My daughter, Celese, is a Mary Kay consultant. For you men, that means she sells makeup, skin creams, and other things to help make women beautiful. I’m not trying to say that women aren’t beautiful anyway, because they are. However, speaking of makeup, one old lady in our community said, “Even an old barn looks better with a coat of new paint.”
One day Celese received a phone call from the man in charge of the local motorcycle rally. “I’m looking for vendors,” he said. “Would you be interested?”
Celese told him she couldn’t see how Mary Kay products and motorcycles went together.
“But our rally is really new, and we need all sorts of sponsors and support,” he said.
When she declined, he said, “But we are desperate!” Celese told him she had already figured that out. She tried to politely decline, but he waived the fee and pleaded until she agreed.
Then she had a dilemma of her own. What does a Mary Kay consultant wear to such an event? Does she wear the leather that the motorcyclists wear, or does she wear a dress or pant suit like a Mary Kay consultant? Well, she didn’t have any leather, so she dressed in her normal clothes, and when she got there she stuck out like a… well, like a Mary Kay consultant at a motorcycle rally, especially since the other three booths included two taco stands and a motorcycle insurance group.
She felt awkward as people wearing leather and sporting skull and cross bone tattoos walked by and stared at the bottles of makeup. One man walked up, his wife by his side, both decked out in leather. “What are you selling that kind of stuff for here?”
“Well,” Celese said, “even women who ride motorcycles want to look beautiful.”
The man laughed heartily. “Right,” he said sarcastically. He then turned to his wife, who was not smiling, and he instantly knew he was in big trouble. “Uh, they don’t, do they, Honey?” he stammered.
She didn’t even answer him. She just slugged him so hard he stumbled away, then she turned back to Celese and smiled. “I’ll take two of those, three of that, one of this, and…”
It was a huge sale, and just the ice-breaker. Her booth was soon busy with women purchasing products. Groups gathered and commented about how noticeably different she was from everyone else, and they liked it. The women in the group glanced at each other uneasily as one woman was swearing like a sailor, and her husband shushed her. “Don’t speak like that!” he said. “There is a lady present!”
On the second day, a lot of women came dressed much nicer, and by the third day, there were enough that a person might begin to question if it was truly a motorcycle rally. Indeed, some people learned that motorcycle women do enjoy being beautiful.
But Celese learned something else, too. As she was loading up to head home on the last day, she was nervous as a rough looking man approached her. “Lady, is that your car?”
When she said it was, he pointed at her tire. “Did you know your tire is almost flat?”
She looked, and it was. She was going to call her husband to come help, but the man wouldn’t hear of it. “Lady, if people at a motorcycle rally can’t take care of a flat tire, what good are we?”
Soon a whole group of men gathered to help. Some changed her tire while others loaded her car. Half of the people at the rally were there to wave her on her way.
As she was driving home, she thought about her own attitudes and prejudices, and realized that a person can be wonderful even wearing leather. When the man in charge called her about her experience, she said a check was on its way, even though he had waived the fee.
“Next year,” she said, “when you need booths for the rally again, think of me.”
(Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist, playwright, and author, can be contacted at email@example.com; or visit his website at http://ww.darishoward.com)