Today I'm covering- people not keeping their word. Specifically, the RSVP.
|Does this card mean nothing?|
Another wonderful insightful blog I follow did a great post on Millennium Manners. I gobble her posts up each Monday. I don't agree with it all, but do agree quite a bit.
Anyway, in her post she shares two stories, one about a child's birthday party where almost half the guest list just didn't show and the hosts had rented out an aquarium and had catered food and another where the author's table at a wedding was only half full because of no-shows.
If you've ever planned a wedding or any big party, you know that each person who comes is likely costing you a pretty penny and you've done lots of things- food, favors, name cards, seating arrangements, entertainment etc. just for them. And it's such an insult to have your planning spat upon.
Sure, there are valid reasons you may have to skip an engagement you committed to. But IMO, they are very few. Because when you say you are going to come, it's a matter of being a person of your word to actually be there. You family is sick, you got in a car wreck, ran out of gas, got called in to work, learned of a very important event for immediate family etc. Those are valid.
But too often the reason is:" It's no longer convenient for me to make time for your event, I decided it does not sound enjoyable, I found something better to do, or I just don't 'feel' like coming." So sad and so rude.
I've often been known to give a "maybe" when I truly don't know if I want to do something. It's much less hurtful to the hosts if you give this answer then saying you plan on it and then not coming. In fact, a lot of people know a "maybe" often means a "not likely" but is the kinder way to say it.
I think in the areas of weddings, showers and birthday parties people are much too quick to think it won't matter if they come. But it does. Accommodations have been made. The honored guest has been looking forward to your attendance. If a large number of people confirmed then the host expects a large number of guests. And these particular times in our lives are a good indicator of how big our support system really is. It's sad to learn that people you thought were friends are really just acquaintances. That you aren't important enough to them for them to take 3 hours out of their schedule to celebrate with you.
I recently had this experience on a much higher level when coordinating a party. Someone who had committed to helping provide food for the party did not follow through and did not call to inform me of the change. In fact, when they were contacted 15 minutes into the start of the party they did not answer their phone. Thirty minutes into the party they answered to let me know that they were still cooking! A half hour later I was informed (an hour into the event) that they were not going to be able to come, but could drop off the food if needed. An hour into a two hour event! We were all more than satiated at this point. The worst part of all was that it hurt the honored guest. Especially when no reason was given besides "Something came up". For shame!
So I encourage you next time to receive an invitation to reply with veracity. Better to contact the host and tell them you can come even though you replied you couldn't than to bail on a commitment to come. Then your host will be pleasantly surprised rather than frustratingly disappointed. And for PETE's SAKE- turn the thing in! If it's an SASE, you have NO excuse! Pick one or the other, but don't just leave the host wondering and wasting 45 cents!
It's also a good time to put the shoe on the other foot and think about if you would like that person to attend your wedding/shower/party or if in fact they have done so in the past for you.
It's a matter of your word.