Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mary Kay Ash and a Lesson in Karma

I listen to a lot of talk radio. We have a local station here, thanks to the Johnson family, that has some hilarious people on great shows. Some of them are even friends as a result. As a reformed musician, I also find music distracting because I really focus on it. If I'm working, I like just having voices as my background noise during the day.

So this means I hear all sorts of different shows. There's a gardening show I adore. There are real estate and money market shows, which I loathe. There are local news discussion shows which are great and really Austin-focused.

And then there's the Car Pro show.

Now I know what you're thinking. How in the world can she like a car talk show? But I actually really do. I feel like the hosts are honest, they're pretty funny, and I've learned a lot about a lot of different vehicles. Keep in mind that I own the WORST SORT OF AUTOMOBILE IN THE WORLD - the most unreliable, fly-apart-at-the-seams-instantly-after-the-warranty-expires vehicle. So no matter WHAT those guys are talking about, it gives me hope for my automotive future!

But this weekend, they told the most interesting story about Mary Kay Ash and the pink Cadillacs.

It turns out that when Mary Kay Ash decided to launch her pink fleet in 1967, she actually liked the Lincoln she tried out better. So why didn't she go with Lincoln?

Well, my friends, what follows is the best lesson in Karma I've ever heard.

The Car Pro guy explains that when Mary Kay Ash asked the dealer about purchasing a pink Lincoln, that unfortunate man told her to go home and come back with her husband.

I'll wait a minute while you collect yourselves.

Still with me?

Needless to say, she was treated better by Cadillac.

I don't know what happened to this person, but I'm quite certain that that mistake followed him the rest of his days.

I had a similar experience with a leather couch. This was decades ago after we had bought our first house. We wanted a really nice living room set and so we went to the store that was actually advertised on my favorite radio station I listen to every day. The name of this store was the name of the owner - Theresa Mink. It was not cheap, but I was going to spend my Christmas bonus on a nice piece of furniture, and this store was THE leather furniture store in town.

We walked in, and were swooped down upon by a commissioned sales person. At first, I did not want to kill this man.

We looked around and then I had a few questions, so I asked him one.

He turned away from me and started talking to my husband.

Physically turned away from me.

Now, just as in the wild kingdom, I could see that my husband understood that terrible, terrible things were about to happen to this salesperson, and he started moving backwards slightly. His amygdala was probably screaming at him to run, but he did not. However, the salesman, who clearly had no amygdala, did not sense any danger.

I interrupted him, channeling my mother, and said "Excuse me" and asked my question again. Again, he turned his back on me and spoke to my husband, now pale, sweating and nearly unrecognizable.

However, I did not do what I wanted to do, which was to deliver a knee to his nether regions. Instead, I poked him on the arm and said "You just cost yourself a $2K sale (insert one of my favorite words here).

Now - this was SO long ago that people still wrote letters. Which I did. To Theresa Mink, the owner. Her response was the response of a person who would hire a man who would do that. Classless.

Now I'm no Mary Kay Ash, but karma is still a beast, and she is out of business.

Mary Kay Ash, on the other hand, purchased 22,000 Cadillacs and counting

 In general, it's just better to be nice to people and not assume you know something about them. Let their stories surprise and delight you, and the world will be a little kinder to you. Perhaps, the world will give you a commission on 22,000 cars. That's how karma works, my friends.

In honor of this revelation today about Mary Kay, I thought I would bring you a little pink.

In my presentation at Convention, I talked about ways to make your sentiment stamps the star of the show. One thing I like to do is create backgrounds for them on one layer cards, and so I came up with a fun sponge dauber floral background, inspired by Donna Mikasa, an AMAZING artist, who made flowers like this with alcohol markers.

Pin It

And I promised my sweet friend Linda Ostby that I would do a tutorial, so here's a video showing you this simple AWESOME technique!

I hope you try this! And I hope you try different colors - it's so fun.

And in the meantime, remember - the next person you meet may be your Mary Kay Ash! Be kind!



  1. Lydia! Thanks so much for the shout out! I was happy to inspire you to create such beautiful flowers with sponge daubers!! Now you've inspired me to try out YOUR technique. And I'm a new follower!

  2. It's the late 80s, and my then-husband and I were in a car dealership, financing a new car. I did all the household bills, and had all the answers. He knew nothing. Mr Finance asks me what our house payment was. The Other looked and me and said, "What's our house payment?" I answered Mr Finance. Mr Finance asked The Other what our current car payment was. Again, The Other asked me, and I answered. Mr Finance then asked The Other, "Does your wife work?" I WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE! I said, "YES, I DO." The man never looked at me. Never. I wish to God I'd walked out.

  3. I love reading your blog. Had to look Up Mary Kay Ash. I always learn something here.
    Your card is lovely. I'll try this at home (having a marvellous Holiday on Crete at the moment).

  4. Even in this day and age there are men who have still not learnt that more often than not it is the wife who organises the bills, accounts, money etc at home and is at the heart of it all

  5. Sorry feedly doesnt like your blog for eome reason. Wont let me fix an error and went thru before I finished. Hope it made sense.

  6. I quite like the knee to the nether regions option, but you probably made the best decision at the time. Cretins like that seem to be fewer these days, but then I don't get out much. Love your card and thanks for the video.

  7. I had to look up amygdala. I not only learned what it is (thank you for today's lesson) but did you know this - in humans, it is the most sexually-dimorphic brain structure, and shrinks by more than 30% in males upon castration. Perhaps THAT'S why the sofa and car guys were so clueless.

  8. I had to look up amygdala. Did you know that in humans, it is the most sexually-dimorphic brain structure, and shrinks by more than 30% in males upon castration. Could this by why the car & sofa guys were so clueless??

    1. OH- and I loved the card - thank you for sharing the technique!

  9. OMG, I had the exact same thing happen at a local Ford dealer. TOTALLY ignored by the, I mean, salesman. Walked out and bought a Toyota instead.

    And, haha, when I read the title of your post and saw the pretty flowers, I thought you were going to show how to use Mary Kay makeup to make them. 😆

  10. Hope this doesn't post twice! Thank you so much for the video on this card. I have been trying to replicate it since seeing your fabulous presentation at I may be able to do a better job. LOVE the Karma right on!! Good for you for not only walking out on that $#!+ but letting him know why. Doubt that he 'got it', but he and the store got what was deserved.


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