I have never done a guest blog on my page, but there is a first for everything. I have a reader who sent me this brilliantly written, funny letter that was too good to pass up. Though I am in no danger of this happening to me, because I have only been invited to 3 parties in 3 years, I know lots of people can relate to being inundated with book parties, purse parties, candle parties, cleaning parties..etc. It starts to add up after a while. I had to post this because it is funny and worth reading. Friends should always encourage each other, but not take advantage of each other. Just common sense if you ask me. I happen to love getting invited to these because I get a few hours out of the house, but if I kept getting invited repeatedly each week by the same person, I'd probably blow a gasket, too. I almost died at the last party I was invited to so if you need my take on these parties from a different perspective, by all means, please indulge here.
Am I the only one who has at least one friend who’s too expensive to keep? You know the kind- she’s got her own “host a party and buy stuff from me” business. Or she’s got kids in so many activities that she’s always in the middle of a fundraiser and needs you to buy a ticket to something. Candles, food items, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, magazines, sports team raffles, and let’s not forget the gawd-awful athletic team spaghetti dinners that charge $10-15 per person for a plate of mushy, overcooked spaghetti, brown-around-the-edges iceberg lettuce salad, and bread of some sort. Oh, and please make it extra garlicky bread because it really adds to the smell of the gymnasium where you’re holding the dinner. I’m happy to pay $50 for my family of 4 to attend. What? In addition I can purchase baked goods and drinks there, too? Excellent, I won’t need to bring extra money because it’ll be easy to tell my 6 year old that those cookies he’s looking at weren’t included in his dinner price, and the drinking fountain water will quench his thirst just fine. How about I just give you $30 to put me on your do-not-invite list?
Do you really think I need that 2nd set of measuring spoons or 3 sizes of metal whisks? Can’t we admit that we cook the same 10 meals on a rotating basis for our families, and if I use a whisk once in the course of a month I proudly feel like Betty Crocker? Even when I need one (i.e. - for a fancy reason like pancake batter), half the time I’m too rushed to go into the gadget drawer and I just grab the nearest fork to do the job. And even then- I’ve been known to use a spoon or a butter knife when the fork isn’t within arm’s reach. And you do realize that you can get the same- or often better- quality jewelry at any number of department store sales/online retailers, right? $40 for a fake silver necklace with low-quality beads on it isn’t a great deal, nor is it particularly fashionable. Sure- you got me distracted with your sex toy party- and I almost fell for it- but I’m quite familiar with the adult store nearby, thankyouverymuch. But I digress.
Inevitably you’ll sign up your friend to host a party for you. She might like the concept so much that she signs on to host parties for the same or a different company. Then- you knew it was coming- she’ll ask you to host a party for her, too. And of course you will because you owe her. Don’t you realize that you’re all just exchanging checks for a bunch of crap you wouldn’t have bought if you didn’t feel guilty because “she came to your party and bought (fill in the blank)”?? Go through your checkbook and you might find that you’ve spent hundreds of dollars or more attending these parties throughout the year. And don’t think I’m falling for that “You don’t have to buy a thing- just come and have fun! It’s a girl’s night out! We’ll have hors d'oeuvres and drinks!” crap. Yep- liquor me up enough and of course I’ll beer-goggle over your merchandise and come home with an order sheet a mile long. We both know me well enough, don’t we?
I like to think that these party ladies are just oblivious to the strain they’re putting on their friends and not consciously taking advantage of their friends’ kind hearts. Hopefully they are just distracted by their excitement over owning their own business. Here’s the tough-love lesson, my well-meaning friends: Friends don’t ask friends to subsidize their incomes. Now it seems there's a new trend happening on my Faceobook Timeline. Friends that are 'tagging' me with their products they want me to buy - so now let me get this - I don't even get the night out - you want to publicly tag me and ask me to buy from you. Seriously that's pushing it to a new limit of tacky. At least give me a glass of boxed wine before you ask me to buy your crap!
Please let your friends support you in spirit, with kind and loving words/deeds, and NOT by writing you a check for your latest money-making endeavor. I know that these are legitimate businesses and I’m proud of you for being ambitious, but please cast a wider customer net that reaches outside your immediate group of friends. I want you to succeed, I really, really do. I love you and will be your cheerleader and I’ll be happy to listen to your worries/concerns/give advice- whatever you need. But please don’t ask me to be on your frequent-buyer plan. One email informing your friends of your business venture is sufficient- and even a reminder email is ok. But if we don’t reply or buy something after the 1st or 2nd invitation, it’s because we don’t have the funds to buy from you and/or we don’t like what you’re selling, but we don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Clearly there are exceptions to this, and I imagine there are many- ok- SOME- women who love being invited to these parties. They enjoy the social interaction and love buying whatever is being sold. That’s awesome and I’m happy for them. But please don’t assume we’re all like that. I think you can reasonably expect that at least one or two of the friends on your business invite list really don’t want to be on it. And if you keep holding your hand out to your friends asking them to buy something from you, one of these days your hand might get smacked in return (in the most loving, supportive manner, of course).
Cheers and Love,
~DG (and Guest Poster....)