Thursday, October 28, 2010


A few years ago I got a frantic call from Nana. “Nancy, you MUST turn on Oprah. There’s this amazing book that will transform your life!!!”
I was glad she couldn’t see me through the phone line because I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, “Uh-huh. How?”

“Really! You just put what you want down on a piece of paper, place it under your pillow and it’ll happen.” she continued, “It’s called the Secret and it’ll open up the power of the universe to you….”

Yup. I’m sure it will. Just a mere $24.95 investment and you’ll have the all the wealth, the happiness, the power for ever and ever…Amen.

I don’t think so.

I DO believe in Karma.
I DO believe in paying it forward.
I DO believe in the golden rule.

I do NOT believe that a book on Oprahs book list is going to change my life.
I do NOT believe that putting something under my pillow is going to get me everything that I want in life.

I DO believe that is basically up to me. AND I can keep the $25 bucks in my pocket while it’s happening.

I listened politely. And then hung up the phone. It’s not the first time that Nana has been swayed by what she’s seen on TV, or heard from friends, or picked up in an infomercial. People like Nana are suckers for such advertisements. She buys things that people call and tell her about on the phone. She orders amazing hangers that will enlarge your closet space 4 times! only to have it end up in the trash a short time later. She’ll vote for the candidate with the sleekest campaign.

There has been jogging in a jar; vinegar and cider mixture that is supposed to make you thin. Special pills that will increase your mobility. Or pills that will increase your mental awareness. Or pills that will lengthen your life.

Shoes that will improve your posture and exercise equipment that is nothing less than a miracle for only $299. Tony Little with his mullet wonder and spandex target women like Nana.

I’m not immune to advertising campaigns, but I am highly skeptical of most. Which allows my bankroll to remain relatively unscathed when it comes to products too good to be true.

I DID buy that uber expensive Perricone eye serum. At $195 for .5 oz I expected to look years younger after using it. Improvement? Maybe. But who can keep buying it with those prices? (especially since you need the entire system in order to work correctly. If I’m not mistaken that’s an investment to the tune of $600+ every 3 months. Not me. But damn did I use that to the very last drop.
I DID buy a pair of Shape-ups walking sandals. Does my butt and legs look better than they did? Probably not. But they are super cute.
I DID buy a diet pill that is supposed to not only curb your appetite, but give you more energy AND improve your sex life. It did curb my appetite. I might have had more energy. And did it improve my sex life? No. Read previous blog post….it just made me know that I wasn’t getting what I should even without the pills.

It just goes to show that everyone wants to look better, feel better, be better than what they are. None of it is going to be found by buying it. Granted, MY skin looks better than my neighbors (who is the same age as me) because I use lotions and beauty products by the boatload. And she doesn’t. I figure they can’t hurt and you know what? They don’t. At last years garage sale someone asked me to ask my mom what the price was. Ouch.

But boil it all down and what you get is usually measured by the effort put into it.

I KNOW I get results when I walk everyday.
I KNOW that not eating that piece of cheesecake will definitely make my bathing suit look better.
I KNOW that having that extra glass of wine and staying up late is not going to make the puffiness or fine lines around my eyes go away. (but it might be worth it depending on the company!)

Even with what I KNOW, what I do NOT, what I DO and what I hear about that I should have, blahblahblah….sometimes things actually DO happen. Just because. Without effort. Without money. Without energy.

Like yesterday.

I don’t know about your household, but I get maybe 10 calls a day from some political party or another, some veterans group selling flags or bags, someone wanting you to sign some petition or another and then give a donation to help fund the fight. It’s endless.

I love caller ID. Yes, I’m guilty of screening calls. Yes, sometimes I should pick up when my dad calls even when I’m not mentally prepared for that guilt trip I’ll be embarking on. But is it’s ca call from some area code other than my own, or a cellular call from a number I don’t know, or a block call or Unknown Caller….yeah, I don’t usually pick up. That’s why I pay for voice mail.

But yesterday, yesterday the phone rang and I looked at it and it said “Unknown Caller” and yet here I was moving my thumb over the answer button like it was possessed.

“Hello?” I answered with a upward lilt to my voice knowing that this was indeed a mistake.

“Hi!” an overly cheerful voice said, “Is this Nancy?”

Here is goes…another minute of my life wasted on telemarketers until I wait for a break so I can hang up…”Yes, this is she.”

“Nancy! I’ve asked many people there in the Cleveland area and your name keeps getting referred to me!”

Oh geez….what could this be about. Another fund raiser at the school? Easter seals wanting me to send out envelopes to my neighbors? A magazine drive? A catering gig? Argh….my heart was dropping with each word she spoke.

“I’m Patty, the district manager of Talbots and we are creating a new position and are looking for a full time visual person. I know you live on the Westside and this is a Legacy Village position….Do you think you might be interested?” she said all in one breath.

Amazingly enough I was able to hear all she said. I was expecting some sales call and as such I wasn’t really paying attention and holding the phone a little distance from my ear. As soon as she said ’Talbots’ I had that contraption pretty much implanted into my head. Have you seen the new catalog? Have you seen some of their clothes? Talbots has come a long way baby and the holiday stuff is just gorgeous.

“I’m not afraid to cross the river…(east siders and west siders joke about crossing the Cuyahoga River) and I was just circling all the newest fashions in your catalog! I’d love to hear more about it!” I could barely contain my enthusiasm.

Just last week I realized I now have extra time on my hands. Not doting on and doing errands for the ungrateful boyfriend freed up the biggest block of time, but Boo is at school later this year than last because of choir, band, newspaper, Girl Scouts. Almost everyday she doesn’t leave school grounds until almost 5. Sometimes later.

I had been thinking about going back to work, full time, but was unsure of whom to contact etc right now. With the economy as it is, many of my freelance jobs have dried up. So to have this manna from heaven just drop into my lap…? Needless to say, I’m flabbergasted.

Full time. Benefits, including vacation, dental, medical and a discount! Can I hear a WooHoo!?


The paperwork is Friday morning. They’ll have to get my salary approved (it’s a little higher than they allotted…but hey, to get the best you must pay for the best!) from corporate, but it’s looking pretty much like a Shoo-in. A Shoo-in, Joey!

Let’s all collectively hold hands, keep our fingers crossed and sing Kumbayah. That’ll make everything go smoothly on Friday.

And the Secret? I never did buy it. But there’s a sequel called the Power. Maybe I’ll fork out the dosh for that one. Maybe there was something to Nana’s call after all…

...perhaps she put this wish for ME under her pillow.


Footnote: The photo above is the fortune I got this afternoon while having lunch with my dad. THAT just made me smile....

Double Footnote: Well now! The interview went great! They want me and are now negotiating with corporate to get my rate. Full medical. Full dental. Full eye. AND they'll match my asking salary (or come pretty damn close). HOW FABULOUS! Drinks all around! I'm buying!!!



  1. Hope all goes well friday with paper work and approvals! :-)

  2. Woohoo! Congratulations! I don't believe in Oprah, but I do believe in God/The Force/the immutable laws of this universe. If you close your eyes and breathe deeply, you can feel the lines of force around you, pulling you one way or another. When you try and try and never get anywhere, you are trying to move in the wrong direction. When you relax and let things flow naturally, the lines of force, the currents of this reality, will take you exactly where you are meant to go, effortlessly. Even if things are going badly, it's because something good will come of the bad. It always does. Relaxing and letting go always does far more to get you to your goal than fighting and struggling.

    I am SO pleased that the currents are taking you to such a great place! Congratulations! Keep us posted.

  3. great Nancy!! I don't believe in the Secret, but totally believe in karma, the power of positive attitude and that everything happens for a reason and when it should (not before or after). You are going to be great at Talbots!!
    And as for telemarketing.... I constantly wonder who could fall for those "amazing" products - I guess lots of people since they keep doing it! (a few days ago I watched an add about a miracle product made from a mystery tree that was pretty much good for everything! cholesterol, blood sugar, overweight (and underweight, why not),energy and lack of sleep, even sexual performance!!! it was hillarious!!Good luck on Friday -Kumbaya!!!

  4. WooooooooooooHooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!


    I'm starting to think I'm senile - I don't even understand what product half the advertizing on TV is actually for....

  5. Congratulations and WHOO HOO! I'm a firm believer in good things come to those who wait and those that deserve it. Good Luck!

  6. Wooooo Hoooo!!! Good for you. Nothing secret about it, you are the right person for the job, you deserve it, you are smart, talented and you happen to be available to fill their need. Definitely Karma. Fingers and toes crossed for Friday, may you get all you hope for and have fun doing it.

  7. Congratulations! I love a happy ending. Good for you for sticking to your guns with the salary too. It sounds like you are taking care of yourself. I love it, SISTER!!!!!!!! :)

  8. Congrats Nancy and you are 25 bucks ahead on top of it :)

  9. That is so great! Suddenly, I have an urge to visit my local Talbot's and check out their latest, especially the holiday stuff. It has been a couple of years since I've been in the store.

  10. Nancy, this is great! Do you read Deja Pseu at Une Femme D'Un Certain Age, BTW? She is a huge Talbots proponent. So first La Belette Rouge gets a gig blogging for Psychology Today, now you have this. I feel so happy that good things are coming to you guys.

  11. Wow! That is amazing!

    I don't think it has anything to do with "The Secret" I think it has to do with all the hard work you've put in over the years, and're reaping what you've sown. It's's all you! Congrats

  12. WooHoo, you go girl! I don't believe in "The Secret" either but I do believe in the tooth fairy. :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  13. Haha, WOOHOO! Congrats!

    I admit though, I still don't really believe in that "think about it and you'll get all you want" stuff....I know someone like your Nana, and she's ALWAYS reading a new self help book or looking for something to improve her life...I don't know, I just don't buy into it.

    But, I do admit that sometimes, the stars just align-and it seems they aligned for you!

  14. Congrats and I hope everything goes perfectly tomorrow! Maybe the Universe just rewarded you for making a good life choice and changing your path? ;)

  15. Wow! How cool is that? It's about time somebody recognized your value, Nancy! This is like everyone's dream... that someone out of the blue will call you and offer you a fabulous job!

  16. Aint that pretty cool. Good things happen to great folk. Hope it all goes well for you.

  17. Congrats that is wonderful karma! Aren't you glad you answered the phone? If I see a blocked or unknown number I most likely ignore it especially during political season!

  18. WOO-HOO! Nancy, that's PERFECT!

    Weren't you lucky? I never pick up unknown numbers myself, and I do not feel guilty for it one bit... 'cause I'm like that. :o) (Actually, a friend was once calling me from a different and had to leave a voice message saying 'Jules, it's me, PICK UP THE DARNED PHONE'. Hehe.)

  19. That is so wonderful to have something come your way. If you hadn't freed up your time from doing errands, then you might have not picked up the call. Funny how things work, when you least expect it to. Fingers crossed and wishing you well!

  20. Wow, something made you answer that call, what great news! I wish you all the best, you deserve it!

  21. This was a really great, top-drawer post. I think you are right about your Nana - she probably could feel that something good should be in the wings for you and couldn't put her finger on it. Nanas can be like that.
    So, congratulations and...Kumbaya!

  22. congrats nancy.... now if there was only a rapid line that went to legacy village you'd be really set with time on your hands to read the secret (and other books) on your way to a new dream job. all those traffic lights on cedar suck!

    woo-hoo - job with bennies is a very good thing!!!!! actually that should be WOO-HOO

  23. How wonderful! Congratulations! When do you start?

  24. Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear more!!

  25. Good people deserve to have good things to happen to them.. Exhibit: A. Good for you my friend.

  26. OMG-- how fantastic for you-- what perfect timing, and what a great opportunity! Can't wait to hear more!

  27. WooHoo! This is fabulous! I am so happy for you! I ignore those calls as well...I doubt my picking up would result in such a wonderful offer as this! Maybe, I'll try writing down the wish and putting it under my pillow! LOL!

  28. I just put teeth under my pillow and hope for a lottery ticket. Good luck with the job. Happy thoughts.


    Seriously that sounds so great! I agree with you Talbot's has really changed over the years. I remember the first time I walked in I couldn't find anything I liked but then again I was about 10 years younger ;) Hard to find something "fun" or "whimsical" at a store meant for adults and not post-pubescent pre-adults :D

  30. WOOHOO!!!! Congrats, hope everything comes to be just as it should for you girl! Have a drink on me :)!

  31. The whole point to The Secret (and in my opinion to religion) is BELIEVING that it works. That's the secret. Positive works for me! :) Congrats!

  32. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! I love it when good things happen to good people! I hope you love it.

  33. I read this WHOLE thing... and have to admit I got stuck on the 'cute butt and legs' part... Typical guy, huh?? ;o)


  34. Say now, that's all well and good, but, let's get back to that "paying it forward" part........

    As a token of appreciation to karma and to certainly ease the guilt burden of your mind, why don't you just send me the 25 bones? We would both feel better.

  35. wow! congratulations!! and the secret is that you didn't NEED the secret.

    you go girl!


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