Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yup, I'm Still Allergic to Home Parties

*Yesterday Brian asked me," Did you write a sweet column about me in honor of our 20th wedding anniversary?"  No, I did not. Today is that anniversary date. And this is the column that ran in the KC Star this morning:
“Does anyone NOT have one of our bean pots?”

I raised my hand. Why would I have one? I hadn’t been to that type of home party before. Actually, I hadn’t been to any type of home party since the Tupperware Incident of ’94.

That night, 17 years ago, I got a little out of control. Color coordinated storage containers! A large cake carrier! A chip and dip tray! More cool items we didn’t need!  The buyer’ s remorse was so cringe inducing that I instituted a Personal Home Party Ban which has served me, and our bank account, well ever since.

“Would you like to come to my candle/cookware/jewelry/home décor/whatever-I’m-peddling- this- week party? It’ll be fun! Snacks! Drinks!”

“I’m so sorry!” I would graciously reply,” Thank you for asking me, but I have a personal ban on home parties since the Tupperware Incident of ’94.”

Sometimes I would add a shudder for dramatic effect.

And, I must say, it worked like a charm every time! Of course there was a rebuttal: ”Oh, you don’t have to buy anything, think of it like a Girl’s Night Out!”

I’m not sure who they thought they were kidding, but of course I would have to buy something!  If it was just about chick chatter, snacks and drinks, they would have thrown a regular ol’ party. They want to sell stuff, with an eye on some hostess gifts. I’m ok with that, just own it. I still never went.

Enter my Mother-in-law. I cannot say, “no” to this woman. She is too kind and doesn’t (usually) say, “no” to me. Boring story short: I lifted my ban to go to a home party hosted by one of my Mother-in-law’s sweet friends, another woman I   can’t say, “no” to.

(Note to self: Learn to say, “no”.)

I admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the home party consultant. It is a terrific career for people who want to work from home, believe in their product line and can talk in front of others. The company of the party I attended boasts sales in excess of 100 million dollars. Big business. If this is your line of work-fantastic!  When you do your thing and combine socializing with shopping, I know that there are a lot of people who will happily drive your profits up by multitasking with you.

I was just not one of them.

Until I found myself in a room full of women; a large display of home décor items artfully arranged by the fireplace, snacks and wine a’plenty. Did I make a mistake all those years? This was fun!  I settled into the sofa… and eyed what was possibly the largest cat in existence.

It’s not that I don’t like cats…ok, I don’t like cats. But it’s not because I am an animal hater- I’m allergic to them. Even a cat in a spotless home like the one I was in.

Unfortunately the consultant had begun her presentation, and it would have been rude to get up and leave. I sat through it- coveting the bean pot, sneezing and searching for tissues- lots of tissues.

And what did my husband say when I dragged my drippy self home?

 “I should have warned you about the cat.”

Ya think?!

But it’s a waste of time if I didn’t learn anything.

What I learned at the home party:
*Always ask if people have a cat. Cat dander is bad.

*The bean pot can cook a cake in 13 minutes. Cake is good.

*Reinstate the ban. Sometimes bans are very, very good.


  1. But did you get the bean pot? Thank you for reposting this, ya know for all of us country bumpkins.

  2. I also cannot go to these parties because I end up buying stuff EVERY TIME. Stuff I don't need and didn't really have the money for. ARGH!

  3. I was scratching my throat with wine and pie during the order portion of the program.


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