Jewish World Review April 16, 2004 / 26 Nissan, 5764
When Mom and Dad go marketing
Bolt your doors, lock your windows and hang onto your wallet. My marketing
team is back on the prowl. I am referring, of course, to Mom and Dad.
When my first book came out, I flew to my hometown of Kansas City
as part of a book tour. Mom and Dad agreed to meet me at the airport.
Standing beside all the corporate suits holding signs that said
Sprint and IBM, waiting to connect with business associates disembarking
the plane, were Mom and Dad waving my book jacket on paint sticks. Did I
mention that I tend to be rather low key?
They also had bouquet of red roses for me. Very thoughtful. Did I
mention that part about being low key?
As we were walking toward baggage claim, a woman on a pay phone
paused her conversation as we passed by and yelled, "GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR
Mom and Dad had been working the airport promoting my first book.
That was nothing. They'd also worked the beauty shop, a retirees Spring
luncheon, and two funerals.
Now I have a second book out. It's a parenting book that is heavy
on the humor and light on the guilt. The marketing team is back and they
have an accomplice.
A month before the book was released, my husband, the one fond of
label guns, button makers, bobble-head sports figures and all things
kitsch, came home with a stamp bearing the title of the book: "Pass the
Faith, Please." I watched in disbelief as he began stamping outgoing mail.
"People will think we're nuts," I said. "The gas company isn't
going to know what that means."
"They will once this stamp starts going through the postal
system," he said, re-inking.
Two days later, I saw an envelope with payment to our dentist had
"Honey, the dentist won't have a clue. Pass the Faith, Please? The
man could think we want him to read gospel tracts while he drills fillings!"
I sent Mom an e-mail telling her the husband had gone berserk.
"He's stamping all our mail with the book title. It's so tacky. I've hidden
the stamp. What next? T-shirts? Coffee mugs?"
Ten minutes later, the phone rang. It was Dad. "Your mother and I
would like to order two T-shirts."
"There will be no T-shirts," I said firmly. Mom grabbed the phone
and said, "Wanna bet?"
Two days later, a package arrived containing two T-shirts with a
full-color transfer of the book cover ironed to the fronts.
"Wait 'til you see what I'm working on now," Mom said, calling to
see if the shirts had arrived.
A week later, a tote bag with the book cover on it arrived. A week
after that, Mom and Dad popped in for a surprise visit. Mom was on the
porch carrying a super-sized tote bag with three copies of the book cover
on it accented by little yellow and green ribbons.
"Get in the house quickly," I said.
"What's the matter?" she said. "They liked it at the mall!"
I recently spoke to a mother's group and took along the stamp, the
T-shirts and the tote bags as visual aids to a spiel about the lengths
mothers go to for those they love.
After the event was over, a woman carrying a baby and a worn
diaper bag approached me and made an offer on the tote bag. "It's not for
sale," I said. "And stay completely away from my mother."
The doorbell just rang. Ten bucks says it's UPS with the coffee mugs.
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© 2001, Lori Borgman
JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
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