Thursday, August 28, 2008

But Everyone Else is Doing It!

Remember the good old days when the entire school met in the gym and were given the sales pitch about how if you sold a box of candy or wrapping paper that you would win a million dollars? Remember the excitement you felt leaving the gym, and how you knew you were determined to be the kid who could jump for the most dollars when you sold 50 items? Remember how big of a scam all that crap was?

I think those school day gimics are what makes us fall for things like Acai Berry juice. "It'll save your life and increase your sex life, however you have to buy 40 cases a month and get 3 other people to join you..." I'm not necessarily saying that multi-level marketing is what is going on in schools that are trying to get the small innocent kids to be their dope pushers - I'm saying that this is where it all starts.

I remember falling for the excitement of winning it big by selling crap for school when I was young, and now I get to experience it again with my 6th grader. Yesterday, my oldest walked in the door all excited about her school's magazine sales program. It's real simple - all she has to do is fill out a special postcard book with 10 addresses of people and when she turns it in, she will get a special magic "trick wallet" that is filled with:

a) an iTunes gift card
b) a gift card to an ice cream place
c) a $20 bill

WTF? A $20 bill? Does she really believe that this magazine company is going to pay her $20 for 10 addresses? YES, she does. She got so brainwashed by their big pep rally to sell magazines that she started CRYING when we told her that there was no way in hell she was going to participate in this. She replied with tears in her eyes, "but everyone is doing it!"

And there it was. The pre-teen beginning of the pure hell that is to come from my 11 year old daughter. I thought I'd have at least another year, but I guess I was wrong. Funny thing is she is freaking out over $20. (If I'd had known 20 bucks had this kind of Jedi mind trick effect, I would have been bribing her with twenties to wash my car, do my laundry, clean her room, clean the litter box, etc.) Beth and I tried to explain to her that there was NO FRIGGIN WAY they were going to hand out a twenty for every 10 addresses they have, but my daughter was convinced we were wrong. I told her if they gave her $20 for 10 names, I'll give her $20. Determined to let her find out the hard way, we gave in and let her send in the names - it will be worth it for us to do the "Told Ya So" dance. Hopefully she is not yet conniving enough come home with a borrowed twenty from a friend...