Last week I attended a farewell reception for the headmaster of my daughter’s former school. It was a wonderful occasion which afforded me the pleasure of visiting with friends I hadn’t seen for awhile.

In a conversation with my friend Lauren, she shared a dilemma. She was planning a fairly large gathering for Thanksgiving and had invited quite a few folks. Her challenge was getting people to commit to either attending or not. She said the most common answer was, “We’ll try to be there.” Wha????

So, in this situation, how should she prepare the dinner? Four or fourteen? Or the larger question, why would ANYONE with the slightest notion of protocol or courtesy place a friend in this position? Especially one who is inviting them to a full on, eat all you want until you pass out on the sofa Thanksgiving feast for crying out loud!!

I present this example as context for my message about RSVPs. It’s very simple.   Please respond. Don’t leave your host or hostess hanging. Let them know. Communicate. Check the box. Yes or no.

Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post has some insight (and I paraphrase)

…No one wants surprises. Unfortunately, some people just show up, thinking it isn’t a big deal, when in fact it can cause a huge amount of stress, distraction and annoyance…

It is totally inconsiderate, but actually quite common, for guests to fail to RSVP. (HINT…you don’t want to be “that guy!”)

From Emily Post…Anyone who receives an invitation has an important obligation to reply as soon as possible. And yet so many don’t. Some forget; others procrastinate and then feel guilty, so they delay even longer. To many a host on the non-receiving end of an RSVP, it seems as if an invitee is simply waiting for something “better” to possibly come along. One of the sad parts about the demise of the RSVP is that relationships often suffer due to hosts’ resultant hurt feelings and frustration…

So, please allow me to share my advice. When you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation, be courteous enough to respond quickly, yes or no.

Until next time, friends….#BePolite