The Favor of a Reply

is Requested. Yet these days, what are the chances? Anyone who has invited anyone to anything in recent memory knows that a good ROI (for our purposes, Return on Invitation) is around 80%. Regardless of whether the invitation is engraved, embossed, evited or emailed, the well mannered hostess knows that there are invitees who will not respond to her invitation.

What goes on here? The question of why people no longer feel obligated to let a hostess know her (or her offspring’s) intentions regarding party attendance is a perplexing one. Is it possible that modern mothers feel so stretched and over-committed with work, school, family, activities and sports that instead of being a pleasant diversion, a social invitation has become just something else to add to the to-do list? How sad! Is the potential guest waiting until all her options are on the table before committing her Saturday night? How shabby! Could it be that there are people walking around and holding down jobs who do not know the meaning of R.S.V.P. and act solely out of ignorance? How on earth?

 While life does move pretty fast these days and things do fall through the cracks, may we suggest in this case a little forethought and empathy will go a long way to endearing the modern mother to her future hostess. And who knows, some day she might even want to invite someone to something – and wouldn’t it be nice to know who was coming?

Below, please find a step by step guide to the receipt and handling of an invitation:  1. The well mannered mother opens the invitation. 2. She looks at her calendar and asks herself: A. Is she free? B. Would she like to attend? C. Would she prefer not to attend? D. Is she busy? 3. Right then, at that very moment, she picks up the phone, sends the email, clicks the Respond Here button, or writes a quick note and lets her hostess know. By doing this she does not seem desperate or over-zealous. She seems like a thoughtful individual who appreciates the fact that someone was kind enough to want to include her or her, frankly, tiresome four-year-old in a social gathering.


Jennifer Houston said...


Anonymous said...

This is funny, and true but of course many a well mannered mother may want to pause and confer with her husband to ensure that he has not already responded yes to a conflicting event.

Elizabeth Baxter Butcher said...

Good point! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anna Post (great great great grand daughter of the Emily Post) recently wrote a blog on the same topic:

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