$5

Apparently everyone is spending $5 a day on coffee, every day.

I mean, I’m not. But that seems to be the assumption of some businesses and multi-level marketing companies.

I see people on my Facebook or Instagram feed almost daily, touting some health or diet based product or routine. The story is always the same; “Yes, it’s whatever dollar amount, but if you skip your daily coffee, you can easily afford it”

Well, no. I buy my coffee whole bean, by the pound, so my daily coffee, even if I have 2? Is like 34 cents. So. Not me.

Or “You don’t want to invest $5 a day in yourself but you’ll give it to Starbucks/Dunkin’ Donuts, isn’t your health worth more?”

Ya know what? Maybe some people’s health depends on that coffee – that break, that stop, that self-care savoring moment. Mental health is equally important. So let’s not diminish that.

Most of the people I have encountered or know, who sell these products are good people, nice people who have seen the results first hand and I appreciate that you believe in a product and use it yourself and want to share it with others. Hell, I used to sell Jamberry and I was probably so annoying about it. Everyone deserves to make a living or some extra cash however they see fit.

Everyone also gets one life to live, however they see fit.

Whats bothersome is the pressure it presents. And the subtle shame. Like, Oh just stop drinking coffee and you’ll lose weight, or get healthy, or be fit like me. People who have $5 a day to spend daily on coffee likely don’t need to “budget” for your products. And they either want them, or they don’t.

It’s a bit condescending.

Maybe it’s true – some people who really want to try something but claim they don’t have the funds could cut something out; but if they really wanted to, don’t you think they’d find a way themselves? Don’t you think they’d already be like hey, if I stop spending money on blank, I can have/get/do/go to blank.

I mean, that’s how I think about things.

Maybe when they say they can’t afford it they really can’t and are already scraping by, maybe they don’t want to afford it and are just trying to be nice and still supportive of your venture.

What’s a priority for you, is not a priority for everyone else.

And honestly, while the cost of these things usually does add up to something like $3-$5 a day, that’s not how you pay for them. You know? It’s a lump sum.

And what if they hate it? What if they just need time to think it over?

A few years ago I joined a new gym nearby. Brand new, bright, tons of equipment and a nice looking pool. Early sign up rates on enrollment and monthly fees.

I joined and being about 65 pounds down at that point, I was psyched. Couldn’t wait to take classes, couldn’t wait to maybe have the nerve to try lifting weights, and honestly, couldn’t wait for my “free personal training assessment”.

I got up bright and early on Saturday in December; workout clothes, water bottle and a positive attitude.

The “assessment” was about twenty minutes of an extremely fit, condescending woman bossing me around on things I had never done before. I tried to ask some questions along the way, she talked over me; she wasn’t so much “assessing” or “training” me as she was playing drill sergeant.

I might have still been interested, I was there to get information, to see if this was in fact something I could do. We walked to her cubicle and now we were going to talk about the cost. Obviously nothing is free, and I expected something like $50/session like I had seen at another gym a few weeks before.

I can’t tell you the exact cost but it was in the hundreds per month, upper threes at that. You also couldn’t just pick a few, it was however many times a week, and the cost was pretty similar regardless of the amount.

I listened and spoke honestly.

“I’m job hunting, next week is my last week at my current job and that’s just not in my budget right now”

“Well what if I can reduce the blah blah blah fee”

“I think it’s still too high for me, I’ll think about it though, thanks!”

“Well the offer for that is only good today, so go out to your car and think about it and come back in and we’ll sign you up”

“Haha, thanks, I’ll think it over”

“Christmas is coming, why not ask your boyfriend to pay for it for you as a Christmas present?”

I politely declined and thanked her for her time.

I didn’t think it was worth it regardless of who was paying it. There was another fee just to enroll in the training on top of the monthly fee which was on top of the already paid enrollment to the gym itself and why can’t anyone ever take no for an answer?

“It’s a shame, really” she said, “People always find money for the things they want”

I know that to be true, so I nodded.

She continued “It’s a shame you’d probably rather buy coffee and sweaters than take care of yourself”

I could feel my face getting hot, like I might cry, not hurt, not sad, but irritated.

“Nope, not planning to buy any of that either” awkward laugh “Thanks again” and I start to walk away.

“It’s okay, I get it, you just don’t want to invest in yourself”

I held my gaze straight ahead and kept walking, out of the building, out to my car and cried. A little pms-induced, maybe, but crying just the same.

I cried all the way home.

I got over it, because that woman, in 20 minutes or thirty minutes or even an hour we had been interacting … didn’t know shit about me.

Her comment stung, and it was meant to. It was some warped last-ditch effort to close the sale and it did the opposite. I left.

I considered cancelling my membership as soon as I could talk to someone that Monday.I was mad, I was sad, I was wondering how many people let themselves be shamed into a negative bank account, or feeling badly about themselves in a situation like this.

I didn’t cancel my membership because if I was throwing a couple of bucks a day to invest in anything, it was absolutely myself.

I was incredulous that a person would be in the “business” of helping others and try and guilt or shame them to go along.

But, I mean, the key word is business.

 

 

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