Monday, May 10, 2010


Sometimes, for kicks, I go to friends houses where a thinly veiled invitation to a “party” has been issued. These parties usually involve passive aggressive women trying to flog overpriced plastic kitchen wares to me.

The thing is, I always feel like the third wheel at these things. Often times, it is a good friend hosting the party and I have that whole obligation thing going on and often I go with the resolution I will not be buying. I have all the kitchen or cleaning, or beauty stuff I need. Plus, as this stuff costs a fricken fortune, it goes against my bargain hunting, grain.

But, like any good red blooded woman, the pressure, and the hype, get to me and I buy something I really don’t fecking well need. As displayed on Friday night. Not only am I victim of peer pressure, clearly I am a gambler because I bought 2 lucky dip, Mystery Boxes for $25 each, guaranteed to be full of stuff worth $75. Now I’m home, I predict a lot of melon ballers and avocado keepers in my booty. Why didn’t I just go with the ice cube trays as per my original plan. Oh, that’s right, because they were 30 fricken dollars each.

My very first experience with a muli-level marketing party was when I was about eight. All I remember was that I was super excited about seeing my cousins. I distinctly remember Mum on the telephone asking my Aunty “This isn’t Amway is it?” I could hear my Aunty screeching down the line “nooooo, of course not Betty, just a new opportunity. Gullible Mum, gullible. So we get to their house, I nick off to play with my cousins Barbie Townhouse which I coveted, and left mum to it. About 10 minutes in, just when I had Barbie and Ken chowing down on their delicious dinner, Mum came in and reefed me out of the house. “C’mon, we are going home”. Above my protests, were my Auntys ones. “Betty – just wait and see, it’s so easy, it’s a goldmine!!”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mother so angry. Oh, except for the time she caught my brother lighting matches near the mango tree. Whole other story.

I do believe it is a certain type of woman who gets into the mult-level-marketing gig and make it their career. I mean, it doesn’t come without being a very social being. You would have to know people. Your business depends on it. And it also depends on you hitting up the new girl you just met at the park or Vera at the local shop to host a party at their own home.

And then, then, when you actually attend a party, the pressure is on the party host and her guests, to secure 2 more future party bookings then and there. If not, her first born is sold off to Craig McLaughlin and Check 1-2. Well, perhaps not that drastic, but she will definitely miss out on a delectable freezer container at the very least.

And look, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to a few of these parties where “Enjo” was actually code for piss up, just not this one. I knew practically no-one which doesn’t bother me, but I guess, coming up against the pre-ordained masters of the Tupperware Party squad, caught me off guard.

There were two ladies in particular, who were referred to often by the presenter about how good the rice cooker/clear plastic container/roasting dish was. Look, by the sounds of it, they had all the plastic crap they could handle so clearly they were just there for the free organic coconut bread and Tim Tams.

At one stage, my friend showed all the women her incredibly organised, yet Tupperwareless cupboards. One of the chicks piped up with “Now, imagine how much better your cupboard would look if you had all of that in Modular Mates”. Standing off to the side, I replied, “Yeah but that would mean she’d have to marry a Packer”. Crickets. I got nothing. They had a mole in their midst, in more ways than one.

And what about the “fun” games they play? We played a very fun game called Indian Giver. Well not, but may as well have been. We all had our names put twice into a bowl and then the host picks out a whole heap of random shit she can’t offload and puts it on the prize table. If your name gets called out, you pick a prize. The next person who gets called out, can either take something off the prize table, or, alternatively, take the item you just chose, off you. And so it goes, until everyone’s names has been called twice and items have been stolen off one another. So, aim of the game, be called last. Anyhoo, one chick, who was a neighbour, had to leave half way through the game as her child got upset. At this stage she had a container in her possession. By the end of the game, it was gone. She came back and was spewing. “So what happened when my second name got called out? How did you make a decision on my behalf on what I would have wanted?” Um. Fuck. Off. It’s a game. Of Tupperware.

And all I could think when playing was, thank god they don’t play this game with a bunch of toddlers. Imagine the apocalyptic style meltdowns those kids would have when little Billy nicked Katies newly claimed Polly Pocket. Actually, come to think of it, that would be more tolerable. At least two year olds are meant to be immature.

So I stayed for the obligatory hour or so and to the chorus of talk about school cupcake decorating and debates over the merits of Baby monitors, I slunk off home. Next time, if there is a next time, I hope at least they get a decent game of Duck, Duck Goose going.


Carly Findlay said...

There was once an Enjo party my Mum had, and the woman was really uptight. I said that I might try de-greasing myself with the Enjo cloth that does barbeques. She was not impressed.
Dad told Mum she is never to have another pyramid party after a Tupperware lady went on about her ex husband - she was a real man-hater.

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Love it as always - exactly what we feel - maybe i should try the tupperware game in Prep - would be a riot!

Lulu said...

Come on Bern, you aren't trying hard enough. You can turn it into a drinking game. Bottoms up each time you hear the phrases -

"it sells itself"
"I don't like those pushy sales types either"
"it's so easy to make money in your spare time"

bottoms up for the CRAP AS games

So Now What? said...

Carly, I reckon we've all got childhood memories we'd rather forget about these "parties".

W - Yes, do. See how your beautiful 5 years old react. :)

Lulu, Jeebs, you've got it sussed. Pity I drove, I could have really got myself wasted :)

Alyssa said...

you should have asked which bottle they suggest best used for hiding vodka in at parent meetings.
and i laughed at the packer comment- even if none of them did :)

Nomie said...

I love a good mellon baller. Best phrase I ever heard at a tupperware party.

Katrina said...

I've played 'Indian Giver' at a Tupperware party only the consultant called it 'Bitch Bingo'. I officially grew out of all party plan occasions about 18 months ago when I decided I would never again host or attend another party, they're too expensive, and so far I've managed to stand firm in my resolve. Yay me.

Katie said...

Ick. My neighbor has tried to sell me
Mary Kay
'Bedroom' toys
And purses.
I finally had to tell her I WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM YOU. EVER.
Her response?
Ok. But how about a BUsINeSS opportunity???
I hate her.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

I'll have you know, that I would have *definitely* laughed at your Packer joke. Absolutely!

There was a time YEARS ago, that it seemed every week there was a Tupperware or Nutrimetics party. Then they faded away, until my first son was born, at which time they became children's books or toy parties. I went to a Tupperware party fairly recently. I enjoyed myself, but I only bought a mini apron and tea towel set for my 3yo, which cost me $10.

Quite frankly, I'd rather buy Decor and save myself the $$$.

Does that make me cheap? Ha. So be it.

Deb said...

I hear you... I went to a tupperware party on the weekend as well. I also used to flog it too. If you think a party is bad, try going to a unit meeting. Its like a party on crack. can you say 'cult' ugh.

Lulu said...

I would just like to offer that I had one of those *ahem sex toy parties.
Busted the sales record for the rep and only had 5 people there.....

Wanderlust said...

LOL. Never go to those hateful parties. I would go to one of Lulu's though.

I have a cold-as-ice neighbor who never gives me the time of day but constantly invites me to her Mary Kay parties. Righteo sweetheart. Be there with bells on. Bankroll your pink cadillac, no problem.

In Real Life said...

Oh My Gosh - your writing is so funny!

lifeinapinkfibro said...

I hear you sister. I'm off to another 'lady toy' party this week. My second in a month because my friend has started selling them and I feel obliged to go along when other friends have parties. Sigh. I don't think I'll be forking out for a 'Mystery Box' - anything could happen - but it's hard to hold out forever.

cate said...

I have to admit. I am strangely addicted to Tupperware... and you know how poor I am, and how much of a tight-ass I am...but I love the stuff. It's an ugly obsession, I don't own very much...I don't play well with others so I rarely get invited anywhere...but I dream of it. It's an OCD thing. In a perfect world, everything would be made of Tupperware.
*sigh* and now I shall spend the rest of the day strangely aroused... Tupperware...

Permanently twenty three said...

Whatever happened to Check 1 2? And gee 'Hey Mona' was a baaaad song.

Jewels Diva® said...

Tupperware, man, I can't believe it's still around. But sadly, I still got me a cupboard full of the damn stuff coz it lasts so long.


Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Oh dear. The only thing scarier than the parties is the 'Consultants Meetings"- it's almost like a cult, and they sit around talking about how best to suck people in to having parties. Not good.

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

I so get this post. I was laughing and nodding through the whole thing.

The last one I was conned into was a make up party.
I don't even where the stuff (at least hardly ever) and ended up with a metric buttload (as my husband would put it) of the stuff.

The pressure, it's the pressure that gets to me.

Girl Clumsy said...

Oh those things are horrid.

I know a couple of girls who have all sorts of odd ones - linen, chocolate etc. Weird things. I'm like - I can just go BUY sheets and Toblerone, you know?

I did spend around $80 or so one time on some Le Reve perfume thingy somethings, but apart from that seem to have escaped. I avoid them like the plague.

Kylie L said...


Sheesh. You left me hanging.

Quixotic said...

I so would've laughed at your Packer joke. Mainly because I feel my main role when I relent to peer pressure and go to these things is to harangue the heck out of the pushy sales broad, remind everyone that they can get exactly the same thing at Woolies for half the price, and snort derisively when the sales lady spouts all the 'ingenious uses and clever tricks' that no-one actually could be assed to do at home. Remarkably, I am still invited to these things, some by friends who feel the same but relented to pressure to host a party and just want me there for entertainment, and some are clearly just desperate to have another bum on the seat and are hoping I'll crack and buy something!

Kristy said...

Even the "passion parties." Who needs to go to one of those? Are you kidding me? Just let me order my vibrator in peace and leave me alone.

Carly Findlay said...

Oh, I just remembered!
I volunteered at fashion week in 2005. One of the women who was a paid worker there was asking about my skin, and she tried to sell me some natural skin/cleaning products. She pestered and pestered to the point where she organised a meeting with me, traveled many km to meet, and I never bought anything. She then called me several times until I told her I was not interested.
Pyramid sellers are like evangelists.

Rellacafa said...

LOL! I freaking hate these parties, especially how one friend has a party and then several book the parties to get free things and really, the friendship group isn't that big so it's just the same people at every party, listening to the same line of BS! Very entertaining post :)

Tina said...

I always vow that the only party plan thing I have is a Christmas Decorations party each year. Because you can never have enough Christmas decorations. But I have been sucked into having Tupperware and Lorraine Lea linen. Oh and Learning Ladder, only because my sister is a consultant now.

And I would have laughed at your Packer joke too :D

Cerry said...

I laughed at the Packer joke. Mum did, too, when I relayed it to her. But we're also both Tupperware whores, so maybe we shouldn't be your yardstick. Seriously, we are.
We own two Tupperware cake holder thingies (one round, one square); a buttload of general storage containers; a kids' cooking set (although where that is at the moment, I have no idea); those plastic animals that have mix and match parts; one of the travel kits designed for international flights (ie, clear bag the right size with little containers to put stuff in); a non-international flight travel kit, which is pink and purple and comes in a bag with butterflies on it; a tupperware icing piping bag thingy; and a can opener. Plus my brother has one of the roasting dishes, and I think a couple of storage containers. We'd have more, but Dad has been enforcing a spending limit ever since he hosted a party in 1993 (after the playgroup mums dared him) which resulted in so many host gifts that the cupboards practically exploded.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

I had to laugh the Packer joke.
I went to a unit meeting this week as an invited guest.
Though I love my Tupperware.
It is a big business to some women who rise to the very top of the plastic ladder... just waiting below is someone else waiting to topple them next month.

After 20 yrs of marriage (and pressure at friend's & their friends' parties my cupboards are full of it) but I do like their replacement guarantee I am unrepentant in getting every lid replaced and some bases , heck everything I can for nix !
I still struggle to find anything in the pantry because they all look the same LOL from below.
The kick is to have a party to get it for free !!!

Ps Don't tell my friend but I really only went to the unit meeting because guests got a free $20.95 sipper drink bottle and now I have a matching pair (both for free).
I also have a bag load of replacement stuff waiting to dump on my friend ...she is going to love it !!

x0xJ said...

How did they not laugh at that?!?!
I admit i have a few tupperware products, and i've been roped into many of the purchases. A lot of what i own i got for free when i hosted a party, but yes, i tend to steer very clear from that kind of stuff in the future. It is very cutthroat and some people just take it FAR to seriously.

Kymmie said...

I love your version of a Tupperware party, and next time I go to one, I'll be thinking of your words of wisdom (and having a little giggle on the side too!)

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Tupperware is freaking evil. I hate the crap. Pay $40 for a lunch box my husband can lose at work? I don't think so....