by Samantha S. Daviss
Am I so old fashioned that expecting someone to RSVP is an unusual act? Am I so old fashioned that saying thank you is too much to expect? Am I so old fashioned that committing to something and then bailing at the last minute is considered rude?
Or is the world that we live in today? Are we all really in that much of a hurry? Are we all really that wrapped up in our own lives? Are we all really just that inconsiderate?
I wonder if people actually know what RSVP means? It is French for “Repondez s’il vous plait”. Which literally translates to “You, Please respond”. Not respond if you feel like it, not look at the invitation and don’t give a response. Most of the time people put and RSVP on there because they are trying to plan for food. And the typical rule of thumb is, if you don’t hear from someone, that usually means they are coming. However, again the direct translation of RSVP is to respond either way, with a decline or an acceptance of the invite.
What you, as the invitee, must understand is your host is planning food, drinks, table seating, everything. Even if it is just a backyard bar-b-que, they still need enough food, drinks, buns, etc. And especially if it is a party. So, think of it this way. Every single time you don’t call or text the host or hostess, you are costing them anywhere between, $8-$15 per person that was invited in your household.
Because if you don’t respond, they think you are coming, and they will definitely want to have enough food and drinks for everyone. So, next time you get an invitation in the mail, or email, or text…just set yourself a reminder in your phone or on your calendar to RSVP “yes” or “no”. It’s the right thing to do.
And the same goes for saying thank you. When someone does something kind for you. Or gives you something. Saying thank you are just two simple words that go so far. What would be even better is a thank you note. But just a simple thank you goes so far in today’s day and age. Or even a thank you gift to the host or hostesses. That is another thing people don’t know about etiquette, is it is only proper to bring the hosts a small token of gratitude. Just a simple way of saying thank you for going through all of this work on our behalf.
And lastly, and I feel that in today’s rat race, or various options that are out there. When you make a commitment, you must stick to it. I don’t care if Madonna herself, has invited you to stay the weekend in her Italian Villa, you tell her thank you, but I have already made prior plans. But I certainly hope we can do it again soon. When someone is counting on you to be there, and you back out at the very last minute it makes them wonder if they have done something wrong, or if they have spent money on something, then again that is just money wasted.
Basically, my issues are to just be kind and considerate of others. I know you may have an agenda. I know you may need to get some stuff done. But if you have committed to something, follow through and may your schedule work. Or if you have been invited somewhere, let them know far enough in advance that you can’t make it, so money isn’t unnecessarily spent.
We are all busy, we all have our own lives. But let’s not let technology, the rat race, and our own needs trump the feelings, not even the needs or finances, but the emotions of others.
“Do unto others, as you would have them, do unto you.” (Matt 7:12)
“Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.” -Dalai Lama