I promise this post will get around to being pertinent to mommies, but first I just have to get a little something off my chest? Okay? I guess I just need a sympathetic ear. Thanks.
Two nights ago an acquaintance called my husband and asked if he could see us. Though it's not unusual for people to want to come over and talk (my husband is a pastor, after all), this guy attends a different church, so we were curious and maybe a little puzzled. It's not like he doesn't have his own pastor. When George asked why he wanted to come over, he said that he just wanted to "bless us." We were a bit nervous, since he was so vague about his intentions, but we set a date and waited.
He came this morning. He started by giving us a thoughtful and valuable gift, and I relaxed. Then he began to tell us, sometimes with tears in his eyes, about different ways that God had worked in his life and about how we had been a blessing to him. He even shared a few Bible verses. I had just settled back in my seat for a leisurely and pleasant conversation, when he said it.
"I'm a businessman, and there's this company . . . "
Although it took him several more minutes to get to the point, I immediately knew where he was going. He wanted to sign us up as partners under him in a multi-level marketing business. Right there, I shut down.
Now, I have no doubt that this business is legitimate and that its products are quality. In fact, I've even used some of them. However, my husband and I are not salespeople. In fact, we are such bad promoters, that if you had a product and you knew what was good for you, you'd pay us NOT to promote it. We are so non-confrontational that when we have the misfortune of being forced to try to sell something, we come across as apologetic and uncertain.
"There's this product, and, um, maybe you'd like to try it? I mean, well, you don't have to, or anything. You can think about it."
Yeah. Not the greatest PR.
But this guy just wouldn't take no for an answer. He kept saying he didn't want to take up too much of our time or pressure us, but he dragged on and on, and I, for one, felt pressured. Besides that, in an effort to convince us that we really needed to get on board with him, he began to ask to see our toiletries and household cleaning supplies so that he could criticize them and tell us how much better the products he sold were. When I told him that I use vinegar for my household cleaning, his astonishing response was, "That's harmful. It's an acid. The stuff I sell is so gentle that you can wash wool with it."
I wish I had said, "Oh, so can you also drink it?" but I was so dumbfounded that anyone would criticize an all-natural, non-toxic substance like vinegar that I couldn't say anything at all.
We finally gave him $7.25 so that he could sign us up for a trial membership in his team. While we have every intention of saying "No" when the trial period ends, at least signing up made him happy, and $7.25 seemed like a small price to pay to get him to leave our apartment.
As he left, beaming smiles left and right, he said, "I really hope I've blessed you. That was my intention." I believed him as far as his intentions went, but I didn't feel blessed. I felt assaulted. And insulted. He didn't bless me. In fact, I think he ruined my day. But I'm almost over it now.
At least he did give us that nice gift. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel blessed by that.
So, here's the mommy part of the post:
If you're anything like me, you try to limit your children's exposure to harmful chemicals, and you also try to find ways to save money at the grocery store each week. To this end, for years I've been using baking soda and vinegar in my laundry. I add about 1/4 cup of baking soda as a detergent booster, and I put white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser instead of fabric softener. It's inexpensive, and I love the fact that the vinegar removes stale odors without infusing our clothing with chemical fragrances.
Recently I discovered that vinegar has many more uses. For about the last month, I've been experimenting with using vinegar for a number of household chores. My favorite is using it as a natural disinfectant. The acetic acid in vinegar kills a variety of microbes, and in one experiment, it even out preformed an FDA-approved kitchen disinfectant! I keep several spray bottles of vinegar around the apartment so that I can quickly disinfect countertops, toilet seats, bathroom floors, the baby's potty, and the entryway floor. And since it's completely non-toxic, it's the perfect thing for disinfecting toys.
But besides disinfecting, there are many, many more uses for vinegar. I'm becoming convinced that I can replace our cupboard full of toxic and expensive cleaning chemicals with a simple bottle of vinegar!
(Plus several more, I'm sure. This picture shows a multi-purpose household cleaner/disinfectant, toilet cleaner, carpet cleaner, fabric softener, and window cleaner.)
. . . Replaced with this ———>
(For all you non-Ukrainian speakers, that's a bottle of plain white vinegar.)
I'm so excited about this discovery that I want to share my new-found knowledge with all of you. I could type out a long list of uses for vinegar, but others have already done that here. Check it out and let me know what you think!
If you enjoyed this, please consider subscribing here. I would be honored to have the privilege of encouraging you on a regular basis!
9 replies on “Ranting and a Bit of Vinegar”
Sigh…sorry for you. The saddest part, in my opinion, having lived with people who went through the training, etc. of (I think) the same group they are actually trained to do exactly what he did to you guys. They are convinced that if he leaves without you signing up he failed in blessing you, etc. etc. etc. You know the routine, I am sure. But my point is that he is practically a pawn…of course he has personal responsibility, etc. But what really “chaps my hide” are the people that develop the trainings for this, manipulating people’s weak understandings of “blessing”, the Bible, Christianity, the Body of Christ, etc….sad….But so often, they really believe this! Grace and forgiveness….but prayers for a firm “NO” from you guys when needed, too! This non-mommy likes your blog, too! 🙂
Thanks, Cara, for the understanding, encouragement, and for liking my blog! 🙂
That’s really disappointing to hear that the company actually trains its reps to behave as our acquaintance did yesterday. I had assumed that his behavior was his personal problem, since he did admit to us early in our conversation that, due to his history in the Soviet military and police, he had a tendency to be overbearing in his interpersonal relations. He did have some odd interpretations of Scripture that he shared with us with great gusto; I wonder if the company taught him those misapplications of Scripture as well. You’re right that it’s sad, especially as he really did seem to want to “bless” us. Now I can’t help but wonder what that means to him.
Yeah, that’s a bummer about the salesman pressuring you guys… Travis and I are the same, we probably would have signed up for the trial period too.
As for the awesomeness of vinegar, I also wanted to say that apple cider vinegar is amazing! We have used it for congestion and to remove warts. And in cloth diapering (as you know very well) vinegar is the best!!
Yes, I’ve heard great things about apple cider vinegar, though I’ve yet to try it myself. I’ve also read that a teaspoon a day can help manage lactose intolerance, which I found very interesting, since I suspect that I’m mildly lactose intolerant. Thanks for the tip about the congestion and the wart removal. I hadn’t heard of those uses yet!
Yes Apple Cider vinger works very well…I’ve been using it for a few years now on physical ailments. I was turned onto it by Maria Cambra serving in Montebelluna, Italy. She told me about it and how it worked for congestion, colds and coughs and I started using it and telling everyone about it. So I have to give the credit to Maria for showing me… 🙂 But I recommend it highly!
So sorry to hear he put a dampener on your day. It sounds as if you were gentle and kind and patient with him. That is a great thing and an excellent example to him.
On the subject of vinegar and baking soda, I have recently discovered they have alternative uses too! It’s very satisfying to create a foamy mixture with which to clean the toilet, but I hadn’t thought of using them in laundry or as a disinfectant. Thank you for those great suggestions! Your blog is lovely. I’ve left you a little message over on mine, following your very kind comment. Fiona xxx
Another use, which I meant to inclue in this post, is as a produce wash. Ever since moving to Ukraine nine years ago, I have struggled with chronic diarrhea in the summer months, when we eat a lot of fresh produce. I know the raw fruits and veggies are good for me, so I continue to eat them, but it recently occurred to me that pre-washing our produce with a vinegar spray or soak could solve my summer intestinal problems. I’ve yet to see if it works, but I’m excited!
I LOVE the vinegar uses, Sharon! We’ve cleaned floors and windows with it (when – ahem – we manage to clean anything), but haven’t used it in the laundry. So helpful to know.
Blessings – REAL ones 😉 – on you and yours, and thanks for the consistent encouragement that you are.
Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids blog
Hi, Beth! Thanks for stopping by–I’m so pleased and honored to see you here, as your blog is one of my favorites! I know what you mean with the “when – ahem – we manage to clean anything” comment. I used to be a good housekeeper, but that was before kids. Now our life has a slightly different rhythm, and I’ve had to learn new tricks to keep our living space, er, livable. But a bit of mess is okay, I tell myself, as long as I’m truly nurturing my husband and kids. They’ll appreciate and remember that much more than they would a spotless home. From what I can tell from reading your blog, it seems that you’ve embraced this mindset! I love the picture of happy chaos that I get from your stories of your family life.