Thursday, April 22, 2010

Home Parties

Last night I was out for dinner with some friends, and the subject of home parties was raised. Someone said, "Oh, we know how Julianne feels about home parties" and I went home and thought about it for a bit. It's ironic that I'm developing a reputation for avoiding home parties because I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator, and was very busy doing home workshops for people when I lived in BC.

Small town home parties are an entirely different animal. You want to support everyone's home business, but it's simply not possible for me to attend every party I'm invited to, or I'd be going four nights out of every week, possibly more depending on the time of year. I really enjoy my time at home. I'm trying to carve out time to write, which is never easy, and when 7 pm comes and my kids are tucked into their beds, I want to unwind and relax at home.

I realize it sounds like I'm making excuses, and that's because I am. In general, I freeze up and immediately resist pressure I feel being exerted on me, and no matter how many times people invite you to a home party and say that you don't have to buy anything, really you are supposed to buy something. The pressure is always there. I'm trying to simplify life, to move away from owning more and more products that I have to maintain and dust, so home parties really aren't the scene for me.

It's difficult to explain, because it hurts people's feelings no matter which way you say it, and I don't like to be intentionally hurtful. But all of life is a choice. We choose how we spend every resource we have, whether it's money, health, time, or energy. The older I get the more comfortable I feel to make the decisions that I need to make. I try not to worry about the fall-out, but I recognize that the potential for emotional collateral damage is always there.

All of life involves this delicate balancing act. I don't want to become self-absorbed and full of myself, closeted away to be sure my needs are met without any concern for supporting my friends, but I have also found that saying "no" more often relieves stress and offers more freedom to pursue the goals I am reaching for. I suppose we have to take it on a day by day, invitation by invitation basis. We don't want to overload our schedules and then have nothing to give to our family and friends, but we also need to socialize and give what we can to keep our friendships alive. Perhaps we simply do what we can, and embrace the fact that we can't do everything we are invited to do.


  1. Home based businesses are putting a strain on a lot of friendships. If a "friend" is a "friend", you should never feel obligated to suppor their venture, nor should they feel obligated to you. I personally am sick and tired of this form of enterprise and will only order what I want and what I need from anyone. These businesses owe their bottom line to the emotional blackmail demonstrators etc unwittingly use. We should all consider the physcology behind home party is EVIL

  2. I think its different if you are the person selling the goods and pressuring your friends than if you are having a party as a get-together that is supposed to be fun.

    How is being invited to a party that someone hosts and wanting people to come to your SU workshops any different really?

    Just playing devil's advocate....

  3. It's no different, Jan, but I'm not running SU workshops anymore outside of my home, and classes/groups are a bit different as people sign up for them. In my mind it's different from home parties (but my workshops in BC used to be considered home parties).

    I agree about the difference between selling the goods and hosting the party, but when there is disappointment (perceived or real) from friends about not attending the party, that's where it gets sticky.

    Thanks for playing devil's advocate! I'm not saying home parties are bad, I'm just asking for respect on all sides (i.e. the right to host, be the person doing the party and the right to decline without penalty to relationships).

  4. I wouldn't go so far as to say "evil", Mel, since I count myself as a demonstrator but would like to think I don't pressure anyone to buy anything from me for any reason.

    Pressure doesn't work for me, so I don't want to do that to anyone else.

  5. I couldn't have said it better myself Julianne. I can play both sides of the fence as I am a rep of one of these home businesses, and I love doing that simply because I get great stuff for free! But I sincerely hope I have never pressured my friends or resorted to "emotional blackmail". Hey, if you're interested, great, if not, no skin off my nose! My family will still be provided for even if my friends choose not to buy my product (shocking I know)!

    I totally agree with you though that the home party business is getting completely out of hand. I think we all have those friends who we can't ever have any sort of conversation with, without being pushed their product. And I would love to be invited to a girl's night that has nothing to do with spending my time hearing about a product and feeling even the tiniest bit of pressure to spend money! Unfortunately if I'm invited to someone's home sales party, and they have never once invited me to any other sort of social event (even just a play date), I'm not going. I don't need any more fair weather friends.

  6. I think it's a small town thing. Most of us know each other and have the same friend circles, so that's why it gets out of hand, because we are all invited to the same things. And everyone knows if you are going or not going. It's just a fact of life in small town. Thanks for your comment, Mandy!

  7. I just said evil to stir the pot.....