Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bling bling!

You know how it goes, one minute you're relishing in the fact that your weeknights are blissfully unscheduled, you blink, and things start popping up during your free time?

Last night I attended a jewelry party with a coworker.  It was conveniently being held in very close proximity to my parents' house, so how could I not go? 

The bad news is that I slightly broke my spending limit, but not by much.  Less than $30 over, so that's good.  I think.  Of course, I have no budgeting husband to answer to, so whatever. 

The "good" news is that my coworker and I volunteered to jointly host another party next month.  We had no problem assembling a list of at least 30 people to invite and it looks like we have a venue that should be able to accommodate us nicely.  The hard part is finding everybody's mailing address.

You would not think this was terribly difficult, but it is.  It is truly an example of just how much email and online messaging has replaced traditional mail in that we have email addresses for most people and barring that we at least have Facebook connections with them, but to actually send them a card?  It sends us scrambling. 

Thankfully, my list is not as long as my co host.  Some might be sad that they had fewer friends or seemed less popular, but it is fine by me.  Less research to do.

It is strange, there is a part of me that feels like I should be the kind of person who avoids these sales parties like the plague.  I couldn't tell you why, but it just seems like a very desperate housewife sort of event, and I am about as far from that lifestyle as you can get. 

On the other hand, these parties are made for me.  Get me in a comfortable chair in a warm room with snacks, wine and sparkly objects and it is a done deal.  Of course, this formula has also worked on me with kitchen gadgetry, candles and baking mixes, so I don't know if the product type really matters.  The wine really helps too.

The only thing that really causes me anxiety in these situations is the not-so-subtle push to encourage attendees to host their own parties or even worse, become a sales rep themselves.  I realize that this is how the business model works, and I acknowledge that people can be wildly successful at it, but it always makes me nervous.  If I didn't have a partner helping me with this, I am sure I would never have volunteered.

That said, I am willing to admit that there was a time in my life when I was nearly drawn into this crazy world.  It was about four years ago, and I was constantly worried about money.  It was driving me crazy to the point that I started to look into alternative sources of income.  Getting a second job was not a palatable option as it would mean giving up what meaningful free time I had left.  Although I am not a natural salesperson, I thought that I could somehow learn and parlay things into a lucrative enough business to quit my day job.  Big dreams, I know.

I went so far as to submit an inquiry to the company's website.  I was promptly contacted by a woman in my area who set up a meeting time with me to go over the setup, rules and answer questions.  Even though I had initiated contact, I was still hesitant about moving forward. 

Of course, life intervened in this situation, and the death of my brother pretty much put an end to this process.  I did host a party because I felt bad for wasting so much of the representative's time, but honestly, I was hugely relieved not to have to continue. 

Back to our upcoming party.  If you know me personally, one thing you probably notice is that I am not usually heavy on the bling factor.  I do not wear a lot of jewelry on a daily basis.  Sure, when there is a formal event or I just want to feel pretty, I may throw on a pair of earrings or maybe even a bracelet or ring.  But generally, necklaces baffle me completely.  I never know what length looks right with different necklines and I am completely unsure of myself when it comes to colors and styles.

When one attends a jewelry party in person, one actually gets to see the necklaces in their natural habitat and assess the features with the added bonus of second opinions from other guests.  So last night, for the first time, I found myself drawn to the necklaces.  It could be dangerous, but I keep reminding myself that my accessorizing skills may not be advanced enough to handle them. 

Every so often I dream that one day I will wake up and have a much better sense of fashion, but every day I get up and face the same type of clothes in my closet.  Until I finally get a personal stylist, I think my jewelry budget is going to stay put.  But ask me about this again in a few weeks.

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