31 Aug

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I’m in a moms group and one of the other mothers kindly invites me to their annual summer party. The problem? These people are cheap. Last year they asked everyone to bring their own meat to grill and this year they are asking every adult to pay $5. I mean, I’m cool with bringing a side dish to share, but I think they are being ridiculous. Am I wrong? Should I say something?


Potlucks are for Pussies


Dear Potlucks are for Pussies,

Not a fan of BYOM parties? Neither am I! Of course, that’s mostly because I’m fearful I’ll get into a car crash on the way to the event, thereby causing the five pounds of raw steak I’m holding on my lap to somehow infect my private parts with Mad Cow disease and then I’ll wind up quarantined in Kansas City until the USDA discovers a cure for human udders and debilitating cud addiction.

I know. It’s a wonder I ever leave the house.

Now I assume that everyone reading this knows the three words I’m going to say in response to your question. Ready? Here we go: In this economy…blah, blah, blah…not everyone who wants to host a party can afford to pay for food and drinks for their guests. (Well, not unless they have amazing sponsors like JVC who helped us throw a party so swanky, we didn’t even have to use lame-o drink tickets. All you can swill, baby! That’s how we Housewives roll!)

Anyway, if the ickiness of forking over $10 to cover costs outweighs the joy of socializing with these people, don’t go. You’re certainly under no obligation to attend what you consider to be a tacky affair. (Although I’d strongly advise against saying something to the hostess about her perceived cheapness unless you want some discount potato salad shoved down your skort.)

Next time, offer to host—and pay for—the BBQ all by yourself. This will either show the other moms a better way to throw parties, or make them seethe with resentment because they think you’re showing off by serving cocktail weenies and pickles for 50. Personally, as long as I like those involved, I’m happy to go to any party anyone’s nice enough to ask me to attend.

I mean, as long as I don’t have to carry meat on my lap.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

26 Responses to “Pay-For-Party”


Comment by hamburke.

We’ve done BYOM parties before – I organize but it’s really just a reunion bbq with my friends from high school, sometimes at my house but usually at a park where we had our end of school year get togethers (this year, I did an afternoon dessert party). The only other time I’ve done a BYOM party was my hubby’s 30th b-day – he wanted a grill-off. We provided everything else (beer, soda, sides and dessert) as well as prizes for the best meat (democratically decided).


Comment by Kokopuff.

Dear Potluck for Pussies:

You are a bitch. Do your neighborhood a favor and stay home.

AnnieD Reply:

hahaha! Kudos to you!


Comment by Lisa.

I don’t get the whole “in this economy” argument. If they can’t afford it, why not change it to a party they can afford? It just seems more of the same behavior that got us into this economy, namely living beyond your means. Throw the party you can afford. Your friends aren’t coming just for your meat, are they? They’re coming to have a good time.


Comment by marathonmom.

I don’t know where you have been but *all* the prostitution whores are doing it – making someone else pay for their parties. The bigger the better. But be a good host and make sure all the guests have a safe ride home.


Comment by Lessons in Life and Light.

First, the “you are a bitch” comment was totally unnecessary.

Secondly, I think the whole issue is just silly. It’s $5 and a plate of food. What’s the difference between bringing a side, $5, or your own meat? It probably all ends up costing you about the same amount of money. And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than spending an evening at a bar or restaurant.

Guess it depends on how much you want to hang out with your friends! I say get over it and enjoy your time with them, even if it costs you an extra five bucks.

Nicole Reply:

Sometimes the truth hurts… she sounds like a big fat unhappy b to me!


Comment by writingmama04.

Geez Kokopuff, ease up on the caffeine. We have a rolling party in our hood called Flamingo Friday where everyone brings a dish to share, you bring your own booze, and the ‘host’ family lets people use their restroom. You set up your lawn chairs next to the plastic pink flamingos and everyone has a famous time. Cheap, fun, and not a big stress or cost for the host. A little low brow for some? Perhaps, but no one is ever accused of being a cheap bitch.


Comment by Marinka.

If not wanting to pay for a party that one’s invited to makes that person a bitch, then I’m such a huge prostitution whore bitch that I’m shocked that I don’t have my own reality show.


Comment by starkravingmadmommy.

Who knew this was such a contentious issue? I’m sure potlucks will be the big hot-button issue in the next presidential election.


Comment by Heather.

Obviously someone is coo coo for “koko” puffs. Or just plain coo coo.

I always thought “bring your own meat” parties was code for orgies.

admin Reply:

“I always thought “bring your own meat” parties was code for orgies.”

You win, Heather. You win.



Comment by AnnieD.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the economy. I’ve seen this type of BBQ/Potluck my whole life, and I’ve never thought anything of it. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone be so rude about such a party. I’d rather pay $5 than go through the trouble of making a side dish anyway, and it’s probably cheaper that way too. If you don’t want to pay, don’t go to the party. If you feel like you need to speak your mind about it, go ahead, but don’t expect an invite to next year’s party.


Comment by Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole.

I love potlucks, but the $5 request seems to cross the line into tacky territory.

Either way, just don’t ask me to guard the fishtank from tapping fingers. (Seinfeld flashback.)


Comment by Rojopaul.

Can you even make a side dish for $5? I sure can’t. I say pay the $5 and be happy you don’t have to host, cook or clean up after everyone. I’d pay $10 and still think I got off cheap.


Comment by HellTygr.

I’m in the “potlucks or BYOM are great” camp…. but to me, the cash request is a bit over the top. Is it so much over the top that I wouldn’t go? Depends on how much I like spending time with those people.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

Wow, I’m about to host a potluck for the parents of the girl scout troop I lead, but now I’m rethinking it; don’t want to be called a B unless it stands for “Brownies”.


Comment by A Mom on Spin.

I’d much rather pay to eat some food that has been purchased and/or cooked in front of me than eat someone else’s left-overs that they’ve rolled into a big slurry and called a side dish!

On the other hand, maybe that’s just me. . .


Comment by Janice.

BYOM parties are great because then the host doesn’t have to worry about all of the options, vegetarian, chicken, meat, vegan, organic grass fed only, etc. People have so many dietary restrictions/choices these days, what is a good host to do?


Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

BYOB, sure…. BYOM, well, ok…. Pay $5? Uh…no.

That definitely falls in the tacky camp. If they can’t afford to host a party, then they shouldn’t be hosting it. Or, call it a reunion, get together, etc, get together someplace public but if an invitation went out and it’s clear that these people are hosting, then they should be doing the brunt of the work.


Comment by vodka tonic.

No one should collect admission at their front door.

And yes, you can bring a side dish for under $5, ladies. Bean Dip! Duncan Hines! Potato Salad! Jesus, do you all exclusively shop at Whole Foods?!

Lessons in Life and Light Reply:

Yeah, but then you just end up with a potluck full of chips, bean dip, and stale cookies.


I like to put a little more effort into the food I make: spinach artichoke dip, bacon wrapped pineapple, cheesy breadbowls, brie and apples.

Bet you want to come to MY parties now, huh? LOL.

vodka tonic Reply:

My potato salad is world famous.


Comment by Kokopuff.

Geez, all you sensitive souls who were offended by me calling the writer a bitch…and no one thought she was out of line for calling her neighbors pussies? Hmmm…either way, she’s still a bitch.


Comment by Jennifer June.

PotLucks are full on awesome, everyone I know brings a contribution to a barbecue whether they are asked to or not. It’s the polite thing to do and a great way of saying
“Thanks for organizing this and cleaning up after everybody”

AND how is $5 over the top? It’s not like they asked for it at the door. You can choose whether or not to go but being put-off by it is ridiculous.

When you’re invited to a toga party you bring a toga.

When you are invited to a baby shower you bring a baby gift.

When you’re invited to a $5 party you bring $5.

Calling your friends cheap for inviting you to their $5 party is pretty cheap and so is refusing to contribute $5 is even cheaper.

Just sayin’


Comment by angie.

goodness. it’s always fun to see people argue over tiny little matters. calm down women, and sort your priorites.

p.s. wendi, i think your private parts are safe as long as you ziplock that bitch. 😉

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