TO: People Who Want me To do Stuff for them For Free
Re: I'm NOT your Fairy Godmother
Its has recently (by which I mean, recently in the last five or ten years, but especially of late) come to my attention that there are some of you out there who think that I am a perpetual fountain of ideas. You are actually correct. Some of these ideas are good (see last entry re: cheap and cute invitations) and some of them, not so much. For example, if you were to track down certain parties who were present at the Hatch home circa 1997 or so, you might find circumstantial evidence that I may have suggested at TWO AM, out of a DEAD SLEEP, that I could construct a cool flower arrangement in the shape of a swan. With irises, tulips and I believe, lilies. So, you really should know that listening to the things that I mutter in the middle of the night is A Bad Idea. However, given the fact that so far as I know, none of you have actually managed to hover round my open window at night, it may be a moot point.
However - you must realize that whilst I am happy to while away a few hours chatting over the possible details of a party or other celebration (cough, wedding, cough).... I actually do need, in fact, expect to get paid or otherwise compensated (ie checks OR cash OR Travelers' Checks) for my services. Unless I say otherwise (read: "I'll help you, Brooke, because we have some mutual friends who are acting a bit retarded at the moment")...Show me the money!
Here's the deal: If I end up hauling loads of candles, fabric, props, alcohol around, designing the look of the whole shebang, suggesting menu items, doing invitations, making favors, doing music, flowers and generally running around like a Hostess with ... well, at least the Person Who Would know where the rest of the Cheese went - I really need more than a slap on the back and a handshake. Your Eternal Gratefulness, the last time I checked, will not be accepted as payment for my mortgage.
I know this is difficult, because I'm doing a Party. Parties are Fun. Thus, its fun, and since I am (or at least I LOOK like I am) having fun .... how can I possible think of this as a Real Job? Surely Real Jobs do not include such activities as "artfully draping tulle" or "selecting the exact shade of vellum to go over a certain peice of paper" or "obsessing over lighting". And surely, SURELY, no one drinks a flute of champagne at the end of a Real Job. Certainly not one worthy of actual hard-earned coin. Right?
WRONG, people, WRONG! SO WRONG THAT IF YOU WERE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD, AND WRONG WERE ONE DIRECTION AND RIGHT WERE THE OTHER... YOU'D HAVE PASSED WRONG AN HOUR AGO....AND YET, YOU ARE STILL STARING AT THE MAP AND MUTTERING, "Hell no am I going to ask for directions, Muriel..that is for IDIOTS!"
Since I'm sure that you know I cannot resist a challenge, I'm suggesting that we call a bit of a truce. People, you will NOT do the following:
-Call me at 8:39 am, because its .... not 8:38 am ...in YOUR TIME ZONE. This does not make me happy, or very likely to be jazzed to call you back...Long-flipping distance.
-Expect me to be excited when you say, "Ya...ummmm... we wanna have a (insert event here) for 250 people...but we don't want to feeeeed them anything except for caake and puuuunnnch. Please, people. You do NOT need a professional party planner. What you need is a professional HEAD-EXAMINER - someone to tell you "Hi, you are officially OFF your ROCKER. 250 hungry, bored people withOUT a drink in their hot little hands are NOT going to be soooo excited to 'hang out and chat' with you! For the love of Jerimiah, cut your list down to 20 and have a great italian dinner!"
-Wait until I've suggested all these crazy-good ideas, and than make me wait a week (or THREE) and than call me back and say, "Yaaaa...ummmm...we think we wanna do ...our own thing. You know why? Because a) you've totally just wasted my time and b) there is a good possibility that your half-baked, reconstituted mish-mash of what was probably a really good idea...is going to pretty much suck.
And I, in return, will not KILL YOU. WITH A SPORK, A KAZOO, A PARAFFIN CANDLE AND A DECORATIVE PEICE OF RAFFIA.
See? Everybody wins! The farmer and the cowboy CAN be friends!