Video: Amanda Gowin at Sylvester Memorial Library

the video!!! took forever to get this mess uploaded. i realize it’s an hour long, but at least stick around long enough for the church fire anecdote… plus i read a story. mainly i ramble. but i think it turned out pretty well! 

honesty… (re-post about the shell, from 8/10)

(this is a re-post from AUGUST 2010 as a friendly reminder to myself – i was at Elizabeth Arden yesterday and offered a part-time job at Estee Lauder – no one remembers the crying, just the sales records)


i have a rant that has built, a bursting inner monologue, and lying to myself over this stupid shit is done and over.

i HATE my job. HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT. two days and i hate it. i hate being back in that place. i hate smiling. i hate worrying. i hate the fact that a week before i went back i started to remember that i was 30, and that i hadn’t been using an undereye cream every night, and worrying about crow’s feet and getting a wattle spurred a breakout, which is actually SIGNIFICANT to sales in this line of work, i hate that shaky terror at the breakout and the wrinkles and being 30 and (THIRTY last week i didn’t care) selling cosmetics??? seriously?? it’s like a fat girl selling a jillian michaels dvd, a white guy selling a book about oppression – it DOESN’T WORK.

standing on the same carpet surrounded by jars and jars of 90 dollar lies makes me crazy. the other lancome worker, the manager? i look at her and see why i left, why i had to leave. i hate her. she’s a monster, a robot, a shell of a human, her brain doesn’t see people, she is a walking calculator whose only function is to smile and chat while evaluating which buttons to push to make you give her the most money. where to find the weaknesses. what promises to make. i look at her in her 60’s after 20 yrs plus exploiting her fellow sex’s insecurities to sell overpriced gloop that was dripped into the eyes of bunnies and painted on the tails of rats and i see what i do not want to become. what i was becoming…

YEARS, it took years to forgive myself for all of the shit before – not just the drugs, or the bad partners, not just the overt lying which is in its own way very honest, to just tell a lie that’s a lie – but the falseness of everything the only thing the one thing that i am good at. selling. getting people to buy things from me. manipulating, analyzing, looking for cues, asking key questions – working my friends, telemarketing, selling cosmetics. my ony marketable talent. some would say “well, there are OTHER marketable talents…” wink wink nudge nudge…

but no. it’s the same thing. sucking cock is an honest way of selling yourself. arching your back and making prolonged eye contact over an 80dollar bottle of ralph lauren romance is the same fucking thing, but in disguise. all sales are selling yourself. commission is commission. eric doesn’t understand any of this – we haven’t talked about the way i feel since i went back. since i lost years of intense work unteaching myself to care about certain things. he says “i don’t understand. they want to buy things, and you sell them those things.” and he’s right, in a way. for some people this can work. they don’t turn on the machines, they don’t hone the daggers.

there’s nothing wrong with selling if it doesn’t eat your soul, if you can find the place in yourself that is honestly fulfilling a need, helping someone feel better. but i don’t get this. that’s not in me. ruth? ruth is a real person, and a good person, and she’s been in arden over ten years. she’s like the jenna jameson of cosmetics – she’s EVOLVED. there’s no guilt, no shame, no lies, just good business sense and a real understanding that people want what she has, and will give her money for it, and that’s cool with her, because what she’s got is the best there is so everyone wins!

my cuticles are pre-occupying me as i type, as is the fact that my eyebrows should probably be waxed and my hair needs trimmed. my shell is not where it needs to be. i didn’t use lotion after i showered.

you know what’s really a bitch? i’m aging. i’m going to get old. i know this isn’t important – in a year i could be perfect again, besides that damned ticking clock. i forgot about the clock, the one that dictates the progressive deterioration of the outside. now i’m supoosed to make it the most important thing in my life again.

i know it’s petty. i know it’s a part-time cosmetics job. but to me, it’s connected with every other battle for my soul won or lost. i staggered out of that place years ago a 95lb goddess, dead on the inside, crying and screaming, after months of sitting in parking lots halfway there to talk myself into driving the rest of the way to that shiny, shiny counter and all its promises.

and if you know me you’ll mention that ALSO at the time i was dating an indian nazi coke addict doctor, and that person probably had oh, a LITTLE to do with my instability. and it did. a lot. my whole life and being was about lying, seamless lying, i went round and round on a pressed wax album of lying…… i cannot differentiate….. it was all the same. and the telemarketing?  there was a bit of a drug problem around that time…. YES. there was. lying and lying and smiling and selling and everyone loves me and i always crack.

maybe i’ll make it through christmas, maybe just through gift. honestly i would like to milk them for the hundreds of dollars of free product i get for completing brand “training,” milk the 20% store discount for all my christmas shopping and family winter clothing needs then tell them to fuck themselves, i can’t work with robot jan.

my first day back i worked a five hour shift in a completely unknown brand and sold 500 dollars worth of product. it’s like flipping a switch on one of my vertebrae. thing is, i thought i’d jammed a butterknife in there and shorted out those wires a long time ago.

i’ll have to make everyone understand. i hate who i am when i’m there.