‘Tis the season for cute kids and cookie boxes. Personally, we get sucked in every year as we find ourselves supporting a friend and their troop. Then of course there are the girls outside the grocery and yes, if I have $5 you better believe we walk away with a box or two.
In the past few years I’ve done my best to steer clear of my personal favorite (ahem … the thin mint) and leave the order choices to the kids. This has proven to be a win/win strategy and continues the tradition of growing up with the coveted once a year cookie treat. I loved this time of year, when I was their age. Thin mints haunted our freezer for a good week, sometimes two if we were ‘disciplined.’
Recently a girlfriend and I were commiserating, yes commiserating, over the number of ‘on-line’ parties we seem to be included in. It’s a tough place and while I’m sure my thoughts on this will displease a number of people I’m opting to speak on behalf of the overtaxed friend.
When I was a kid, ‘at home’ business opportunities were restricted to plastic ware, cosmetics and a company whose name reminded more of an airline than a product source.
As the job market changed, technology has advanced and as the stay at home mom looked for ways to make a little cash these ‘opportunities’ seemed to mushroom.
When my son was young party invitations (for mommy) seemed to be fast and furious. From crystal with a royalty name, pottery to transform my home into a southern haven or jewelry … oh the jewelry … everyone seemed to have something that I ‘should see.’ Of course each ‘party’ came with the promise that if I booked a party then I could get lots of things for free.
Back then the parties were staged at an individual’s home, so it was just as much social as indulgent … Yes, indulgent. That word may make some uncomfortable, but the truth is we really don’t ‘need’ any of those items. Marketing major turned journalist recognizes the want versus need reality.
Fast forward a dozen years. The internet has exploded, personal connection has become secondary and social media is a way of life. The Facebook ‘event’ has now become the new home of the must-have party. Everyone seems to have a jewelry business, health solution or must-have product.
No money, no problem. You can join the team and earn your products so it becomes a win/win. Truthfully, no one is getting hurt in all of this so what’s the big deal.
The answer to that is simple; it’s not a big deal. It is, however, an interesting forum which makes me wonder … where does it end? When do we stop feeling the ‘need’ to attend all the ‘events,’ buy all the ‘things’ or try all the health solving potions?
As my girlfriend astutely pointed out, our Facebook feed has become one to rival that of the late night home shopping network. The difference is we can’t turn it off or change the channel. What we can do and what I have found most effective is to graciously decline the invite, log off and shoot out a text for the update on my cookies.
Thank God for the age old tradition of the sweet treat. Happy shopping!
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.