Authors Note: This is a rant- I will be using the occasional foul language more than normal. If you are not a fan of ‘the swears’- consider yourself warned. This is also full of blunt honesty and self doubt and everything written is a reflection of my mood on this topic in this moment.
There are times when I truly hate people.
This was one of those weeks.
Perhaps I can blame some of my mood on the intense Florida heat and humidity…(I was melting….melting…)
Perhaps I can blame it on the fact that my 37th birthday was on Friday and I have been dreading it for awhile (birthdays and I don’t get along) but honestly… What does it say about us as a society that we feel the need to remark on people’s outward looks wherever we are- especially if it is how we promote and represent business/products?
I will preface this by saying that I make no secret of having struggles with the aging process. As a matter of fact- I have blogged about this topic before. This year alone with everything I have been through medically- I am tired, I am worn out and after gaining weight I am extremely self conscious. I am trying to battle the bulge and do what I can for me. I have secretly wondered if it is starting to show on my face.
It is funny how strangers can really add to your insecurities when you least expect it.
Like…when you are on a road trip with your family.
The first (yes first) incident happened when we were dining in a restaurant in Kissimmee, Florida- trying to enjoy Day Two of our summer road trip.
We sat down in a blissfully air-conditioned restaurant- as we were walking to the hotel and had no where to drive, both my husband and I decided to toast our vacation with an adult beverage each.
The waitress came to take our order.
The conversation went like this:
Waitress: Let’s start with drinks
Me: I’ll have a white wine.
Husband: Beer please
Waitress to Husband: Can I see some ID please? I need to ID everyone who looks under 40.
Me: EXCUSE Me??!!!!!
She was clearly embarrassed by her gaffe…especially when I asked: “Do I really look over 40?” (Yes, I did confront her) but come on? How about instead of accidentally insulting and being ageist toward your patrons- you just ID everyone no matter the age! Trust me- the only people who don’t get a kick out of having to produce ID are the kids who just reached drinking age and want to look ‘old enough’!
(Not that there is anything wrong with being over 40 but is this really something you want to hear when you are NOT that age?)
The second incident:
The next day at Disney I was hanging out waiting for my husband and daughter to finish with a ride- my oldest was using the loo. As I sat there- I heard two people say:
“Can you imagine coming here when you are fat? What a waste of money!”
“Oh- like that person?! Maybe we should ask him why he bothered!”
*enter them laughing*
I didn’t see who they were pointing at, truth be told in the crowed around me- I couldn’t tell who exactly said it- but I wanted to put on my Maleficent hat and trip them all the same.
The implication that your weight determines how much fun you can have at ‘the happiest place on earth’ is such crap and completely ridiculous! Not to mention- Do you know that persons struggles? Their journey? Their life? No! So cease your fat shaming cruelty and go ride the carousel before I turn you into one of my minions…
The third and final incidents:
Our trip took us to the Keys.
That day I was feeling quite good about myself. I have been losing weight- clothes are starting to show it, the ankle swelling (don’t get me started) that I had been experiencing with the humidity was going down and I felt lighter! I was having a good hair day and generally was okay with my appearance. Confidence level was higher then normal.
Until this handsome guy on the street paid me a compliment as I walked past.
He started with my earrings “You have very beautiful earrings”
(They are beautiful…my birthstone and a touching gift from my husband)
I kept walking… but this dude wasn’t giving up talking to me. He starts to follow me down the street.
“What do you use on your eyes? I bet you have lovely eyes. Can I see your face?”
I whip off my sunglasses, turned around and scowled at him. Why is he still talking to me? Dude- a compliment is one thing- and seriously- Go away!
Now I am suspicious and annoyed but curiosity got the best of me…:
“I will get you some eye cream samples… I have something that will help you”
FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!
Though while sorely tempted to use the above expression, I didn’t. I did think it though as I rolled my eyes at him, turned- put my sunglasses on and walked away. Mystery solved. Guard up. Unlike most of these promoters- he wasn’t letting you in that he was one until the last minute.
Clever to get people talking, yet completely ineffective for his business!
Naturally he wasn’t the only one being paid to promote products on the street.
Across the street these young, beautiful girls are standing promoting their spa or something:
“Hello!” She greets me.
Fuck… Here we go again….
“Wow… May I ask what you use on your skin?”
Now- I don’t like being rude to these people, they are just doing their job, however I am not interested in being solicited for these products… especially after the guy across the street chasing me down- implying I need eye cream.
Instead of ignoring her, I said “It’s French- I like it, I can’t pronounce it. Have a nice day.”
(There… I covered my bases… I use something I like and I am not interested and I am being polite…)
“You should try our cream instead- it would really help- I would love to give you a sample…”
Really?!! There it is again!!! The implication that there is something wrong with me and it will only be solved by taking a sample of their product!!!
Dear Companies- if you want to pimp your company and your creams…don’t do it by sending your employees out to do the compliment/subtle insult to promote method.
We don’t fucking like that!
We don’t like you finding something nice to say about us, then pointing out a flaw we have to promote your product like it is our only hope.
It is not only insulting, but I can’t see how this is an effective business method with any woman. They are going to see through your crap and walk away. They are going to tell their friends to make a point of NOT purchasing the product.
I know this for a few reasons:
- Obviously I am a woman… this shit doesn’t fly with me and I know it doesn’t fly with my friends. It is very common for us to trade horror stories like this- and with social media… we do it even more now.
2) I heard more then one woman in Key West that day complain about the same vendors for the exact same reason I just listed above. To quote one lady (another promoter victim) who was walking on the street next to me: “These promoters think they are so clever with their sales pitch- and yet they are pushing potential customers away by insulting them! They’re obnoxious!”
(Paaa-reach lady! High Five!)
By the time I got to the guy handing out perfume samples down the street, my mood toward these people was foul and that little voice inside my head started going off:
Do I really look old enough to need these creams?
Is my skin really that bad?
Oh my God I am wandering Key West with my kids, carrying at least 20 extra pounds of unnecessary weight, have swollen ankles… I cut all my hair off and I am officially no longer young, good looking, thin or worthy of anything nice…
I am old.
Face it- Youth is gone.
No amount of cream will cure that!
I bet my husband thinks I am old and ugly too but he wont tell me..
Why do I even care?
I hate myself.
(See how these thoughts snowball…)
I am baring my soul here- and I am sure some of you think I am being completely over dramatic.. but I am being completely honest and I am sugar coating nothing.. That is how I felt!
I had become a mess of emotions walking that street as my thoughts went dark and my confidence faltered…Overall these interactions made me feel embarrassed…to be me…
When the guy with perfume samples genuinely tried giving me sample of perfume, I was not in the mood to talk or deal with another promoter. Which is funny because I LOVE perfume. I am a perfume collector! Of all the things to approach me with… be perfume! I love discovering new scents.
“But it’s a free gift!!”
I waved him off.
After the last two handing out samples… I wasn’t opening my mouth, being polite or taking anything.
I was going to keep walking.
(He only has his fellow street promoters to blame)
Maybe with each incident I was over reacting… Perhaps I was slightly over sensitive- especially with the birthday approaching- I know I have problems with depression, anxiety and self esteem… but each of these people listed above and their stupid judgments- whether it was about my age, my eyes, my skin or even about other people- these things really pissed me off!
That is the society we live in.
We live in one where magazines, moguls, celebrities and corporations dictate what we should look like and these things to ‘improve’ us are constantly forced down our throats by any means necessary.
People actually try to use our flaws to sell us something just so they can meet their bottom line and they are becoming bolder about it.
I hate it.
I struggle with it.
I constantly try to ignore these ads, and go by what ‘I’ feel I need for myself.
Look- if ‘I’ think that a product is something that ‘I’ want to try or need… I will do the approaching- I will do the research- I will do the asking/the shopping…etc….
The moment that I am approached with a beauty product- without giving off any indication that it is something that I am remotely interested in, let alone need- I am automatically done and you can consider my ‘potential business’ lost forever.
I just turned 37 – and after a week of being made to feel older then I am… I sit here writing this a whole mixed bag of emotions…
Mad that I let these fools get to me- especially because most of them were just doing their job.
Mad at myself for constantly struggling with my self esteem.
Mad that I let myself get caught in that negative head space that I like to avoid.
I am blessed with a family who loves me despite my flaws- including my insecurities.
I am blessed with so many friends and family who took the time to wish me a happy birthday and send me so many kind messages- ultimately lifting my spirits.
I am blessed with the fact that doctors are trying to cure me and may be successful in giving me my health back which I hope helps boost my confidence levels back up.
I am blessed with the fact that I get to travel, experience new things and have the means to do things that some people do not get to do.
Those are the positive things and the people I want to focus on.
Not these tactless fools trying to sell their products or who subtly insult you and everyone else they don’t deem perfect…
Karma is a bitch.
I know firsthand…because I am going to let you in on a secret:
Once upon a time, I used to be a tactless, judgmental fool -I wasn’t paid for it and since I can’t go back in time and slap my teenage self silly and tell her off- I will tell you upfront that the old adage is true: The shoe doesn’t feel so good being worn on the other foot.
The moral of this entire post:
Quit with judgments.
Avoid making assumptions about people.
Learn to love yourself and work to cut out the background noise.
Pay no attention to people who insult you-whether they mean it or not, whether it is on purpose or not. They aren’t worth your time unless you have a blog post to write!
Watch what you say about others… because it does come back.
And above all:
If you follow the compliment/insult business promotion method or work for someone who does- FIND A NEW SALES PITCH!!