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.