Thursday, April 28, 2005

And I Even Got to Give My Personal Info for a "Prize Drawing"

So I have decided that certain names and dates of this story will be altered to protect the innocent.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a party. Oh, not just any party but a "product" party. For avoidance of possible defamation lawsuits, I will call the company Brownie Tree. The person who invited me is a sweet widow who lives in my complex. She dotes on Mr. Personality, and is always giving him tasty food in the grand tradition of elderly, kind neighbors. Plus, she always makes a point to come out and talk to me when we are wandering the complex, so I didn't want to hurt her feelings by ignoring her invite.

Normally, I avoid these parties like the plague. I don't feel comfortable with the Multi-Level-Marketing tactics of most companies like Brownie Tree. I mean, really, the expectation that you will come to the party and buy something because the hostess is your dear friend hovers around 99%. In this case, the product host was my neighbor's daughter-in-law, so I pretty much knew that if I showed up, I was going to buy something.

After a hectic morning, I decided to gussy up a little and go. I purposely arrived about 20 minutes before the ending time, knowing that Mr. Personality was the perfect person to place blame on my late arrival. It also gave me a very convenient "out." I walked in and was introduced to a couple of nice ladies. Then I was introduced to the DIL. I swear that the ice cubes in my freezer posess more warmth than this woman. The word "barracuda" also popped into my mind.

This lady was there to make her money and earn those points toward her company sponsored cruise around the Hawaiian Islands, no pretenses necessary. Little warning beeps went off in my head as I passed by her transportation choice parked out front. It was a Cadillac Escalade so chromed out I had to shield my eyes. And my friends, it was a cloudy day.

Inside I was perusing the less than exciting Brownie Tree collection. I am not a big necklace or bracelet person, I tend towards earrings and watches. I am also not the type who meticulously coordinates my jewelry with my outfit. Not that I don't match, I just don't go out of my way to pair pink earrings with pink pants. I inquired if she had any clear AB crystal jewelry, and she pretended that she wasn't sure what I was talking about. This despite the fact I had heard her use the AB term less than ten minutes before I asked. Of course she didn't, so she steered me to cubic zirconia.

As I was trying to figure out which pair of earrings would go with most of my things, she told my neighbor, "Now, T, let's add up our sales for today!" in the most perky of loud fake voices. T tried to talk about something else, and DIL gamely persisted, grabbing her calculator. Right in front of me she tallied up T's "hostess points." "Oh, T," she said, "You have 695 hostess points, and if just one person bought something else, you would go up to the next level above 700." No shame, this woman, seeing as how I was the last guest in the house. I assumed that person to lift T up to the next level was quite pointedly me. "Oh, don't worry," I said in my own cheerily fake tone, "I am going to buy something." DIL's eyes widened with feigned shock, "Of course, that doesn't mean you have to buy something."


1 comment:

Piece of Work said...

Oh, god. Those parties are the WORST. You are a good good woman and neighbor to attend.