I am a little confused today. And yesterday. And the day before too.
You see, Chinese Auction season is coming up in a few weeks and it seems like Tzipi Caton is the hot speaker to bag for the various organizations this year.
Let me preface by saying that I am already B"H booked and taken for the season with the promise of not speaking for anyone else before I speak for the specific organization that got to me first.
I have no objections and understand them completely. No one wants to be stuck with me if I already gave the same speech at ten other fundraisers in the last month. They want me fresh and new and exciting.
But it seems like I was booked early and since the word isn't out yet, I'm still getting calls from different chessed organizations in the community.
*Disclaimer* What you are about to read is exaggerated based on my mood and on how tired I am. Just take with a pinch of happiness and some salt. Which is not to say this didn't happen, just that people aren't as obnoxious as I make them sound on my blog. Well except maybe me...
CALLER: Hi, Tzipi?
ME: (Hesitant) Hi...
CALLER: How are you???? It's Mrs. A, (or B, or C, whatever)
ME: Do I know you?
CALLER: Of course! Don't you remember me? I taught your little sister six years ago. I met you once in the grocery. I was wearing the pantyhose with the run and the sideways turban.
ME: I guess it rings a bell.
CALLER: Well I MUST talk to you about your book.
ME: (wondering how these people manage to get hold of my unlisted number) Okay...
CALLER: Well first of all I loooooovvvved it!
ME: Thank you. (Talking with the phone jammed between my ear and shoulder while struggling to get my kid into the bath.)
CALLER: And I must ask you, were you in any way helped by or affiliated with (insert name of organization she fundraises for here)?
CALLER: Are you sure?
CALLER: Because sometimes we help people but they don't even know. We do things behind the scenes through friends and family and even other organizations so the patient doesn't necessarily know we were involved.
ME: If that were the case for me then I would definitely not know so I couldn't give you a "yes" either way.
CALLER: Oh. Because you see, we really would like for you to help us and we were hoping that maybe if you felt an appreciation to our organization for everything that we did for you maybe you would want to....*voice trails off as if waiting for me to offer my services*
ME: (sits quietly, not about to offer anything I am not ready to do.)
CALLER: (after long pause) Well anyway. We heard you speak in public.
ME: Yes, I do.
CALLER: Well we were wondering if you would speak at our upcoming Chinese Auction (or other event planned)
ME: I am already booked with so-and-so but any time after then, as long as you meet my fee I will be more than happy to speak.
CALLER: You wouldn't do it for free?
CALLER: But we are a chessed organization!
ME: So is everyone else who calls me.
CALLER: But it would be such a zechus on your part and you'd be giving so much chizuk to others.
ME: If I wanted zechusim I could be out every night for the rest of my life and three lifetimes plus, but I just can't. I do my chessed in other ways, for me this is parnossoh. And I can give chizuk when I get paid too. I promise.
CALLER: Oh. I just thought that since we did so much for you...
ME: I'm very grateful. But I didn't know that you put a price on the volunteer work you did for me five years ago. Believe me, I am grateful, but if I were to act on my gratefulness in the way that you and every other organization wishes me to, I would very quickly start resenting everything you ever did for me.
CALLER: I don't understand.
ME: Skip it. It's not important.
CALLER: So you'll do it?
ME: If you meet my price.
CALLER: Okay, we'll get back to that. Another thing. I was wondering if maybe you and your husband would donate a prize to our auction.
CALLER: Well it would give people such chizuk to see that a prize was donated by the author of Miracle Ride.
ME: Even if I would donate something it would be under my husband's name- people wouldn't even know we had anything to do with the book- I don't see how that would give anyone chizuk.
CALLER: Aha. I see what you are saying. Would you consider donating something now anyway?
ME: What do you have in mind?
CALLER: Maybe a trip to Eretz Yisroel?
ME: Do you normally ask young couples at our stage in life to donate a trip costing a couple of thousand dollars?
CALLER: Why? Are you not up to it financially? What does your husband do for a living?
ME: I wasn't aware that I had to balance my checkbook with you.
CALLER: Not at all! I just thought that you having been in a matzav to benefit from our help would want to give...
ME: Funny, I would have thought that someone who has once been a young couple themselves would understand where the average kid my age stands financially and would know better than to ask.
CALLER: I just thought that you would want to give.
ME: And I thought you'd understand that I can't just give even if I want to.
CALLER: Will you talk it over with your husband?
ME: (defeated) I will.
CALLER: Will you call me back?
ME: (Wondering how soon I'm allowed to call back with a "no") IY"H.
CALLER: If you don't call me may I call you back?
ME: Of course.
CALLER: Because I wasn't sure if I should, I mean your number is unlisted and I assume that means that you don't want to be bothered.
ME: That's okay. It's never a bother.
CALLER: Oh good! So I will be in touch!
I love all these organizations, and I love Chinese Auction season- don't get me wrong, but I will start appreciating the donors and entertainers at these functions ten times more now that I know what they put up with to get there....