In today's culture of Facebook parties, E-vites, and one touch responses to any and all invites to games, magazines, and online subscriptions we have lost something so special. We have lost respect for the RSVP. We have lost the value of what it means to say we will be somewhere and then actually follow through. It is so frustrating as a party loving type A personality to go through the hassle of anything in today's day and age just to have it fall flat because everyone around me doesn't seem to understand that a simple press of a button has huge ramifications. So let me break it down for you.
RSVP: répondez s'il vous plaît, In other words...Please Respond. It doesn't mean Please Say Yes. It simply says Please Respond. Use the best logical, according to your calendar so we can plan accordingly as well, response to our invitation. Annnd here's why...
1. The Food: When you say yes, the amount of food goes up. The amount of money going into the food goes up. The amount of time going into the preparation of that food gets longer. Have respect and don't waste the Hosts time, money, and energy. Respond Accordingly.
2. The Cleaning: Depending on the person and the venue the amount of cleaning that happens is directly correlated to the number of people coming or the number of new people coming. To be honest I normally stick most of my laundry in the laundry room and shut the door, scrub down the toilets and the sink in the bathroom we'll be using and call it a day. Unlesssss... it is a big fancy party then it's an all out cleaning fest for three days in which my whole family hides and cries for their toys. Show some respect for the energy spent people. If you say you'll be there. Be there.
3. The Time Spent: For most Moms who are planning any sort of get together it takes more time than the average person solely because we have a mess making force sucking Being following us around all day. Errands to pick up plates and decorations? 3 hours instead of 30 minutes because we get to drag a little person and 2 bags plus 3 sippy cups, a stuffed animal, and a crumbling pack of crackers up and down every aisle that is approved for not causing temper tantrums just to make it to the party aisle that doesn't include Frozen or Jake and the Neverland Pirates rather than bee lining it like normal people...and don't get me started on hanging the decorations if they are awake. That's a hazard in and of itself! Want to make cookies instead of buying them? Plan on making double because little ninja fingers will poke holes in half to claim them as "theirs" before the party starts...Favors? Have to be done during naptime and bedtimes so any sharp objects don't become WMD to the poor animals in the house if you have a little boy who thinks he's a TMNT. Think sleep is happening? It's not...Respect the time spent people. There's so much more happening behind that cute hairdo and lipgloss sheen of a smile that it will make your husband's nightmares look like unicorn and rainbow sprinkle dreams.
4. The Money Spent: For every "Yes", the average party can cost between 5-15 dollars depending on the occasion and event. Your haphazard Yes that should have been a Maybe that actually was a No just cost that Host money. Are you reimbursing them? Probably not. Be respectful. Think through your schedule. Realise that not everyone has the money to blow and some of them do this because they love to take care of people and hosting is one way of doing that.
5. The Emotions: Do you know what it is like to deal with a heartbroken child who thinks people are coming to a playdate...and then not have them show because of last minute issues. That could have been resolved with simple adult steps in place. Like an alarm clock? Do you know what it is like to have people text you last minute because they forgot that so & so was supposed to be in town that day so they had to cancel on you instead? yet again...adult invention...a calendar. Do you know what it is like to spend weeks organizing an event just to have the 30 Yes' turn out to be 6 because everyone in Facebook land are button pushing happy people who have forgotten that on the other end of that Yes is an actual person with actual feelings?
I know what it is like to have too much money spent, too much food left over, no one show, people show up 3 hours late because apparently that's ok now, and a heartbroken boy who thinks no one likes him. I know what it is like to be mad at this generation for thinking all this is ok and not knowing what to tell my kid because at the end of the day...I'm right there with him. I feel just as heartbroken and rejected and lonely as he does when all my hard work and energy is so easily blown off and forgotten. What's worse is that the outcome of all this are people who are giving up on people, in my son's case - a hardening towards people at a young age because of early heartbreak that shouldn't be happening. It makes people distrustful, builds fake relationships that are online only, false hopes every time we see those numbers climb online, and ultimately it shows our true lack of respect across the board as a generation.
I for one am tired of it. I'm tired of all the planning and hoping just for all the letdown and heartbreak because as a mom you still have to smile and act like it's ok. You have to be the bigger person and say that everything is fine when it's not. So let's try three things:
1. Check your schedules. If your busy, say No.
2. Mark your calendars and set your alarm clock. Be an adult and utilise the tools given you on your phone. Your using it to read this, use it for other things as well ;)
3. Actually show up. Be Respectful to your host and be there on time.
Hopefully it will help turn around this horrid trend of today. Good luck with your next party.
Jules & Monkey