Now, I’m not the most etiquette savvy person I know. In many instances, I’ve had to actually consult Miss Manners (dot) com to find out what people are supposed to do in the matters of weddings that were supposed to be weddings but weren’t actually weddings because no one got married for real, and then they broke up and didn’t give back the gifts and now are getting remarried to different people, do I send a gift?
And when I, myself, am planning some bigger event for myself or others, I often take a sneak peek into Etiquette Hell to see how people react to things done in poor taste. Sometimes, I’m shocked by the audacity of the bride and groom (for example) and other times, I’m completely taken aback that someone would take the time to be offended by such things as “not having a receiving line” at the wedding reception (I didn’t have one and I’m not sorry. I hate those things).
It’s safe to say that without having thrown a baby shower, but after throwing most any other kind of party that you’d send invitations to, I have learned a fair bit about the whole situation.
Namely, how people don’t bother fucking RSVP-ing like proper guests.
(in the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I must tell you that I have been The Bad Guy and not properly RSVP-ed to a wedding or two. But eventually, I always RSVP. Typically when things in my life are so incredibly chaotic that I can barely function to put on a clean shirt, let alone remember to send back that wee little card like a proper guest. It happens, and I do allow for some of that.)
I’ll never forget when I had my own wedding, I got back at least 4 or 5 cards telling me that “They” weren’t coming. Who is this elusive “They,” you ask? I HAVE NO CLUE. I got back some BLANK RSVP cards. Never did figure out who “They” were.
Since Ben was a baby, I’ve thrown him parties for his birthday. We’ve had the White Trash cook-out/kegger, we’ve done proper parties without the beer, and up until last year, I only invited adults. I don’t have a ton of friends with kids (understatement of the year) so I just invite my friends. Works out well.
But when Ben was turning 6, he decided that what he REALLY wanted was a party with his school friends. Something that I’d been avoiding because I don’t really know WHAT I’d do with a roomful of screamy 6 year olds. It actually sounds like something out of my worst nightmares. So I did the next best thing: I rented out a room at a kid’s museum and had the party there.
Scratched cornea be dammed, I filled out each and every one of those stupid invitations by hand, carefully writing down all the instructions so that there would be no confusion (mental note: have the computer do the work next time). I invited all the kids in Ben’s class (all 19 of them), I did it a month in advance, and I waited.
Of the 19 or so kids (plus about 3 that he knew from outside of school), I heard back from perhaps 6-7 of them. Assuming that some may show even without properly RSVP-ing, I went to that party with the best of intentions. The result? All of the other kids whose parent’s hadn’t called didn’t show.
This year, we had Ben’s birthday a full month after his actual birthday since August 20 falls right on the cusp of when kids are going back to school, and how annoying is THAT as a parent to have a party 2 days before school starts? TOTALLY ANNOYING. I expected that many more kids would be able to at least INFORM me that they wouldn’t be coming.
I’m only annoyed on principle, since the place that Ben’s party is being held (moon bounce, people. How cool is that?) was a package UP to 15 kids, so it’s not a head count kind of place. I’m annoyed on principle, yet I’m still annoyed. It’s not like these parents KNEW that it didn’t really matter if they RSVP-ed or not, they just chose to ignore the invite completely. Which, having dragged my son to all of their kids’ parties, I know that they know EXPLICITLY how annoying this can be.
So, who is in for eating this damn ugly cupcake-cake thing I bought for more than double the kids that will be coming? YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.