Lately, I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook about how if you’re a good friend, you’ll buy stuff from your friends. You know, stuff like leggings, nail wraps, eyelash extensions, bags, jewelry, make up, candles, things that are so much better than candles, stuff, stuff, and stuff.
Facebook is good for those personal guilt trips – “Why not help out a mom who’s just trying to give her family a better life? And you get awesome stuff to boot! Including a bag to hold your boots!”
Listen – I get it. I want to help out a friend too. And I have.
But I don’t HAVE to buy your stuff.
Not buying your stuff doesn’t mean I’m a bad friend. It just means that your stuff isn’t for me, or I’m on a budget, or I’m trying to reduce the amount of stuff I bring into my home.
And let’s be fair – if I started shopping off my friends list of people who sell stuff, I’d need to start selling the stuff I bought, because I’d be broke. When 57 of your friends jump on the latest sell-from-home craze, you just can’t buy from everyone.
Before you say I’m exaggerating, it’s happened to me. One person started selling…we’ll call them Bamjerry items. “Join my team!” she cried out. I blinked and suddenly twelve people on my friend list were selling Bamjerry. I blinked again and that number had doubled and I was added to 4 groups and 5 parties. It became cult-like. “You should join! You should buy! These are the greatest things ever!”
“DON’T YOU WANT TO SUPPORT MEEEEEEEEEE? DON’T YOU WANT TO HELP ME BUILD MY BIZZZZZZZZNEZZZZZ?”
I had to start hiding people in my feed because my timeline was chock full of awkward photos of “Bamicures”.
Then I watched it all fall apart, and the friend group that all got into said Bamjerry stuff implode upon itself. Friendships were harmed, or even ended. All in the name of trying to sell nail wraps.
I finally did relent and bought some to help a friend out. She truly did need a hand, and I was willing to sacrifice my nails and my Bamjerry Boycott for the greater good. I bought a few nail wraps.
The first set went on fine, but took me 45 minutes to do, and then by the end of the week I realized I hated prints on my nails and took them off. A few weeks later, I got bored and tried a second set, which slid off my nails the next day as I was showering. A few more weeks went by, and I tried a third set. I actually liked them. They were subtle but sparkly. They lasted the two full weeks as promised. And they peeled the top layer of my nail off when I took them off as directed. Took me eight weeks to grow out the damage, and when I wrote about it on Facebook, I was told by several friends/Bamjerry dealers that I must have done something wrong, and I should try THIS – THIS required more monetary investments.
I didn’t want to try anything. I was done. Over it. Two years later and I still have three sheets of these nail wraps tucked in the back of a cabinet because dammit, I spent that much money on them, and can’t just throw them away, but don’t want to risk my poor nails being peeled to shreds.
And I vowed after that to only buy what I wanted to actually buy – not to buy to “help a friend out”.
The thing is – good friends understand this. I have friends who sell stuff. They know I know where to find them if I’m inclined to buy their brand of skin care or legging. They ask if you want to be added to their group, they don’t add me without my consent. They don’t see me as some sort of traitor for not buying their wax pot or toenail rescue. And that’s how it should be. If I opened up a yarn shop, would I expect every friend to come in and buy yarn? No. Because not everyone needs yarn, even if I think they’re weird for not wanting yarn and I love yarn to death and can’t get enough yarn myself – I understand that not everyone covets yarn like me, and not buying my yarn shouldn’t end a friendship. Because there shouldn’t be a price on a friendship. Ever.
No, I refuse to be guilt tripped into buying someone’s wares just because they’re selling it. Life is too short for that sort of nonsense.