A common cause leads to friendship

by Rachel

Several years ago, I was a Mary Kay lady. It didn't work out for me; in fact, I lost money at it. Although I'd done plenty of internet research before deciding to do Mary Kay, I felt afterward that there were many things I should have known; information that would have helped me make better decisions and avoid losing money. In 2005, I decided I should try to make a web site to provide that kind of information to help future Mary Kay ladies make better decisions.

Before I actually started building a site, though, I tried a search to see if anything new was out there. This time, I found an on-line community of people who had been burned trying to do Mary Kay, and were spreading the word... both to help prevent others from falling into the same trap, and to support each other. "Talking" to women from around the country who had experiences like mine really opened my eyes. We all felt bad about decisions we'd made, but we learned together that we had been expertly misinformed and manipulated into making those bad decisions. And we learned that those bad practices were very wide spread. It wasn't just me. It wasn't just my unit. It was everywhere. So you can imagine, we grew to feel an emotional connection, even though few of us had ever actually met each other.

I joined a small team from this anti Mary Kay community, to put together a website informing people about pitfalls with Mary Kay, and to direct "survivors" to our group for support. I didn't know it yet, but one of those women was to become a good friend, and a strong influence on me. At the time, she was just another one of the team. An internet person -- tracyred06.

As it turned out, there were issues with running a web site by committee. After a short time, I left the project over disagreements with the woman in charge about what the site (and my role) should be. After that, I didn't think about the anti Mary Kay stuff much. I'd learned what I needed to know. I had a good job. I moved on with my life.

More than a year later, tracyred emailed me to ask me to check out her blog. At that time, she was just changing the name of it from MaryKaySucks.com to PinkTruth.com, as she'd begun to take its mission more seriously. I agreed, and I loved what she did with the site. She's a very smart, professional business person. Her blog had a great look, was full of spirited discussion. I could see that what she was doing really helped people.

I gradually began spending more and more energy contributing what I could. To my delight, I learned that Tracy lived within 2 hours of me, and sometimes did business just a few blocks from my work. Since then, we've met for lunch or dinner each time one of us is in the other's city. In person, she is the same wonderful, strong, sensible person I knew from on-line, but with a warmth and sensitivity that doesn't always come across in writing. Although we don't actually see each other often, we write every week (sometimes daily.) The passion Tracy has shown for the cause, and the risks she's taken to keep the site going, have inspired me to do more, and I love the feeling that we're doing good. We've helped each other learn more about the issues as we go along. She's built a community of volunteer writers, and added features so that it's much more than just a blog now. Tracy has encouraged me to write for the site, and that's been a wonderful outlet for me. She's even brought me out of my shell so that I agreed to do T.V. interviews with her (and another Pink Truth member.) Imagine, me spilling my guts on T.V! I never in a million years thought I would do such a thing, but her courage has inspired me, and I believe what we're doing is important.

The greatest thing about the way we met is that Tracy and I are people who would never otherwise have become friends. We're polar opposites politically; we have no other hobbies in common, different religious views, careers that would never have a reason to come together. And yet after getting to know her, she's become one of those few special people in my life. Who would have guessed I'd have so much deep-down, under the hood, human stuff in common with someone so different from me?

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