Written by The Scribbler
“The Wondrous World of Me!” No, it’s not the title of an 1980s-era junior high health textbook, but I’ll be honest with you, when I cracked open this quarter’s Mary Kay star prize brochure, I was half-expecting artfully-shaded diagrams of ovaries, followed by an explanation of menstruation and how beautiful it is to experience the kind of monthly hormonal overload that makes you grab a wad of Kleenex every time you see an Oxy-Clean commercial. “I’ll never let go of your memory, Billy Mays. I’ll never let go.”
Obligatory Fine Print: All prizes not covered here. If I was unable to find an exact match for any given prize, quotes will be given based on items found with Google searches that used the item’s brand and/or description. Put away those copies of “Are you There God, It’s Me, Margaret?” my friends, a world of pink paltriness awaits!
1800 Sapphire: You could go with the magpie-attracting gold-trimmed Perlina handbag ($59.99 @ Target.com) but why when you could have the necklace and earring set instead? The set’s black-and-gold- colored gems are described as having “elegant 14-karat gold flecks…inside acrylic stones.” The copywriter then tacks on the phrase “reminiscent of Venetian glass from Italy,” just so travel-savvy readers know that “Venetian” refers to Venice, Italy and not Venice Beach, CA. Many Mary Kay leaders tell their troops not to read the paper or listen to that horrifically negative Weather Channel, so Corporate’s got to use small words when referring to any geographical location outside of Dallas. I suggest ordering the black goldstone necklace (complete with Swarovski crystals) for $115 over at houstoncrafts.com . Then go fart around Google Maps for a while; it’ll make your Visa bill skinny and your brain fat!
2400 Ruby: At this level, you can score some Custom Outdoor Dinnerware (get a similar set for $184 @ Target.com). Because knowledge is power and starting off 2010 with a science lesson will give me mad brownie points with Bill Nye, let’s talk about marvelous, mysterious melamine! Melamine resin is made from blending formaldehyde and melamine. The result is used to create products like this dinnerware. You can’t microwave it, as melamine absorbs radiation and will heat the bowl, not the food. It’s also a tough material to recycle, so don’t try to return these to the company in hopes that they’ll plant an oak tree. The icing on the cake? Remember all those Chinese scandals involving poisoned pet food and infant formula that made kidneys far and near shut down? Guess what the offending chemical was? So make those booking calls and serve all those guests refreshments that have been zapped on these $2400 plates, because it’s been proven that women in the throes of melamine poisoning will offer 75% less objections to the Mary Kay opportunity. Now that’s what I call partying with a purpose!
3000 Diamond: If you’ve reached this level of credit mangling, you’ve earned yourself a rest! Help facilitate the process with a hammock with stand (reigninggifts.com , $149). I like the website’s tagline: “Whether holidays…Confirmation, or religious celebration, find that special gift they’ll always remember!” Trust me, being the relative who gave little Kaylee a hammock on her Confirmation Day guarantees you’ll always be remembered. If you’re looking to kick your family notoriety up a few notches, however, I’d recommend gifting a hammock with a Curious George-themed card that reads, “Hope your Confirmation Day’s simply swingin’!” Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an all-nighter with a confession booth and the ever-patient Father O’Malley.
3600 Emerald: Cater to potential prospects with some Casa Cristina Mother-of-Pearl Serveware (cake stand, chip and dip set, and serving utensils). I was only able to find pricing for the cake stand ($82 @ silverlulu.com ) and I’m guessing it’s because the Casa Cristina line debuted at Kohl’s clear back in 2007. It’s a pretty set, though; I’d buy one for the sole reason that it’s crafted from polished aluminum and not melamine. I love my kidneys so much!
4800 Pearl: Got a little Michelangelo at home? Then he’ll enjoy the children’s art desk! It’s even got star cutouts on the side to remind Mom that she paid $4800 for a desk that’s offered on Amazon.com for $154.20! Why, what beautiful artwork, honey; I bet you’re the only first-grader around that can recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night using pencil shavings and a glue stick. What’s that? You’d like to try your hand at redesigning Mommy’s unit website? Well, I don’t know, sweetheart…my website trains many professional businesswomen. Granted, it doesn’t have as many glittery stars or falling money gifs as my NSD’s website, but my NSD says that the more you have, the more outrageous you are! I have a picture of her on my log-in page – look! What? Why yes, that is a pink fringed feathered sequined cowboy hat she’s wearing; she was singing “If I Can’t Be Number One in your Lives, then Number Two on You!” at our business meeting. Honestly, can you just stop laughing for five seconds – you’re being negative!
6000 Pearl: Choices, choices; should you pick the Wilson Hope Golf Set ($168 @ Walmart.com) or the Charger with Wooden Stand? (similar one for $275 @ jatashop.com ). While I’m all for supporting breast cancer research and knocking out the Escalade windows of one’s cheating golfer husband, I suggest consultants go with the charger so they’ll have a small reminder of their true Mary Kay role. As one training document said about NSD Arlene Lenarz, “This 9,500,000 NSD earned her commissions by asking, asking, asking!” Since commissions are only earned when people order product, I’m guessing a few consultant birthday cards contained the phrase, “Birthday Wishes from Mamma Lenarz, where the hell’s your Emerald Star?” True, it lacks the class of NSD Gloria Mayfield-Banks YouTube plea for $1200 wholesale, but personally, I prefer my solicitations in handwriting. They emit a warm, soul-satisfying glow like no other, particularly when arranged in the backyard chiminea, given a squirt of lighter fluid, and lit.
7800 Pearl: Who’s up for a little automatic Seminar registration? The going rate for Seminar is $175. Corporate throws in $75 spending money, bringing the total value of this prize to $250. If you had $7800 in the family coffers to begin with (namely because your husband’s a top neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins but you swear to high heaven that your Mary Kay business pays for every last thing you have and drive) you’d have $7550 left to blow on a hotel room upgrade. Just think, no more having to use your sister consultant’s putrid feet as a pillow! Last year, you thought folks were being negative by calling DIQ Doofenshmirtz “Ginsu Toes” behind her back, but you quickly learned – after being airlifted to Methodist Dallas Medical Center for “Claw-like lesions on cheeks,” that the truth can indeed hurt.
9800 Pearl: Offered at the topmost star level is a Nintendo Wii with two additional games. ($199 @ amazon.com .) You’d think Corporate would have gone out on a limb and sprung for top-shelf games like Mario Kart and Metroid Prime, but 9600 winners are instead “treated” to M & M Kart Race and Game Party ($21.99 and $11.88, respectively). One of the reviews for Game Party yielded this review: Being a gamer since the Atari 2600, I would rather go back and play just about any game I’ve played in the past rather than this one…don’t play unless you have four players, have consumed large amounts of coffee, and have been up for 2 days.
Gee, four players (and their credit cards), large amounts of coffee, and a lack of sleep works out to the magic formula needed to achieve those end-of-the-month production miracles! At June’s end in ’07, top director Jennifer Semelsberger wrote to her followers, “My incredible unit was out selling until the very end!” And since “the very end” took place at the stroke of midnight, isn’t it nice to know that Semelsberger’s beauty consultants were go-give enough to cover the “League of Extraordinarily Loose Women” and “Carload of Drunken Frat Boys at Denny’s” demographics? They don’t call me Inspector Gadget for nothing, although Gadget’s big nose and knack for plowing into stationary objects may have something to do with that.
So, dear readers, if you’re looking to reward yourself with a star prize that doesn’t come with a shelf-shattering inventory requirement, I suggest heading over to eBay. Will you go with the “Bee the Queen” telescoping umbrella from Seminar ’06 or the pink note cube featuring Gigi the Conniving Canine? Who wants to bet that at least one NSD has used that cube to pen a weepy “Here’s why God wants you to have 3600 wholesale on shelf!” memo and closed it with, “Like my poodle paper? Just keeping it real “doggy-style” cuz I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind – LOL!”
Oops, I’ve done it again, Father O’Malley. Which would be better for you, Tuesday or Thursday, morning or evening? Great!