Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
33

Ask Polly: My Best Friend Keeps Recruiting Me To Join Her Multi-Level Marketing Scheme!

Hi Polly,

Over the past several years, my best friend and I have remained close through some huge life changes. I made the decision to get a divorce from my abusive spouse and she was right there with me, offering me a place to stay and moral support. She experienced an unplanned but welcome pregnancy which resulted in the birth of her first child. She also got engaged to the love of her life. I am now heavily involved in plans for her wedding. I love her dearly. However, there is one major problem with our relationship.

Both her and her new fiancée are active members of an international Multi-level Marketing company that focuses on health and wellness. Fiancée is a notable and well-known success, due in large part to his family’s early involvement with the company. Best Friend has “recruited” her entire family into the business. They frequently attend company events, and most of their other friends are members. As for me, I cannot in good conscience participate in the business, and it is starting to cause a rift between us.

Some history: I was in poor health a few years ago. I struggled with depression, treatment-resistant acne, and GI issues. After my divorce, I made a lot of changes. I visited a dermatologist and endocrinologist, who both confirmed what I suspected: I am very sensitive to hormone imbalance. My derm specifically mentioned that consuming lots of soy as a possible cause of hormone imbalance. In general, I’ve found that avoiding soy and consuming a diet of mostly whole, unprocessed plant foods keeps my skin, mind, and guts happy. I am grateful to be in the position to follow this diet and am very pleased with my health these days.

So, the core product of Best Friend's MLM company is a "weight loss plan." The "plan" is basically just their low-cal meal replacement shakes (soy protein heavy) subbed for 2 out of 3 meals a day, then a combination of "supplements" full of caffeine and all the other vitamins you miss out on when you don't eat actual food. This is, in my opinion, nutritionally unsound and a starvation diet. A number of the other “energy” supplements rely on artificial sweeteners and non-FDA approved diet herbs. Even putting aside my belief that whole foods are the best sources of nutrition, I think that it is questionable to promote these products as quality sources of nutrition.

I also don’t agree with certain marketing and sales practices. Basically, they exploit people’s body insecurity for money. Fiancée actually has a button that reads "Lose Weight Now-Ask Me How." He wears it EVERYWHERE. I am not that close to him, so I haven’t said anything… but I’d really like to point out how gross that is without him going on the defensive.

In addition, the company frequently makes lofty promises of financial independence to lure in new members. They throw events and parties that showcase the best and brightest in the company… but minimize the massive amount of people involved in their success. It is a classic MLM—as in, the people at the top are making money due to the quantity of people at the bottom. In reality, very few actually make a living off of the sales of the products, let alone get rich. The prices of the supplements are also very inflated for the average consumer, and are only “discounted” if you sign up to be a sales representative (this of course, includes kickbacks and additional discounts for the person who “brought you in”).

Basically, all my experiences with the company and their products leave a literal and figurative bad taste in my mouth. They are not unethical or dangerous enough to warrant a “scam” label, but I disagree with what they do to the extent that I don’t want to be involved.

In the past, I’ve used avoidance and excuses to explain to Best Friend why I don’t want to be a part of the company. I say I’m an introvert, so I’m uncomfortable with direct sales and attending parties. I say that I have a soy sensitivity and can’t drink the shakes. I say that I get headaches from artificial sweeteners. But she still pressures me to join. Every excuse I have, Best Friend has a company-approved rebuttal. I also feel like I can’t talk about my finances or my health around her because it gives her an opening to “pitch” the company to me. It is really starting to make me uncomfortable. With her impending nuptials, I know I’ll be spending more time with her and her family. It is bound to keep coming up.

My question is, how can I effectively communicate that I do not want to join the company, without alienating or offending my friend and her family? I don’t want them to think I am being condescending toward their life’s work, as I realize that everyone is different. I respect that they should do what works for them. It’s just not for me.

Thanks for any guidance,

Friend on the Outside




Dear FOTO,

Americans are too polite. Sure, we shout and rage at each other on our superhighways and our cable TV channels. But when you put us at the same wedding shower, we're as meek and as mild as anesthetized kittens. This is what made Borat so brilliant—not his obnoxiousness, per se, but the reactions to it, the pervasive, pathological unwillingness to stand up and say, "Seriously, you need to stop." Borat could fall over drunk at a private dinner, talk openly about bedding a married woman in front of her husband, and all he encountered was shy tittering and a few awkward silences.

How in the world do you prevent yourself from condescending to someone who wears a “Lose Weight Now-Ask Me How” button everywhere he goes? I'm not sure that level of self-restraint is physically possible, let alone healthy. Your best friend not only had the gall to marry a character straight out of a Christopher Guest film, but now she's actively recruiting you to sell crappy fake food that she knows very well you hate? As Kanye would say, that shit is fucking ri-DICK-a-lus.

Why does it always have to be the cheesy Tupperware ladies and the water filter-peddling morons and the tone-deaf Mary Kay mob who come to the rescue emotionally when the shit hits the fan? Why can't your friend who loves Fellini and David Mamet and crocheted tops and Mac lipstick in Vamp swoop in for a change? Why do the young hipsters go all "No, YOU are the wound!" when you get dumped by your abusive husband, when out in the suburbs they're dropping off casseroles and walking your dog and watering your plants and pressing copies of Gone Girl into your sweaty palms? Hipster ladies need to put on their big girl Dickies and pull their heads out of their naturally-sourced, unbleached asses for long enough to support their lady loves.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I get it. This repugnant viral scourge in human form that you describe is also one of the most unthinkingly loyal, slavishly adoring friends you've ever had. Why shouldn't she be? She's our species' answer to the fungal infection. You're recovering from abuse, she has a room for you to stay in. Hmm. She reminds me a little of one of those people who run rescue dog shelters or organize the teen club at the local church: Salt of the earth, lovable, warm, loyal—and also total fucking bad news, passive-aggressive scary, stay away, Luke, It's a Trap! You are treated to unparalleled generosity for years, until it's time for the queen to lay her eggs in your corpse.

But that's just a wild guess, and she might be a loving but slightly insensitive person with not very good taste. I have no way of proving that she is wretched and rotten to the core, beyond her perverse interest in having semi-regular sexual relations with someone who may or may not be wearing an “Lose Weight Now-Ask Me How” button on his person at the time. Mostly I think she'd make a really good character in one of ABC's slightly dark suburban dramedies. I'm not saying dump her as a friend. I just want you to know that you should never, ever feel even a tiny bit guilty about those reoccurring impulses to, say, kick her in the shins and tell her she's a fake-food peddling fuck.

But don't do that. Here's what you should do instead: Prepare to smile and eat huge, steaming platters of shit. Actually, anyone who's about to see a friend through a wedding, or even attend your run-of-the-mill extended family vacation, should prepare for the same thing. Eating a lot of shit dished out by your family without drinking too much, overturning the Monopoly board and/or loudly proclaiming each family member's DSM-V diagnosis basically ushers you into the realm of mature adulthood.

When the Soylent Green peddlers start doing their thing, though, I want you to look the peddler in question straight in the eye for 3-4 seconds (it's a long time) before speaking. Then I want you to say, in a calm tone, "I love that [Name of Friend] is happy, but this business is not for me." When they protest, you say, with a small smile, "I've heard every pitch, but trust me, it's really not for me." Then look them straight in the eye. Let them apologize, or move on. If they stay on the subject, politely excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.

To your friend, you say, "I love you, but no, and that answer won't change." That's all. If she revisits it, look her in the eyes and say, "Are you hearing what I'm telling you? Please respect my feelings on this front." It's not a question of you respecting her choices. You don't have to say a thing about what she wants and needs. All you have to say is, "I don't want that for myself." The end.

I would avoid specifics. I would memorize three "No thank you" lines and I would prepare to say them over and over again, punctuated by uncomfortable silence. As long as you don't start talking and explaining and apologizing and discussing her choice to become a pox upon the face of the earth, you're safe. Just be a woman of few words in this arena. And for fuck's sake, don't get drunk. Don't loosen up and start blabbing about the wrong thing. Your first line of defense is silence. Your second line of defense is one or two scripted, polite refusals. Your third line of defense is more silence.

We women always want to explain everything. More words! Surely more words will solve this problem! Men know better. When people ask most men to commit to something they don’t want to commit to, or to discuss something they don't want to discuss, they fucking sit there and say nothing. They never explain shit, those smug rats! They never throw good words after bad when they can choose to remain vaguely disapproving and enigmatic instead.

And they never get blamed for anything that way! We get blamed and blamed and blamed, because we can't shut up. We try to make stuff better by apologizing, analyzing, comparing, and along the way we nail ourselves to the wall like specimens. No!

So now you know better. You know just what to do, and you know that you're not bad just because you sort of sometimes dislike this lovable superfreak you call a friend. As for your future with this lady, well, that's up to you. You might want to gently nudge her in the direction of the human race over time, but otherwise, I give you my blessing to tolerate her crappy choices indefinitely. As unsavory as she might be, it's absolutely true that not every human alive will take you in after you leave your abusive husband, just as not every human empties out the extra bedrooms in their house and fills them up with one-eyed Chihuahuas. Old friendships really are worth hanging onto, even when there are some one-eyed dogs and button-wearing asshats in the mix.

Polly





Hi Polly.

I've been reading your advice about flinchy boyfriend for years. You've pretty much nailed the guys I fell in love with in my late 20s and early 30s—big charming personalities, fascinating people who were completely fascinated by me and would make huge romantic gestures until I actually agreed to date them, at which point they turned into the person who would never go to my house, I had to go their house. The person who wouldn't come with me to weddings. The coworkers who would introduce me to their family but wouldn't acknowledge our relationship at work. And, eventually, the person who was just kind of bored by whatever I had to say—and on top of it, they just didn't know what love was anymore. And I would spend the final two-thirds of the relationship trying to get back what we'd had at the start, reluctant to let go of this amazing person that I'd had such a connection with, even if we'd hit a rough patch right now.

Lucky me, I finally dumped my last loser boyfriend and declined to meet or date the guy from online who was in the process of getting a divorce but just hadn't moved out yet… and a few months later, I met my kind and normal husband. We've now been together almost five years, married for three, and working on babies. We're each other's best friend, but not suffocatingly so—there's space built into the relationship for individual interests and time apart. The biggest regular fight we have is about what level of clean is acceptable in the kitchen. (For the record, the choices are clean, or uber-clean.) So, yay.

But I've noticed something I'd like your advice on. What got me through my years of flinchy boyfriends were my friends—deep soul friends, people who would go out to brunch or on hikes or blackberry-picking with me and spend seven hours talking through our respective relationships, what was working, what wasn't, what was missing. I mostly had intense, individual friendships, rather than traveling in groups. When I married my husband, I moved several states away, but the friendships continued, through e-mail, Facebook, and the occasional visit.

Which brings me to why I'm writing. One of my very closest friends from that time in my life just visited, and the visit was… strange. She came during the workweek so that we could both work during the day and then hang out at night. But the visit had the strangest dynamic. On certain days, there were things I had to do—pick up medication across town, go to the grocery store so I could make dinner later—and she said she was happy to tag along, we could talk while we drove, etc.

But after we had agreed on a plan—let's leave the house at 4 so I can get to my doctor's office before it closes; let's go the grocery store right after work so I can start cooking—I could just not get her to execute on it. What's more, it actually started to seem like she was purposefully undermining every plan we made. We'd agree to leave the house at 4; at 4:05 she'd be walking down the hall in a towel. We'd agree to eat lunch at 2; then one thing after another would happen and we wouldn't eat until 6. By the time she left, I was so frustrated and angry, almost out of proportion to the actual events. I just felt like she had spent the visit agreeing to things and then passive-aggressively rebelling against those things… to what end, I don't even know, because who cares if she got in the car now or 20 minutes from now. Same car trip. What's the difference? And if she didn't want to go, why not just say that?

Anyway, I don't even really know what my question is, except that, having attracted flinchy boyfriends for so many years, it's probably likely, isn't it, that I had flinchy friends, too—especially the closest and most charismatic? The people I think of most fondly. People whose actions are actually indicating, in every way possible: Don't count on me for what you need. Take that nonsense somewhere else!

And then I wonder: Are the rules about flinchy friends the same as they are for boyfriends? Is it more of a drain to have those people in your life than to not? And when I think, oh, but I hate to toss away all those years of deep conversation and closeness over something so minor as a scheduling issue; I hate to throw out someone I know so well, just because she doesn't organize her time well… am I just deluding myself that there's a relationship to hang on to, as opposed to a pattern of accommodating someone else's needs without my own being acknowledged in return? Or am I just blowing a small scheduling issue out of proportion, because I like to be on time.

I'd be very curious to know your thoughts—thank you!

Not Flinching



Dear NF,

I don't think your friend was passive-aggressively rebelling. I think she was on vacation and she was losing track of time over and over again. When I'm visiting someone's house, it's incredibly difficult for me to adhere to a schedule. Being on vacation turns my brain to jelly. On top of that, I work from home, I never run errands on any kind of a schedule, and the words "We have to leave by 4 if we're going to…" only trigger a response in my brain when they're followed by "avoid missing the first scene of the movie" or "keep this kid from throwing a tantrum" or "get there before the free drinks and appetizers run out." I'm not perpetually late to everything. No way. But if it's me and one other friend, and my friend has a concrete schedule in mind, and that schedule seems a little restrictive and arbitrary to me? It doesn't stick in my brain. It falls out, onto the floor, and then I go take a shower and come back and someone is glaring at me and I'm all, "Oh! Right. Sorry! I'll hurry."

So maybe that means I'm fucked up, too. Even so, if that's the only complaint you have with your friend, you should consider yourself extremely lucky. Old, intense friendships are always a little bit taxing in one way or another. Here's a more typical old-friendship scenario: You're going through something tough, and your old friend says "Whoa, that sounds hard," and then has to run because her cat looks unhappy. The next day, you listen to her repetitive, circular thoughts for two hours straight, during which she casts aspersions on your choices and hints that you might be happier if you did things the way she does them (which you'd only do if you were FUCKING INSANE but that's a story for another time) and you want to say something, but now she has to run because she's getting ready for a really exciting event you know all about but aren't invited to.

Let's just state the obvious and admit that maintaining close relationships with smart, interesting humans with lives of their own (let alone lives of their own thousands of miles away) can be taxing. Old friends can seem hopelessly selfish when they're acting exactly the same way you act in a different arena. Her insensitivity to your schedule corresponds to some equal and opposite insensitivity in you, trust me. You are flawed and so is she. You're two very different people who don't see each other all that often.

Few of us work on our old friendships the way we work on our marriages. Few of us tolerate old friends the way we tolerate our parents or our children or our siblings. But you have to do a little of each: Work on your friendship, try to talk through your personal differences, and, if all else fails, grin and bear it for the sake of a lifelong friend. People without crazy old friends tend to be rigid, controlling types who eventually end up whittling down their personalities to match their spouse's. You don't want that kind of a life, with or without the profitable pyramid scheme built in.

Polly





Is your friend a million times more taxing than the one this woman just described? Write to Polly and tell her about it!

Heather Havrilesky (aka Polly Esther) is The Awl's existential advice columnist. She's also a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the memoir Disaster Preparedness (Riverhead 2011). She blogs here about scratchy pants, personality disorders, and aged cheeses. Pyramids photo by Wilhelm Joys Andersen. Clock photo by Matthew Frederickson.

33 Comments / Post A Comment

IBentMyWookie (#133)

"Fiancee" = female
"Fiance" = male

(Not directed at HH; I assume it was in the original text of the letter)

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@IBentMyWookie "Beyoncé" = fabulous

ragazza (#241,456)

Ugh, soy! Some people just cannot tolerate it. Including me. I was one big gasbag the month I tried to drink soy milk. Rice drink to the rescue!

hockeymom (#143)

That advice on how to say NO is so, so good. And so hard. I am going to write down the various ways of saying no and practice in the mirror. Complete with the 3-4 seconds of silence. Not even kidding. The silence thing is so hard…I'm always trying to fill that silence with whatever I think will "fix" things. I end up saying and doing things that I regret and are usually the exact opposite of what I intended to do.

So, thank you, thank you.

@hockeymom It IS hard, I do the same thing! "We try to make stuff better by apologizing, analyzing, comparing, and along the way we nail ourselves to the wall like specimens." This is all so me. I need to hang that whole answer on the wall.

WiredCake (#247,320)

Ooooo. This:

"We women always want to explain everything. More words! Surely more words will solve this problem! Men know better. When people ask most men to commit to something they don’t want to commit to, or to discuss something they don't want to discuss, they fucking sit there and say nothing. They never explain shit, those smug rats! They never throw good words after bad when they can choose to remain vaguely disapproving and enigmatic instead.

And they never get blamed for anything that way! We get blamed and blamed and blamed, because we can't shut up. We try to make stuff better by apologizing, analyzing, comparing, and along the way we nail ourselves to the wall like specimens. No!"

As someone who's currently working on no longer NAILING HERSELF TO THE WALL with her overabundance of words, this hits so beautifully close to home. Damn, dudes. Teach me your sekrits, I needs them.

I'm also guessing Letter Writer #1 is discussing Beach Body and Shakeology. I've had people try to convert me to that, once on a dating site, no less ("You're attractive! Let's date! But while we're on the subject wouldn't you like to be *more* attractive?".) It definitely has the fine scent of Pyramid-Scheme/Cult to it! And, hell, I love me some Chalene Johnson action, so I give Beachbody money anyways.

(Or is there *another* insidious shake society I don't know about?)

blueblazes (#238,044)

@WiredCake Too many to count. Medifast? Amway? Nutrilite? Herbalife? And god only knows how many others.

I had a co-worker trying to get me into what was an *obvious* pyramid scheme. Repeatedly invited me to meetings at his house with "the number 1 earner in our sector" or something.

Yes, sir, I admire the sentiment on your pin. Sign me up right now. SAID NO ONE EVER.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@blueblazes "Lose weight now ask me how" is the Herbalife tagline. Why do we include that and not mention the company?

It's a bit like saying, "My friend works for a company, which shall remain unnamed, that touts itself as 'the ultimate driving machine.'"

WiredCake (#247,320)

@SidAndFinancy @blueblazes Ah ha ah ha! I've heard of them, but never paid attention to what they were peddling. I will avoid. (Randomly, I did wander over to the Medifast website and think that their chocolate shake on the frontpage looked awfully good, but not for nutritional reasons.)

skyslang (#11,283)

@blueblazes Herbalife is the WORST. I have never met an Herbalife sales rep who isn't fucking insane, annoying and pushy. Seriously, how does that business model work? They're worse than canvassers.

Danzig! (#5,318)

@blueblazes When I worked at our town library, there was an unemployed guy on disability who would regularly come in hawking investments in some bullshit energy drink that had magic Amazonion berries and endorsements from Indonesian martial arts masters. It was the most depressing thing, both because he clearly bought into the "promise" of the pyramid scheme, and because he probably put a lot of what little money he had into this "investment". Vultures and parasites, these scammers.

r&rkd (#1,719)

If you want to make money being an asshole, there's always law school.

blueblazes (#238,044)

@WiredCake I actually did Medifast, and it worked exactly as advertised. I lost close to 30 lbs in a month and a half. Unfortunately, it was too expensive for me to continue, and I gradually gained the weight back. It's something to consider if you have disposable income and aren't allergic to soy.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

to what end, I don't even know, because who cares if she got in the car now or 20 minutes from now

Indeed.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

She reminds me a little of one of those people who … organize the teen club at the local church

So, a sex offender?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Polly, you had me at "Americans are too..". Best friend my ass. You LW1, have no fucking idea what the word "friend" means. Zero. Zilch. Nada. You pussyfoot around this person as if she is your boss or your mother in law. Plus, she does, in fact, want you to be her employee. They've turned their entire family into a business venture. And you may not have joined the payroll, but you already fit into the culture by refusing to tell them to piss the fuck off.

OK, she was there for you when you were on hard times. But if you have a feeling you owe a person a favor, that person by definition is not your friend. Just return the favor and be done with it. I have a friend who helped me tremendously (as I have to him), and who asked me to be the "best man" at his wedding. I've turned him down because I didn't like his church. You know what effect that on our friendship? None. Because we are friends. Real friends. Easy thing for us though, seeing how we are not Americans.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Niko Bellic Oh, and a couple of helpful expressions roughly translated for you Americans: "we are on 'fuck you motherfucker' terms" means we are best friends forever. "Can I please settle my bill?" means I thought you did that for me as a friend, but you expect me to return the favor and so I will, but I don't ever want to see you again.

glasstwizzlestix (#242,762)

@Niko Bellic – So "true friendship" = 'license to treat each other like shit'? To each, their own, I s'pose.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@glasstwizzlestix No, it's "license" for being open and honest with each other, just not put in such boringly forgettable words (but to each their own, you know).

NoReally (#217,942)

I have worked at Herbalife conventions. They are the worst of the worst. Say no and don't engage is the best, the only advice. They want you to say why you don't want to join, and then they want to beat you to death with answers to all your arguments. You don't have time? It takes no time! You don't like to talk to people? We'll teach you to talk to people! You have no arms and legs and can't dial a phone or carry a box of vitamins? All you need is your first recruit! Just look at this picture of my boat!

Remember: They do not make the money hawking diet vitamins, they make the money ensnaring new people. Herbalife = Ponzi.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

For "Not Flinching": it's not just them, it's also you. You are the type of a person who likes to make plans and likes to stick to them, who likes their relationships in predictable doses on predictable schedules (who uses terms like "dating"!), etc. They are the opposite type. They do things based on how they feel at the moment, they don't care if they see you today or six months from now, or barge through your door unannounced. They fuck, and they romance, but they don't "date". There is often mutual attraction, but frictions happen quick enough: you fault them for flakiness, they fault you for being an overbearing bore. You should avoid those people and stick to your kind. Yes, the rules are the same for the friendships.

volerat (#247,326)

LW2's friend's behavior definitely seems passive-aggressive to me. Maybe seeing LW2 at her job or at home with her family made the friend feel inadequate, which in turn made the friend sabotage their plans? I think in that case it's better to go back to being friends who talk but don't visit.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

OK, so where in the fuck did my comments go? (edit: some weird thing, they showed up immediately after I posted this)

HJB (#247,378)

@Niko Bellic My comments disappeared too! Maybe they'll come back.

Titania (#8,471)

I used to work for the corporate office of an MLM. The best part (aka the only good part, aside from lots of free cookies) of attending conventions was that when anyone tried to recruit us, we had to tell them "I'm so sorry, we're actually not allowed to be distributors as long as we're full-time employees" and then watch them pity us for being so stupid. It actually kind of mystified me that no one ever questioned why, if the founders of our company were so smart and created the most genius business model ever, they supported that business with a totally conventional corporate structure.

lauracbrown (#247,371)

I just discovered you, Polly. I love you! I want to be your bff because your advice is mad true & on point & well-written & smart. Thank you!

Wroanger (#247,444)

Can I please get a show of hands in here for who thinks their "hipster" friends are less supportive than their mainstream and/or churchgoing and/or herbalife slingin' friends?

Like, quantitatively less, so much so that they should be called out for it on a (to me anyway) important public forum?

Because that is just making me REALLY REALLY ANGRY… like WTF is this misanthropic borderline misogynistic (or – really, is it just downright misogynistic?) *crap*?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!

Maybe it's just me. Because TO ME it seems like HH is spewing her issues in a really vile and negative way that makes me think, Lady, get thee to therapy so that you do not infect the world via your public forum with that crap because beautiful things in this world need to be nurtured and encouraged, not pissed upon because "you've got issues".

I mean, we see enough of that in the world. Progressive hipsters try not to do that. Imperfectly, sure. But that is the corner of the world — an Influencer, early-adopter corner of the world/internet, an important corner where GOOD VALUES permeate, where women are strong and supportive of each other and the dudes who are around them, people basically.

I recently went to a lady's programmer thing and I was SO IMPRESSED with how amazing the ladies are. NOT FUCKING ONCE did I feel like… "oooh hipster ladies, why must you all be such self-serving assholes".

Is anyone else feeling this way? Do I just live in a pollyanna world, or

IS IT EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE OF POLLY/HH TO BE PUTTING DOWN SO-CALLED HIPSTER / PROGRESSIVE WOMEN IN THIS WAY?????? Because to me it just seems toxic and vile, and I keep wanting to like HH but I almost feel like she's pushing back, and just has these ISSUES that need dealing with… like some of the more conservative or mainstream white-liberal-lady types of talking heads. People who are in it because of their own deep-seated issues, NOT the hipster aesthetic (again not always reached but at least always aimed for) of JUST BEING A COOL FUCKING PERSON THAT DOESN'T NEED TO LORD IT OVER ANYONE IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD JUST TO FUCKIN' BE OKAY WITH YOURSELF AND BE A COOL PERSON.

I take DEEP offense that "hipster ladies" are juiceboxes and should take a public flogging, and that there are some more supportive or kind non-hipster contingent of ladies who want to sell you herbalife.

Not to mention that she doesn't even TOUCH of the whole economic ISSUE that very well be involved, with someone who in other circumstances might not gravitate to a pyramid-scheme type of thing but in more troubling economic times might be drawn to this. People get "caught up" in their times. Which is why it is so important to create imprints and mojo social currency for the good, not pee on it because, jeeeze, I just don't even know the reason why anyone would unless, like I say, they had issues.

But maybe it's a valid criticism and I'm just overreacting? I will admit to being fiercely protective of hipster / progressive women because I THINK THEY ARE JUST THE BESTEST! Not to the exclusion of all other women, but I do think the values, the core-values, are HIGHLY preferable and superior to what else is out there. Just, So Fucking Cool and good and amazing and frankly awe-inspiring.

What always really gets me is that christians can seem to be so kind and good… but there's always this BITTER PILL to swallow at the heart/root of it. It's like yeah love love yeah, and then BOOM! Gay? Pray it away! Don't accept Jesus as your personal savior? HELL FOREVERS!!! But still, love ya!

skyslang (#11,283)

@Wroanger I had a similar reaction, just maybe a little more mellow. I just didn't understand why Polly went off on "hipsters" (I assume she means people who are into trends?) as being bad friends. Because they care about the way they dress? Because they go to cool restaurants? Just because someone is into the latest whatever doesn't make them self centered or bad. That's like saying pretty girls are all mean. Also: it wasn't even the point of the letter, so why did she go off like that?
Weird.

rthoughts (#247,600)

@Wroanger
I agree it's an unfair characterization.

But I think maybe the underlying sentiment is that sometimes uncritical support more often comes from uncritical people (people who are more likely to be into blind faith propositions like religion and MLM). Sometimes that's more appreciated than an analytical approach.

I say this as someone who occasionally feels guilty about my analytic tendencies – "what is the best long term solution? how can I best help?" vs. "take this money and come live with me!!"

Wroanger (#247,444)

I mention the economic thing, because I actually know an otherwise very cool woman who has devoted her life to teaching underprivileged kids and has mad letters behind her name who resorted to one of these non-food-pretend-healthy pyramid schemes, mostly simply because she's just so overwhelmed with her student loan debt that she's servicing and is having trouble making ends meet, even though she is in the private sector now (after needing to take a break from the public school system).

Edwin Pineda (#247,514)

I believe your friend is over the roof in recruiting. Like what you said, we can't recruit everyone because we have our own needs. Your friend should do some time out. If this is not for you or it is not yet your time to join a network marketing business. Timing is everything. At least you know she's in a business and when time comes you want start a business you could contact her.

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