RSVP’S and me just don’t get on okay? I simply can’t seem to reply to any kind of invitation on time, even after initial good intentions to do so. I believe there are 2 types of people; those who RSVP on time and those who don’t. Before you read on, if you fall into the ‘on-time’ category, please please don’t judge me. I’m not a bad person, I don’t like being intentionally rude and I’m always really organised in my head about these things, it just never seems to go anywhere from that point!
It was bad enough before children when there were only wedding invitations and the occasional birthday or anniversary party to attend, but when you have children, the kid’s parties start, and my word there are a lot of them. Every time you open a school bag, something falls out, and the RSVP to-do list mounts up.
What’s so funny about it is that I believe myself to be a relatively organised person, or at least I used to be until this chaos called Jugglehood began. In my professional life I am meticulous. My work is thorough, well-organised and I can manage my time and jobs well. This used to cross over into my personal life, and I would often be relied upon to arrange nights out, day trips and holidays. I’m also the household organiser when it comes to bills and paperwork, so you’d think I’d be all over this RSVP business. But I’m not.
Facebook has helped; at least with an event invite you can to do everything the organiser needs to know with one click. In fact it’s too easy, making the old fashioned way seem like an awful lot of effort. Yes I blame Facebook for making the original RSVP process far too time consuming and taxing!
I compare it to when you read a text message, have every good intention of replying, but then remember to reply three days later whilst bathing the kids, go to do it straight after bath-time, but get distracted by burning sausages, then revisit it 2 days later at 3 in the morning when you’ve got to get up a for a wee. It’s like that, only with paper invites and forgetting to do anything about them.
It goes like this for me. 1) Receive invite. 2) Get excited about invite. 3) Loosely work out whether we can attend in my head. 4) Pin invite to noticeboard in kitchen. Side note: I’ve come to realise that this is the point it all goes wrong. 5) Wait 3 weeks then wake in a panic in the early hours, actually blushing over the embarrassment of forgetting to reply and hoping the person in question doesn’t hate me / isn’t talking about me and how rude I am.
That’s the bit I hate. The fact that I know it is really rude to not respond on time. It is actually quite insulting. Someone has spent time, energy and money on inviting me somewhere, and I can’t do the same back? Why is this not incentive enough for me get it done?
A friend and I were having a conversation about this recently as a few weeks before she had sent out the invites to her child’s birthday party. The RSVP date was still a couple of weeks off, but she was still frustrated that some people hadn’t responded yet. Her argument was that they must know what they are doing by now, and if they don’t, then they must be waiting for a better offer! I imagine they are just other people like me who haven’t got their arses in gear and would love to come, but have just failed to mention it to anyone yet!
I’ve been pretty bad at replying to party invites on time this year, and I’m publicly sorry to the mum at pre-school drop off the other morning who had to ask me if my kids were coming to her son’s birthday party. She was so lovely about it, but I felt so awful. The ridiculous thing was I read that invite when we’d first received it in the car, and was going to respond immediately because I had my phone in my hand. But I didn’t, I muttered those immortal words “I’ll do it when I get in…”
The worst thing about all of this is that I am a complete hypocrite. When organising Lylah’s birthday party last year, I chased people to see if they were coming. I actually chased people. Me, who never RSVP’s on time, had the audacity to ask people if they could come. I had party bags to do you know? Once again, don’t judge.
Occasionally, I cross over to the dark side, get myself weirdly organised and actually get a response to someone on-time. It’s rare, so if you’re ever at the receiving end of this, then feel very privileged.
I’ll try harder, I promise, but in return, promise me you won’t be too hard on the mums like me who forget to respond. Be gentle with them, they’re probably in Jugglehood too.