One of the most exciting, but unsettling, things about The Love of My Life is that he is unpredictable.
While I am carefully considering multiple possible outcomes and cautiously choosing what seems to be the safest option, he is what my kind of people call “impulsive.”
While we ask “why,” he does not ask at all. He simply states “why not” and plunges ahead.
We were married in 1977. So by 1982, I should have known to expect anything from him.
But I was caught off guard completely the day he came home from his nursing class and announced he had decided to sell Avon.
Before I could go into my “why” routine, he explained that he had assessed it would be pretty easy just to send the product book around to all his female classmates and take orders.
I was still doubtful. I looked at his obvious male traits, including the mustache.
“You’re going to try to sell makeup to women?”
He grinned. “Yep. Why not?”
And so the Avon adventure began. However, the initial part was not as easy as he thought.
When he called the Avon district manager to sign up, she thought it was a prank call. She hung up.
Undeterred, he called back and explained his business plan. She tried to keep the laughter out of her voice. Finally, she agreed.
But she said he would need a bag of sample products, which she would personally deliver. It was clear she wanted a first hand look at this guy to check out his intent.
So she came. I met her at the door with our one year old in my arms. She looked us all over. She concluded that while he would be her first Avon man, she was willing to give him a chance.
So Jay took his samples and Avon book to class. As they say, “The man could sell ice to people who live in ice.” He was a huge success!
Pretty soon, his classmates had their family ordering from him and then our friends got in on it. The district manager was wowed and even introduced him at the sales meetings as if he was her idea for a forward thinking market.
Along with the Avon ladies that year, Jay received a Christmas ornament, as a token of appreciation for his success. It is one of my favorite ornaments to hang every year.
It reminds me to “never say never.” It reminds me I need to say “why not” more often. I need to see more possibilities and doubt less.
And I need to hang on for the next crazy idea my husband of 45 years may spring on me!
I also smile to remember that Jay let our daughter have his bag of left over samples when she was five. When others would observe her playing with them, they would ask her if those were her Mommy’s.
She would very proudly say, “No, they are my Daddy’s!”