laplumeDear Ms. Plume,

Is the art of the party a dinosaur? People don’t RSVP, or they RSVP and then do the opposite. Do people actually know what RSVP means?? Do they understand that if you hire a caterer for a party, you are paying per guest for food and drinks?

That if they don’t show up, the host may have spent $25, $50, or $100 or more to have them as a guest? And then they may breeze in and out saying, “I just wanted to stop by and say hello, I’m on my way to go to . . . (a party I think I’ll like better than yours?)€ or “€œI’m so sorry we couldn’t make it because my nail polish didn’t dry in time.”€ Do people think that food and drinks appear magically or do they realize that someone has to pay for them? And that how they figure out what to buy depends on how many people are coming? And that the only way the host/ess or caterer knows that is if invitees tell them whether or not they will be there? How do these people shop for their own groceries -€“ if they have four people in their family do they only buy enough food for two, and hope two of them don’t show up for dinner? And it doesn’t even seem to matter whether the invitation is engraved and sent my real mail, or just posted as a group event on social media, where it should be easy to push “€œgoing”€ or “€œnot going.”€ Any thoughts?

Party Girl

Dear Party Girl,

There is not One. Single. Person. I know who entertains, who doesn’t complain about lack of responses to invitations. Perhaps the delicaterespondez s’il vous plait,is lost on those who don’t speak French, and/or were raised in a barn, can’t count, or never bought their own groceries. Let’s see, now who would be left? It’s lazy and rude, plain and simple. That said, there are times when someone may really not know what they are doing on a date in the future – but then they should acknowledge the invitation and let the host know what the issue is and when they think they’€™ll have an answer. Legitimate things do happen at the last minute that affect attendance, but that isn’t the same as not bothering to respond. And you’re right -€“ it doesn’t matter how the invitation is presented. Back in the day, a formal invitation required a formal written response (in black ink, not ballpoint pen, on an ecru card). But people didn’t respond, so then the invitations started to include response cards with stamped envelopes and people only had to check a box and put the card into the envelope and put it in the mail – which added a significant amount to the invitation cost -€“ and that didn’t work to perfection either. I wish I had the answer. Everyone would love it to pieces if I did.

L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,

There are a lot of bad things happening out there in the world these days and it seems that too many people just want to add fuel to the fire and get angry and stay angry. There are people I’ve known in person, and those just on Facebook, who seem to post whatever comes into their heads without any thought about how other people might interpret it. They are like two year olds having temper tantrums and must think their opinions are just so important that the world must be notified of their racism, their hatreds, their political opinions, etc., etc. Why can’t people just show a little more compassion, kindness, caring, and try to make things better rather than worse? What is the best way to respond to such posts?


Dear Annoyed,

I agree. I simply hide those posts or “unfollow”€ those people. There is no talking to, nor making sense of, people who are angry because they are afraid and have no better coping skills than to shout it out to the rooftops. I think social media has given new meaning to the word “€œentitlement.”

L. A. Plume