Avon Calling

Posted by Louise Tucker Jones on 03/01/2013

It’s kind of sad when the arrival of the Avon lady is the highlight of your day, but when you are a stay-at-home mother of three, it can be a delightful distraction. So it was the day my neighbor, Bernice, came calling many years ago, Avon book in hand. I enjoyed the conversation more than the products but felt compelled to purchase something, remembering how my mother used to drive the countryside taking Avon orders.

And now, Avon had added a line of jewelry to their products, which I found more enticing than lotions and lipsticks. I was drawn to a ring with a pink set, surrounded with small crystals that looked like diamonds. True, it was inexpensive costume jewelry, but it was fashionable and I was about to order it when a thought hit me. Wouldn’t it be fun if Carl bought that ring for me instead of buying it for myself? I set out to make that happen.

I told Bernice about my plan and to be ready when Carl came to her door to order that ring. I had always written little love notes to Carl when he would go out of town on business trips, hiding them in his suitcase so he would find them when he got to the hotel. Now I needed new tactics. Where to leave notes at home?

Louise's RingI asked Bernice for an extra book or two so I could cut out the picture of the desired ring. She obliged, seeming to enjoy being a part of this secret drama. I started by putting a note in Carl’s briefcase, wondering how long it would take to have that ring on my finger. My husband immediately recognized my ploy and decided to play my game, feeling certain he could outwait me on getting the ring. It became a contest of wills with Carl purposely ignoring my notes and me finding new avenues to get his attention. I put notes under his pillow, on the bathroom mirror and other places, but nothing worked. Time for drastic measures. I wrote a note on the toilet paper in our bathroom and taped a picture of the ring to it. That should definitely get a reaction. His only response was a smirky little smile.

Several nights later, I fell into bed, exhausted from a difficult day. Carl leaned over from his side of the bed and said, “You didn’t brush your teeth.” Well, that was odd, both for me not to brush my teeth and for him to notice. “No, I didn’t,” I responded, letting my head fall onto the pillow. Carl was insistent. “You should brush your teeth.” What? I looked at him. “I’m tired,” I said, but he was adamant. “You need to brush your teeth.” Was my breath that bad?

I climbed out of bed, traipsed to the bathroom and opened the drawer where I kept my toothbrush and toothpaste. There beside them was the ring I had pestered him for these last weeks, along with a matching pendant. I laughed out loud and took them into the bedroom to find a grinning husband. No wonder he insisted on me brushing my teeth. He wasn’t about to let me go to sleep without finding that ring. We laughed together and figured we were both winners in this little game.

My neighbor told me later that Carl came to her and said, “Order that ring Louise wants and anything else that goes with it. She’s driving me crazy!” Yep, I could have bought the ring myself and it wouldn’t have bothered Carl one bit. In fact, he would have told me how lovely it was. But it was a lot more fun to use a little drama to get him to purchase it for me. And just for the record, I still have that ring and pendant from the seventies. They aren’t my favorite pieces of jewelry, but definitely a favorite memory. 

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