Back in the day, I used to stay up late with my friend Jon (ahem) and we’d watch infomercials. It was mainly because my parents did not have cable and we never hung out at Jon’s house. I’m not even sure why we watched them as much as we did, but I was more easily amused in my early 20’s, I suppose.
So it’s fair to say that I’m well versed in the typical informercial.
I have a near and dear friend who is promoting a weight loss product. I’d love to tell you the name of the company, but I’m afraid that I, too, will be promoting it by this blog or worse, draw criticisms for my own warped opinion, so for discussion purposes, it will be simply The Product.
The thing about The Product is that, well, it works in all major areas: weight loss, finances, and freedom from the typical 40 hour work week. My friend has lost a substantial amount of weight, makes wicked money, and drives a car that I could only dream about having in my driveway (mainly because I don’t have the testicular fortitude/bank account to drop $40k on a car). Sounds great, right? My grandfather, who lived to be 100 once said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The other proverbial shoe has not dropped yet, and has no intention of dropping, as my friend is working her way towards quitting her 9-5 job she hates and doing this full time. I understand the typical 40 hour work week for a corporation is not for everyone: just as college, marriage, and owning a home is not for some — and I totally get that. And while The Product is not something I would use or sell, I support my friend because that’s what friends do.
I don’t use The Product because I like food, not meal replacements that tout the nutritional equivalent of a wheelbarrow full of carrots and other preposterous ideas. No one needs that many carrots. Seriously. Diarrhea would your top worry. My food idol – another friend – who’s diet I look up to – even rolled her eyes at the idea, and she’s way into health, fitness, and otherwise being awesome. Also, I couldn’t sell water to people in a desert – I’m a shy introvert at my core and selling things makes me cringe. My friend is the typical extrovert with a large personality to go with it. I think that’s why we make such good friends – we’re the exact opposite.
With all that being said, my friend is stuck in a perpetual infomercial.
I asked her about her business — and I got an email full of rhetoric. It wasn’t a friend telling a friend about an experience – it sounded like a cut and paste job off a website. She seems to be demonizing people (i.e. me) that work a normal job. I’m pretty sure she’s not attacking me personally, and she’s just really excited about this experience and how it’s changed her entire outlook on life and she’s expressing that. Her Facebook news feed is just a stream of corporate thoughts and I’m half tempted to hide them just so I don’t have to deal with how The Product is amazing and it does this and that and I feel like this because I’m now taking that and…..<sigh> I want my friend back.
I feel slighted. And it’s not that I’m jealous of her new career zeal – I just want a healthy perspective. It always concerns me when people jump head first into an ideal and run with it, burning bright and fast: I’ve seen it happen to people who are in love, start a new job, become a Christian — sometimes the loudest voices and the brightest lights go out quick – a la Jim Morrison – a star so bright it becomes a super nova and collapses in on itself. Boom. Gone.
Have I told her any of this? No. I want to do that in person, as emails get misconstrued with emotions. I already expressed my concern when she was doing this at 1st — I said my piece, there will be no more from me on that, I have accepted it. I will support her, not The Product.
The funniest part of it all? I actually went to one of the information meetings about this, more so out of obligation than interest, and we watched an informercial. I was so proud of myself, I did not go all Mystery Science Theatre on it. Although I really, really wanted to.