Monday, March 02, 2009

RSVP?

Okay, so I'm not a very social person, at least not when it comes to the formal stuff. But I do get the occasional written invitation to parties, when one is expected to RSVP, or tell say whether or not one is going to be there.

I've always thought that this means to say if you are going. If you don't say that you are going, it would be assumed that you are not going. So if you send out a hundred invitations to something, and then you would get back maybe seventy-five answers saying that they would be going and whether or not they were bringing an escort, and then you would maybe get back five or ten answers saying that they would not be going and apologizing and saying why they would not be going. And then that would leave fifteen or twenty other people not going, but they either did not have a really good reason for not going or else just didn't want to say what it was, and you would assume that since they did not answer that they would not attend.

A few years ago, my sister got married, and one of her new in-laws explained to me that the opposite was supposed to be true. For a formal invitation only event, it is more important to answer if you will not attend. If you send out a hundred invitations and seventy-five people answer that they will be there and possibly bringing escorts, and five or ten people apologize that they will not be attending because they have to be somewhere else, that leaves fifteen or twenty other people you assume will also be there but that their answers were lost in the mail or something.

As no one else on my side of the family had ever heard this explanation, I just went back to thinking that just isn't the way it is done. Maybe that was the way it was originally supposed to work, but I don't think that anybody does it that way now. It seems almost rude to say that you're not going to something you're invited to if you can't give some good reason to stay away. I'm not going because I have to be out of town that weekend sounds perfectly reasonable. To make a point of saying that you're not going to be there and not give a reason sounds cold or something, and it seems unnecessary. They'd figure out that you're not going to be there when they notice that you haven't said that you were going to be there.

No need to rub it in that you won't be there because you'd rather wash your hair or clip your nails and watch TV.

I more often get less formal invites anyway, by word of mouth or emails. If I want to go I say that I'm going and ask if I need to bring something or if I need to wear something special. If I don't answer, they'll figure out I'm not going. If they ask me a second time I'll elaborate that I don't like to drive in the dark or to the other side of Dallas or whatever my problem is.

Now there is the electronic invite, the Evite and other similar things. I haven't quite gotten it through my head that this now counts as a formal invite, though if it is a wedding I think that paper invites are still the thing.

So the daughter of a friend at the club is getting married this month. And the wedding is a small family only thing, but he said that we were invited to the reception they are having later. And I don't really know the daughter and thought he just mentioned it in passing to me just to be polite, and that he didn't really expect me to go. I don't go to a lot of weddings. I went to some with my family when I was younger, but as an adult I can only remember going to three. One of them was mine and another was my sister's. I really don't go to a lot of weddings, and it seems that those I want to attend happen when I really do have to be somewhere else like an out of town business trip.

So an email about the friend's daughter's wedding went out, and I didn't really pay any attention to it. A lot of emails come about club stuff that doesn't really have anything to do with me and I don't answer them. Just thought that it was one of those group emails that goes out to the whole group, mostly to be polite, but they don't really involve everyone.

So then I got another email, saying that I most have missed the first one. Well, this one I didn't see until just now, but he sent it a few days ago. And I hadn't seriously thought about going at all, since I think I've maybe met his daughter twice, and he has two of them and I tend to get them mixed up. So I'm not even clear on which one is getting married, that is how little I know her.

So I wasn't going to go because a.) I don't really know her, b.) I think that one usually gets all dressed up for such things and I'm not sure that I have anything to wear that fits right now, and c.) I think that when one does go to a wedding reception that you get the couple a gift (often something expensive and/or totally useless) and I have no money for that sort of thing now and I certainly don't want to spend money on someone I really don't know anyway.

Now I'm not sure if I'm being asked because he would just like me to confirm that I am not going, or if he was really expecting me to be there and wants me to say that I am going.

Now I don't know what to do, but I'd better say something to him today.

3 comments:

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I would just reply back to him with my regets. Just politely tell him you can't make it.

dmarks said...

"Now there is the electronic invite...I think that paper [wedding] invites are still the thing."

That should be the practice. So many good emails, including evites, get lost in spam filters anyway.

laughingattheslut said...

I emailed that I was sorry I didn't see the thing sooner and that I would not be going. My friend hasn't emailed me anything back, but that doesn't really mean anything since it is sometimes weeks between his emails.

As for the couple themselves, they are probably wondering who I am and why I even bothered to reply a day late.