RSVP – French for “Repondez s’il vous plait” or, in plain English, “Please reply”. These little letters are the not-so-secret code that you should call or write your host within a day or two of receiving an invitation to let him know if you can attend or not. All invitations have some sort of a reply mechanism – an enclosed card, a phone number, an email address or a mailing address. A prompt reply is a basic courtesy. (Taken from emilypost.com)
Why has it become so hard for us to pick up the phone and respond to a party invitation? Or write a thank you card? Or be even a tad courteous of people in general?
I recently had a birthday party for my son (those of you paying attention will recall his birthday is in December. We don’t do December parties – too much else going on). The Captain wanted his party at the bowling alley – complete with bowling, mini-golf, arcade, pizza, and soda. We had to provide only the cake. So, we needed to know how many children: 1) so the bowling alley knew how much pizza to provide and how many lanes would be needed. 2) so I knew what size cake to buy. (I baked him a cake on his real birthday. Don’t judge.) 3) so I knew how many favors to put together (I had extra time since I didn’t bake a cake.) 4) so I knew how many quarters to bring so they all could play arcade games. Let’s just say on the day of his party, I had NO IDEA how many children would be coming.
The first time I experienced this was when I was sitting in the limo outside the church on my wedding day. I watched my husband-to-be’s uncle, aunt, 3 cousins and a date for each cousin strolling up the sidewalk toward the church. Beyond the fact that the dates weren’t even invited, none of them had RSVP’d. None. 8 extra people. That was a whole table! Where were they going to sit? How much more were we going to have to pay the caterer?
Since then, there have been numerous showers, christenings, and birthday parties that I’ve hosted or helped host. Every single time, we run into the RSVP problem. We never really know how many people to plan on because so few actually take the time to respond.
It’s a basic courtesy.
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post