I think I have to agree with freelance writer Maggie Mason who wrote:
Even then, some guests can’t bring themselves to mark a little X in the correct box [on an RSVP card] and drop it in the mail. This forces the hosts to call and snap, “Are you coming or what?” when the caterer demands to know how much chicken to order. It’s reason enough to elope.
This must surely be the experience of most people who host a major social event. After sending out invitations to an event I was planning, I heard from an invitee about her response to receiving an invitation from me. (This news was received by way of a cc on an Email “RSVP’d to the wrong person!) She was very busy and hadn’t even opened the invitation!
On a similar note, a colleague once bemoaned to me that when she sets a dinner party it is such a chore to find out if invitees are actually interested and available.
I have witnessed how people will state that they are coming to an event and then announce to the host that something else has come up. Another party. Friends in town. The mind boggles.
I was once invited to two overseas weddings. The first invitation was in North America. I accepted. The second invitation was from Europe. I hummed and hawed. Would it be possible to attend both events? While I vacillated, my friend sent out a mass E-mail to all the non-respondees. “Are you planning to come?”, he wrote. I was so embarrassed to be on this E-mail list. God forbid I should come across as uninterested in their social event. Do other people feel a similar sense of embarrassment when they fail to respond even to the reminder E-mail? One wonders. Or perhaps, as my colleague complained about her dinner hosting efforts, they really are too wrapped up in their own lives.
What kind of example does our behaviour around both sending and replying to invitations set for the children in our lives? I have put a lot of effort during the past ten years into sending written invitations to the children in my life. They are now returning the gesture by sending me their own invitations to events. Modeling social graces always pays dividends.
Maybe I’m just a simple person; however, I love to be invited to luncheons, dinners, parties, soirees, weddings, and baptisms, for example. So keep the invitations coming my way – and I promise I won’t hum and haw!
Pamela Chan/Managing Editor, BCfamily.ca