LOUISE: Avon Calling

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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