RSVP stands for répondez s'il vous plaît and is the time-honored manner in which decent persons let a host know whether or not they will be attending an event. It means "please reply," and it's used on everything from embossed Martha Stewart wedding invitations to Facebook events, like a friend's BBQ or dirty 30 birthday in Vegas. Millennial moms are inundated with invitations, from mommy group events to baby showers to birthday parties. Yes, we're busy ladies, but grown-ass moms always find the time to RSVP.
I have planned enough celebratory affairs to know how important it is for guests to indicate either their plans to attend, or their sincere regrets for being unable (or unwilling) to attend. I am a stay-at-home mom to a toddler with two part-time jobs, and I always f*cking RSVP. I just find it terribly inconsiderate to do any of the following: show up without any sort of notice, say you're coming and then fail to show, or choose not to respond at all. I understand wanting the freedom to "see how you feel" or "play it by ear," but when it comes to planned events, there comes a point where you have to commit.
You know you have a problem when a host leaves the location off the invitation so guests have to get in touch if they want the address. (True story.) It's about time we got it together as a society and held people accountable for the most basic etiquette. Why not start with bringing sexy back to the RSVP?
It's Polite, Courteous, And Respectful
When someone takes the time to invite you to their event, the considerate thing to do is reply. Think about it: they're offering to entertain (and usually feed) you. While you're certainly not obligated to attend, you are compelled to respond. I'd go as far to argue that it's not just the nice thing to do, but a requisite.
We Have Text And Email
I totally get that for moms with social anxiety, having to cold call someone you've possibly never met (your kid's classmate's mom, for example) is a daunting task. Thanks to technology, we don't have to interact with anyone we don't want to in person (for real, I just ordered my coffee from my phone from inside a Starbucks). Except when it comes to the actual party, and unfortunately, I can't help you there (unless you want to do what I do and make friends with the cat.)
Seriously. See above. When I get an invitation in the mail, I put it on the fridge or in my inbox until I have replied to the host. I never let it go more than a few days. I'm an on-the-go mom (aren't we all?), so I try to check my calendar and RSVP immediately if I can with a quick text, or for more formal occasions, with the enclosed response card.
Invites from Facebook or Paperless Post are fairly intuitive and make your RSVP a piece of cake. I don't know any millennial mama that can't handle a drop down menu.
They Know The Host Has To Plan For Food
I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend the same summer I got married. Eight ladies confirmed their attendance, so I ordered a dozen gourmet cupcakes (just in case). I kid you not, 20 people showed up and several brought their children. I had to pick up grocery store birthday cupcakes to make sure all those couldn't-find-the-time-to-RSVP people got their noms.
Hosts also run the risk of purchasing too much food, which is a giant waste of money. When planning a wedding, caterers charge per head and they require a count ahead of time. I can't be the only one who cringes at the idea of pan-seared scallops in the trash.
They Believe In The Golden Rule
The biggest reason I RSVP? I hope people will show me the same courtesy when it's my turn to do the honors.
They Don't Assume
The worst excuse for not sending that simple RSVP? "But you knew I was coming!" False. Nope. That's a hard and fast nope. I don't care if it's a bridal shower in your honor or you're bringing the damn piñata. You still send the damn card.
They Know "I Forgot" Is A Lame Excuse
Millennials already have an unfortunate reputation as being self-centered. It's an unfounded generalization, to be sure, but I can't help but feel like failure to RSVP is a generational problem. My mom's generation just doesn't get it (and they're not wrong). If we're so caught up in our own lives that we can't be bothered to say "yes" or "no," maybe we need to own up to some of that criticism. Millennials are the most tolerant, connected, and well-educated generation ever, so the timely, efficient RSVP should be our bread and butter.
They're Setting An Example
Grown-ass moms know that their kids are watching their every move. If they ignore an invitation, it teaches kids that it's acceptable to discount the feelings and needs of others. I believe in the power of small gestures. A child who learns a little bit of etiquette just might grow up to be a kind and thoughtful adult. It's a parental responsibility, and one I "accept with pleasure."