RSVP–What does that mean?

pen_and_paperApparently, RSVP means nothing to a lot of people.  That’s a pity, and I think it speaks loudly of our American culture.  We are so modern now that etiquette is old fashioned.  Why should anyone bother with niceties anymore?  Why should anyone be considerate of anyone else’s time?  After all, it’s your moment, and you should be able to spend it any damn way you please.  (For more on “the moment”, please see A Moment with Ripley) Hey, if it inconveniences someone, no problem, you can just apologize and all will be forgiven, right?

Does anyone know anything about commitment?  I hear the excuse, “Well, I never know what I’m doing until the weekend, so I can’t answer you now”.  What does that really mean?  Translation: “I don’t want to make a commitment to your event now, because something better might come along by the weekend.”  If you rank so low in someone’s book, why bother having them as a friend? The real answer could be “I would be happy to come to your event." or “I’m sorry, I already have something scheduled for that day.” That shows commitment, both to you, and to the relationship.

Luckily, there are still a few of us old fashioned people, who promptly say whether they can make it or not, then stick to the commitment.  I think President Obama is one of those people – when he was running for President in 2007, he made a commitment that one of the things he was going to do was deal with Osama Bin Laden.  People were surprised when it was announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead – I guess they thought that the President would not keep to his commitment.  Guess they were wrong, huh?

So, please, if you get an invitation to something, make the effort to not waste the other person’s time – and RSVP. Come on, most invitations are sent electronically now via Evite, or Facebook, so it’s not like you even have to get out a pen or find a stamp.  Just say yes or no. 

Oh, and in case you don’t know what RSVP means: répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning “reply please” or "please respond".

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