What we do for our friends!
Recently my friend Carleen gave herself a much needed break from being a full time stay-at-home mom. She has now entered the business of selling USBORNE books in the evenings via home parties.
I am a very supportive friend. I’m a darn good friend. I am SUCH a good friend that I didn’t run the other way when she asked me to host a book party for her.
ME! Me, who has no kids and almost no relationship to any children (at least not to ones for whom I’d presume to buy books).
I sent out 45 invitations to my family and friends, thinking that there were teachers, mothers, grandmothers, and much better aunts than I who would like to attend a book party.
Well, apparently, 43 of my “friends” had other plans.
Okay, I KNOW that sounds like I was a little bitter.
Well, I was.
I KNOW there are MANY valid reasons why people don’t come to home parties, among them:
Previous engagements – two people couldn’t attend due to a Cub Scout event; two more were needed at a college graduation; and one person had an anniversary dinner with her husband.
Lack of interest – “What do I need children’s books for?” my co-worker and friend Sharon asked, “I have an only child, and he’s eighteen!”
Finances – Many of us don’t have a lot of extra cash and feel it would be wrong to attend a party only to be faced with financial temptation AND/OR let our hostess down by refusing to purchase anything.
I get it, okay. I get it.
I was still disappointed. I mean, FORTY-THREE people turned me down. FORTY-THREE! That’s a lot of rejection to stomach.
Part of me felt like I am a much better friend to many of these people than they deserve. I go to their parties, and I order whenever I’m unable to go. And, if for some reason I can’t order, I always say, “Please invite me next time. I really want to be supportive of you.”
That’s the kind of friend I am.
I told Mom all this the other night. Poor Mom. She gets back from her trip, is extremely tired, and all I can do is whine, “Why don’t more people like meeeeeeeeee?”
She’s a bona fide saint for not telling me to stuff it.
I was going on and on about THOSE PEOPLE and exactly what I was going to say the next time they invited me to one of their parties – “Oh, you’re having a Tastefully Simple party and would like me to come? Remember my book party? Yeah, I Don’t. Think. So.”
And YES, I’m aware how childish and self-centered that makes me sound. So sue me. I was being honest. Have I mentioned FORTY-THREE people rejected me? Have a little sympathy.
My mom, electing to be spiritual rather than judgmental, calms me down by re-affirming the possible reasons (see above) why people didn’t come to my party. I already knew those reasons, of course, but I felt like being difficult. So, I continued my rant a little longer.
Even though her ear was probably still hot from my rant of wrath, Mom asks me, “I wonder how Jesus would feel about all of this.”
“Jesus? Jesus is a good friend,” I inform her. “Jesus would have come to my party.”
She starts laughing. “Now, I guess that’s true. In fact, I’d venture to say Jesus has probably been at every party you’ve ever had.”
Realizing that Jesus HAS been to every party I’ve ever had and was also no doubt listening when I just blasted my invitees, including sister believers and non-believing friends, I felt a little hot rush come to my cheeks.
It’s not an emotion I feel often enough, although I should, but just then I felt a little ashamed.
In my head, I saw Jesus sitting at a home party for carpentry supplies. I could just see the host holding a wooden handled saw out for inspection.
“Just look at those sharp teeth, Jesus. I mean, there’s no way you can you pass this up! Only 10 shekels! Free shipping!”
Back to my conversation with Mom, I was so worked up that I continued on in my self-righteous I’m-a-better-friend-than-these-people-deserve tirade, but I’d started to lose steam.
I was starting to realize that my actions weren’t exactly – okay, they weren’t remotely – Christ-like.
I’d even forgotten to thank God for the two party attendees. In fact, I’d prayed that morning in my devotions that God would bring the people HE wanted to my party and that the seeds of belief would be planted.
And here I was – telling HIM – that HE didn’t do it MY way.
So, I was humbled and even more ashamed with the realization of how spoiled and selfish I had just acted.
So, this post is - in a small way - my apology to all those who couldn’t or decided not to attend.
Apparently, God didn’t want you there.
That was a joke, people. Sorry, (you know me) I just couldn’t resist!
Anyway, even though my invitees would never have known how I felt and what my attitude was after the party, I’d still like to apologize for making assumptions and being angry towards them.
It’s okay. I’m okay. And, if you ask me, I’ll probably still go to your Tastefully Simple party. I do love their dip mixes.
And hopefully you’ll still be willing to be friends with this (as of yet, still very flawed) dip!