Pimpin’ my friends.

Last month I hosted a “Pampered Chef” party.  Actually, “party” should be in quotes too.  Who are we kidding?  

Have you ever been to one of those?  (Of course.)  Have you ever hosted one of those?  (Of course not.  You’re too cool.)  I always thought I was too cool, too–until I went to a party my mom hosted and saw the kind of discount a hostess receives on the products.  After sitting for an hour at the consultant’s knee as she sliced, diced and blended with the most brilliant newfangled gadgets I’d ever seen, my inner-frugal-shrew met up with my inner-domestic-goddess and I decided then and there:  I need this stuff.  I need it bad, and I need it cheap.  How to accomplish both objectives?  Host a party.  Pimp my friends.

You should know that I’ve never once, in my sixteen-years as a homemaker, hosted an in-home party.  I’ve heretofore avoided it for two primary reasons:

1.  I would have to clean my house, and

2.  I’m afraid that no one would show up.

Fear is such a paralyzing foe, is it not?  It often holds me firmly in its grasp.  But after watching that lady grate cheese like it was butter (Microplane Adjustable Coarse Grater, $26.00), I decided it was time to face my demons.  I can do this, I told myself. I can find some friends.  I can tell them they don’t have to buy anything and they’ll know what I really mean is that I’ll be super ticked off if they don’t buy a lot of things and bump up my hostess points.  My hostess points were important to me.  (But not as important as the very real prospect of getting a $150 skillet for $75.)

So I invited, I disclaimed, they showed, they bought.  I have really cool friends.  (Pretty rich.)  (Not bad-looking.)  And wouldn’t you know it, these same friends bought enough stuff for me to get my dream skillet for free.  For free, my faithfuls!  Do you hear me?  Free!

After the “tools” (yep) were purchased, we sat around eating tons of (ingeniously prepared) food and laughed and partied like it was a Thursday night in Kennewick.  It was fun.  I looked around the room at the (Pretty Rich) (Not Bad Looking) ladies among me.  Yes, I thought to myself, these women were true faithfuls, to be sure.  None of them, I felt quite certain, had come to my “party” out of a sheer, awkward obligation.  They had come because they loved me.  And I loved them.  Oh self, I said to myself.  It was never really about the hostess points, was it?  Of course it wasn’t.  Which is why I was outraged when the products arrived on my doorstep two weeks later and the following conversation ensued with the Hub:

Me:  “Look at all this stuff I got for free!”

Him:  “Yeah, by pimpin’ out your friends.”

Me:  “I did not pimp out my friends!”

Him:  “Yes you did.”

Me:  “They all wanted to come!  They said so.  They bought stuff because they wanted to.”

Him:  “Sure.”

Me:  “They did!  They knew I didn’t expect them to spend any money.”

Him:  “Sure.”

Me:  “I didn’t use my friends to get free stuff!  I would never do that!  I am a good friend!”

Him:  “Sure.”

Me:  “And I have good friends!  They came because they like me.  They like me–for real!”

Him:  “Sure.”

Obviously, the Hub doesn’t know jack about the nature of female friendships, which entails not only obligatory attendance to in-home parties, but constant, sorta-sincere flattery, keen attention to one another’s weight loss (gains are consciously ignored), and an endless mutual empathy for the endless woes of motherhood.  Naturally, all such interactions should be threaded with the word “cute” as often as possible.  (“Cute bangs!”  “No, your bangs are cute!”)  I do not point out these quirks to criticize our gender, my faithfuls; I point them out because these virtues are what makes a faithful a faithful.  If you don’t like it, you can become a faithless, and join the ranks of the Hub.  (Have fun over there.  I hear Call to Duty is a real heartwarmer.)

What I’m really trying to say is:  I DID NOT PIMP OUT MY FRIENDS.

Not on purpose, anyway.

But listen, if you’re reading this and you did, in fact, happen to be at my “Pampered Chef” “Party” I just want to say:  Thanks for the skillet.  And for being my friend.

And I’m sorry I pimped you out.

But I really like my new skillet.





And all this time, I thought he thought I was pretty.

Last night I was changing into–what else?–my snowflake flannel pajamas.  (I got them on clearance at Old Navy a few Christmases ago and they rock.  If I’m not in my Pumas, you can bet I’m in these.)  I was just pulling the baggy pants up when Ethan walked into my room.  He didn’t see anything–I already had them pretty much on–but out of habit I said, “Look the other way, bud!”

He immediately jolted his head away from where I stood and put up two hands (side-by-side) next to his face as a blinder.  As he walked past me, his face turned away and hand-blinder sharply drawn, I heard him muttering to himself, “Think happy thoughts…think happy thoughts…think happy thoughts…”  He repeated this mantra of comfort until he crossed my room and found his way into the bathroom.  I heard the chanting continue as I listened through the closed door.

Ouch. What I wouldn’t give to be on the receiving end of a good ‘ole Oedipus complex right about now.



So I just finished reading George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984.  It was phenomenal.  Have you read it?  You should.  Or maybe you shouldn’t.

Actually, you shouldn’t.  You really shouldn’t.

And why shouldn’t you?

Because I did, and I am now terrified of Big Brother, Mr. Charrington, and the poem about the Chestnut Tree.  Because I am now deadly certain that our country will one day evolve into a superstate wherein we are brainwashed into lifeless automatons by an evil ruling party.  Because since closing the book, all I can think about is what terrors would await me in Room 101, should I ever be admitted.  (And surely, one day, I will be admitted.)

I’m a ginormous wimp when it comes to content, but I think most people would say that 1984 is seriously disturbing.  But they would also say–rightly–that it’s good.  And I’m still trying to decide if the brilliant writing was worth the bad dream I felt like I was swimming through as I read it.

What book do you love and hate?  What book do you wish you’d never read, but are so glad that you finally did?

Do you think a disturbing–not inappropriate, just disturbing–book is worthwhile if it makes you think about things you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise?  Do you think a disturbing book is inappropriate, just for the fact that it’s disturbing?  Should we avoid darkening our world with such colors, even for the sake of learning?   Will an unsettling but thought-provoking book strengthen your mind or just dampen your mood?  If a frightening book is written to make a larger political statement that will (hopefully) help us avoid the terrors it describes, is it desirable–even responsible–to read it?

What do you think?

I’m not sure what I think.  The easy answer is that I will always defend books that expand my mind and my world.  But the truth is, sometimes I want to unread things I’ve read, no matter how important the message delivered may be.  And then I start to wonder:  How far do we need to go?  How much do we need to fear?  When does disturbing cross the line into demoralizing?  Because I gotta tell ya, reading 1984 was like spending a week in purgatory–only a little less cheerful.

But oh, it was a good book.