Throughout life there are times that a person is required to reply and show-up. If the draft board sends you a notice you better answer and show up. Otherwise you could be looking at five years in the pokey! If the courts have a nice man in a suit appear at your door and hands you a summons, you better pay attention or at your next traffic stop expect to be handcuffed and taken in by "Johnny Law". Oh let's not forget the tax man. The IRS really expects us to respond to their request for our money. They don't take kindly being ignored.
Which is why it is so puzzling that people are not willing to respond to a simple invitation from our friends. RSVP means the hosts really would like to know if you are attending so they can plan a special evening for you. In an interesting way it is in your interest to respond so it is an event you won't forget.
For some reason, maybe it is technology or just plain rudeness, a vast majority of guests who receive invites these days never respect the request for an RSVP. Often the hosts have to send out a second appeal or make calls to find out who is coming. Why should they be burdened with tracking down a head count when they are working hard to entertain us? Even with the calls, reminder invites and pleas for an answer some people feel entitled just to show up without responding or never answer at all.
No one is perfect. That is for sure. There are a couple of times in the last year I RSVP'ed yes and then had health issues and forget to let them know I wasn't coming. I felt awful afterwards since there is really no excuse. A simple 30 second call is all it takes.
My oversights are minor compared to the experts at creating nightmares for the host. First there is the 'glory person' who keeps saying 'maybe' while they wait to see if there is a better event. Often they never confirm one way or another and exercise their right to show up at will. Come on folks, everyone knows their calendar at least two weeks before the party. If there is a death, illness or your husband is throwing your clothes out the window, you can make a quick call and explain.
Second there is "the gang is all here' guest! These are the gems that at the last minute ask if they can bring along six other people 'who just happen to be in town' for a sit down dinner party. Several weeks in advance it is certainly fine to ask the hosts if you can bring ONE PERSON with you. The host should fill free to say it is a special dinner party or just for 'family' and suggest that another time would be better to meet your friend.
Even with a large holiday cocktail party it is not ok to walk in with a bunch of unannounced friends. They gobble up the food, usually are big drunks and break the spirit of a carefully planned party.
Third, then there is the strange creature called 'dropsy guest'. This is the person who think they are so special that they everyone that is having an event that night needs to have their company. If you RSVP to an event, go to it and spend time. If it is a reception you are not required to stay the entire evening. After all, hosts increasingly putting ending times on their events so they can force the drunken relative to take off his silly hat and get him driven home!
However if it a special event such as a wedding, anniversary or celebrating that promotion, you are expected to join the celebration and stay to be with your friends special moments.
There has even been legendary stories of hosts having a small dinner party of twelve and one of the guests leave mid-serving saying they have to be somewhere else. In their rudeness, suddenly there is an empty chair at the table and it is the highest insult to the host who has planned an intimate dinner party If you have to be somewhere else, RSVP 'no'. The gift of your company for a half an hour is just not that special to any of us.
The situation with RSVP has gotten so bad that in sending out Evites there is even a special to respond with 'maybe'. Say what? That is like enabling a drunk to behave badly. "Maybe"? Really now, you might not know if you can attend when you first receive the invite but surely within a couple of days you can figure it out. Usually the hosts need a good count for caterers, ordering food and wine and servers at least two weeks ahead of the event.
Big Daddy is tired of this rudeness. If someone is thoughtful enough to want you to a special event or in their home, then RSVP to show you appreciate the honor. It doesn't take long and it just the right thing to do.