How to win friends & influence people

I was walking into the train station to get a Jamba Juice before rehearsal (original Peach Perfection with an immunity boost, if you're buying) when I heard her voice: I love your bag! I don't mean to brag, but I get that a lot about this particular bag, a large orange patent leather tote. (Sidebar: actually, the bag was mentioned in a New Yorker article about a soprano I worked with last year, because she was using it in rehearsal. I would have to look it up, but I believe the quote might have been "chic orange tote." But I digress.) So when I stopped to tell her where I had gotten the bag, this girl, about my age, started asking me all kinds of questions about myself. It seemed a little weird, but there is a lot more chatting among strangers in Chicago than you might think—mostly about the weather—so I didn't think much of it. It briefly crossed my mind that she might be hitting on me, but I wasn't really getting that vibe from her. I was anxious to get to work, but she seemed nice, and I don't have such a plethora of Chicago friends that I'm about to be rude to a nice girl who wants to talk to me. You never know, right?

Except that sometimes, you do know. Because not 3 minutes into our conversation, she said, So if you're from Texas, you must know my company. It's based in Dallas. Some of you have already figured it out, I'm sure, but not me. What company does she work for, you ask? What else: MARY KAY. My heart sank and I immediately began inching closer and closer to the Jamba Juice, my eyes darting back and forth looking for an escape route. And while I attempted to evade her, there was no controlling what came out of my mouth. I think I claimed to already have a MK representative, an imaginary friend in Houston who's just selling makeup on the side to help pay for college and isn't really interested in making it full-time. WHAT?!? SHUT UP, LOUISA! And then I think maybe I told her I was too busy for any of her upcoming seminars, but she should just give me her card so I could contact her when my schedule freed up. And it would have been great if I stopped there.

Except I didn't. Because then she asked for my phone number, and for some ungodly reason, I gave it to her (yes, my REAL number). I can't explain it; I was panicking. And, wouldn't you know it, she has already called me and left me a frighteningly perky voicemail. She wants me to learn more about the "executive side" of the company while I'm here. I will not be returning her call.

I made the mistake of telling a couple people at work this story, and now every time they see me I hear, I love your bag! Because apparently that is all it takes to get my phone number. And now you know.


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