Tuesday, November 12, 2013


R.S.V.P répondez, s'il vous plaît.

I read an interesting article in the New York Times this weekend, "How the Internet has Changed the R.S.V.P" The article brought up the double edged sword of internet invites. As easy as it might be to compose a Facebook event or Paperless Post invitation, it makes the exclusivity and, more importantly, the social graces, of a party much more challenging to hold true. Those invited to affairs hardly respond to the invitations and those that do, rarely follow through on what they had denoted on the R.S.V.P.  

With the ease of access to email and social media, invitations can be scanned within 30 seconds of receiving them and then quickly escape one's memory. At the risk of appearing to eager (or not busy enough) few will accept or decline an invitation upon receiving it. Do we want people to know that we check our email every 4 minutes? Even though everyone does, there has become a sense of envy in those who can't be bothered with responding to every message that bings into their inbox. Even if your schedule is completely clear, one seems to gain power in leaving the hostess 'hanging' on responding to their availability. As such, the potential guests decide it's better to wait awhile...however, in the waiting process, the invitation then slips from the to-do list and becomes buried in the inbox. It isn't until a calendar alert pops up 30 minutes prior to the event that it is re-introduced to one's attention. 

Yes, this is the modern-day protocol for party invites. 

Thinking about it, it's actually quite atrocious. Someone is taking the time, investment, and initiative to throw a party...and has the courtesy to include you as a guest. Why on earth would you get in your head that you are too entitled to respond? 

Of course times aren't like a 1960s cocktail party. No mailed invitations, jeans have over taken party dresses, and stimulating conversation is prompted through iPhones. Even though modern tendencies may have taken over in certain aspects, manners never go out of style. 

Yes, not all parties are twirl-worth celebrations, but they are far-from painful. 
Upon forgoing the petty declarations of being too busy, go to the party and act as a responsible, grateful, and engaging guest! 

I often wish that there were more parties. But I can understand the discouragement in throwing one. I hope this post can prompt a new revival of both willing hostesses and eager guests. 

Don't let the e-vite damper your social graces...

Properly responding to the R.S.V.P. is a great way to get the party started, toodles!

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  1. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this Clare! I had read that article a week or two ago, too. I agree with you... I think it's sad that North American society is so focused on our technology that it has started to strip away the intrinsic meaning of things like parties and social outings. It's something I'd really like to change for me personally and also on a larger scale.


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