Monday, December 13, 2010
is 'no manners' the new 'casual manners'? (Regarding the RSVP)
my lovely fiance and i will be married in less than three weeks. we are 31 and 30 years old, which i feel is relative to my inquiry. prior to all the wedding rigmarole, i thought myself to be on the up-an-up side of things when it came to attending parties, showers and RSVP-ing. however, after recently looking at both of these situations under a microscope, i have to admit that I WAS WRONG and could have been doing a much better job at both. you read the printed word? i hereby pledge to always RSVP in a timely fashion. where's the blog icon for that?
what boggles my mind, though, is the generally apathetic informality of people my age when it comes to party behavior and manners. i anticipated the lack of RSVP's, but i did not foresee the very bad and downright tacky behavior by our ADULT friends. we were thrown a co-ed stock-the-bar party yesterday and i was horrified to learn that of the 60 invited guests (all local area friends whom we have recently hosted in our home or attended showers/parties for), twelve returned the courtesy of a reply to the hosts. TWELVE. and yet over thirty attended. as to further odd behavior, the party was from 4-6 pm, and the best man arrived wasted. one guest texted us hours before the party to say that they (plus six other guests) had planned to attend, but had a rec-league softball game that evening, and thus couldn't make it. two guests, who we visited the day before, said that, nah, they didn't really feel like it, when we asked if we'd see them at the shower. a coworker handed me her invitation with CAN'T COME written on it, and asked if i could please let my friends know. one girl told me, as her actual response, 'we have a baby now.'
now please don't misunderstand me. our friends, despite the appalling lack of tact, are a great bunch. i'm not some crazed bride who thinks it's ME o'clock, ready to hold grudges against half of our close(r) friends who weren't there for whatever reason. it isn't that i expected everyone to come. it isn't that i assumed everyone on that list was my BFF who wouldn't miss it for the world and it isn't that i presume to be the most important thing happening on a sunny sunday afternoon.
i just found it fairly rude to the hosts.
they had no idea what to plan for, and fortunately, had tremendously over-compensated. even if only twelve people had attended, there was a large amount of finances and planning that went into the whole event, and i find it more a matter of respect for your peers. i mean, we are adults... adults living in the supposedly genteel south, i might add. i'm already slated to host the next bridal shower, and i am dreading the guessing game of who will and who will not be there/RSVP/RSVP and yet not attend, and so on.
it occurred to me that this breach in etiquette amongst people my age is either an epidemic that rights itself with maturity, or just another revolting sign of the downturn in manners, but regardless, applies to all party and event situations. so i ask you, as a future RSVP-requester, is this just the way things are for today's modern couple? is 'no manners' the new 'casual manners'? will manners come back into fashion, much like skinny ties and martini lunches and hats on women, a la mad men? when is it okay to NOT RSVP? what constitutes a valid reason to NOT attend a good friend's party? is it okay for hosts to contact non-RSVP-ers as the event grows near? what is the best way to convey that A TIMELY RESPONSE, even if it is no, WOULD BE REALLY, REALLY NICE.
répondez s'il vous plaît.
ps-DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON PEOPLE WHO DON'T WRITE THANK-YOUS.
First off, I think "RSVP" and "répondez s'il vous plait" should both be permanently retired. I mean. We don't live in PARIS, do we? "Please respond" is much more direct, and everyone knows what it means.
I'd say it's never okay not to RSVP, er, respond. (Note to self: Must RSVP to that holiday thingee...) But you don't get to decide "what constitutes a valid reason" for not attending your party/shower/wedding. Welcome to friends with babies.
Part III. It is absolutely okay to call or email nonrespondents to say "HEY SHITBAGS: ARE YOU COMING TO THE PARTY, OR WHAT? WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH BEER TO BUY."
(Image via TaHe)