People not RSVPing, anything else I can do? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > People not RSVPing, anything else I can do?
Luckiestgirl's Avatar Luckiestgirl 01:01 AM 06-28-2009
I had the same problem with a baby shower I hosted today, and it's been the same for almost every birthday party I've thrown.

I think it's rude not to RSVP. If you have a good reason for not knowing if you'll be able to attend (like my mother is in the hospital and if she's not released by the party date I won't make it), then I think you should call and tell the host that.

I understand that life is busy. But it is an honor to be invited to celebrate with someone. If you are unwilling to commit because you just despise commitments (or because you want to wait and see if something better comes along), then call and decline the invitation.

1littlebit's Avatar 1littlebit 01:18 AM 06-28-2009
not everybody is able to plan ahead way in advance and it has nothing to do with hating commitments or wanting to wait for something better.

i mean sure if the rsvp date is a week or two before the event that is one thing... but when i am asked to rsvp for something weeks or months in advance it is really hard for me. i want to go but i honestly cannot be 100% sure that i can attend something 3 months from now. i do try to rsvp but sometimes i forget.. if i don't rsvp i am not coming.. although the only thing i have ever been invited to where they wanted responses from people who weren't coming were weddings. other then wedding though my family and friends generally do a call if you can come kind of thing
Kidzaplenty's Avatar Kidzaplenty 01:47 AM 06-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
not everybody is able to plan ahead way in advance and it has nothing to do with hating commitments or wanting to wait for something better.
That is what I was going to say. It has nothing to do with commmitment issues or seeing if something better comes along.

The honest truth is that with a large family, things happen all the time. I plan one day at a time. I never know what tomorrow will bring. And just because I can not guarantee that I will be able to show up in two months for something we were invited for does not mean I do not want to go or that I want to deprive my children of attending. Sometimes I just cannot plan beyond a few days in advance. That is just how life is. If you (the invitor) can not understand that, don't bother inviting us.
VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 03:00 AM 06-28-2009
I grew up in one of those "never know who might stop by for dinner" houses. My grandparents (where I lived) always had an open door policy, and it's wasn't rare to have someone - or an entire family - stop by randomly and stay for meals. So, for parties...there was enough to feed a small army no matter how many people said they'd come. I tend to be the same way really for our parties. The only time I've pushed knowing ahead of time was when we did something at a place where *they* needed advance counts, and then I contacted each parent individually.
dflanag2's Avatar dflanag2 03:25 AM 06-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
That is what I was going to say. It has nothing to do with commmitment issues or seeing if something better comes along.

The honest truth is that with a large family, things happen all the time. I plan one day at a time. I never know what tomorrow will bring. And just because I can not guarantee that I will be able to show up in two months for something we were invited for does not mean I do not want to go or that I want to deprive my children of attending. Sometimes I just cannot plan beyond a few days in advance. That is just how life is. If you (the invitor) can not understand that, don't bother inviting us.
If this is the case, and the hosts don't know you well, maybe you could RSVP and let them know "maybe"? And by RSVP, I mean just mention it the next time you see them. Thank them for the invite and explain your situation?

I've had lots of success with email invitations, less success with evite. I would find it very frustrating if my child's classroom didn't have a name/email/phone list. Could this be something initiated by a parent? I am taking hold of the list for DD's preschool this fall; last year when DS was enrolled I rec'd the contact info for the 10 that were enrolled at the beginning of the year, then had to personally pursue the additional 5 students who enrolled later in the year.

I've had a few frustrating invitation problems. I've had people back out of a dinner party at the last minute, I had already prepared most of the food. (Friend's BF whom I hadn't met yet decided to make other plans at the last minute with his mother and friend felt obligated to go with him.)

I had one gathering one time where no one showed up. That was a bit humiliating. I've had a playgroup (a standing date that rotates from house to house) where no one showed up--I find the best playgroups are when only 1 or 2 kids show up! What I've learned over the years is that there are some people I just don't invite or count on much in general. I try not to hold it against them, and I focus on enjoying my guests who always respond, frequently show up, are willing to help, and sometimes reciprocate by inviting us to their functions.
pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 07:00 AM 06-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
I have forgotten to RSVP for parties in the past, but I don't then show up to the party.
Exactly. Or I call the host, say I'm sorry, they always say of course to come, and then I offer to bring something.
DariusMom's Avatar DariusMom 07:03 AM 06-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dflanag2 View Post
If this is the case, and the hosts don't know you well, maybe you could RSVP and let them know "maybe"? And by RSVP, I mean just mention it the next time you see them. Thank them for the invite and explain your situation?
Great advice. Please do this. Yes, I get that life with lots of kids can be tough and a day-by-day proposition, but why not just explain that in some way to those who have offered you and/or your kids their hospitality? I just don't think that having lots of kids or a busy life buys a 'get out of jail free' card. it's really frustrating and sometimes hurtful not to get *any* response from people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dflanag2 View Post
What I've learned over the years is that there are some people I just don't invite or count on much in general. I try not to hold it against them, and I focus on enjoying my guests who always respond, frequently show up, are willing to help, and sometimes reciprocate by inviting us to their functions.
I try this too, but I still find the whole not RSVPing, even with a firm maybe, really really rude.
1littlebit's Avatar 1littlebit 09:27 AM 06-28-2009
i have rsvp'd with a maybe many times.. but that doesn't really help the host much yk?
pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 11:55 AM 06-28-2009
Well,

(1) Formal etiquette would rarely require you to respond months ahead of time for a typical party. I'm sure there are exceptions, destination weddings, etc. but they are extremely rare. If I ask you to RSVP a month before my child's at-home birthday party, I had better have a reason and we don't throw those kind of parties. I would say we are invited to 40+ parties a year and I can't think of one like that.

(2) Some people seem to be saying with their actions and/or words that *in general* you don't want a lifestyle where you have to commit to parties ahead of time. So they thing is ... the only polite way for you to handle that as your valid lifestyle choice is for you to decline those kind of parties. That way your time is yours to do with as you wish and you are not being rude to a host. There will still be social events for you to go to: open houses, informal gatherings where you are invited to stop by if you can. But it's not fair to the host to not RSVP and then *show up*. And much more polite to decline timely.

One of the great things about Evite is that you can have a Maybe option with a description. I do offer this to my guests usually, and this allows me to guestimate the number of people that will show up as long as it's not abused (and it's not been so far) and I don't spend too much extra on food that will go to waste.
1littlebit's Avatar 1littlebit 12:00 PM 06-28-2009
i love the evite!!!
DariusMom's Avatar DariusMom 12:08 PM 06-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i have rsvp'd with a maybe many times.. but that doesn't really help the host much yk?
for me, at least, it helps a bit. It helps me to know that at least they got the invitation and are on top of it. usually, if I give a maybe, or if i get a maybe, I also tell the host, or get from the invitee, a firm date on which I will know, or will let them know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
Well,

(1) Formal etiquette would rarely require you to respond months ahead of time for a typical party. I'm sure there are exceptions, destination weddings, etc. but they are extremely rare. If I ask you to RSVP a month before my child's at-home birthday party, I had better have a reason and we don't throw those kind of parties. I would say we are invited to 40+ parties a year and I can't think of one like that.
Exactly. and, honestly, the months ahead kind of thing is usually host(ess)es desperate attempt to get on people's calenders, so that they can plan for the event and not be 'too busy'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

(2) Some people seem to be saying with their actions and/or words that *in general* you don't want a lifestyle where you have to commit to parties ahead of time. So they thing is ... the only polite way for you to handle that as your valid lifestyle choice is for you to decline those kind of parties. That way your time is yours to do with as you wish and you are not being rude to a host. There will still be social events for you to go to: open houses, informal gatherings where you are invited to stop by if you can. But it's not fair to the host to not RSVP and then *show up*. And much more polite to decline timely.
So very true, and so well put. It's fine if people, for whatever reason, don't want to commit to events. But, then, as Pig Pokey says, you need to just politely decline, not keep the host(ess) hanging because "life gets in the way."
SimonMom's Avatar SimonMom 12:20 PM 06-28-2009
I have to say, I love evite! It has a maybe option, it sends out automatic reminders. It's harder to forget to rsvp when you're getting reminders and you see that other people have already responded. I was a little worried about not sending out a formal invitation, but after using it, I'm thrilled with it. It's also fairly common in my social circle.
moaningminny's Avatar moaningminny 12:20 PM 06-28-2009
We're talking about birthday parties here. My DDs have been invited to many of them, and we're talking about planning 2-3 weeks tops - not months. If you have a lifestyle where you want to or need to live day by day that's fine. You need to realize though that it's still rude to not RSVP - it's that simple. It would be much more considerate to the host to just say "no thanks".

Even though you may not see it as "waiting to see if something better comes up" it really does appear that that's what you're doing. I just have a really hard time understanding how it's extremely difficult to plan ahead if you're given 2-3 weeks to do it. That's my problem, though....I'm a planner and organizer, so living by the moment would drive me crazy - I need structure.

When I get an invitation I usually reply within a couple of days. I immediately look at my calendar, and if I don't have anything written down I try to anticipate whether or not something could be happening. If not, I RSVP that my DD will be attending.

We use Evite here too. I like it because if you haven't RSVPd it sends out a reminder. It's an easy way to get a head count, and it's also better for the environment to save on the paper needed for paper invitations - at least that's the excuse I use, but I'm actually just too lazy to make up the paper ones myself!

As I'm sure you can tell by reading the "Haven't received RSVPs - what do I do?" threads on here, not RSVPing creates problems for the host. Is a yes, no or maybe really too much to ask?
Tigeresse's Avatar Tigeresse 12:49 PM 06-28-2009
I just had a party w/only 2 rsvp's for my ds. Fortunately they are his 2 best friends, but he kept asking me if the other few kids were coming and I couldn't tell him either way. One of the kids has shown up at his party in the past without an rsvp and I had not planned for him or his sib and ended up shorting my own kids their goodie bags.

I think it's rude not to rsvp when asked to on an invite. Sometimes the host has lots going on too and can't spend the time following up w/every non-rsvp'er.

OP: hope you have a fun party for your ds!
crl's Avatar crl 04:00 PM 06-29-2009
Thanks everyone, especially for the birthday wishes for DS.

We had a good party. The three kids who had RSVPed yes all came and the one who RSVPed maybe also came. No one else came.

It was hard for DS when we were there setting up before the party not knowing who was coming. Fortunately once we hit three kids present he recovered and had a good time.

For those who were concerned about having to plan ahead, I asked for RSVPs just one week before the party. I certainly understand situations like the maybe for our party, where the single parent had just had surgery and didn't know if he would feel well enough to make it. Other than that kind of situation, I would personally prefer that people just say no. It helps me with planning, and more important, it means I can tell my kid upfront who is coming and who isn't. It was hard for him to face the disappointment of some of his friends not coming and it would have been a lot easier for him if I could have told him even the day before.

Catherine
betsyj's Avatar betsyj 04:11 PM 06-29-2009
Being busy does not justify being rude. When people ask for an RSVP it is rude to not give one. If you are going say yes, if you are not sure then you should say no.

Living day to day is fine-but it is not an excuse to leave people guessing as to your intentions.
spottiew's Avatar spottiew 06:24 PM 06-29-2009
There needs to be a polite way to state 'if i don't hear from you, i won't plan for you'; such that you can't just decide 'day of' in this particular case...
Snuzzmom's Avatar Snuzzmom 06:42 PM 06-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
Being busy does not justify being rude. When people ask for an RSVP it is rude to not give one. If you are going say yes, if you are not sure then you should say no.

Living day to day is fine-but it is not an excuse to leave people guessing as to your intentions.
I have to say, I agree with this. I do not know ANYONE who isn't busy. To me, saying that you're too busy to respond is the same thing as saying, "My time is more important than yours."

OBVIOUSLY there are exceptions-- sometimes life really and truly does get overwhelming and responding or not to a child's bday party is the least of your concerns.

I have a friend who was supposed to babysit for us on Saturday night. I emailed her a reminder... didn't hear back. I called... didn't hear back. But because she usually does respond, I knew she had a pretty darn good reason for not getting back to me, so I wasn't upset except for being a concerned that she was okay. But if she was the kind of person who never responded, I wouldn't know what the heck was going on.
Quinalla's Avatar Quinalla 06:43 PM 06-29-2009
I can totally relate to having to respond to a lot of things with "maybe" as my DH's work leaves us with little choice, but it is much better to respond maybe with an explanation and an idea of when I will know for sure, than not respond at all. I usually say, "I can't commit right now because of Z, but we should know by Y date. Is it ok if I let you know then? I want to come, but I don't want to mess up the planning, so if you have to know by X, then I will have to decline."

For most casual parties, letting someone know a day or two ahead of time is not a problem and they are fine with it. They much prefer that to no response which could mean so many things from the person didn't get the invitation or lost it to the other extreme of they didn't RSVP but are bringing 3 extra people
Snuzzmom's Avatar Snuzzmom 06:49 PM 06-29-2009
I think a maybe is totally acceptable. It just means I'll follow up with you again closer to the date of the event... that is fine. At least I know you've seen the invitation and have some interest in attending.
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