I recall the days when Tupperware and Avon were the home party king-pins.  In fact, other than traveling salespeople peddling encyclopedias and vacuums, burping plasticware and Skin-So-Soft were only available through prestigious home party sales.  I could not wait for the seasonal Avon catalog to be released.  It was the female pre-pubescent equivalent of the lingerie section of the Sears catalog for the boys.  Page upon glossy page of big girl glamour enticed me.  I don’t recall my mother ever hosting such a soiree which accounts for why I relied on taking babysitting jobs from Avon representatives to obtain free samples of girlie goodies.  Today, you could attend a home party nearly every night for four years and still not exhaust the product possibilities.  There are more than 1500 direct sales companies that make up the $35 billion dollar industry.  Thirty Five BILLION!  To date, and to the best of my recollection, I have been invited to 42 home parties and spent an astounding $6000.00 on a cornucopia of crap (except for my black lace Cabi skirt with the hidden elastic waistband).

Here, my friends, is just a sampling of the goodies I am currently in possession of…

  • A locket missing all but one fake rhinestone I’m sure was eaten by and killed my cat.

  • Long wear lipstick that turns a ghastly shade of purple only Courtney Love could wear.

  • Crystal candle holders that require candles only available by special order at a price that exceeds the holders.

  • A gluten-free crust mix the moths invaded but I’m sure will bake out – someday.

  • Amazonite earrings missing the amazonite.  What the heck is amazonsite?

  • A cat collar for a cat that died two days after the order arrived. Damn locket.

  • A $50 potato chip maker sitting in my garage sale pile in it’s original packaging.

  • A vaginal lubricant my granddaughters use as Barbie hair gel.

  • A $100 limited edition (ohhh, ahhh) cake basket that currently holds the purple lipstick, cat collar and Barbie’s vaginal lubricant.

Why do I attend such functions?  I go for the female bonding experience, the mediocre wine and spinach dip and to support my friend’s need to earn a little extra cash or bling.  I am under no obligation to attend.  A polite declination is perfectly Faux-Pas acceptable.  If I attend, I also understand that I am under no obligation to purchase anything but I happen to be a sucker for a well-presented sales pitch that inevitably convinces me that I NEED the peddled product.  I can also easily justify this thought process because my friend needs the extra cash and/or bling.  Yes, there is some social pressure involved at these shindigs. It can be uncomfortable and awkward to be the only person who fails to place an order.  I have been known to order up the least expensive item available just to appease my ego but I’ve always done it with a happy heart.  After all, I need some more crap for next spring’s garage sale.

K. Martini