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Respond Please

I don’t get.

What is so hard about saying “yes” or “no” to a party invitation?

Especially if the bash is for a child.

A young child who doesn’t understand why some of his friends didn’t show up for his safari-themed shindig.

Or worse, why some said they’d be there, and then bailed at the last minute.

Fortunately, young children are resilient, void of pettiness, unresentful… and easily distracted by cake, ice cream, balloons, streamers and presents.

Especially presents.

It’s the parents hosting the party who could stand to channel more of that forgiving nature.

Of course, I certainly don’t blame my brother and sister-in-law for being peeved regarding the response to my nephew’s birthday party.

Organizing a large get-together is often stressful, time-consuming and expensive, which is why it’s nice to know roughly how many people will be attending the event.  That way you can plan accordingly.

Even if you’ve never hosted a party before, I’m sure you’d agree that it is helpful to know in advance how much food you’ll need, how many plates to have on hand, and how many seats you have to set-up for musical chairs.

Also, do you know what macaroni and cheese for 50 looks like after a party where only 30 people show?

Macaroni and cheese for 50.

Sure, you’re a busy parent.  So am I.

You’re tired, overcommitted, and many times it’s nearly impossible to find party invitations crumpled at the bottom of your child’s backpack.

That part I get.

What I don’t understand is the lack of courtesy involved in responding to a simple party invitation.

According to the late, great etiquette guru Emily Post:  “Anyone receiving an invitation with an R.S.V.P. on it is obliged to reply…”  Ignoring this standard is considered “inexcusably rude.”

For the record, RSVP is derived from the French phrase, répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “Please respond.”

And if you respond “yes”; show up, and if for some reason you can’t, have the decency to notify the party host.

How do you say that in French?

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.