The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The results are in…

Well I know you are all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my Pampered Chef par-tay last Saturday!

The reason this was such a big deal is that I don’t entertain very often. I’ll be honest with you, it’s because I have an inferiority complex. Most of the time, I feel like a laminate counter top girl living in a granite counter top world. Or as my husband lovingly says after he witnesses me try on the 14th outfit, “It’s tough being you, isn’t it.”

Long story short, I rarely ever get my shit together enough to entertain.

So, the thought of hosting a Pampered Chef party was daunting.

But I sucked it up and I did it. And we had a great time! Well, I think we did. I was actually too tired from cleaning until my fingers bled to fully enjoy it. But the food and the company were excellent, I must say, even if the hostess {me} was not.

I learned a few things about life in general during the process that are worth sharing:

For starters, never have a party over spring break. You’ll get a poor turn out. Duh.

Secondly, the tone you set with your invitation is really important. Know your audience! I emailed out two different invitations, and the one that led to the best attendance was the one I sent to my closest friends. Maybe they came because they are my good friends. But maybe they came because their invitation started with the phrase “Please… save me from myself.” These gals rose to the occasion and supported their anxiety-ridden friend in need. These are the kind of friends you cherish for life. Anne, Kathy, Terri – thank you.

The invite that wasn’t so well received? That would be the one I sent to the ladies I know in my neighborhood. It started like this:

My sister-in-law Teresa is a brand new Pampered Chef consultant and I promised her I’d help her get started by hosting a party. I’m trying to assemble a group of the nicest and most fun people I know to help her practice her schtick! Unfortunately, none of them can come, so I thought I’d ask you.
Seriously, want some free food?
Or perhaps you just want to see how ugly my kitchen cabinets are so you can feel better about your own home?
Either way, I’m cool with it. I’m just looking for a good time. And some new recipes and kitchen gadgets wouldn’t hurt.


I don’t need to tell you that this invitation went over like a blender full of three-day-old roadkill.

Of the 16 neighbors I sent it to, only one came. That’s a success rate of 6%. Sure, it was spring break and many of those gals were out of town. But also, apparently not everyone gets my humor. Who knew?

The ONE person from my neighborhood who did take the bait, as shitty as that bait was? Turns out that gal is a real peach, bless her heart. I already knew that actually, but she sealed the deal for me when she showed up at my house carrying this:

"I brought you a hostess gift!"

One, the “hostess gift” is a dying art. Who does that anymore? Especially to a purchasing party where the guest is kinda expected to spend money! But two, a hostess gift that looks like a specimen jar of urine? I love this girl.

Don’t worry. It’s not urine. It’s actually real extra virgin olive oil that someone in her family exported from an olive orchard in Tuscany!  I wish you could smell it… pure HEAVEN. I drizzled some of it over a salad this weekend and it practically made me weep with joy, it was that good. What an incredibly thoughtful and generous gift. Thank you, Lisa!

I also learned some fabulous new ways to respectfully decline a shitty invitation…

For instance, from my good friend Nora Vagina:

I hate these almost as much as I hate baby showers! I don’t understand housewares or babies, so it’s all kind of lost on me.  So I think I will respectively decline.  You are a good wife and sis-in-law and God will reward you.

I just applaud her honesty, don’t you? And bonus points for ending with a blessing. She’s a classy broad all around, that one. And believe you-me, it takes one to know one, fuckin’-A.

Or how about this decline from one of my other friends, Yolanda:

Or you can just stab me in the eye.

Again, how can you not feel anything but admiration for someone who just tells it like she sees it? Respect, girl.

One more decline that I enjoyed:

Love to. Can’t! But thank you for the invitation.

Simple. Succinct. Effective. Well done!

I also learned that one should never save the most critical cleaning tasks for the day of the party.

I was waiting to do the powder room right before people arrived because, hello, I have two little boys and a hairy-ass husband… things don’t stay clean for long around here. In fact, next time I redecorate, I’m just going to paint my powder room walls yellow and choose a pube-patterned floor tile.

Murphy’s Law, however, guarantees that whatever you save for the last minute will inevitably have to be added to the “Shit I Didn’t Get Done” list.

Thus, I have learned that I should create a prioritized cleaning schedule before a party, and that means things like the powder room take precedence over things like the car and the freezer. Yeah… my freezer was spotless and opened exactly ZERO point ZERO times during the party, but my guests were undoubtedly holding their noses while they used my hairy, pee-sprayed powder room. Good times.

And lastly, I learned to listen to my friends. Margo at Joyful Homemaking suggested I host the party in my newly clean van! Brilliant! And OneShabbyChick advised that I “Have a blast and don’t sweat the tumbleweeds!” What a wise (and stylish) woman! I mean really, true friends seem to like me anyway… stinky powder room, laminate counter tops, quirky humor, and all. And as for the rest, who cares? Let’s all worry less, and party more.

By the way, my sis in law, Teresa did a wonderful job. Not only is she down to earth, but she’s also just as cute as can be and fun to boot. I particularly enjoyed her vast product knowledge and masterful demonstration of the Veggie Wedger, which is almost as fun to use as it is to say. If you live in the northern suburbs of Atlanta and are in the market for some Pampered Chef fabulousness, email me and I’ll hook you up.

Thanks for stopping by!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

25 comments on “The results are in…

  1. allysgrandma
    April 11, 2011

    We were invited to a party not long ago and did not go (put on by a man no less), but if you had invited me I would have come!! Too bad I live in Northern Coastal California. PS I would have bought something too! PSS I have a hairy butt husband too!

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 11, 2011

      I love you for sharing that.

  2. allysgrandma
    April 11, 2011

    Poor guy had to wear stocking thingees in junior high to wrestle so the hair on his legs would not get pulled. He had had a hairy legs and butt since age 14. Please don’t ask me how I know this or tell my kids I shared this! We have always stuck by the motto of “lie to the kids, it does them no good to know things about their parents”.

    • Mimms
      April 11, 2011

      I am loving your motto “allysgrandma”, and may have to adopt it myself

      • allysgrandma
        April 11, 2011

        Do you have a granddaughter named Ally too?? Mine is actually Allyson, but I call her Ally.

  3. mamamash
    April 11, 2011

    This is hilarious! I’m not sure what I liked better, “I feel like a laminate counter top girl living in a granite counter top world” (sung to the tune of Don’t Stop Believing in my head, dontchaknow.) or “pube-patterned tiles!”

    • Mimms
      April 11, 2011

      ^^ Ditto

  4. Hez
    April 11, 2011

    A Veggie Wedger sounds like a lot more fun than a veggie wedgie.

  5. Kate Takes 5
    April 11, 2011

    I can’t believe they turned down that amazing invite. I would have been there in a shot!

  6. Betsy
    April 11, 2011

    Oh my goodness, I found your blog through a series of links from other blogs and you had me laughing out loud through several of your posts. I love your writing style! You’re an excellent, and hilarious, writer. Im definitely coming back for more 🙂 Keep it up!

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 11, 2011

      Yay! Hi Betsy! Welcome aboard! And thank you for the comment… love that!

  7. Colleen
    April 11, 2011

    Again you had me in tears from laughing so hard. Thank you for making my day.
    If I lived near by (I’m in Montana) I would love to see the Home Depot sales associate’s face when you describe what color yellow you would like to paint your bathroom.
    My recommendation if you ‘forget’ to clean the bathroom, serve beer, they will have to pee so bad they will just be grateful you have a toilet, no matter the condition.

  8. Erin Branscom
    April 11, 2011

    OMG! I really thought that was urine!!! I mean you do have pics of crap on your blog so why not….j/k lol

    I love the lady that declined, that’s some funny crap! haha

    PS Ike’s junk is enroute. ETA=unknown. 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 11, 2011

      You are so sweet to send Ike a “Welcome Home from the Joint” care package, Erin!! I do hope you chose UPS, like your brilliant son suggested. 😉

  9. Lisa
    April 11, 2011

    For the record, I (the one with the hostess gift) would have come even without the humorous invite! You are one of my favorite people and I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend time with you. I assure you that the fact that your party was scheduled on the last day of working 6 days straight (dang tax season) had nothing to do with that decision ;). In any event, I had a wonderful time. You truly do have wonderful friends and I felt honored to be a part of your day. Teresa did a fabulous job and I wish her all the best! She totally sold me on that Veggie Wedge!

  10. Christy
    April 11, 2011

    Iris I just love ya! I so wish I could have attended a Pampered Chef party like that, pube hairs and all! Guests should just be happy to find the pubes in the bathroom and not in the kitchen.

  11. Megan
    April 11, 2011

    One of my drawer fronts fell off in January and hasn’t been fixed yet. That’ll make your cabinets seem classier. Further more, I don’t believe you a bit about some inferiority complex and I liked your invite. It may just be that it was spring break, eh?

  12. Anne
    April 11, 2011

    I too am going for pee coloured walls and pube patterned floor tiles for my bathroom next time Iris, to match the chocolate brown toilet suite (originally white). Was dying to hear how the party went and glad you guys had a great time, as I knew you would. I was keeping an eye on for the photos of the day. Maybe she’s just behind on uploading the photos. LOL (Bet everything was just lovely. xx)

  13. Mary
    April 12, 2011

    I loved your invite – evidently I like your sense of humor. A friend of mine just invited me to her pampered chef “catalog” party, and there wasn’t any personalization to the invite at all. You know, “here is a link to how you can spend your money and buy stuff” – awesome.

    ps –

    I finally posted that blog post – only took me forever! Loved your comments on my blog today – what a pleasant surprise. 🙂

    I lived in the suburbs north of Atlanta for a while, and both of my brothers still live there. One bro is a Chiropractor in Alpharetta (I might be guessing that actual city …), so if you ever here of a Dr. Bobo – don’t be scared by the name.

  14. Lynn
    April 12, 2011

    You know, Iris….I love that you care to share the details of of your life that most of us experience too, but just cant bare to, or dare to share on our own! When I go home from work and walk into the whirlwind life of motherhood, I think of you and your blog…I realize that these crazy times are the best times, and there is fun and joy in the most daunting, disgusting, tiring, and frustating events of our lives. Its all about perspective, isnt it? Anyway, thanks for that. And when I am smiling and giggling to myself while relating something in front of me to one of your stories, it is so much fun to watch everyone else trying to figure out what the hell I am up to….

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 12, 2011

      What a beautiful comment, Lynn! Thank you for this. It really IS all about perspective… well said! I’m grateful that you are giggling WITH me and not just AT me. Cheers!

  15. Bobbie
    April 12, 2011

    Dear Simpatico Sister,
    OK, while I MIGHT be one of those gals who MIGHT NOT be willing to sit “directly” on your toitey seat, (hover and aim) with an invitation like the one you sent to your neighbors; I would have raced over to your event, (and, ask anyone, my reputation for avoiding these is only surpassed by my reputation for avoiding baby showers…) in addition to making you my new BFF! Thank you for taking the time to document the humor in your life affirming events! Free Ike!

    • The Bearded Iris
      April 12, 2011

      Oh thank you, Bobbie, for saying that. You can hover over my toitey seat ANYTIME.

  16. oneshabbychick
    April 12, 2011

    Oh, I can so relate to the powder room being last on the list and you don’t actually remember it until the first person asks to use your bathroom… and you get that deer-in-the-headlights look on your face and have to lead them there, cringing and wanting to crawl under a rug… oh yeah! Been there! Glad my very wise words were helpful 😉
    And of course it was fun, it was chez Iris!

  17. LifeLessons
    April 13, 2011

    Nora Vagina here. Had to throw in the blessing, because I was being so rude. I mean, I went to one of your baby showers! And I had a great time, really! Really!

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