal parties, I can’t imagine how extra awkward I’d be at a fake party. Good for you for standing up to her! Some people can’t take a hint, sheesh.

that’s so sad for your daughter. man, i hate some people!
good for you for standing up to her.

I loved this post. I have a sister-in-law who is always jumping on one bandwagon of direct sales or another and trying to guilt me into buying the overpriced garbage. Like you, I do see the value of this model of sales for SAHMs, but manipulating friendships as a sales tool is simply not cool!

I have been to many a fake party and have gone with resentment. I prefer parties where I am invited for my funny party stories and my donation of cookies. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

Yeah, those parties are just awkward. I, mean, it’s a mixer for friends and fake-friends.

Thanks for your note!

Thanks! If enough people read this, I may be blacklisted from every fake party in a 50-mile radius!

Thanks for your comment!

I agree with you. Manipulating friendships is not cool.

She must not have gotten that memo. 🙂

Thanks for your comment!

I would have easily told her to jump, after of course the third phone call.

bummer she couldn’t have just turned off the sales person! I have a friend who sells Silpada – and she is totally non-pressure. In fact… she has nothing planned for this month because she doesn’t want to be the person everyone runs from. That woman might make some money, but she won’t have any friends. What a sad lesson to learn.

We’re in the same boat then!

Thanks for your comment!

I don’t want to be the person everyone runs from, would you?

I like good-energy people. 🙂

Thanks for writing!

Ugh. I can’t stand people like that! Doesn’t it exhaust them to always be selling? I wonder how many of her daughter’s friendships she’s destroyed. Poor girl.

No kidding. Selling at every chance you get. I couldn’t do it.

Thanks for writing!

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