The Value of an RSVP

This weekend my husband and I hosted a party. Every year for awhile now, he’s hosted a shin dig to celebrate the end of school. This year we got out ahead of things, sent out a Save the Date, and then checked in later. All told, Facebook announced that we’d have 28 guests, and 16 tentative guests. When you add in spouses and kids, I expected a full house of 45 people this weekend.

Imagine the shock and awe when 9 adults and 3 children showed the entire Open house time from noon to 8:30. (We were “open til midnight” but closed the doors after enough absence.)

Now that we’re expecting, I find myself sounding like a parent (or better, my parents) more and more. Namely, after this, I’ve been hearing “Respect others.”, “Spend your time where it’s valued” and “A penny saved is a penny earned” are ringing in my ears. Or as I type this, my dad’s saying “Lesley, I’m not made of money.” also rings true.

I spent about $300 on food alone for this party. I won’t mention the mountain of alcohol. or the AC that was running crazy cool, or the lights and other stuff you should be doing if you’re hosting a party with keeping your guests comfortable in mind.  Fine. It’s money. It’s a gamble.

What’s not a gamble though, being the number geek, is watching 28 people dwinded to 6. Or the after effects, which were me wondering what we did wrong, or if I’d ticked off someone. It specially stung as I watched other friend’s (in real time during the down time of our own shin dig) wall’s fill up posting their pictures of their night out on facebook – which was going on in-tandem less than 2 miles from our house, those who had RSVP’d in fact.

What I’ve come to realize now, Facebook may not matter in terms of RSVP. In fact, hitting “going” may really only mean, “I care to know about this, but I still have every right to not go, since the internet cloak keeps me safe” – i.e. like most correspondence, it means much more when you do it face to face rather than via the interwebs.

All I can say now is that I’m hurt. I’m even sorry to the guests who came thinking it was going to be a jovial night out. We made the best of it, but it’s sad to me that we care so little about each other’s time and resources that we could care less what we tell them. 

Moral of the story: for now, parties will be few and far between. I’ll invite friends to dinner over the phone or in person. I’ll start realizing who my friends are, I have a little one coming anyway, and it’s time to be strict about who I want my kid to model themselves after.

Sorry for the downer post. Just tired of the realization. Makes you wanna start all over elsewhere.

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