Manners Matter: Respect the RSVP

Dear Mary Pat,

What is with people and their lack of respect for RSVPs? Last week, I hosted a party for my daughter. I sent out invitations three weeks ahead of time to the few people we were having over and all marked “yes” on the invitation. I sent them all a quick note the day before – “See you all tomorrow!” – and the next day, not a single one showed up to the party. I am so angry. I bought and prepared all of the drinks and food we served (even doubling some of the recipes). Worst of all, not a single one told me they wouldn’t be able to come the day of and none of them have reached out since. How do I handle this?


Hosting Horrors

Brussels, Wis.


Dear Hosting Horrors,

Everything has become so casual and as a result, people forget basic manners. If you RSVP to a party, you show up. If you can’t make it, last minute or otherwise, you call. It’s so simple. I cannot believe that not one person showed for your daughter’s party. And not one person called ahead? That is beyond rude. Sometimes there is an emergency and calling isn’t an option, but I have a hard time believing that an entire guest list had emergencies which prevented them from using their dialing or texting fingers.

When someone plans a party, there is usually a considerable amount of time, expense and effort put forth. Don’t think, “Oh, it’s only a kid’s party, it’s no big deal if I blow it off.” It is a big deal.

If these are close friends of yours, pick up the phone and tell them that you are disappointed that they didn’t come to the party.

Don’t lose your temper or raise your voice, but just let them know that you were counting on them to make it. This would be the time for them to then say that they are sorry and offer a reason. If you aren’t close to the people invited, think twice about inviting them to anything in future. If it comes up when you see them at school, they will hopefully have the courtesy to give you an explanation and an apology. If not, let it go and find others who are more considerate of your time and hospitality.


Good luck,

Mary Pat