Life is hard, I get it. We’re all super busy trying to keep our feral children from scribbling on the furniture with poop and flushing our semi-valuables down the ty-d-bol.
But that’s no excuse for being a rude asshole. Yup. That’s exactly what you are if you don’t RSVP to an invitation you receive. I’m not talking about those 21 Day Body Blast Facebook invites either. It’s perfectly acceptable to ignore those.
I’m talking about invitations to attend in-person, real life events with other human beings that you can actually poke and pinch, be it a wedding, a birthday party, or a dreaded baby shower. You’re invited, and your hosts are expecting you to tell them what the hell’s up so they can plan basic things, like seating, how many liters of vodka to purchase, and the number of kazoos, whistles and other obnoxious noise-producing party favors to give your child.
Even Emily Post, the Queen of Etiquette, unapologetically states that, “Anyone receiving an invitation with an RSVP on it is obliged to reply…” Did you catch that? Obliged.
Your exact response is up to you. “Yes” works. “No” is fine. Or, if using Evite, you can even answer with the ever-tacky “Maybe.” But you are, nevertheless, expected to reply with something. Promptly. Ideally within a day or two of receiving the invitation. If you don’t, you are likely one of four types of non-RSVP’ers I want to kick in the crotch:
Really Couldn’t Tell You What Life Will Be Like
This person feels overwhelmed by all her responsibilities. The thought of having to make one more decision gives her chest palpitations. She keeps thinking she’ll remember to respond later, when things calm down, but when later rolls around her nerves are so frayed she’s still one “boo” away from a total mental breakdown. She may decide to surprise you and show up anyhow.
Something Better Might Come Up
This person doesn’t want to commit because she’s holding out for a better offer. She’ll be hedging until the last minute, waiting to see if something more exciting pops up. Like her neighbor’s elaborate annual blind wine tasting event. Not to be confused with her blind neighbor’s annual Fundraiser for the Visually Impaired. (She hasn’t RSVP’d for that one either.) She may decide to surprise you and bring extra uninvited guests to your event … because, FUN!
This person sees you on a regular basis, but ever since you sent your invitation out she’s developed ninja hiding skills. At preschool drop-off, one second you see her, the next you don’t. All because she’s afraid of committing herself to a night out when she may want to stay home and carb load in preparation for that next big Netflix marathon. She doesn’t have a good excuse, and she can’t lie to save her life. So she avoids you.
Puts the Dis in Disorganized
This person couldn’t tell her ass from her elbow even if you showed it to her on an X-ray. The invitation has either been accidentally deleted from her Inbox or lost under a pile of PTA forms from two school years ago. She has absolutely no clue how to recover it. And since she can’t seem to locate the contact information for the host (I know that damn Family Handbook is around here somewhere!) she can’t respond. Just. Can’t.
When you don’t RSVP, people don’t know what to think. Did you receive the invitation in the first place? Did your child turn it into a paper airplane? Or are you lying in a pool of blood on your kitchen floor as the result of self-induced head trauma, having been forced to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” one too many times? It’s anybody’s guess.
And when you’re busy planning a party, nobody feels like guessing whether you’re on your last breath or just the Grand Marshal of The Asshole Parade – where I hear they’ve reserved a special place
in Hell on a float for all the non-RSVP’ers of the world. Right next to all the no-shows.