I have a confession to make. I don’t want you to think less of me, but what kind of relationship can we have if it is built on a foundation of lies? The time has come to tell the truth.
I have never been to a Pampered Chef party.
I haven’t sniggered at naughty lingerie or sex toys from the comfort of a friend’s living room. I haven’t bought Shaklee vitamins, purses, candles, jewelry, soup mixes, makeup, laundry soap, home interior or scrap-booking supplies across someone’s kitchen table. I have lived in American society my whole life, not on a deserted island, and have managed to avoid the arm-twisting-sales-pitch-masquerading-as-hospitality that is known as the home selling party.
I waitressed at Big Boy the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college and was flattered when the head waitress invited me to a party at her place. I’d been to lots of college parties – drunken affairs where the main goal was to avoid getting soaked by spilled beer – but this was different. It was a grownup party. She was vague on details, just that she was having some friends over for the evening.
Her place was a single as opposed to a double-wide, so the 10 of us were crammed into the tiny living room. I hadn’t noticed all the stacked cardboard boxes until a lady so perky she must have been hopped-up on crack starting telling us all about the contents. By then it was too late; there was no escape.
I had been lured to a Tupperware party.
This was the most boring 45 minutes of my life (besides a time-share sales pitch I once endured in Branson.) Worse than Microeconomics. I was 18, I lived in a dorm, and I was flat-broke. What did I need with a deviled egg container, even if it did come complete with a convenient carrying handle and the signature burping cover? An item that cost more than an Intermediate Accounting textbook? I drank her iced tea, ate her cookies and left as soon as humanly possible without buying a single thing. That memory makes me squirm with shame. In my defense, I was so green I had not yet learned the Unwritten Yet Unbreakable Code of Home Selling Parties:
You must buy something.
I’ve managed to avoid such affairs ever since. I’m a running back in the football game of life, zigging and zagging, breaking tackles right and left as I sprint down the field toward the goal.
It’s not that I don’t want to deal with friends; I make it a point to support local businesses and charities. I’ve bought plenty of stuff when people I know are selling. My bristles go up, however, when someone who has never before invited me to her home suddenly can’t live without me. Is it coincidence that the only time she’s ever wanted me over is for an event where I HAVE to whip out my checkbook or risk looking like a total, cheapo schlub? If we’re such good buddies, why doesn’t she invite me to her house when she doesn’t have a 12-Piece Pantry Hostess Gift hanging in the balance?
Of course none of this applies to YOU, dear readers. If you’re thinking of inviting me to your next home sales party, you know there’s nothing I’d like more than to come. Unfortunately, I just checked my calendar and it turns out I’m already busy that day.