RSVP-uh-leeze In the Powder Room


Four little French letters that separate us from the animals. Take this quiz to see where you fall on the rude bitch-o-meter.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: SUMMER! Sorry, December, but you ain’t got nothing on the months of June, July and August. It’s time for graduation parties, baby showers, and weddings.

Which means that it’s also time for people to act inappropriately.

No, I don’t mean downing too many libations at a party.

I’m referring to the inappropriate response that hosts receive when requesting the honor of a guest’s presence. That response?

. . .

. . .

. . .

People: let’s talk about a little acronym called “RSVP.”

Whether you know the exact translation or not, you get the gist: tell the host if you’re going to show up to her event.

Let’s take an RSVP quiz. (Spoiler alert: if the correct response isn’t obvious, scroll to the last line of this post.)

Weddings. You receive a paper invitation six weeks+ in advance. You…

  1. open it, criticize its color scheme, and let it fall to the bottom of the pile.
  2. open it, freak out about your wardrobe, log onto Facebook to see what you wore at the last wedding, and let it fall to the bottom of the pile.
  3. open it, look at the calendar, realize that the wedding is already notated as you previously received a save-the-date, and mail the RSVP.

Evites. You receive an Evite to a friend’s party. You…

  1. don’t click on the link, and let the Evite fall into the abyss that is your inbox.
  2. click on the link, look at who’s going to see if it’s worth your time, and let the Evite fall into the abyss that is your inbox.
  3. click on the link, mark the email as unread so you remember to check with your spouse, and respond within three days.

Informal invitations. Your neighbor texts to ask if you want to BBQ on Saturday night. You…

  1. don’t text back, because you’re unsure of your plans.
  2. text back, “We should totally do that some time,” but never intend to.
  3. text back, “Let me check our calendar.” You discuss with your spouse and text back,“Sorry. We’re unavailable” or “Yes. What can I bring?”

Let me guess: you would respond to things more promptly, but you’re just really busy? Yeah, Honey. You, and everyone else.

Want to know the great thing about weddings, parties, and BBQs? YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO. While your dance moves may be unparalleled, your party tricks hilarious, and your appetizers Pinterest-worthy, this event will go on without you.

If you view the invitation and feel excitement (or obligation), then make up your mind and go. If you view the invitation and feel a sense of dread because you’d rather do something (or nothing) else, then make up your mind and don’t go.

Once you decide and move on, you’ll feel better. Do you ever hear yourself saying, “Oh, I might have something going on that night.” I don’t. I either have something planned, or I chose to pass. Making the decision, however you choose to RSVP, is liberating.

The host, bless her organizing heart, just wants to know if it will go onwith or without you. She’s not going to sing a U2 rock ballad in your honor. She just wants to know how much booze to buy.

So, be a good little invitee: RSVP, damn it.


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I’m the Social Butterfly Mom: a French teacher turned stay-at-home mom, striving to maintain a social life with and without a kid. Blogger, cabaret rapper, below average triathlete, (book) club hopper.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. Toni says

    LOVE THIS!!! I hate when parents don’t RSVP to kids birthday parties!!! I could give a rip if your little rug rat is coming to the party or not I just want to be sure I have enough of those crappy gift bags!!!

    • says

      Mary Anne- I’m glad that you brought that up. I am also a huge advocate of thank you notes and forcing…ahem…asking your kids to do them with you. From his first birthday on, my kid has, at the very least, attached stickers to the envelope. Thank you notes are such an important way to show gratitude.

      • Diane says

        I totally agree, I’ve always taught my children to write thank you notes for gift from friends or family.
        Now that they;re grown I hope they pass this tradition down to their children. I don’t know about you but I love getting cards and notes. e-mails don’t count.

  2. says

    YESSSSSSSS! It’s no secret where I stand on this issue. I’m not going to cry if you don’t come; I just need to know how much food to buy! Posting this link in the Facebook event for my cookout that’s happening in two days. Still 19 people who haven’t responded..

  3. Jenn says

    As an event planner, I thank you.

    For potential guests: if your dietary needs are anything other than “will eat anything” tell the host AT LEAST a week before the event. Don’t call the host the day before to make sure the food will include a vegan, gluten-free Paleo dessert that respects your nut allergy. It’s unlikely the host can change the menu after about 3 days before the event, whether it’s home-cooked or catered.

    And if your diet is extremely limited, bring something you know you can eat unless you are certain the host has the same food limitations.

    • says

      Jenn- you could write a whole other post on hosting people with dietary needs. I love your example of “a vegan, gluten-free Paleo dessert that respects your nut allergy.” 😉 For that person, I’d probably shove my fruit salad in her face and say, “Have at it!”

  4. says

    Thank you for writing this. I hope a lot of people see it. It isn’t only rude when people ignore your invitation, it comes off as they think they’re better, at least that’s how it feels. I’m a single mom with seven kids. Our parties are very small to keep costs down. I say on the invitation, “very few kids are invited so I need to know.” Yet more often than not, they don’t RSVP. Sometimes they say they’ll sleep over and change their mind when they get here. Last year I had a huge Minecraft Treasure Hunt for my son on one floor and a Salon/Spa for my daughter upstairs. Three kids between the two parties had to leave early with no notice, throwing off both activities. One year, a mom promised she was coming, the only other guest ended up not staying and the other mom didn’t bother to show or even call the next day. My daughter had no one at her slumber party. If they would’ve just told me, with all the advance notice I gave them, we could’ve invited other friends. Moms should think about someone other than themselves. Sorry for the rant, this is a pet peeve and something I wouldn’t ever do. Great post!

    • says

      Faye- thanks so much for reading and for your comments. That is unfortunate that you even need to prod people to respond on the invitation. You bring up a good point, too: it can be very disappointing for a child celebrating a birthday for her friends to NOT show up. Hard to feel like the guest of honor when there are no other guests. :(

  5. Lisa Hewitt says

    I love this. Especially the -“You Don’t Have To Go” part. That is all it is for, people. Going – Not Going. You don’t even have to give a reason. Matter of fact, please don’t give a reason. And -just a peeve – I do not care what you will and will not eat. If it is that complicated you need to bring a snack. (allergies are, of course, excused, but that is even starting to get on my nerves) I probably should not be allowed to entertain.

  6. Sandra Petron says

    Just received a wedding invitation today and the response card is already in the mail!!!

  7. Lisa says

    Thank you! Even if it is just a text invite to a small get together, or “Hey wanna come over tomorrow night and grill?” Just answer! I love my sister but she is the worst at this. Oftentimes not responding until an hour before she is invited to be here. I have stopped inviting her.

    • says

      Haha, Lauranne :) Sometimes, I do text a handful of “must have” friends to see which date works best for them when planning a party. But no tears are shed if they can’t attend.