Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ask Banshee

Dear Banshee,

I have an Ask Banshee question that is half soap-box and half question. It relates to the theme of the last question you answered in Ask Banshee-- friends who sell stuff. It seems like the latest rage is "home parties". Women invite their friends over for a "party" and the the entire premise is to watch a demonstration of something (cooking products, home decor, craft supplies, sex toys-- yes, I was invited to a sex toy party) and then everyone gets out their checkbook to buy the stuff. The more the guests buy, the larger the gift the party hostess receives. The parties seem especially ridiculous when I already have cooking utensils, my home is decorated, I don't do the craft, and I'm not into kinky sex. I hate these parties. My attitude is, if you are really my friend, invite me over for a glass of lemonade or out for lunch where I am spending my money on something useful and where the invitation is premised on true friendship not financial gain. Don't invite me over when there is a cover charge of at least one spatula order per person.

That was the soap-box part. Here's the question part: Is it just me, or are these parties rude? Am I rude to kindly turn down invitations to these parties?

Down on Parties in Minnesota



How about you tell us how you really feel. Wow!

I have to say that I don't have anywhere near your level of passion on this topic. I think the only parties of this sort that I have ever attended are Mary Kay parties. I have enjoyed myself and spent money at all the Mary Kay events I've ever been to. Certainly, there is pressure to spend at these events since the hostess has a reward on the line. However, it seems to me that most people genuinely do enjoy these parties. It's a chance to socialize and share a common interest. In fact, just today a group of women that I know were raving about Princess House and Pampered Chef parties (Tasteful Treasures, on the other hand, seemed to be getting the thumbs down).

So basically, I would have to say that I do not think these parties are inherently rude. A lot of people find it awkward or intimidating to invite folks over. An event like this gives everyone an activity and as a result, gives the hostess a little confidence.

My advice to you, Minnesota, would be to just do what you wanna do. If you don't like these parties, don't go. After all, this is supposed to be a fun event, right? Just as you shouldn't overreact to these parties, a hostess shouldn't overreact to a declined invitation.

~ Wild Banshee

If you have a burning question on your mind, please Ask Banshee.