Thursday, July 9, 2009


How hard is this?

"Répondez s'il vous plaît", or in plain English: “Please respond”. This seems like a very simple and reasonable request to me. Am I missing something here?

Your potential host thinks enough of you to invite you to be a guest in his/her home, church, country club, a local park, where ever. Are you telling me that you are too busy to pick up the phone, drop the pre-stamped envelope in the mail, or hit the reply button in your email?

Give me a flippin’ break! I am about to rant and rave here. You have been forewarned, so be off with you if you’re an unrepentant guilty party or just not in the mood…

My mom AND dad taught me “manners”. It was important to them that their kids knew how to BE in public, meet & converse with adults, behave at the dinner table and use the oft-forgotten expressions, “please & thank you”. As it turned out, those lessons have stood well for me. I have been able to navigate through social situations, even the newest/scariest experiences, with a confidence that is rooted in knowing basic etiquette.

Not the least of those parental lessons was the one about RSVPs. My mother would never have considered not answering an invitation. Neither would I. So, what is it with people today? Not only the youngsters, but the 30 or 40 or 50 something folks who do not respond when asked to!

Just in case you don’t understand, RSVP - please respond, means that you should respond to the host, as quickly as possible, whether or not you will attend their event. YES or NO. In some cases, you may see “Regrets Only”. This means your response is required only if you will not attend. That wasn’t too difficult, was it?

I don’t suppose there are any who purposely avoid a response in order to give the host a… pick one: headache, heartburn, additional stress as she plans her event. But the effect is the same!

It is impossible to plan any event without knowing how many are going to be there! If you have ever attended a party where the food/beverages ran out or there weren’t enough table & chairs, it’s probably the result of unconfirmed guests. It is an embarrassment for the host and uncomfortable for the guests. In the case of catered events, it can end up costing the host a lot of extra money too!

One of my Tupperware hosts sent out an email invite to 30 people. She got only 4 responses, one yes and 3 no. She cancelled the party and then began receiving phone calls about how disappointed and unhappy people were about it! Not one of them had responded. In fact, she would have had about 10 people at her party. Who knew? Certainly not the host!

One year, I invited a couple of friends, a brother & sister, to Easter dinner. I had cooked plenty, but my beautifully set table was planned around 6 place settings. When they showed up, the brother had invited his latest girlfriend & her daughter to come along! I had to completely re-do the table without making the poor embarrassed woman feel worse than she did. There’s another hint about an RSVP. Don’t bring uninvited guests unless you’ve cleared it with the host!

It is such a simple thing to respond to an invitation. Why is it that so many won’t take the time to do it? In my view, it is the ultimate rudeness!
I'm not the only one noticing this. I have had many of my party hostesses tell me that their friends (?) just. won't. respond. Nice...

I read a tip online from a woman who got so tired of unconfirmed kids showing up at her son’s birthday parties that she has started putting all the info, EXCEPT THE STARTING TIME, on the invitations. That way, the parents have to call and this confirms their kid’s attendance.

What has happened to manners anyway??
Miffed, Chris


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Now, let me add to that. I do not want to be invited to all the Party Lite, Pampered Chef, etc. parties and when I get an invitation to one I feel like they're saying to me, "Please come and spend your money so I can get something free." She's not "doing" anything for me - if I go, I'm doing something for her. I do respond and I used to feel bad not going to support a friend. I don't want to be in that position. The invitations to those seemingly never-ending type of events has subsided. I have finally had my guilty conscience put to rest and I just don't ever go to those parties but the RSVP to those things doesn't mean the same as the RSVPs to personal events in my book.

  2. Dear "Miffed" LOL

    You sure post a good point. My daughter got engaged last weekend and I can see ALL KINDS of problems arise from this very thing.

    Glad to see you are back to blogging...and therefore feeling better!

  3. Manners ARE so lacking in many people, young and old, it's just so sad.

    Just received a Premiere Jewelry invitation from a long ago co-worker........I disike those home parties and agree with pammiejo above that they cause embarassment if you don't buy something. I will RSVP in the negative!

  4. When I receive wedding invitations, I try to mail them out the next day... that way I don't forget and I know it got done!!

  5. I agree with you on this one. I think the RSVP should take place regardless of the type of event. Even with Tupperware and other types of home parties. The hostess still has to plan for how many are coming, planning the dessert or whatever and for the consultant to know how many catalogs to bring and that type of thing. The RSVP is still important. No need to feel guilty if you can't make it. At least the hostess knows how many to expect or not.


I'd love to hear your thoughts...