Every Spring and every Fall, the Direct Selling companies come out with their new catalogs. That means, every Spring and every Fall there is a good chance that you will be invited to a plethora of what I like to lovingly call… “Buy Crap Parties.” And since I now represent one of those companies, I don’t feel entirely horrible saying that.
People tend to fall into two categories when it comes to B.C. parties: Love ’em or Hate ’em. I fall into the former category, if you couldn’t tell. I love to entertain and have people over and if it means that I have the chance to get some needed shopping done without taking the kids out, all the better. But I totally understand that, statistically, at least half of us HATE the B.C. parties. No matter if you love them or hate them, bottom line, you really have to RSVP to them.
RSVP (Respondez sil vous plait- French for “Please Reply) seems to be a dying bit of etiquitte and there is no good reason for that! You want to know how bad it could get? My BF had to call people to see if they were planning on attending her wedding because they hadn’t RSVP’d. How horrible is that?? The RSVP is not there to make your host feel good about themselves, it is there so your host knows how many guests to accommodate. As a host, there is nothing worse than having an event and not having enough for your guests. My personal rule for invitations is this: When I get an invite, I check the calendar. If there is nothing on the calendar, I will RSVP ‘YES!’ not ‘Maybe?’ In my opinion, the “maybe” option for an RSVP is horrible waste of time. ‘Maybe’ doesn’t tell your host anything… will I have 5 guests or 50 guests? I don’t know as 45 of the replies are ‘Maybe.’ And what does that mean exactly? I “maybe” there if nothing better comes up that day? That’s the way to treat your friends. If I have something going on, according to the family calendar, then I will RSVP ‘No.’ But the key to it all is, RSVP as soon as you get the invitation. If you wait a day or two, there is a good chance that your invite will get lost in the shuffle of the family mail and you will end up being one of those people who your host has to call.
That brings me to my next point. If you host does call to see if you are coming to their party, and you do not want to go, be honest with your host. Do not make false promises or make up a reason that you can’t attend that later on catches you in that lie. Let me tell you from personal experience, your host would rather feel the mild pinch of disappointment that you will not be attending than to feel the huge sting of rejection when she finds out that you lied to her. I have a dear friend, Miss N, who does not like to attend B.C. parties and we all know this fact. But I will still invite her because she’s my friend and 90% of the time she declines with grace. Doesn’t make up a reason, doesn’t blow smoke up my dupa, just says “Thank you for the invitation, but I am unable to attend.” Period.
Despite all of your misgivings, please know that your host thought to invite you to her party not because she wants you to spend money on crap, but because you are her friend and would like to hang out with you in an environment other than your norm. But if you really do not want to attend the parties, don’t forget to RSVP, with a graceful “Thank You for thinking of me, but I am unable to attend,” a la Miss N.