The Mary Kay Mafia

It was 1989.

I sweated and practiced and sweated and prayed and sweated and cried and kicked and jazzed hand and 5-6-7-8ed and stretched and finally learned the try-out dance routine for the drill team to the song "What's On Your Mind" by Information Society.

(If you are too young to remember this song when it came out, you must watch the video. It is an 80s music video at its finest.)

And I made the dingdang drill team.

And I cried buckets of happy tears in the most annoying way you can imagine.

And, weeks later, realized I still couldn't do the left splits as well as the right splits. (Okay, not at all. Those first few weeks of drill team practice involved me in the back row sticking my left leg out while I was fully upright on my right knee. "Don't pay any attention to me! You all just splits away! I'll be back here fully upright on my right knee, if anyone needs anything! HAHAHA!! Back here on my right knee! HAHA!")

And then I finally "got" the splits, like it was a cold. The Splits Virus.

And then I was asked to buy Mary Kay.

Maybe "told" is a better word. Okay, maybe my mom was told to buy Mary Kay. Let's get all the facts straight here.

And thus began my first experience with...

That was the first time I had ever bought a Mary Kay product. Even though I had about zero dollars, I somehow scraped enough together to buy Clinique, Estee Lauder and Borghese here and there when I bought make-up for myself. Better, when I got money from my mom to buy make-up for myself.


But, never Mary Kay.

We were all supposed to wear the same make-up on the drill team, you see? I guess it would've been too much trouble to send us all to Eckerd's and tell us to buy "Fire Engine Red" lipstick. They'd sell out in 2 minutes and have to deal with whiney girls the rest of the weekend asking when their new shipment of "Purple Passion Perfection Eyeshadow" would arrive.

"Like, do you have Purple Passion Perfection Eyeshadow in yet? Like, I need it RIGHT. NOW."
"We've been sold out of it for days and there will be no other shipments of it in your lifetime", says Charlene as she stocks the Winston's behind the cash register.
"You are, like, no help!" cries Heather as she runs out of the store sobbing.

Mary Kay had the solution.

(This Mary Kay.)

Was her real name Mary Kay Corleone?Source

(Not this Mary Kay.)

(Sidenote: Getting all fired up again over this case over here.
He was TWELVE. My son will be that age in four more years.
 I feel like pulling her hair right now.) Source

Mmmmmhmmmm. Mary Kay sold her little purple eye shadow, blush and red lipstick in a handy little pack THAT WE ALL HAD TO BUY. I know that's how it goes on drill teams, but now, as an adult, all I can think of is that some Mary Kay sales lady GOT RICH.

Who was it, huh?

Who among those girls had a mom selling Mary Kay? Maybe it was a teacher? Maybe it was a school principal? Maybe a 15-year-old was already working her way to that pink cadillac. SOMEONE was getting paid.

But, I didn't really think of it at the time. I was just so excited to have finally contracted The Splits Virus.

It all came back to me one day in Target while shopping for something to wear. (Approximately 90% of my wardrobe is from the Target and the other 10% is from Target.)

"Hey, I love your jacket!" she said.

"Oh. Thanks! I got it from here."

"It is SOOOOO super cute! You really have a nice way of putting clothes together. I love your style. And your son is ADORABLE!!"

"Wow. Well, thanks. I feel like I look pretty awful, but thanks for the compliment."

"No! You look awesomewouldyouliketogettogetherforaspaday?"

"I'm sorry, what?"


"Did you say 'spa day'?"

"YES! Spa day. It's where you get a group of your best girlfriends together and I come to your house and we just try out different facial scrubs and lotions and fun things like that. It'll be a GIRLS' NIGHT OUT! WOOO-HOOO! They can even bring friends! Actually, PLEASE tell them to bring friends! Girrrrrrrrrls' Niiiiiight! Hahaha!!"

"Well, I just met y...."

"Here's my card. I would just love to treat you and your friends to a spa day.It would be so much fun! (squeals) Think about it!"


There it was in bold letters. MARY DAD-BLASTED KAY.

I didn't say anything to her. For one thing, I couldn't. Girlfriend was long gone. I registered the conversation and the awkward approach, though.

And wondered if she really liked my jacket at all.

The Mary Kay experience didn't stop then.

"Oh, I LOVE your make-up!" another girl told me in the gift bag aisle of Target months later. "You just really have a nice way of putting it on and everything."

"Thanks? Do I even have any make-up right now?"

"Oh, yes. It looks beautiful! Where do you buy make-up?"

"Umm. Walgreens."

"Ohhhhh. Well, can I introduce you to something better? How about you get some of your friends together and we'll have a spa day? You know an all girls thing. Just us girls!", she spurted out like she had just suggested ice cream for dinner to her toddler.

"Hold on a min..."

"Here's my card. Definitely call me! And your friends can bring their friends. The more, the merrier!"

And, there she was.

Right in bold print.



I narrowed my eyes as I looked at the card but by the time I raised my head and painfully remembered my make-up looked like crap all along, Gift Bag Aisle Girl was gone. She had jumped ship and was off complimenting another girl on the make-up she was hardly wearing, no doubt.

Gift Bag Aisle Girl was my last brush with The Mary Kay Mafia, which, of course, are girls you don't know AT ALL who approach you in public, falsely compliment you and then try to lure you into a "spa day", which, of course, is just a "buy my make-up" day. A "buy my make-up and bring your friends and try to get them to buy my make-up" day. And "get a free sample of 'Satin Hands' day".

For me, The Mary Kay Mafia has tainted all future interactions with Mary Kay users.

"What make-up do you use?"
"Mary Kay."

(And that was just my reaction to a frail 90-year-old lady.)

The Mary Kay Mafia isn't the real mafia. I mean, they don't use criminal methods to advance their group, unless you count LYING about liking my jacket a crime, which, let's face it, it totally should be.

I am not calling out all pyramid make-up companies, which, as we know, are in plentiful supply. Arbonne. Beauty Control. Avon. Maybelline.

I am really not even calling out Mary Kay. I am sure the make-up and all the related products are fabulous.And we know those pink cadillacs are fabulousnotreally.

I'm just calling out The Mary Kay Mafia.

The Mary Kay Corleones of the world.

Quit complimenting our jackets unless you mean it.

(And, hey, do you have any more free samples of "Satin Hands"?)