Monday, March 19, 2012

répondez, s'il vous plaît

Gone are the days of manners and Emily Post...and doing the right thing. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who receive nice, hand-addressed invitations to parties, soirees, galas, etc. where a response is requested...yet no reply is ever received. These are people that know better, were raised better and whom should be better behaved! Yes, I'm on my (Caldrea filled) soap box! So, let's have a little refresher course...If someone sends an invitation with "Reply Requested", "Regrets Only", or "RSVP" (which is the french abbreviation for Respond, please), it means that they think enough of you to send you an invitation to an event where they are trying their best to make it an enjoyable occasion...meaning, they'd like you to be able to eat, have a chair to sit in, and a cold drink (or hot if it's in the winter)! Don't act like you forgot to respond or worse, don't wait to respond hoping something better might come along that you'd rather attend. If you aren't going to be able to attend...the very least you can do is let that person know. Often times the host has even gone to the trouble of enclosing a self addressed stamped card and...with the price of stamps nearly 50 cents the least you can do is grab a pen, make a check mark, and drop it in the post. On invitations with no reply card enclosed, you are usually given a phone number or more often an email address. With the world of social media at an all time high, have we become so passive that we can't even pick up the phone and speak to someone briefly? And so, that brings me to email as a mode of response...personally I think an email address listed on a nice formal invitation is, well...tacky, but I understand we aren't exactly out under the live oaks trading pecan pie recipes sipping sweet tea and fanning our faces while our hoop skirts are gathering freshly mowed grass...(read, I understand that times have changed and the days of the old south are bygone). (And by "old south" I mean the days when manners were mandatory so don't go getting your political panties in a wad). So, with that said...if you simply can not respond by any mode provided, then you probably shouldn't have been invited anyway! There, I said it! Seriously though, what if when people didn't respond and then subsequently show up we didn't let them in? Would it make people more likely to respond? Probably not. And, no, I'm not trying to be mean but I think that it's a sad day when people don't have the courtesy to let someone know they can not attend something when the person who sent the invitation thought enough of the person to send them something in the first place. We are so consumed with texting and facebooking and twitter that we forget how to be real people...we forget that the South prides itself on manners and social graces and, well...if we can't remember our manners then in a way the North wins again!
image credit:a tropical affair

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