Ad-Venting

I just want to rant about the inconsiderate bozos who have not yet responded to my very pretty, obviously lovingly-created Christmas/Solstice party invitation.
I don’t care on one level; there are already enough people coming that I’mna hafta buy more food than I thought. Oh,I have party lift-off! I’m primarily worried that I won’t be able to spend enough time with various individual guests, between serving and singing carols (which is what I really want to spend the entire evening doing!)
But that doesn’t mitigate my fury at people who never bothered to respond. In the past, I’ve had such folk show up anyway, as if they were giving us some wonderful surprise, explaining that they weren’t sure whether or not they’d be free (as I stand there woodenly smiling while tempted to rend in twain the winter coats they’ve just handed me…)
O Ratty, I’m sure you would never treat a hostess this way. But if you’ve experienced this as a hostess, you know how I feel!
And if you know any such rude, self-centered, socially inept cretins, well, as Dear Abby’s correspondents used to say:
show this to them, maybe they’ll recognize themselves.

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17 thoughts on “Ad-Venting”

  1. I am wondering what is the appropriate response to the invite?  Is it to respond with a yes or no?  Would it be acceptable to reply they might attend but you should not plan any food for them due to the uncertainty?

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  2. Haakon Dahl:
    Alright, alright, I’ll be there.  Sheesh.

    I didn’t even get an invitation. Guess I’ll be outside with my sock pressed against the window again.

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  3. I was born in 1968, and I have witnessed a clear decline in manners in the Hudson Valley region of New York state (but I’m sure it is U.S.A. wide, and perhaps global).

    Short answer is that host unfortunately needs to spend more energy on follow up.

    Long term answer is a Return to Etiquette by individuals.

    Yes, the culture has changed for the worse, but perhaps in the Trump era, a return to manors needs a bit of a “nudge”.  Consider an RSVP that includes a clause ( Example: PLEASE RSVP 14 Dec 2019. Those that do not respond, but do attend, will be roundly booed upon arrival.)

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  4. Haakon Dahl:
    Christmas/Solstice carols?  We celebrate solar ignition?  The advent of fusion.  The birth of the sun.

    Yes, we do!  If we don’t do these rituals to keep the light alive, as Pratchett wrote:

    the sun will not rise.

    Instead, a giant ball of flaming gas will illuminate the Earth.
    See? That’s not at all the same thing.

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  5. I would send out an e-mail 24 to 48 hours before the party.  “Just a friendly reminder and please let us know if something  comes up.”

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  6. JTOmland:
    I am wondering what is the appropriate response to the invite?  Is it to respond with a yes or no?  Would it be acceptable to reply they might attend but you should not plan any food for them due to the uncertainty?

    I would prefer yes or no,  I think it was Miss Manners who commented that a party invitation is not the opening of negotiations.
    Do you want  to come, or not?   If you want  to come but you think a close relative may be dying or recently deceased on the party night  or something, well, fine: tell the hostess that.

    Don’t  tell her you’re holding out to see if you find anything better to do.  Get it?  It’s more polite to send regrets than to tell the hostess she’s been wait-listed.

    (And BTW, the food is the least of it. Don’t mention that: do the hostess the courtesy of assuming she’ll be setting a  bountiful table.)

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  7. Joe Conservative:
    I was born in 1968, and I have witnessed a clear decline in manners in the Hudson Valley region of New York state (but I’m sure it is U.S.A. wide, and perhaps global).

    Short answer is that host unfortunately needs to spend more energy on follow up.

    Long term answer is a Return to Etiquette by individuals.

    Yes, the culture has changed for the worse, but perhaps in the Trump era, a return to manors needs a bit of a “nudge”.  Consider an RSVP that includes a clause ( Example: PLEASE RSVP 14 Dec 2019. Those that do not respond, but do attend, will be roundly booed upon arrival.)

    Well, you see, you don’t wanna come off as hostile to your guests(which is why I’m venting here!).   I mean, it isn’t a subpoena, and you don’t want to seem, like, desperate.  I try to do everything I can to make sure my guests can’t possibly do anything that will irritate me, because if I  am not having a good time, nobody  will have a good time.

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  8. Hypatia:
    But that doesn’t mitigate my fury at people who never bothered to respond. In the past, I’ve had such folk show up anyway, as if they were giving us some wonderful surprise, explaining that they weren’t sure whether or not they’d be free (as I stand there woodenly smiling while tempted to rend in twain the winter coats they’ve just handed me…)

    There they stand, blithely taking advantage of your good nature.  I guess you could hand their wraps back to them and have them wait on the porch until you are sure whether or not you are going to let them in.  Lordy, that would be fun.

    What else would be fun?  Station a smart-ass teenager in evening dress at the front door with a list on a phone.  Name please?     You are not on the list of those who responded to the invitation when asked nicely to do so.  Perhaps another time, then.  Good evening!

    What else would be fun?  Have them led to a separate location, such as an empty bay in your garage.  It can be heated for the occasion.  Have a little placard on a table that reads We’re not sure whether we will be free to bring any food or beverages.

    Anyway, how many of those people have invited you to their dinner party ever?  No reciprocation, no RSVP, no future invitations.  It’s easier to handle irritation when you have a protocol like that in place in your head.

    Thanks for venting; look at all the venting I got to do along with!  Enjoy your party!

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  9. Hypatia:
    I would prefer yes or no,  I think it was Miss Manners who commented that a party invitation is not the opening of negotiations. Do you want  to come, or not?

    I think that was in a Miss Manners book.  At any rate, the author started out with a little vignette from the past century, with the Mr. and the Mrs. sitting around opening their mail.  A few seconds sufficed to read each invitation, consult spouse, decide whether to accept or regret, and toss the invitation into the correct of two piles.  Responses were sent out later that day.

    There was a consensus about what was right and proper and considerate, and it was socially enforced.  If you failed to respond, you were not invited in future.

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  10. I am a little confused. I thought you were all for taking advantage of a host, Hyp. Pro childish behavior in fact. What changed?

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  11. Hypatia:
    I try to do everything I can to make sure my guests can’t possibly do anything that will irritate me, because if I  am not having a good time, nobody  will have a good time.

    Hahaha!  Ain’t Mama happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!

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  12. 10 Cents:
    I am a little confused. I thought you were all for taking advantage of a host, Hyp. Pro childish behavior in fact. What changed?

    This took me a minute to interpret… oh, my “I won’t grow up!” Comment on the infamous ST fest?    I wouldn’t consider that”taking advantage of a host”!   For an example of that, I refer you to Dorothy Parker:

    ”My favorite drink’s a martini/But one or two at the most! / Three, and I’m under the table, /Four, and I’m under the host!” 

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  13. jzdro:

    Hypatia:
    But that doesn’t mitigate my fury at people who never bothered to respond. In the past, I’ve had such folk show up anyway, as if they were giving us some wonderful surprise, explaining that they weren’t sure whether or not they’d be free (as I stand there woodenly smiling while tempted to rend in twain the winter coats they’ve just handed me…)

    There they stand, blithely taking advantage of your good nature.  I guess you could hand their wraps back to them and have them wait on the porch until you are sure whether or not you are going to let them in.  Lordy, that would be fun.

    What else would be fun?  Station a smart-ass teenager in evening dress at the front door with a list on a phone.  Name please?     You are not on the list of those who responded to the invitation when asked nicely to do so.  Perhaps another time, then.  Good evening!

    What else would be fun?  Have them led to a separate location, such as an empty bay in your garage.  It can be heated for the occasion.  Have a little placard on a table that reads We’re not sure whether we will be free to bring any food or beverages.

    Anyway, how many of those people have invited you to their dinner party ever?  No reciprocation, no RSVP, no future invitations.  It’s easier to handle irritation when you have a protocol like that in place in your head.

    Thanks for venting; look at all the venting I got to do along with!  Enjoy your party!

    Love it!  Nah, most of my guests don’t reciprocate:  my parties are pretty much the only game in town.  And when the party Really gets underway, well, I’m usually suffused with good will to all.

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  14. Okay,  as I fulminated here, two more acceptances just arrived via email.  It’s all good!  Thank you all for  listening, and Merry Christmas!!🎄🎄🎄

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