17 March 2008

Home Economist

I lived in Michigan for 6 years and was invited to a total of two Tupperware-type parties—one Pampered Chef and the other a bath and beauty products party. I’ve lived in Georgia 8 months and I’ve already been invited to 4 of these buy-stuff-so-I-can-get-free-stuff parties. And one “catalog party”—where, you just buy out of the catalog without going to a party. Depending on how you look at it, that means that you either a.) don’t have to suffer through insipid conversation about how great a particular colander is; or b.) don’t even get the benefit of a few drinks for all of your buying efforts. So what’s with all the parties? Is it Southern hospitality? Or is it the new moms’ thing to do? I know we’re supposed to lead the household spending and all, but really, how many gadgets does a girl need?

The truth is that part of me likes these parties, especially as a newcomer looking for a few good friends. If all it takes to meet a hip mama is buying a melon baller, I’ll do it. But I’m not so sure these are the place to meet the cool moms. And I truly hate the feeling that the polite thing to do is buy something already. I just can’t get all googly-eyed over color-coded cutting boards.

So, here’s what’s on my social calendar: Taste of Home Entertaining, which I guess is like Pampered Chef, and Usbourne Books, which are children’s books. I’ve already been to Pampered Chef and Chez Ami (children’s clothes.) I do appreciate the invitations, I really do. I like to be invited to parties. I like the people who are inviting me to these parties, and I’m happy to get to hang out with them. I even like my Chez Ami baby boy bathing suit and my Pampered Chef salad tongs. I’m sure I’ll love the children’s books and find something I didn’t know I needed at Taste of Home. But I’d really like to be invited to a party that’s just a party. Wouldn’t that be Southern hospitality?