I was on a construction site about eleven or twelve years ago and walked right up to the biggest, meanest, baddest looking guy who was there and told him in my deep southern draw , "Hey buddy, I got something you need to try for them dry chapped hands of yours".
It was about a year before I went into the Army, I just turned 29 and man did I feel good. At 6' 4" 225lbs I was bullet proof. I wore ripped up pants with hole in the knees, a un-tucked button down shirt with the sleeve cut off, I razored my head bald and wore the rebel flag as a bandanna with a fu-man-chew mustache. My dad would say I looked like a Nazi and I looked as if I wanted to kill everyone I met, and I did.
At that time the wife was dabbling in Avon. She had a few customers here and there and I would laugh and make fun of delivery day when the boxes would arrive. She would always ask me to help her fill the orders and I would always say no and walk out the door. A real butt head right?
I don't hardly remember on how it all started but I think she was sick and could not make the deliveries that week and no matter how bad I didn't want too, I did it anyway. I kept thinking to myself, "I will kick the crap out of anyone who laughs at me for this".
So here I was, walking up to the doors of the women folks houses and ringing the bell. When they would open the door I remember the frightened looks on their faces as they would quickly try and shut it back. There were several times after the door was slammed in my face I just yelled, "I will just set your Avon order right here Ma'am"
During the winter months working out in the cold my hands would dry out and split causing real pain and discomfort. The wife ordered me some hand lotion that I started using and surprisingly it worked. She asked me if I knew of any guys that might want to try it for themselves. Of course I did, but I didn't want to ask any of them. So to stay on her good side I took some samples to work and passed them out saying the wife wanted me to give these out so don't blame me.
They all understood about the wife thing and didn't say much about it until a few days later.
"Hey bubba" one guy said in a low whisper.
"What's up" I said right back.
He looked at the ground for a second and kicked a rock or two then looked around to make sure nobody heard him and said "Hey man, you got any more of that stuff"
I knew what he was wanting, but I wanted to hear him say it. This was almost like a drug deal and it was really funny so I leaned in close and said, "What stuff is that"
He was uneasy at this point putting his hands in his pockets, dropping his head and saying "You know, that really good stuff you brought the other day"
I perked up and in a louder than normal voice said, "Oh yea, you mean that hand lotion I gave you"
"Now dawg gone it bubba, you don't have to announce it to whole world" he quickly shouted back looking around making sure nobody heard.
I just laughed and went to my truck and gave him a Avon book.
Yes, I was now carrying books. The wife wanted me to give them to the ladies in the office if I had the chance.
That lotion deal got me to thinking. On products like that, women buy from women, men will not buy from women but I might have something here where men could buy from a man and be semi-comfortable about it.
I took the ball and ran with it. In just a two or three months I had about fifty customers. Delivery day was like Christmas at our house.
I kept a current catalog rolled up in my back pocket at all times. Every guy I came across in the field I would approach and tell him I had something for his hands, feet or whatever else I could think of.
I also had many women buy from me. They would tell me the only reason they do is because I was man enough and had the cahonies to sell this stuff.
I was invited to talk at one of the monthly Avon meetings one time. I walked in and was the only guy in a room full of about 100 women. I want to tell you what, talk about being in a meat market. I heard cat calls, hisses, I was pinched, groped, fondled and I think molested once or twice. After the whole ordeal, I felt dirty. All I wanted to do was go home and take a shower. Every since that day, I have never hollered out the window at a woman again. Them old ladies were something else now.
Before I left for the Army I had around 120 regular customers. That is not including all the people my helpers had ordering through them. If you added them into it, it was around 300.
Now you guys out there reading this may be wanting to call me limp wristed and shaking your heads saying "There ain't no way", but let me tell y'all something, it was worth it. Many nights the wife and I would argue on the way home from some Avon thing with her saying, "Those women were flirting with you all night". I would always just smile, look aver at her and say "Yes they were, but I am coming home with you".