The Fun, Low-Pressure (Really!) Spa Party
It seems like everyone that I know nowadays is selling something. From good smelling oils and pretty nail stickers to girly, sparkly charm jewelry. Now, before I get started and you industrious sales people curse me through the screen, let me add the disclaimer that I have no problem with mompreneurs. I think it is great. You girls have got some serious moxie and your motivation is unparalleled so, please, fight the good fight and keep up the good work. All I’m saying is that I just am not the best customer because if it requires me to accessorize, exfoliate something, or adhere anything to my person then I am not your girl.
Most of these mom businesses seem to revolve around parties and most of these parties happen online through Facebook. Awesome. These are my favorite kind. With a click or two, you can politely decline (or avoid, whatever) the fabulous new product that your very bestest friend has ‘discovered’. Once upon a time though the home party was the only way to selling success. I was invited to one of these gems recently. It was billed as a ‘Mom’s Night Spa Party’. Fun right? Sit around, drink some wine, and gossip with my mama friends whilst getting pampered and hammered….for FREE. My cheapness (I prefer frugality) knows no bounds, my friends. Some neighbor lady that no one really knows would give us a gentle pitch ‘just to practice’ with no pressure (REALLY!) whatsoever. To her, we were like tipsy guinea pigs in flip flops and yoga pants.
Sounds like perfection. I am always down for any evening that involves some grown-up conversation (and libations) plus, if I come out of it smelling like roses then it is a win-win for me and my husband. Oh how very naive. So I show up at this house party and we spend a good hour eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze. Hey, this is fabulous. Then we all get partnered up and get facials in my friend’s bathroom like a bunch of low-budget Kardashians.
After our faces are well covered in goo, and starting to harden (seriously, do they put quick drying cement in this stuff??) we get to put our feet in this great smelling pampering soak. Now is when it begins.
You can no longer leave.
Your feet are wet (where did our shoes go anyway?) and your face is plastered, you can’t even shut your eyes to look away. Then the pitch starts. Now, if this neighbor lady was nervous about her new product and in need of a practice audience, you would never know it. She started talking about beauty products like Ron Popeil talking about a rotisserie cooker. Forty-five minutes later I knew everything about the products, the company, a teary confession about how it single-handedly saved her family from starvation (okay, I’m exaggerating a wee bit but not by much) and finally how I too could partake in this fabulous business endeavor too. Um…yay?
Then the order forms and catalogs come out and begin to get passed around. Well, I was promised low pressure so I can just flip through the book and pretend like I am the type of woman who buys fancy-schmancy facial products before casually passing it along. Not so, dear reader. I look around the room and my friends are looking through the books ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ and showing each other all sorts of treasures on page 5. Am I looking at the same book? Morning eye cream, night eye cream, a 87 step daily face washing routine for about the same price as my husband’s commuter junker. No thank you very much. I am a dove soap on a wash rag kind of girl. I will let you in on a secret that I didn’t know, not buying something is a social no-no of the worst kind and everyone but me seemed to suddenly ‘need’ all of the things this stranger was selling.
I chewed on my newly herbal-scented thumb nail and tried desperately to find something, anything, in the book that didn’t require a second mortgage and that I may actually know how to use. No such luck. The low-pressure of it all was killing me. My good smelling, exfoliated feet began to sweat. In the end, everyone seemed to happily pull out their checkbooks and supported the hostess in her goal of achieving a free face wash. I felt bad but decided in the end to stay true to my budget and frugal nature. If it is a product that I would buy anyway, I would love to spend the money supporting a friend, but I’m done buying stuff just to toss it in a drawer. I have goals too. On that pleasantly fragranced, but awkward evening I decided that low pressure home parties are just too stressful.
So keep on keepin’ on, brave sales people. Honestly, I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope that you sell enough stuff to send your kids to college or earn a pearly pink Cadillac if you so desire but if you invite me to a low-pressure (really!) party at your house, I may have to wash the cat that night. But, um, next time just catch me on facebook.