19 Jul
The Party Pooper

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

One of my girlfriends is constantly having “house parties.” You know the ones—you   go to someone’s house and they proposition you to buy stuff that you don’t need and really don’t want for exorbitant prices?

Well, at first it was kind of fun because we all have kids the same age and it was nice to get out and do girl stuff, but now it is just annoying. I’m not talking a party or two each year—she has a party at least every month. I don’t want to buy that stuff and, quite frankly, can’t afford it with our one income family. I’ve told her such, but she is just so pushy! I’m on the verge of filing for witness protection and getting the heck out of Dodge. How can I get out of these invites without completely ruining our friendship?

Signed,

Too Much Tupperware

_________________________________________________

Dear Too Much Tupperware,

Ah, the neighborhood sales party. It’s a scourge that’s been around since pretty much forever. I think even Cavewoman Joan knew that if she invited Cavewoman Peggy over to her split-level, um, cave and plied her with cheap white wine, she’d earn a 10% commission on whatever stone cookware she talked her friend into ordering. Unfortunately, the only way Cavewoman Peggy could escape was by yelling, “My ride’s here!” when her husband came to give her a drag home, but luckily, you have a few more options.

Option #1: Buy, Buy, Buy!

No matter what kind of crap your friend is pushing, just whip out your pen and fill out that order form. Soon your house will be filled with scented candles, one-of-a-kind dinner plates, stacks of eyeshadow and really trashy lingerie. (Which, sidenote, will make your house a lot like Cher’s.) Simply do this for a few months and in no time at all, you’ll have an iron clad excuse for missing her next party: bankruptcy!

Option #2: Sell, Sell, Sell!

That’s right, I said “sell.” After all, where would McDonald’s be without Burger King nipping at its greasy heels? What your friend needs is a competitor, so it’s high time you went into the home party bidness, too. If she’s selling jewelry on Tuesday, then you sell SHINIER jewelry on Monday. If she sells ugly figurines at 7 p.m., then you sell even UGLIER figurines at 6 p.m. If she sells big, purple “personal massagers” next week, then you sell even bigger…well, you get the idea. Make it so hard for her to throw parties that she just stops altogether!

Option #3: Make yourself unwelcome

Not hard to do, but best when done with a subtle touch. The next time you’re at her home with a group of women, simply put one or all of these lines into your repertoire: “Oh, my God, you still have that couch?” or “Wow–whoever cleaned up your kitchen after that meth explosion sure did a fabulous job!” or “Hey, everyone—I think congratulations are in order because for the first time in three years, I didn’t see any herpes cream in the medicine cabinet! Our hostess is finally STD free!”

(That last one has kept me off invite lists since 1988.)

Of course, you could just try the direct route again and say, “I”ll be your friend, but not your customer, so please don’t invite me to any more parties.” Hopefully it’ll be the last order you ever have to give her.

Sincerely,

Wendi, TMH

5 Responses to “The Party Pooper”

07.19.10#1

Comment by GrandeMocha.

Start going to every other one, then every third, fourth, etc. Just be busy. Eventually, she’ll get the hint.

07.19.10#2

Comment by Diane.

GREAT response! It’s a darn shame when a bunch of ladies need an excuse (like buying overpriced, underengineered jewelry that you will never wear out anyway because your husband never takes you out) to sit down and polish off a bottle of wine. Or two. Or three.

07.19.10#3

Comment by Lisa.

I like her original idea but just adding one thing when the friend gets pushy: “I really can’t afford it. I hope you’ll still be my friend, even if I can’t come to your selling parties.” It’s puts the burden on her not to be an idiot and lose the friendship over it.

07.19.10#4

Comment by Plano Mom.

This used to be hard for me, but now it’s not…

“No thank you. I have plans.”

You owe no one any other response, and you are never impolite for promptly and regretfully declining, particularly when the invitation is clearly not to enjoy your company.

07.22.10#5

Comment by OldLadyinaShoe.

The best route is to always be honest. I am constantly invited to these also and I always politely decline by saying that I don’t have any extra spending money at the moment but will keep them in mind should I ever need XYZ.

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