Say Anything

I saw her familiar black furry coat walking toward the door so I waved to catch her attention.
“Finally! God, I was starving to death!”
Natasha strolled into the restaurant, unaware that my body had almost begun to eat its own organs to survive. My pancreas had all but dissolved by the time she arrived.
“Sorry, got stuck on a conference call. You been here long?”
“No, not that long. Let’s get in line, though. It’s starting to get crowded.”
I turned to the woman standing next to me and said goodbye before lining up to order my usual tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich. As soon as we sat down at our table, Nat asked, “So who was that woman?”
“Who? Her? I don’t know. Just some woman who started talking to me. We bonded over the fact that we were both waiting for our lunch dates and almost died of hunger.”
Nat rolled her eyes, “Ha. Whatever. I thought maybe you knew her.”
“Nope. She was just really nice. Kind of overly chatty, though. She told me she really liked my sweater, and that it really brought out the color in my skin. And then she asked me what I did, and where I worked.”
Natasha cocked her head to the side and squinted a little bit. “So, out of the blue, she just started asking you all this?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“And then did she try to sell you some Mary Kay cosmetics?”
I stopped in mid-bite, a piece of basil hanging precariously from my bottom lip. “Huh? Wha- why did you ask that?”
“Ohmigod! She did, didn’t she? She totally tried to sell you Mary Kay!”
“Okay, that’s really weird. Just when you were walking in, I asked her what she did and she told me she worked for Mary Kay. Then the conversation suddenly felt a little uncomfortable, but then you came up and I just walked away.”
“Yeah, I called it. I can always tell a Mary Kay salesperson.”
“How did you know?”
“That’s their M.O. They sneak up on you, disarm you with some completely random compliment, and then go in for the kill. Once, just as I walked out of my office building, a woman jumped out of her car and told me I had nice teeth. Nice teeth. Who says that? Then she tried to tell me about their new fall line of lipsticks and mascaras. They’ll say anything to get you to buy their crap.”
My mouth suddenly felt dry as I tried washed down the crusty sandwich with some Diet Coke. I looked down at my sweater, then back at the woman, making sure not to let her catch me looking. A flood of emotions washed over me. Deception. Betrayal. Manipulation.
Why had I been such an easy victim? How had she singled me out? What had I done wrong? God, I’m so naïve sometimes! Oh, you stupid, stupid trusting person. She didn’t like my sweater at all! She didn’t think it brightened my skin! She probably wasn’t even waiting for a lunch date! She just wanted to sell me the MK Signature™ Gold Glimmer Set!
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Or no! She probably took one look at my rough reptilian hands and thought, “I can sell this poor sap our Deluxe Satin Hands® Pampering Set, and make my bonus before Christmas!”
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I couldn’t even finish the Rice Krispie treat that Nat and I bought to share. I just felt sick to my stomach. “Nat, I’m so glad you told me. I can’t believe those Mary Kay ladies are so aggressive. It’s like some kind of a cult.”
“I know, Jen. Gotta watch out for those Mary Krishnas.”
“Yeah. Frickin’ Mary Krishnas.”

17 Responses to “Say Anything”

  1. shari Says:

    Oh God! You’re right!!! And just last week I had to attend a Mary K-stands-for-Krishna “party” for the bridemaids of a wedding I was in. (sidenote: Evidently my grammarical precision bears an inverse proportion to my outrage.) Only I never knew about the “krishna” part until now.
    OH, the humanity.

  2. jaymarie Says:

    that is just so… wrong.
    kinda makes me wish there were a way for you to let her know that you were only chatting her up looking for a new blog post. (not that you were, of course, but) wouldn’t it have been great to see the realization come across her face of what had just transpired:
    “what do you mean that was jenny from ‘run jen run’ – are you talking about the blogger. no. NO. oh sh*t! i just threw her my M.Krishna pitch. crap, i’m never gonna hear the end of this.”
    he he.

  3. nicole Says:

    I worked at a semi-upscale older woman’s clothing store for two years while in college. Our entire clientele were Mary Krishnas…
    They really didn’t understand that No means No. I had to give fake phone numbers!

  4. jenny Says:

    S: Wow – a Mary Kay party! Did they doll you up real pretty like?
    J: Yeah! I mean, heck yeah! This blog has ruined careers, destroyed lives, and toppled empires before! I’ll take Mary Kay and her whole pink Cadillac driving army down!
    N: That semi-upscale older woman’s clothing store needs to hire better security. You’re all, “Uh, yeah. My number is 555-1653. Call me anytime! (Psych!)”

  5. Junebug Says:

    Oh. My. God. The same sort of thing happened to me…except with much worse results. Long Story Short: I used to work at a bank when I was in my early 20’s and one day I was helping this attractive early 30’s female customer with her account. She started the “snowball of compliments” by telling me that I looked very “put together” and “fashion-conscious”. I smiled and thanked her… then after a barage of other over-the-top compliments she asked me if I was a model. I sort of blushed because I had done an eensy-weensy bit of modeling and was overly flattered that she could pick up on that. Ha ha! Then she asked if I would mind modeling for her that week for a seminar on blah-blah-blah (can’t remember how she described it). I reluctantly agreed (or I should say my EGO agreed) and before I knew it, I was being held hostage by 10 Mary Kay ladies … and, no, I was not there for my modeling “expertise” (lol). I was subjected, along with about 30 other “models” to TWO HOURS of propeganda and coersion. If you ever encounter a Mary Kay lady… RUN! Run like you’ve never run before!

  6. Randa Says:

    I would just like to timidly venture that I frequently compliment people for GENUINE reasons…and the Satin Hands set kicks ass on my crappy rough winter hands…and I PROMISE you to the ends of the cosmetics counter that I do NOT sell Mary Kay, and that indeed I actually barely wear makeup. And Jen, did I mention that you look smashing with Smoky Eyes…?

  7. TCho Says:

    OMG. I had no idea. So that’s how they get you to buy into the cult.

  8. jenny Says:

    Junebug: Wow! That tops my story, for sure. And yes, our vanity certainly makes us willing to get suckered into things. I… I just thought she really liked my sweater… :(
    Randa: I have no doubt that your compliments are sincere (or maybe I just want to believe that I looked smashing with whore eyes!). I’m just giving the MKrishnas a hard time. I worked with a lovely woman who sold MK, and she was sweet as pie, and quite genuine. Of course, she never earned that pink Cadillac with that attitude.
    TCho: See what we women have to endure? Just be thankful they don’t have a men’s line. Or maybe they do? Uh oh – run, TCho, run!

  9. kris Says:

    Note to self: scratch that upcoming post about being MK saleswoman of the week . . .

  10. kilax Says:

    That sandwich sounds good… where did you get that at? (I live around the Chicago area).
    I too, have a Mary Kay story. I worked at McDonald’s and the MK lady would come through the drive thru after her weekly (MK cult) meetings. I was always working there and she showered me with compliments. I gave her my phone number – a big BIG mistake – and she called me all the time about coming to her MK shows. I had to plitely say no, No, NO, until finally she stopped calling.
    Beware the MK ladies!!!

  11. romy Says:

    ack. how awkward and strange – and really, let’s face it, crushing for you. the disappointment when you learn a compliment is insincere !
    at least you’ve got back at the whole group of ‘em with “mary krishnas” – that had me laughing so hard i choked. on SOUP.

  12. allison Says:

    Victim, here. *raises hand* I got Kay’ed by a Krishna party and had to buy that damn healing hands kit-thing because I felt bad that my friend wasn’t going to have enough sales to get herself free shit.
    Ah well, here’s to the ladies in their little pink cars. Good luck taking over the world (read: stay away. Far far away. I will put your eye out with my Chanel Glossimer)!

  13. number4of5 Says:

    Should I be upset that no one has ever tried to sell me Mary Kay? Do they not think my sweater is nice? Or, am I not put together enough for them?
    Geesh, what’s a girl got to do to get cult members after her?

  14. Bobby Says:

    How do people conduct a life like that – with that constant goal of sell sell sell dictating every action in public every hour everywhere.
    I worked in this place with these guys selling this crap – I think it was called Questar Questor something like that – it was the Amway of the internet – a pyramid scheme, you earn your money signing up new people. These guys were like the living dead, “Join us. Join us.”

  15. Christine Says:

    I loved the first article! You think she’s bashing Mary Kay, but then you realize it’s all a joke! I loved it! Bobby, just FYI… network marketing companies are not pyramids. There are very strict pyramid laws in place. As bad a reputation as Quixtar/Amway has, simply joining the organization will not get earn anyone any money. It’s all about volume of product moved. And you should educate yourself. Direct sales is the most flexible way to earn full time income on part time work. Yes, some people are too pushy. But there are a lot of companies out there that lead with the product and let the customers turn themselves into business builders. Those are the companies to go for! Happy Holidays everyone! Christine (yes, with Mary Kay,, and I’ve never approached anyone at the mall!)

  16. jenny Says:

    Kris: No need to censor yourself on my account. Just promise you’ll let me ride in your fancy new car!
    Kilax: It’s my favorite sammich – at Cosi’s. They also have the same one with chicken in it, too. Sometimes that one’s a bit much, though.
    Romy: I know… I thought she liked my sweater. *sniff*
    Allison: Wait… what is this Glossimer of which you speak?
    Number4of5: Don’t worry – I just gave your number to some Avon ladies, the church of Scientology, and eHarmony. You’ll have all the cults you can handle.
    Bobby: I think you gave me a good idea for next halloween – I’m going to be a Questor/Questar/Quixtar internet zombie. Mmm… brains!
    Christine: We kid because we love. ;)

  17. erika Says:

    Hi! My name is Erika and I have no idea how i found this website but I began to read some of the comments and found a great interest. I too am a “crazy Mary Kay lady”!!
    I would just like to say that we ONLY work with people that we want to work with. And we only compliment people that we really think are put together well or have nice sweaters!! You all should be very flattered!! The next time a crazy MK woman says something nice to you and offers you her card and a sample, kindly accept, say thank you and try it out!! You may be surprised. People who don’t like the idea of Mary Kay are just misinformed or not informed enough about it. I thought Mary Kay was just old lady makeup when I started. But once I found out that this company puts God first, family second, and career third, I didn’t care what kind of makeup it was. I was in! And now, I am a couple of weeks away from earning my FREE car. By the way, they pay for your sales tax, personal prop. tax and 85% of your insurance.
    Just thought you all would like a little preview our “cult” as you all call it!!
    But really, try some of our products out sometime.
    We’re not #1 because we sell bad products!
    Thanks for letting me give my 2 cents!
    If you have any questions you can email me @!!!