In the current times of internet we have lost many long standing social conventions. There is no longer a community standard for every situation. We cannot count on the fact that everyone has read the latest edition of Miss Manners. This could be good as well as bad thing. I must admit that I’m not the best hostess. I know could learn from Miss Manners.
As we write our own rules, let me take a minute to tell you about something I believe is important. The RSVP. People ask you to an event over the phone, an Evite, Facebook, a mass text message and they want to know if you will be there.
I know that society has become ultra casual and/or perhaps people are just plain lazy. I might be particularly particular, but not RSVPing or “maybe” responses drive me crazy. It’s not an answer. It is a non-response. In this world of endless complications why make anything more complicated? Are you going to be able to make it to dinner at my house? “We’ll try. We’ve got lots of other things going on that day, but we’d really like to see you guys.” So is that a “yes” or a “no”? Hold the presses! This might be why people are always so damn busy. Why over program yourselves? If you already have plans, then you can’t make it to dinner without being a total jerk at your first stop. It’s ok to be busy.”We’d love to stay, but we have another thing going on somewhere else so we can’t stay long.” Just say “No” to over commitment. There are more Saturdays, Sundays, and sunny days. There are.
Non-responses are also complicated in this respect. I’m having people over. You are my friend and I know that if you arrive with your S.O. that you’d like a beer or so. I would like to provide that for you. Do I buy for you if you are “maybe” coming? Do I set a seat for you at the table? When I get 5 maybes to an event for 20 I stand at CostCo scratching my head and do lots of blindingly quick math. In short, I overbuy. Many things freeze well, but I have learned recently that Diet Coke doesn’t keep forever. Who knew?
I know you have a calendar on your phone. You are on that freaking phone so much that sometimes I want to smack it right out of your hands. I know that you don’t have extended meeting with your S.O. about which events you will go to and which you won’t. You’re house is not congress. You get things done. When I invite you over I expect a yes or a no answer…in a timely fashion. I realize this is a whole other can of worms.