So WHAT is the deal with RSVPs these days? What happened to my generation? Did their mothers not teach them to respond to invitations? Why is that?

Let me give you a case in point.

I am having a party tonight. I sent a massive amount of invitations (massive if you understand how big this apartment is). I would say 75% of the people did not even bother to respond. Less than one week before today, I still had not heard a word from 66%. After nudging and asking around, I got a few more responses – now (hours away from the party) we’re down to not hearing from 33%.

Hours away from the party, right now, there are still so many! What’s going on? And, while I just bashed my generation a few sentences ago, it’s not just my generation. Some of these people are older than that.

While RSVP means to respond in general, people seem to treat it like I said, “Let me know if you’re coming.” But recently, I came across a person or two who did not confirm receipt of their invitation, did not communicate with me at all before the event, and when I texted them the night before to confirm that they weren’t coming, said that yes, they were. Now that just floors me. What invitee could possibly think that not responding to the hostess at all is ok? And that this zero-response somehow means that you’re going to be coming?

One of the side-consequences of this trend is that people don’t ask what they can bring. That’s right. That beautifully polite response to an invitation has almost completely disappeared. Besides a very few people, mostly of my parents’ generation or older, no one ever asks. An invitation to dinner or a party has turned into an opportunity for free food and drink.

So. Where is this mindset coming from? College? The inability of people to say no (most non-repsonses are admittedly negative)? Laziness or carelessness? Forgetfulness? Too much email?

Who can say. My mom has started apologizing to us for raising us so well, so properly, so politely. We always respond to invitations, as soon as possible. And, in turn, we expect the same from our friends. This means we meet with constant disappointment and frustration – many of our friends just don’t say anything.

Is there any way to get back what people have lost?

P.S. – and let’s not even talk about the follow-up thank-you note…


2 thoughts on “rsvp

  1. I’m fairly certain that I have not been invited to anything at your apartment this evening, however, being a member of that previous generation, which is now becoming a bit forgetful, I want to ensure that you know I am not coming tonight and apologize for such late notice. Please expect my thank you note to go out before the week is done, in case I was invited and simply overlooked your invitation among the vast international correspondence with which we older folk are burdened. 🙂

    … and have a great party!

    • 😛 You were not invited, as it is for women only. Which, actually, makes it worse, because men can sometimes be forgiven a lapse of communication with regard to invitation responses (busy work schedules, international correspondence, etc.). A thank you note is unnecessary, in this case, because you were not in attendance. But I appreciate the thought, all the same. 😉

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