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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The World's Most Polite Pyramid Scheme.... or not...

A couple of weeks ago S, an old friend of mine, invited me to party.
A Mary Kay party.

For those of you not so familiar with Mary Kay it is a line of skin care products and make up for women that is sold by local "independent sales reps" as opposed to through standard retail channels. I have trouble saying no, and I've been meaning to be more social lately, so I said yes.

So I went to the party. I can't say I really fit in, although to S's credit there was a wide range of women there (about 12 total) of various ages, backgrounds, religious leanings, and skin types.

Actually it wasn't much of a party although there was quite a bit of laughing and having fun.

It was, in fact, a product demonstration of just about as many Mary Kay products as you could possibly rub into any available skin on your face, arms, and hands in the span of an hour. The woman who did the presenting was a little much for me - over-eager in a way that seemed more sad to me than fake (big saucer eyes, describing everything as "amazing" etc.. ) also the face powder burned my cheeks a little.

After the presentation we each had to retire to S's den individually with Saucer Eyes to place our order. In my head I had already planned the one item I would buy (just eye makeup remover and nothing else!) but somehow I ended up with that plus some kind of eye cream, for wrinkles I don't even have, and no money left in my pocket (fortunately I was smart enough to leave my credit card and checks at home.) Once all that business was complete, the she asked me if I'd consider selling Mary Kay since she though I'd be great at it and gave me a video to watch about all the goodness that selling Mary Kay can bring to your life.

Now, selling Mary Kay would be about the last thing on earth I'd like to do, but I watched the video anyway. (I know, why do I keep doing things I don't want to do, right? In this case think I was curious.) It was all about this woman, who made piles of money selling Mary Kay and quit her sexist big city job and now is the best mom and saleslady ever! Yay!

After the video I consulted the internet for varying views on how great or terrible Mary Kay is and whether or not it's a pyramid scheme and if that matters. There was a lot of information but it all seemed skewed one way or another and honestly in the end I think if you love to meet people and working for yourself and selling cosmetics it could be great (although I think your chances of getting rich are slim) and if not it's not for you.

The video however did inspire me to do more of the things that enrich me as a person - like blogging, and several other interests and projects I've been letting languish.

So Mary Kay,

If you are reading this, and you are an actual person who is still alive, Thanks!


PS. Your eye cream costs $35 and smells like rotting flowers? Why is that?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guess Who?

It's not easy being Ask Shifra.

When I started this blog I thought... I'm easy to talk to and have it pretty much together, maybe I can help people, that sounds like fun.

Of course later it turned into a jumble of things - writing, sharing ideas, a soap opera with no resolution, meeting cool people, and venting (naturally) all under the veil of anonymity. Nice!

As things in my life got more complex I became more of myself and less of my alter-ego. When my brother died I think I pretty much outed myself and even my parents learned about this blog (maybe they have forgotten by now? I'm pretty sure the words "browser history" mean nothing to them.)

Not long after that, when my marriage fell apart, I thought: Who am I to give advice or to tell people what I think is right? I felt so turned around, I didn't feel like myself at all. During all that time the best advice I got (and I didn't get a lot) was "Try to be OK." That seemed like an attainable goal...maybe... And you know what? After a year or so of faking it, I'm a lot better than OK. I'm good. More importantly, I'm BACK.

Do people still read blogs? Let's find out, shall we?