This past weekend I was invited to a home party. Now most of you menfolk out there might not have any idea what I’m referring to, and if not, consider yourself lucky. A home party is a party that’s held at a friend’s house in order to sell a particular product, so the hostess can get lots of that product at a huge discount or for free, depending on the sales that evening.
I don’t think men are generally expected to endure these gatherings, since they typically feature items like kitchenware, baskets, purses or candles. Not that men don’t use these items, but it’s doubtful they would sit through a party that’s asking them to listen to the features of said items and why they couldn’t possibly live without them.
Now, I’ve been around awhile and I’ve been to my fair share of these parties. And they can be fun. It’s a bit of a wild card going in, because you never know if the mix of ladies is going to be cautious and quiet, snobby and distant, or relaxed and fun. That’s right, guys – even women sometimes have a hard time reading other women and many times there’s a tension in the air that’s palpable … and we don’t like it any more than you do.
Did I mention there are games? There’s usually a get-to-know-each-other game, and a warm-up-the-crowd game, and a game that gets you looking through the catalog. And you guessed it, I’m not exactly a game person.
This is one of the reasons I avoid baby and wedding showers as well. Oh sure, someone can usually twist my arm far enough to get me to play, and many times I’ve had fun in spite of myself. I’m just not so quick-on-the-draw, and sometimes games can emphasize that lack of skill in a way that’s not entirely comfortable for me.
If there was a game where the most sarcastic or snarky comment garnered a lot of points, I would definitely go home with the prize. Now that is something I’m good at, but in the way of parties that’s not the best way to win friends and influence people.
Not that I have ever really cared about that, but I like to play nice at social gatherings and not make the hostess regret that she invited me. So I try to sit quietly with a generic smile on my face, and that’s not something I’m very good at, either. So the results can vary from party to party.
Luckily, this particular party had another snarky loudmouth, and there is safety in numbers … even if it’s only two.
One of the reasons I’m so bristly at these things is because I’m a bit of a tomboy, and don’t really fit the mold of the typical lady who frequents these parties. I don’t have a fancy manicure or pedicure, I don’t really cook – much less bake, and scrapbooking just seems like doing a lot of homework to me.
I do love jewelry, but at my age I have enough to open my own boutique and sell it. I also adore candles and have to confess I am a bit of a basket addict, so I have to stay away from those parties because I have a problem. They don’t have meetings for candle and basket junkies, so I have to manage these diseases on my own, and that means basically staying away from them.
The party I went to last week was actually a great party. It was at the home of a dear friend, and she had an incredible spread of homemade delights and warm cider waiting for guests as they arrived.
After I had a welcoming mini-manicure which left my hands feeling pretty yummy, I headed for the snacks. I am not typically a rum fan, but since the whole theme of the evening was to be relaxation, I poured a fair amount of it into my cup of cider and enjoyed it while mingling with the other ladies as they arrived.
There was a lot of us, and I sat on the outskirts of the circle as we all were seated. Being tall, I’m used to being in the back, so I was just fine with that. The two ladies running the party welcomed us and gave an introductory talk about their products. They passed around a warm neck wrap, and each of us was to wear it while telling our name and how we came to know our hostess.
Many of the ladies cleverly spoke long and slow, in order to get to wear the wrap a little longer. I passed though, since I got hit with a searing hot flash at that point, and would have rather had a bag of ice cubes around my neck.
Next, towels and washcloths were handed out and we used the featured cleanser to cleanse our faces before putting on some lovely smelling face lotion. Then we were given cotton balls moistened with a toner (whatever that is) and we applied that to our faces. I’m fairly sure we were also given “lifters” and “tighteners” too … I kind of lost track of all the terms and products we were using.
Being a tomboy, my skincare “routine” is pretty basic … soap, water, moisturizer, done. I think this was a 20-step process, and I am a five-step-or-less kind of gal. Just check out my cookbook at home if you don’t believe me. A gift from a friend, it’s actually titled “5 Ingredients or Less” and I love it. Anything that has more than five steps or ingredients, and it’s a great big NOPE.
We even tried some face mask stuff that heated up when you misted it with water, which was a big hit with the ladies. It even came in two different scents and colors. There were similar products for the feet as well, but most of the ladies weren’t too enthused about taking off their footwear to try it, and I was thankful for that.
Now, if they had had an attractive guy going around giving foot massages, it wouldn’t have been a problem, and probably would’ve sold a heck of a lot more product. I mean, what fun is it rubbing your own feet? Maybe I should make a suggestion.
There were all sorts of products going around and after a few cups of the spiced cider, I was feeling pretty good. We even did a relaxing guided meditation with warm towels on our faces. There was also a line of makeup products offered that sounded nice, but I am pretty happy with the system I have.
True to form, it’s a five-minute system, and that’s about all I have patience for. My general rule is if I can get my face and hair done decently enough to pass on the street without frightening little children, I’ve done a good job.
I have to admit, I left the party with my face feeling pretty amazing. On my way home I stopped to visit a friend and apologized for smelling all girly. I felt like I had been attacked by a fruit stand, and it was making me a little crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the party immensely, since most of the ladies there were good friends, including the ones doing the demonstration.
I’m just not the target audience for their product, and that’s OK. I’m glad my friends keep inviting me in spite of that. Now if there were only home parties for house and garden tools, motorcycle gear, high-end home office supplies and fleece wear …
Originally published October 17, 2014.