RSVP’ing … what the fk is up with that?

I am trying to plan a birthday party for Georgia and Isabelle.

Georgia turns 6 on the 20 June and Isabelle turns 2 on the 10 June, so this year I thought it might be easier (for me) to just lump their parties together on the same day and we will have a party on the 11 June.

I am not going to be able to get away with this for very long, so I plan to take the gap whilst I can and it might be nice for the girls to share a birthday together, and I have got them skirts that match.  So as naff as that is, that is what is going to be happening here.

Parties are very stressful endeavours for me.

Planning them, attending them, just about everything party = stress for me.

(everything party = total oblivious Kennith)

I know this should be a happy time.  I should be basking in the joy and celebration of my daughters.  Planning a party (whether in my home or at a party venue is very stressful and make me anxious) gets a bit overwhelming for me.

Why?  Because it does become all about me at a certain point.

I want it to be a great party for my kids. I want in those two hours them to feel like the most important people in the entire universe.  I want them to remember the party and remember it fondly as a day where they were the most important thing in the world.

Kennith says I am throwing the party for the parties I did not have as a child.

He is not totally incorrect.

This party is like all the other parties I have thrown for my kids.

I am stressed, and anxious about the party. I worry that no one will come.  I worry that my kids will
not feel loved and have a good time.  I worry that I will be more socially awkward than I already am.

I worry there will not be enough food.  I worry there will be too much food.

But today I am pissed off that parents cannot follow a FUCKING RSVP.

I am starting to think/reason that maybe people (parents) do not understand what an RSVP is.

In my map of the world RSVP means – please tell me if you are coming or not, so that I can plan to make  enough food, buy enough wine, make sufficient party packs if you are coming.

If you cannot make it, no worries, just let me know, as then I do not have to wonder if you are coming and then start catering if you might come.  It really would save me about 3 hours and probably a few hundred rand if you did RSVP.  Use the cell number or the email, sms or email, you do not actually even have to talk to me,
I am fine with that.  Totally fine.   Just do not leave me hanging in this middle-earth of not knowing what you are doing.

But parents don’t RSVP.  Granted people don’t RSVP.

But why?

Is the time to write a “Yes, love to be there, thanks” or a “No, can’t make it, thanks” message either via sms or email just too straining on their time?

Is it because they are so inundated with invitations to so many events that they hand them to their personal secretary and she has overlooked this one.

Is it because they are unsure of whether they wish to come or not, and want to sort of leave it open in case something better comes along?

Is it because they really do not like me or my child and by not RSVP’ing they know that this will annoy me no end and also be a personal snub on my child?

Well, what is it then?

I am gob smacked as to what is wrong with people.

Why must I have to go back to each person and say “so are you coming?” so I can be sure whether to pack a party pack or not.

<I have had instances in the past where kids arrive to a party and the parents have not RSVP’d so I am left without a party pack for said child.  As a rule I pack 5 extra party packs now without names on them.  How bizarre is it that I adjust my behaviour because I expect parents to be self-absorbed-I-don’t-care-about-other-people-and-their arrangements people!>

<Sidebar:  I have had the same thing for big people parties, baby showers, weddings, so I am thinking that is not anything person against my child, though right now I do feel like it is a personal snub.>

If you get an invite, just respond say yes, say no – it really is pretty simply stuff. Takes no more than 5 second, 12 if you are stupid and can’t work an QWERTY keyboard.

Surely you get an invite, check your diary, right there you know.

If there is a conflict and you are unsure if you can make it then email the person ‘Would love to join you on the 11 of June, might have to have an anal tumour removed, but specialist doctor is checking avialability.  Fingers crossed.  Will let you know if it is a go on the anal tumour on the 9 June, if not, then I am definitely there.  Would much rather have some cake and jump on the jumping castle than the anal tumour removed.  LOL”

You get the idea.  What is the FUCKING big deal?

Do it within 48 hours of getting the invite, then you know they know and everyone can get on with their lives.

There are family and friends coming, but I wanted to include some friends from Georgia’s class and school who she asked to invite.

I sent out more than 20 invites to kids at Georgia’s school last week Friday and asked them to RSVP by the 6 June – I have heard from 2.

But that being said I had worked out in my head that of the 20 invites, I would get 10 RSVP’s and of the 10 only 5 would be able to come, I was fine with that as a final figure.

What has annoyed me is that even with my very practical mental calculation, and rather (very) pessimistic view on how crap people are, the RSVP rate is still lower than I had pitched it.

Really if you perform lower than my expectations, then you must suck!!

<I have some family members who I have sent invites to who have not RSVP’d either.  I am actually at the point where I want to go and sh*t on their doors steps. I am not sure of what point that would prove, but I am actually out of ideas.  My guess is if someone shat on your doorstep for not RSVP’ing, my guess, is you would be the best darn RSVP’er from that day going forward.  So it might work.>

Leave a comment


  1. I find birthday parties stressful too. My son also has a June 20th birthday. Last year I gave him the option of going to DisneyLand or having a party. I was relieved when he chose Disney (:

    • reluctantmom

       /  July 31, 2011

      This year Kennith is doing Connor’s birthday party as it totally stresses me out.
      Kennith is already figuring he is going to say “son, do you want a birthday party of how does R500.00/R1000.00 sound to you instead?”

      Before I would be opposed to that idea, now I am amazed I did not suggest it myself.

  2. sue

     /  June 10, 2011

    love yor blog!! Although I don’t have kids, I do feel your pain. It is downright bad manners and there is no excuse for it. I feel the same way about people who don’t send thank you notes for wedding presents and kitchen teas and other big events where you have gone out of your way and bought stuff off a list that they have specifically requested! It’s so rude!

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 10, 2011

      I am a “never sending thank you notes after the wedding” – I found my thank you cards in the garage, in a box, last weekend, 1/2 filled in, the other 1/2 not – still not mailed. We have our one year anniversay coming up, hopefully I will do it then!!!

  3. Scared & Imperfect Mother

     /  June 8, 2011

    I’ve stopped sending out invites and waiting for people to RSVP, i phone to let them know about the party, ask them to check if they will make it and then write it down. I email invites. Good luck RM

    • This is striking a nerve with me!!! I am deep in the throes of planning my kids’ (twins) 2nd party and I sent out invites WELL ahead of time (maybe too early?).

      After two weeks, I sent an email – one responded. This week I sent another reminder email – a couple more responses.

      I don’t want to waste my time making cute party packs for kids who won’t be there.

      But I have just realised reading yoru post that people are probably waiting for something better to come along and that ticks me off, BIG time!

      As if I haven’t learnt my lesson, I’m throwing another party for me and DH’s bday (a scant 3 weeks later) and for that, I am emailing invites in an Outlook calendar 🙂

      • reluctantmom

         /  June 23, 2011

        I know this is my total humbug!! I have asked DH to plan my son’s upcoming birthday as I am actualy so fatally pained from the entire June experience that I cannot face another birthday for some time.

  4. I totally get where you are coming from! We had people just show up at our wedding without having RSVP’d. That just totally pissed me off!

    On a totally unrelated matter – Love the book that you are busy reading! I have this morbid facination with the whole FLDS church (?) and their believes. You should give Escape by Caroline Jessop a go. Also, Church of Lies by Flora Jessop. Very good!

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 7, 2011

      Yes, I read Escape very good. Just finished Stolen Innocence and it was very good …. also have a fascination with the FLDS …. not sure why ……

  5. Shame lady. I feel your pain.

    That is exactly why I never invite school friends. Our kids parties are only for family and very close after hours friends.

    I usually just send cake and juice to school. So much easier that way.

    Good Luck though.x

  6. Tammy

     /  June 6, 2011

    I always compose my rsvps immediately and then save them as drafts to allow me time to consult with the husband and his calendar. Naturally, I then consider my duty done and forget about sending the bloody things until I start getting pissy phonecalls from irate party organisers.

  7. wendy

     /  June 6, 2011

    Oh hell – I feel your pain – I’ve hosted 2 birthday parties for the daughter in which I’ve sent out invites to school only to have to frantically sms everyone two days before the party. I
    have had cancellations the morning of the party and I really wonder if it’s actually worth the stress and trauma! This year I’m phoning the parents directly two days before the event !

  8. I guess I have been lucky up to now but then I seldom invite friends from school.

    • Kennith

       /  June 6, 2011

      A policy I could work with – we have enough cousins and kids of friends etc

  9. Kennith is so funny!

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 6, 2011

      Yes it is all ha-ha-ha in our neck of the woods!!!

  10. I feel your pain. I went through it a few weeks ago! I even pointed out on the invite that I’ll be paying per person and that I needed to know numbers by said date. I got two lousy rsvp’s on or before the actual date out of 10 school kids who we were kind enough to invite and pay R70 per child excluding food and drinks. Closer to the time the rsvp’s trickled in saying they would love to come so I kind of figured they were in the category of “lets wait and see if something better comes up and it didn’t so they accepted our invite”. Oh and I had one parent sms the night before asking if it’s too late to rsvp and I didn’t have the heart to say no…I told her we would love to have her boy there and she said she’ll definitely see me there. Guess what she didn’t pitch! Now that is a whole new low :-\

    Parties, headaches, stress but they are all worth it in the end when you see how much fun your child has on the day. It’s just getting through the days until it happens ~ hang in there.

  11. To Love Bella

     /  June 6, 2011

    It irritates the living bojangles out of me too!! People think that if they DON’T reply – you automatically have to assume it’s a no. Grrrr….
    I become a hound and sms or email them regularly – gradually becoming more and more sarcastic as I go…

  12. That is totally annoying! That is why I stay far away (for as long as I can get away with it) from organising a bday party for my kids. I’ll do it when they’re older. Im sticking with that one.

  13. Tania

     /  June 6, 2011

    Know exactly how you feel, on all counts, including the lack of interest in it all from the Dad. I also do end up going around and asking people as I want the day to be really busy and full of activity and kids for my child but it’s really very irritating to have to do that when you have kindly requested them to RSVP. I have found, my own children are guilty of it, that some invites are left lying about and never reach my attention, my son once gave me an invite 6 months after the party date!!!!!

    • Kennith

       /  June 6, 2011

      I think do not confuse “lack of interest” from Dad with “learning not to get too involved as different ideas on decisions will lead to further fights!”

      I made the recommendation to invite only the 5 that you actually want at the party to go with the other 10 kids confirmed from family and friends. Following up on 5 RSVP’s would have been a lot less stressful and would come in at the amount of kids we ACTUALLY want to attend this event.

      It is also pointless in fighting about whether we need the Magician, the Pony ride and the bloody Solid Gold Dancers or would the 15 events that the venue already caters for suffice.

      I therefore put forward the amount I am willing to spend on a kids birthday party and if assistance is needed – please ask.

      Not a lack of interest at all, merely have learnt how to deal with the PARTY version of Bridezilla!

      • Tania

         /  June 6, 2011

        Please do show interest as making the purposeful decision not to get involved makes us feel that there is lack of interest. If suggestions were made and a budget was given, GOOD FOR YOU DAD !!! 🙂

      • Adele

         /  June 7, 2011

        Kennith you sound just like my hubby. I think me and RM managed to married the same type if guy. I don’t send out invites I phone, because people DON”T know what RSVP means!!

  14. Yesterday had a party for my sons second birthday. It was mostly family and a couple of our friends. I had people sms yesterday morning to tell me they cant or can make it. Last week I had a yelling session with my husband over the whole RSVP thing as its mostly his family. I really dont see why I should call people to ask if they are coming. I dont know maybe dont know what RSVP means anymore. So rude and gets me totally pissed off.

  15. Jip, I know what you mean – have had that happen with us as well. And in fact had a parent and their kid arrive when they didn’t bother to RSVP – sigh! Makes it really hard to plan.


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