Mar 29, 2010

Please Respond.

Do you ever get invited anywhere? Is there ever the letters RSVP written on the bottom of the invite? What do you do? Do you ignore it? Have you ever had a party at your house, had a tight budget for the party, and really needed to know what your number of guests was going to be, so you have put those 4 capital letters on the bottom of your invite? Have you ever been guilty of putting the word please, not just once, but a few times in front of the letters RSVP? Have you ever just come out and straight up begged for the replies? Have you talked amongst your friends and acquaintances about your deep feelings about RSVP ing and found that they all feel the same way you do? Have you wondered, and wondered, and wondered, why RSVP ing does not happen even though everyone seems to agree that it is rude not to? Yeah, me too. Well after years of wondering about why people do not RSVP. After years of murmuring about people that do not RSVP I finally found out what is happening and I can not wait to tell you....

But first a word from our sponsers...JK.

Anyway, my friend Kristy, who has been subject to listening to my RSVP rant, oh so many times, recently sent me an article from the NY Times all about RSVP ing and there in black and white was, finally, a pretty darn good reason as to why no one except me RSVP's anymore :)

Mr. Rand Richards Cooper became my new best friend when he explained to me that people do not anchor plans in the distant future anymore because they can't....they prefer to remain "flexy." He declared that we are constantly "micro-adjusting our schedules as they unfold around us." When you ask someone to RSVP you are asking them to do something that a large amount of American's can not do anymore...commit to the future. I love how he describes us as " the air traffic controllers of our lives." That gave me a great visual in my head. I pictured my friends sitting in a air traffic control tower, at a big desk, with 9 gazillion buttons and screens in front of them, putting plans on hold, moving things around, letting some plans land, making others circle the airport until they are almost out of gas and then committing or declining them and even....gasp...letting some plans just crash by never replying. It made perfect sense.

I still don't understand it though. I mean RSVP ing is a very easy thing to do. It hardly requires anything of us. Why don't we want to commit? Why do we want to keep our schedules flexible and open? If I ever got invitations I would RSVP right away. Usually I am the person inviting so I rarely get to prove what an amazing "RSVP kind of girl" I am.

Mr. Cooper who wrote this article ended by musing that maybe we should change it from "Répondez s'il vous plaît" to "Responder Vite---on Mourez"...which means Respond Quickly or Die!!! I confess I really like that idea.


Jocelyn said...

I am guessing this is in response to still needing/ wanting RSVP's for your little party coming up. We did RSVP right? if not well we are coming and are very excited, well I am anyway! I think RSVPing is in fact very easy I like being able to commit it helps me feel important that someone took the time to invite me, and actually wants ME there! :) so I RSVP yes as much as possible!

Don said...

I think that most of us either want to keep things 'open' just in case a 'better offer' happens to come up. I mean, it is that whole natural man thing that makes us so selfish. Either that or we just want to have an 'out' if we are tired that night.

As we have grown older though, my wife and I have decided that if we have something 'on the calendar' it is so much easier to say no to the other things that 'come up' and try to distract us from what we are trying to do.

Just the ramblings of a former drip under pressure. (ex-spurt :)

Jenn said...

Is this your way of scolding us non-100% of the time RSVP responders? Hmmmmm. LOL.
I totally get what your friend Mr. Cooper is saying. Sometimes, it is hard to make a commitment several weeks out. Unfortunately, we are all juggling so many things that sometimes it is hard to predict stuff that hasn't even come up on the air traffic control radar screen yet, but that may still require our attention like it or not....out of sight, out of mind sort of thing maybe.
I like invites that come right around the 10 day mark, or less even. (Unless it is a major event like marriage, graduation, huge event kinda thing, etc.) I also love invites that are RSVP Regrets Only or electronic evites/facebook event type things. It's more convenient, for me, to just select a yes, no, or maybe and then move on.
Pet peeve about RSVPs, give at date that you want an RSVP by, then leave me alone. If I don't respond, then assume I'm not coming because it would be rude to show up without your host planning on you being there. About the budget thing, never invite more than you can afford. If everyone shows up you are good, if not then your family will probably appreciate all the extras around the house...especially if you can eat the extras. :)
There, that is my lengthy RSVP to your RSVP post!