R.s.v.p.’ing, the Dodo Bird and the “Easy Button”

Posted on Posted in Etiquette for Children

What happened to the Dodo Bird?  We wonder if it’s with mingling with the R.s.v.p., perhaps?  The topic of the R.s.v.p. has been interesting to me as for a very long time. I thought I was the only person a lack of an R.s.v.p. was a real pet peeve for.  I was wrong.  Maybe the question should be why did we stop sending our R.s.v.p.?  Honestly, I just don’t know.  What I do know is that not responding to an invitation is bad form and it reflects negatively when not issued correctly…

A little background:  R.s.v.p. comes from the French, “Repondez, s’il vous plait,” which means “Respond, please.”  But, you knew that.  When did so many of us decide to stop using it?  When did we decide that it doesn’t matter whether we respond??  Again, I don’t know.  What I do know is that many of you have a). Stopped having parties because invitees have gotten so lazy in their lack of a response!  Is it that we all have so much to do these days that we’re always waiting to see if a better invitation comes along?   Or, is it that we’re so dog-tired at the end of most weeks, that it seems we’d rather just snuggle on the couch?  Which, I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that many of you are b). Mad about the whole thing!  Really!  It’s something we hear over and over again at Mrs. Hancock’s.  “Oh, you’re going to teach them about R.s.v.p.’s?  OH GOOD!”

So, please, if you get an invitation to a get-together of some sort, do the right thing.  In a timely fashion please respond to your hostess that you’ll be in attendance and, with how many or, that you’re sending your regrets.  (Now in unison, let’s everyone push our ‘easy button’.  See?  “That was easy”)!  We all need to remember that throwing a party can be an expensive proposition and a lot of work, so please be considerate.  Your attendance or lack thereof, decides how many bottles of wine, how much food and whether or not they’ll need to hire a valet, perhaps.  And, if you do R.s.v.p. in the affirmative, you must attend (unless you or your child has the flu or some other catastrophe strikes—then please call the day after the event and, no.  You may not send an e-mail!  They need to hear from you in person as to why you weren’t in attendance).

Consider, too that your little ones are watching and learning.  So if you know you have a party to go to Saturday night and you and Honey decide at 5pm you’d rather stay in and watch movies after a rather long discussion about how ‘they’ll never miss us’, ‘it’s not that important’; know the Kids are listening and learning from that discussion.  The next time Sarah Jane invites your little Carrie to her Birthday party and it’s 3pm and she’s decided she would rather head to Lena’s for a sleep-over, well that’s not okay either and please explain to Carrie, why.

Get an invitation; respond to an invitation.  Make a promise; keep a promise.  There.  “That was easy!”  Your new party dress is calling…and don’t you look fabulous in it?!

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