Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ding Dong...Avon Calling


















Even though it's late Tuesday, I think I'll link up with the hilarious Rachel and Mr. Daddy for True Story Tuesday...head on over there for some more true stories :-)












When I was a little girl, the Avon Lady used to walk from neighborhood to neighborhood selling her cosmetics, jewelry, and so on…

Our Avon Lady’s name was Cleo.

I remember the pictures of the Avon Lady in ads. She was pretty and young.

Well, Cleo was, well, different than that. I will describe her as I remember her… 60 years old, wore a polyester house dress, had pantyhose that sagged at the ankles, and of course, very practical shoes. She had an accent that might have been southern, but I have not met anyone else that sounded like her since.

Cleo would walk up and down the cul-de-sacs in our neighborhood carrying her heavy Avon Lady bag. With each step she tottered to one side to counter balance the heavy load. She seemed a bit weary as she walked. But when she arrived at the door, she would perk right up.

We children would run into our houses to let our moms know that Cleo was on the block.

I’d peak out as she rang the bell, then Mom would let her in. Cleo would lug that big bag up the stoop and into the front room. Mom would sit on the sofa, Cleo on the loveseat, and I would take my place on the floor, elbows leaning on the coffee table, ready to see what was in the bag that day.

Without fail, Cleo would take out a perfume bottle and the magic words would come out…”Mind if I spray?” Mom never minded. With a push of a finger, perfume was sprayed on Mom’s wrist and she’d always said something like, “Oh, that is nice.” Mom was that way, very kind and hospitable.

Then, the bar of soap would be presented. Without fail, Cleo would say, “It’s very crisp, you know, because it’s French milled.” I’m certain it was French milled, after all, Cleo was an Avon Lady for over 25 years and she would be sure to know her product.

Oh, but my favorite part of the visit was when Cleo would take out the tiny white sample tubes of lipstick. Do you remember those? Just thinking of them brings me right back in time. Mom had six kids and there simply was no money for the luxury of lipstick, so these were little treasures. Mom kept those little tubes in the bathroom drawer and in her purse. Sometimes I would sneak and use some, so I could look pretty too.

The one item Mom did buy was the bubble bath. I can almost smell it now, it ‘s sweet, fresh scent. I’m sure that I used more than my share. I never could resist a bubble bath. I was spoiled that way.

Cleo was part of the fabric of my childhood.

Good memories.

21 comments:

lifebythecreek said...

Oh my. You brought it back for me, too! Our lady was Erica, and she and my mom are still friends. She was from Germany; married a military man and ended up in Nashville. My mom used Vita Moist; she had a facial stroke (Bell's Palsy) when I was 2, and that seemed to help. Funny thing is, I now shop Avon online a lot. I love their Skin So Soft bug spray/sunscreen and their spa line. But it really isn't the same at all as having Erica ring our doorbell and come in to sit in the living room....

lifebythecreek said...

I meant to end my comment with "thanks for the memories"... you wrote so eloquently that it really made me re-live a childhood moment!

Helene said...

Wow, you have such a wonderful way of making me feel like I'm right there with you in every single post! your writing is wonderful!

April said...

Do you know that I had all but forgotten about the Avon Lady that used to come calling...until I read your post. You brought it all back for me in such a vivid way! I love how you bring all of your stories to LIFE!

Mighty M said...

I have no memories of an Avon lady ever coming over - I love that you do. Thanks for sharing - this was great! :)

Foursons said...

I don't remember an AVON lady when I was a kid, but I sold AVON about 8 years ago when Jakob was a baby. I did well until 9/11 hit.

Mr. Daddy said...

We didn't have a door bell, and it was kinda far between houses in my neck of the woods. (so they went by horse and buggy) J. K. Car...

But when I started to read your post the Ding Dong went off in my head,(from the tv advertisements) and I remember the Avon lady like it was yesterday.... The BIG bag of treasures and Mom and my sister sitting on the couch Oohing and Aahing over all the girlie stuff...

The stuff didn't thrill me much but the Memories you just evoked are priceless......LOL

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh yes yes!

So totally dating myself....LOL.....My mom used to get me those little pins that had either perfume or lip gloss in them. They had a new one in every issue or "campaign"

thanks for the trip down memory lane!

christy rose said...

I have great memories of the avon lady too. I loved it when she came over! So much wonderful stuff to look at and smell! :)

Casey said...

What a neat story!

Nothing like the good old days.

He & Me + 3 said...

Oh that was a great story. Good only Cleo. I love that. My aunt still buys the bubble bath from Avon and I used to sell it too. I love the hand creme. I still buy it to this day.

Beth E. said...

Oh, yes...I remember the Avon lady coming to our home. I buy their hand cream, too, and they still give out those sample tubes of lipstick! :-)

RN Mama said...

As soon as you mentioned the sample tubes of lipstick I could totally picture them in my head! I remember my Grandma having those samples in every bathroom, and in every purse, and in her car:) I can picture the bubble bath too!

-stephanie- said...

My grandma had every perfume Avon sold! I loved it! And the sample tubes of lipstick....a little girls dream. Thanks for the memories.

Rachel said...

I love this post! You have a gift for storytelling.

I am cracking up at Mr. Daddy too, because we just had the Jehovah's Witness gals stop by this weekend, so apparently we don't live *that* far out :)

At least he didn't meet them in his underwear and ask if they wanted to party (remember one of his first True Story Tuesdays?!?!)

Love this. My Great-Grandmother was an Avon lady. Those tiny lipsticks were a real treat for this girl. And it took me back 25 years to see my coworker handing them out a few weeks ago :)

Thanks for the sweet memories!

Orah said...

And now Avon Ladies have web sites and conduct parties in one person's house - We just don't see them lugging the bag around the neighborhood anymore. Kind of sad.

Just Breathe said...

I remember the Avon lady. She always had those tiny little lipstick samples. I still like samples!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

You've just made me smile SO big. I'd forgotten about the little white lipstick samples. I used to love to get my hands on those when I was a little girl. And the bubble bath...I can almost smell it now. I wonder if they still make the bubble bath? I'm going to see RIGHT now!

Jen said...

Hi! Thanks for the fun story.It brings back memories. Our Avon lady was Ms. Martha....sometimes we would hide when she would come to the door because whenever my mom would let her in, she would be there for at least an hour.
I am a mother/baby nurse. Glad I found you!

sanjeet said...

you wrote so eloquently that it really made me re-live a childhood moment!
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hollybygolly said...

Just stumbled upon you. Love your sense of humor and especially this as I too am an Avon Lady!
Holly Reed
Bucks County, Pennsylvania