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.