When I still owned my screen-printing shop and was opening for business, one morning to my surprise a lovely couple came to see me from out of town. They had once lived here and were “passing through” and thought they’d stop is what they said. We chatted for a little while, and I was still reeling from the fact that they would stop to see me since we weren’t especially close friends. How nice of them, I was thinking. I didn’t realize that they cared that much of me. I was soaring in my misconception.

Not long into our conversation about their life elsewhere, they told me of a new business they had just gotten involved in. I’m thinking, “Aha, here we go.” As I listened, I grew more and more disappointed. Not focusing on what their new weight loss product might do for me, I was astounded at the gall of them to bring the product to me. They wanted me to “sign up” and sell their product. Here are the words that stung.

“We knew how many people know you in town, and if this works for you, they will all want to know how you did it, and think how much money you can make.”

I smiled my “Bless your heart” smile and listened as they stumbled through their presentation hoping to draw me into their “sales team.” They left their product for me to try (after I declined to jump in) and left. They had one interest in me, and that was what I could do for them.

That was the second time this had happened. Another person called me to her house for a little meeting. I went to be polite. Again, this was a weight loss product guaranteed to take 10 pounds off a person in the first month. They gushed over me like a prize pig.

“You know so many people and have such influence, so if you lose weight, think how much you can sell.”

Had I become the poster child for the heavy folks in the area? Did I have such influence that, like movie celebrities who endorse products, if I bought into the plan, others would flock to it? I was insulted, but I smiled my “bless your heart” smile. I am not the only heavy person in our town, but they evidently thought that if “fat face” Carol lost weight, I would draw a crowd. If I stood in the courthouse yard, would a multitude of chubbies gather?

After the fact, there are so many insults I wish I had slung; a few arrows I could have shot toward their flaws and offered an imaginary product to improve them. I didn’t buy into their sales pitch, so they didn’t benefit from my endorsement. Instead, I said under my breath, “Bless your heart” and left. Bless your heart, as you know, has several meanings.

Tune in to my podcast Carol and Company through spreaker.com. Find the link on Facebook.

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