Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Lost Art of RSVP

By definition RSVP may refer to:
  • "Répondez s'il vous plaît", is a formal French phrase that, directly translated, means "Respond please" where "vous" is the plural or formal version of "you"; more simply, it means "Please answer".[1] It is with this meaning that invitation cards and similar documents are often marked with "RSVP".
I'm pretty sure EVERYONE knows and realizes what RSVP stands for and in essence means... however, I believe we have lost the art of the RSVP. Overall, I believe that these days, the mass majority of folks do not take the time to RSVP anymore. Do you disagree?

I do not know if it's because our parents' generation did not ingrain the importance of it into the heads of my generation like their folks before them did, or if it's because we're now in a "fast food" culture that wants what they want now and don't think much outside of their own self fulfillment. Regardless of the reason, it's no good and annoying!

Without people respecting the need and importance of the RSVP, they are in essence often causing the people who plan the event stress, extra finances as they end up buying too much food out of the possibility people will just show up, and/or being purely inconsiderate.

I cannot tell you how many times over the last several months I've had friends complain about the lack of response from folks... even when wedding invitations have a stamped and addressed rsvp card in the envelope, people let it sit without a care or notice.

Now, I understand that SOMETIMES things happen, and folks just forget - but the reality is this is RARELY the reason that so many stink at sending in rsvp's or taking the time to email or call that they will be there or cannot make it. I say it's really because people are either:
  • Waiting for the next best thing and do not want to commit in case something better shows up - THAT'S STUPID AND WRONG BY THE WAY,
  • Just plain inconsiderate of other people's time, attention to details and finances,
  • They don't care, or
  • Don't want to hurt someone's feelings by saying they don't want to come or cannot be there. (ps. you wouldn't hurt someone's feelings, they rather KNOW than not, promise!)
I'm a believer that any of these reasons are stupid and silly... Seriously folks, how long does it take to dial a number, leave a message on a machine to say "see you there, or sorry not this time" - 3 minutes max?! Or how long to send an email, when you're probably on your computer or techy phone 12+ hours out of the day?! Or how long does it take to mark a number & name on a rsvp card and stick it in the mail when it's already addressed, labeled, and stamped for you?! Are we that lazy?!!!

I think we are... to prove it to you all I have to is take you to the grocery store parking lot, stand there for 5 minutes and you'll watch person after person leave the grocery cart in the middle of a parking spot rather than walking it 20 feet or less to the cart holder... L.A.Z.Y - and we wonder why there is a problem with obesity in this country...but I digress.

We have lost the art of the rsvp. What can YOU do about that?

Ps. I'm not saying that I haven't EVER forgotten to RSVP, I know I have - HOWEVER.... the more events I've planned and the more I'm hearing from my network of friends and family that plan things, learning how lack of rsvp hurts those hosting - we have got to figure out a way to be more considerate in this department. I'm making a point by this post that I too will yearn to be a pro at the rsvp... not dismissing the art - making it important and a priority to do!

I'm stepping off my soapbox now... but seriously!?


Candace said...

Loved reading this and DEFINITELY agree... it's a crying shame! I don't understand it either but we need to start helping folks know better and you're off to a good start :) Thanks for sharing my sentiments about this lost art form of consideration!

Brittany @ GreyGreyDesigns said...

Oh honey, I used to have brides have this problem EVERY WEEKEND. Every wedding I did would have people added on or taken off at the last minute because people didn't have the sense to RSVP. The literal translation should be enough "respond PLEASE!"
It seems that close family is the worst...they are all.."you know I'm coming, I didn't need to send it back!" Um, yes you did!

PS-Sorry we can't make it to the shrimp boil, I will be in Little Rock doing a shower! :)

Lisa Marie Kuhl said...

I'll keep this reply short and sweet, or else I'll "get started" (as in "don't get me started!"). But I'm with you Heather. We are a lazy, fat, selfish nation and it's getting to be ri-damn-diculous! I put away carts for people at the grocery store all the time. And I'll do it before they pull out so they see me doing it. Lisa Marie's tip of the day: Park right next to the cart return. You may be a little farther from the store, but guess what...good! And the RSVP thing...well...don't get me started!

Frank Bryant said...

It is all abbout commitment. If you RSVP you are coming, you are committed to do smething you may not want to do when the time comes. BTW - aTerri and I will not be at the crawfish boil.

Frank Bryant said...

So how much left overs did you end up with?

Mrs. McGoo said...

Crawfish Boil - May 8th - We're pumped!