10 January 2002

Happy Birthday to Me! Yes, today is my birthday and so far it has been pretty low-key. I've gotten lots of e-mail greetings from my online friends and many in-person wishes from my co-workers. I imagine that my little munchkins will be directed by their father to make a few cards for me. ABM himself muttered a half-hearted "Happy Birthday" as he dropped me off this morning, but I'm not upset. It is the least that I deserve since I have only remembered his birthday a handful of times in the 13 years that we have been together.

Last Saturday, we attended a sales meeting at a relative's house. I wasn't keen on going because I had already decided that whatever the pitch was, we weren't buying it. When we got there, this creepy guy who obviously just finished Motivational Speaking 101 with only a C started telling us about how we were going to make tons of money in two to five years using the vast potential of the internet. He spent the majority of the presentation talking about how great it would be but precious little time explaining how we were going to actually do it. All the bragging about how much money he is already earning made me want to run screaming from the room but instead I kept tearing my fingernails off one by one to avoid looking him in the eye. Finally the presentation was over and he handed out literature packets for us to take home. When my husband opened the folder and I saw a familiar name (let's call him Mr. B), my brain when "Ding! Ding! Ding!". Amway! Even though the presenter never mentioned Amway (the company name he gave us was Quixtar), the whole business sounded vaguely familiar to me. When I saw that name, it confirmed my suspicions. I had worked for a construction company owned by Mr. B when I was a teenager and the foreman kept telling me how Mr. B and Amway had saved his marriage. However, I had also heard horror stories about Amway being vaguely cult-like so I knew I didn't want to be involved.

When my husband asked the presenter whether Amway and Quixtar were connected, he hemmed and hawed and evaded the question. As soon as we got home, I did a little research. Thank goodness for Google and DSL access! It took less than five minutes for me to find out that Quixtar was the internet arm of Amway, even though the presenter said that we would have trouble finding information on Quixtar through a standard search. There is one site called MLM Survivors that outlines all the lawsuits and has some interesting personal accounts. Since visiting that website, my husband seems to be on a crusade. He has contacted everyone who was at the meeting we attended as well as some church members that attended a different meeting the next day. Quixtar was the only topic of conversation over the weekend because several people we know attended presentations within the space of a few days. Did the organization just discover our town or what?
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