R.S.V.P. It’s French.  It means répondez s’il vous plait.  Translated into English it means get off your lazy ass, pick up the phone, and call the number on the invitation I sent you and let me know if you are coming to the party or not.  If I don’t answer the phone, just leave a message.

Okay…okay.. translated into English R.S.V.P. actually means  respond please.  But for some reason, it appears that people are completely ignoring the little note that says R.S.V.P. on their invitations. They’re not responding at ALL.  And I’m not sure why.

Is it because it’s French and not that many people in the good ole U.S. of A. speak French?  Well, if that was YOUR excuse, you can’t use it anymore.  I’ve just translated it for you and so now you know what R.S.V.P. means.

The same holds if you were going to say you don’t R.S.V.P. because YOU think it means REGRETS s’il vous plait and that you only need to call if you AREN’T coming to the party.  It doesn’t.  If I wanted you to only call if you weren’t planning on attending my party, I would have written the words “Regrets Only.”  But I didn’t.

And while I’m at it, let me also tell you that the date written after the letters R.S.V.P. means that you are supposed to call and announce whether you are coming or not BY THAT DATE.  It’s kind of like the sell by date on a package of ground beef.  Or the expiration date on your carton of milk.  You are supposed to do something BY THAT DATE.  When the date is linked to an R.S.V.P. it means you are supposed to let me know BY THAT DATE if you plan to attend or not.  It does not mean wait until the day after the party to say “Oh, by the way, sorry we missed your party, we went camping that weekend…”

And now, dear readers, I’m sure you are asking yourselves what on earth is Belle’s diatribe all about?  You might even be shrugging on your jacket this very moment to run out and check your mailbox again, just to be sure you didn’t over look an invitation from me.  Don’t worry.  You didn’t.  My anger isn’t directed at you.

It’s directed at THE PEOPLE I SENT BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATIONS TO for Snags’ 6th Birthday.  And yes, I know his birthday is over and done with and that the party has already come to pass, but sheesh!  I realize I should let it go, but I can’t.  This is  STILL bothering me.

And it’s bothering a friend of mine too.  Natalie recently mailed out invitations for her daughter’s birthday party.  When we received ours, I picked up the phone to call and say that yes, Snags would very much like to come to the party and we were looking forward to it.  My friend then informed me that I was the ONLY person who had responded so far, and she was getting a bit worried.  Why weren’t people responding?  Had the invitations been lost in the mail?  Did people not like her daughter? 

I assured her that people loved her daughter.  Her daughter is beautiful, and smart, and friendly.  I explained that I had experienced the same thing over Snags’ party invitations.  I told her how I had sent out 15 invitations and only half that many bothered to respond. 

“So what should I do?”  my friend asked.

I suggested she give it some more time.  Be prepared, I told her, to feed and party with all the children you invited, but understand some of them won’t show up.  And they won’t tell you they aren’t going to show up.  And then, I went on, understand that some children WILL show up even though their parents haven’t called to tell you they are coming. And those children will likely bring uninvited brothers and sisters with them.  It’s a real mess, I agreed.  But plan for a full house and maybe half will come.  “You’ll probably have leftovers,” I told her.

I’ve discussed this issue with friends and co-workers alike.  I’ve asked them all what they would do, if they sent out invitations with a clear request for people to R.S.V.P. and the R.S.V.P.s weren’t coming in. Many people said they’d pick up the phone themselves and call their intended guests.  They would outright ask people if they were coming.  Others said they wouldn’t call.  They said they would hope for the best but expect the worst.

I think in the future I won’t write R.S.V.P. on my invitations at all.  I think I will come up with something new, an R.S.V.P. alternative.  I will write it on the invitations in fat red magic marker so it’s hard to miss. 

I’ve thought of a few already: 

C.A.T.M.I.U.R.C.T.T.P.O.N.B.4.12.O.S. (call and tell me if you are coming to the party or not before 12 on Saturday)


W! T.I.W.E.& S.D.S.A.O.Y.K.I.U.D.C.A.T.M.I.U.R.C.T.T.P.O.N.B.T.D.S. (Warning! This invitation will explode & spread dog shit all over your kitchen if you don’t call and tell me if you are coming to the party or not by the date specified).

Or, maybe simply:




Filed under birthdays, invitations, life, parties, R.S.V.P.

20 responses to “R.S.V.P.

  1. I know the frustration you feel. For my daughter’s 6th birthday we invited her whole class last year. I got a grand total of four RSVPs. The night BEFORE the party. 15 kids showed up for the party. What is wrong with people? Where is the common courtesy? I decided that this year, if they don’t RSVP and decide to show up anyway, I’m going to have to put on my bitch suit and turn them away. RSVPs are for planning and head counts and if someone doesn’t have the common courtesy to call, then I don’t have room for them at my party.

    Is that too bitchy? Can you tell I’m still frustrated, even a year later?

  2. Jenn, it makes me wonder if people are this relaxed about wedding invitations they get. It is a pain to not know for sure how many were coming to Snags’ birthday party, but planning to feed 15 or 16 kids some cake and potato chips is nothing compared to a sit down dinner and a wedding cake you pay for “by the slice”. Glad I’m already married… I envision brides all over wringing their hands wondering about 20 or 30 people who haven’t bothered to R.S.V.P.

  3. OMGoodness! I’m about to fall off the couch giggling! I just hosted a party with no RSVP’s called in, only three of the 15 showed up! And my daughter is having a birthday party on Saturday and I still don’t know how many are coming.

    I totally feel your pain…

    Can I use one of your new “RSVP”s for her next party?

  4. Lisa-Momma Tader Doodles, most certainly you can use my new R.S.V.P.s for future parties! Good luck on Saturday. I hope you have a good turn out.

  5. Oh I hate this Belle. They do it here too.
    I do ring people if I have a number or if I see them in the playground. I don’t worry about this, what with being the seasoned mother of a 7 year old.
    It is just sooo rude isn’t it.
    I feel your pain sweetie.

  6. I decided to try evites for our holiday party this year for that exact reason. That way my COMPUTER can remind people to RSVP (and to show up, for that matter) and no one can use the excuse that they forgot. They will be forced to admit they are just plain lame and no longer worthy of being my friends…

    On a brighter note, Belle, I have been lurking for quite a while now since I saw a post of yours that was published in some free parenting publication (the name of which I have now forgotten), and I think you are HILARIOUS.

    I have a 4 1/2 year-old boy and when I read your published post I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face and was banging my head on the dining room table (I’m not totally sure what that part was about…)

    You were literally my inspiration to finally start my own blog, which I’ve been Meaning to Do for several years now. (And I’ve borrowed some of your periods–punctuation, that is–I hope that’s okay!!)

    So thanks for all the laughs and the creative kick in the pants! 🙂

  7. Jen

    I think I like your last option best. We’re getting reading for TFYO’s fifth birthday, and knowing some of the parents, I’m wondering if I should bother at all. I’m going to write “Call for directions” on our invites. And then U.SUCK.IF.U.DON’T.R.S.V.P.

    At least that way I know they got them. Half probably still won’t show up. No one has manners anymore.

  8. Hi Marlee, Thanks for visiting! And for commenting! I have a friend who uses evites quite a bit. I will have to give that a try someday and see if I get more responses that way. Maybe I can set it to send reminders every 2 hours… That should force people to make a decision 😉

    Congratulations on starting your own blog. I’m off to go check it out now!

  9. Jen, I like that – call for directions…

    Of course, some people probably won’t bother with that either. If they know the general location they will do Google Maps and then drive around looking for birthday balloons…

  10. My vote is for the last one. tee hee….
    but seriously…what is wrong with people these days? ugh….

  11. I’m in agreement with Corey and Jen. The last one gets the biggest belly laugh and my vote too. Where is Ms. Manners when you need her? How has our etiquette slipped so far?

  12. Mrs. Weasley

    I think next time you should just invite your blog friends. They obviously know to RSVP, and know that Snags would like anything Star Wars, but you would prefer books for him as gifts.

  13. ROFLMAO! I love the last option. May I borrow this one for the next time I send out invites?

  14. Mercedes, you are welcome to it!

  15. This is HUGE pet peeve of mine, and I may just have to invoke your dog shit threat.

  16. Ha! I’m using that one for my next party!

  17. pbattist2

    Well, my daughter’s 6th birthday party is in 3 days and I have heard from only two mothers out of 15…..needless to say I am anxiously waiting by the phone hoping that at least half R.S.V.P that they can come. My husband’s best friend and his wife haven’t even called. I, too, am wondering what has happened to manners these days. The kicker is I have taken my daughter to at least 4 parties for kids in her class and always R.S.V.P. as soon as we get the invitation. I am just really worried about my daughter’s feelings because the girls in her class told her they received her invitations but haven’t said whether they were coming. This is soooo frustrating.

  18. Dane

    I have a 5 year old’s party in 3 days. We booked a place to have it and the RSVP date was a week ago, but out of 10 we have only received 2 regrets. How do you have a party with no kids? We will obviously have to cancel if we have no positive responses by the day before. It would just be a lot easier if people would RSVP.

  19. Keri

    I really relate to this frustrating business where parents are too busy or lazy to call up and tell you they are coming to your party or not. My son was devastated when no one showed up at the bowling alley for his party two years ago in West Virginia. We were fairly new to the small town, and perhaps that was their excuse for not bothering to call or come, even though my son had made friends with all these kids. We have since moved again, and I find it happening again! We sent out 8 invitations and we have received only one response from a parent. The party is in 3 days. What is wrong with these people? I understand that times are rough now, in fact I am a single mom who hasn’t been able to find work for months. It’s not hard to pick up the phone and call. I just want my son to have a nice 10th birthday without him worrying about kids coming or not. It’s horrible how some people have no manners at all.

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