Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My silly aristocratic title

I happened upon this nonsense at another blog yesterday - not even sure which one.

Anyway, if I were an aristocrat, which I'm not, but if I were, this is what my title would be:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Grand Duchess Melissa the Insubstantial of Chalmondley Chumleyton
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Insubstantial? Really, I was just starting to get my self esteem back on track, when I read that unfortunate phrase.

Let me give you a little backstory on that situation.

When we lived in South Carolina, I enjoyed planning things. Things at church, and things at home. But no one ever showed up at my "things."

I started to sell Premier Jewelry, and no one showed up at my first show! Not one! I lay on my bed and cried, while my sponsor tried to console me and my husband ate the bounteous banquet we'd prepared.

It really wasn't fair, because I'd gone to the other parties hosted by the other ladies at the church.

Then, I had a Tupperware party. I was accosted by an odd-looking woman at a kiosk in the mall. I said yes.

My mom and sister were at my house, and at first, they were the only ones to show up. Then Jason got on the phone with his mom, and she "remembered" and came, and brought several other family members.

Nobody from the church showed up, again. Keep in mind, I'd moved out there to marry Jason, and besides my in-laws, the church folk were the only ones I knew.

(With the means to buy Tupperware, that is. I worked in a soup kitchen, and needless to say, I figured those folks didn't have the ability to purchase storage solutions.)

So, I came out of the whole period feeling like I was a failure at planning things, that no one liked me, that I was flawed in some socially important way.

Then I moved back home.

The first indication that I was OK was Anna Marie's fifth birthday party. I'm still in awe at how well that went off. Mind you, I had some help, but still. It was such a success, I lay awake just the other night worrying how I'd top it this year.

I felt good after that one.

Then I held my Premier show this past Saturday. Know what? It was great. People came. Like, nearly everyone I'd invited. Like, people drove from an hour away to come to my house.

We had tons of food. And yes, people credited Jason, the caterer, but I didn't tell them (and neither did he) that he didn't do much work. I got some maple cupcakes from Amanda, and some of Aunt Debi's "pink fluffy stuff" (which she said is called "funeral salad" - think I'll stick with "pink fluffy stuff"). We also had some cookies Jason had found a recipe for online (vanilla wafers with Cool Whip and sliced strawberries on top), a vegetable tray, cocktail franks, and salsa and chips. Oh, and a tray of strawberries and grapes. And my world famous chicken salad. And those little pinwheel things you get from Sam's and just unthaw. And a relish tray.

I think that was it.

Oh, no, wait. I forgot the gingersnaps from World Market. The poor Premier lady told people that if they wanted to book a show, they should not feel under pressure to have the kind of spread we did!

Anyway, we had fun. People enjoyed coming to my house! They ate my food! No one keeled over!

Anna Marie shared her stuff with my cousins' kids!

Jason holed himself up in our room with the TV and his laptop!

And I came to realize - those failures I had in South Carolina? They weren't my fault.

I don't normally like to play the "blame game." But really, just a simple change of venue, and suddenly, we're Party Central.

When I told Amanda this the next day, she said, "I thought you knew those people were crappy."

It has taken me over four years to realize that although I loved the people out there, they were just too self-involved. That's why we couldn't get them to do anything in the church (except attend potlucks) - they always had better things to do.

That's why when I was struggling with depression after I gave birth, no one reached out to me. I was trying to nurse, and the ladies knew that. I was having trouble, and they knew that too. Some were experienced in that area, and not one offered to come over and help me. Not one reached out to me. I was crying out for help from them, and they turned a deaf ear.

So let this be a lession, ladies - pay attention to those around you! Whether they're blatantly asking for help or not, they may need it. Be sensitive. Be attuned to the needs of others.

We need each other - whether it's for Tupperware parties or lactaction advice. We need each other.


doodlebugmom said...

Awww. I see where you are coming from. I, too, left the comfort of my hometown . And I can relate to so many thing you said. I always say: the people here have their own cliques, and no one gets in. Oh and inlwaws...i bite my! You are lucky. You got to leave!



Susie Q said...

I can so relate...having been the *new kid* on that proverbial block oh so many times. I am so glad you are back where you feel welcomed and loved and have a support group. That is SO important!
Love the way you write...
Love and hugs,

Sheila said...

Hi, I just found your blog; I enjoy reading it!
By the way, my Aristocratic title came up to be: "Milady the Right Reverend Sheila the Saturnine of Westley Waterless"! :)

Lissete said...

I hate it when you go throuogh the trouble of planning a party and people say they are coming and they don't! Don't they realize that you have invested time & money to entertain them?!? Ugh!

I'm glad that you are in a better place now :) Off to get my title!