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.”
Me: “They did! They knew I didn’t expect them to spend any money.”
Me: “I didn’t use my friends to get free stuff! I would never do that! I am a good friend!”
Me: “And I have good friends! They came because they like me. They like me–for real!”
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.