I accidentally baited and switched a few people in my day. I’d contact them sincerely looking to catch up, hear about their life, and not talk about donating to my ministry. But then, right in the middle of the “what have you been up to since we last saw each other in middle school” portion of the exchange, I’d hear myself switch gears, and go into my support-raising voice.
Support raising voice is slightly more nasal, fast paced, and breathy. Now that I mention it, nasal and breathy is a tough combo to pull off. Try it. Go ahead, out loud. Try to say something in both a nasally voice (a la Fran Drescher) and a breathy voice (a la Rod Stewart). Impossible, I say! But raising support tends to take you into a real Fran Drescher/Rod Stewart mashup of a world. It’s a scary place.
So there I’d be, ready to simultaneously star in a mediocre sit-com and sing Forever Young at the top of my lungs, and I’d see it on the face of the friend with whom I’d grabbed coffee. The game face. The “I’m about to be asked for money” face. And like Sméagol trying to resist the powers of his “precious,” I’d find myself unable to stop soliciting. By the time I’d realized it, it was too late.
Must. Ask. For. Money.
You might not have known this, but the financial appeal has a real power. Like Cousin Eddie’s dog, once you are in the conversation with a missionary about funds, it’s best to just let them finish. There’s a script involved, and we’re likely to go all Blue Screen of Death on you if we get off script, after a certain point.
So yeah, I know I invited them out for coffee to catch up, and made no mention of the fact that I even raise support, but they technically did ask how we get paid. They practically asked me to ask them for money. Right? Right?
How about you, dear reader? Ever been caught in a bait and switch? Or worse, ever felt like Rod Stewart for any reason? What was going through your mind?