The RSVP Nazi
I am at my wit’s end!!! As an occasional hostess, I enjoy having people over for dinner parties and such. Really, there’s nothing I like better than to see friendly faces around my dinner table. However, I am really fed up with inconsiderate yokels who unabashedly disregard my pleas for them to RSVP.Has an overabundance of ward potluck dinners spoiled us for the concept of a sit-down dinner with placecards? Is it the singles’ ward mentality that trains normally polite people to hold out until the last minute for the bigger, better deal? Has the cultural hall wedding reception/open house ruined the saints for more formal modes of discourse? It’s especially insulting when I take stock of an evite, and see that numerous people have viewed it, and haven’t yet responded by the requested date. Don’t they know that delicious food takes preparation, and doesn’t just appear out of the oven when they arrive at my doorstep unannounced for a party? What can I do to bend them to my will and compel them to RSVP?
Dear Gentle Reader,
Ahh yes. As the holiday season draws nigh, I share in your seasonal tut-tutting at the incivility of non-RSVP-ers. It really is a dreadful affliction to be confronted with among one’s friends, or friendly faces. The simple answer would be to declare a moratorium against such people, and ban them from experiencing your culinary delights. However, as I suspect that you have gone to considerable trouble to create and maintain friendships with such yokels, this may not be an acceptable solution. On the other extreme is the option to play the martyr, and suffer (non)silently (to, and) about the incivil, unwashed hordes. This manner of expression, unfortunately, will do little to bring about positive responses.
Therefore, Gentle Reader, allow me to steer you a middle course. If you do insist on using evites (Missy Mannerlee has always preferred the exquisite thrill of running he fingertip along the lovely, black embossed lines a of cream colored formal card), be sure to be quite plain about expected RSVP dates. After all, communication is everything. Secondly, be sure to utilize the email reminder option. Thirdly, remind those of your erstwhile friends, when you happen to see them, with a breezy, “Oh, the party is coming up so soon! So many things to be done … shopping, cooking, setting the table, placecards. But I am so excited to get this fascinating group of people together, and hope you can come!” And fourthly, for those boorish friends who have not been civil enough to respond, having at least once seen the invite, a direct phone call should be enough to settle the matter (and should clear the air for those unsuspecting invitees who haven’t yet viewed the evite at all).