Friend?: Want to come to my house for a little get together with a few folks? We’ll have wine and appetizers and such.
Me: Sure, why not – sounds fun.
Friend?: Cool, we’ll have a few people over showing their whatever home party is the newest thing and you can check them out. No pressure!
Me: Oh wait, I think I DID have something planned that night ….. (like washing my dog, dusting on top of my fridge, or scouring the toilets – all would be more attractive options than a selling party)
Friend? : Oh, don’t worry – you don’t even need to come by. We’ll open a Facebook party – so you can just place your order there! It’s all so convenient now!
Me: (inside sarcastic voice) Oh great, I can give you all my money and not even have the pleasure of a snack or two. That sounds like even MORE fun….
See why the person inviting me is aptly labeled Friend? I don’t really know if they’re my friend or if they just want to reach into my wallet to realize their own dreams. I suspect it’s a little bit of both. I have been invited to:
Essential Oil Parties
Not every time, but mostly I have been asked by a woman I don’t know well (a friend of a friend). And nothing shuts me down to a possible friendship more quickly than being invited to a house party where I need to bring my checkbook. For me, the intention of friendship is cheapened when someone wants to sell me something under the guise of having a relationship with me. However, in order to give the MLM party thing a fair shot (and not be a total stick in the mud) I have attended several of these “no pressure” parties, and they are anything but. Despite being in someone’s cozy home, it is a VERY high pressure atmosphere. I always bought something as I didn’t want to be judged. I understand that it is people (usually women) supporting one another, but the costs of the products are high (to pay for everyone in the levels above the seller) and I find the emotional toll of these parties to be high pressure and taxing for an introvert like me. Interestingly enough, after I returned to work I found I have received almost none of the invites (besides the occasional Facebook one). I don’t know if this is anecdotal evidence that stay at home moms get more invites to these parties or not. But, when I could LEAST afford it I actually received the MOST invites to these “parties”.
Reflecting on how many of these I have been invited to I wonder, do I walk around with a Friendship for Sale sign on my forehead?