RSVP Explained

I’ve talked about RSVP, the translation and what it means before, but since then I’ve received questions from people regarding it a little more. More commonly the question is, “When can I back out of an RSVP?” To be honest, only in the event of an emergency. If you receive a “better” invitation, that’s not the appropropriate time to back out of an RSVP’d event.

Backing out after accepting an invitation is telling your would-have-been hosts that something more appealing came up. By sending a positive RSVP, you are, in truth, forgoing any other options that may be presented to you later. Acceptable cirumstances you would be able to later decline would include becoming sick or having a child or a dependent become sick. It would not include having a friend decide to come to visit last minute or that you received a party invite that seemed more fun.

I know this may all sound harsh, but the truth is, when someone extends you an invitation, they aren’t just trying to fill a seat. They want you there. And it is, to be blunt, rude when you initially accept and then back out once something “better” has come along.

All of that being said, the people who are asking the question are not people I consider rude. I think this is just a case of people living busy lives and time being limited. This is not a generational thing either. It’s a cultural  and societal problem.We glorify busyness for the sake of being busy and think that if you can survive without caffeine, you’re not doing enough. We live in a time where store are open 24/7 so that we are never without. We don’t have to wait for anything, adding to the instant gratification issue. Heaven forbid anyone who has a cell phone not answer a call or text. We are held hostage in our lives.

I say we all deserve better. We deserve months that aren’t so packed with activities that we don’t know what to do with an evening off. Consideration of other people’s time starts with consideration of our own. Do not feel pressured to accept every invitaiton you receive. You don’t need to give a reason. Simply let them know you will not be able to attend. That being said, have respect for any invitation you do accept and make sure to attend.

So, how far out do you need to send your reply? Unless a date is stated, two weeks prior to an event is a solid amount of time to give the hosts time to prepare. Let’s all do our part to send our reply from this point forward. Thank you for reading!

The Pay-It-Forward Phenomenon

In recent years, the pay-it-forward phenomenon has become a “thing.” If you haven’t been part of this chain reaction, allow me to explain it and my thoughts on it.

Usually, it takes place in a drive-thru line. Once you place your order, you pull up, fully expecting to pay. However, lo and behold, your meal has already been taken care of. So, in some point in time, someone decided the correct thing to do would be to “pay it forward” right then and there. So, instead of paying for your own meal, you then pay for the person’s meal behind you, and the story continues.

In theory, this is all well and good. However, I truly do not care for the practice. If you know me in person, I enjoy paying for people’s drinks/meals randomly behind us in the drive-thru line. However, I never realized until I heard of this practice, that I may actually be placing a burden on them. I would never, ever want to do that.

You see, many people plan their meals very carefully financially. They should not feel pressured into paying for anything other than what they originally planned to pay for. Now, you may not think this is the case, but I have, unfortunately, witnessed someone trying to guilt someone into keeping this practice going. Not okay.

Additionally, we have pulled away from a grace-filled society. I have a hard time accepting compliments, which can impact my willingness to give them. Not because I don’t think your dress is cute and not because I don’t think you have a pretty smile. It’s because, for a while, it was not a part of my norm.

We should allow ourselves to accept compliments and accept a drink at Starbucks without feeling any amount of guilt. No guilt to pass it on. No guilt that someone might think we’re better. I think some of this guilt derived from a “participation trophy” society. It is not selfish to say thank you to something and move on without trying to level the playing field, so to speak.

I know this is a topic some of you may not agree with me on, and that’s ok. We’re allowed to be different. I’m in no way saying to never pay for a drink if yours has been paid for. I’m simply saying, don’t feel obligated to, and please never make someone feel obligated to. 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts, regardless of whether or not they agree with mine!

As always, thank you for reading!