My friend is scheduled to attend one of those Tupperware-type parties next week, where someone tries to sell the attendees a kitchen gadget, styling cream or knitting accouterments. My question:
Why is this almost strictly a female phenomenon?
Why aren’t there parties for men, where tools, golfing gadgets, ties or other male accessories are sold?
Perhaps more accurately, what would possess a woman to want to gather her friends in her home or a friend's home and subject them to a three hour sales pitch? It sounds perfectly dreadful to me, but women do this all the time, and at least some of them respond positively to the invite.
Even more mystifying:
Those that have no desire to attend these kinds of parties (and I use the word parties loosely) attend anyway out of a misplaced sense of obligation.
If your friend opens a beauty care shop, I’d expect you to eventually stop by and at least to check the place out. But if your friend wants to bring that goop into your living room on a Friday night under the pretense of a party and convert your home into a retail outlet, I think it's perfectly acceptable (and perhaps advisable) to say no.
Tragically, many women will not say no. Instead, they call on their friends and acquaintances many of whom despise these parties as well, and they all gather 'round the coffee table so that their friend or a friend of a friend can pitch product under the guise of entertainment. Worse still, because of the plethora of free samples provided at these parties, women feel obligated to purchase something even if they hate the product and just want to get the hell out.
And don't let anyone fool you. If given the choice, the majority of women would wipe these parties off the face of the Earth and never give it a second thought. For every women that enjoys attending these retail living room shindigs, there are at least two Lady Macbeths at these parties adopting a "false face must hide what the false heart doth know" countenance.
As pervasive as these parties are, they are not popular.
I was discussing this issue with my friend recently and she thought that I had hit on a great business idea:
Sales and marketing parties for men.
“Yes,” she said (into my voice recorder). “That’s a great idea. Tools and ties and sports stuff would be perfect. You might have found a real moneymaker.”
Sadly, I had to explain to my friend that hell would likely freeze over before any male friend of mine would attend a party like this.
In fact, there is an unspoken male pact, infused in our genetic code, that demands that if any man were to invite us to a party like this, we would be required to beat him to death with the claw end of a hammer lest this vile ritual infect our world as well.