Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What Happened to the RSVP?

As we move rapidly toward the holidays, I am already feeling like life is moving too quickly for me. Between work, my Creative Memories business, the sorority, and being a mom, I feel like I am already stretched incredibly thin. Now, we are getting ready to add Thanksgiving meal planning and preparation, which I really enjoy, and Christmas shopping. I think I would enjoy Christmas shopping so much more if I had more money to spend. It's tough to buy gifts that you hope make people happy, plus don't cost a fortune, yet still look like they do. The area where we live is getting more and more expensive, and I can't afford to shop in all the new exclusive boutiques that we have here. Since we don't use credit cards, I need to space our presents out over several paychecks. That is tough, because once I start shopping, I just want to get it over with.

My Creative Memories business is not going nearly as well as I hoped that it would. I had high hopes that it would help to pay for Christmas this year, but those hopes will go unrealized. I had my Holiday Open House this past weekend. I planned that thing for weeks. I sent out invitations and e-mails, made phone calls, put up fliers at school, put signs on the mailboxes in my neighborhood, and put a sign in my front yard. I even put an ad on the local website. I had nine people tell me they were coming Friday night or Saturday, and never heard from the rest of them. Thursday, I worked from 4:30-1:00am typing out a welcome letter, planning the food, and artfully arranging my products. I was so excited about the weekend, and having so many people come. Friday, I rushed to the grocery store after work, went home and prepared food, and waited for my guests. I had four people Friday night, then two customers on Saturday. I never heard from the others. No, "sorry, I can't make it" for whatever reason. I did book one show for January, and had two more orders after that, but I still haven't made back the money that I spent on the food.

Why don't people RSVP anymore? I've heard that it is a Houston thing, but that is poor manners in my opinion. Growing up, I was taught that you respond to any invitation that you receive, whether or not you are able to attend the event. The host needs to know how many people to prepare food for, and how many chairs to have. It's just good manners. If an invitation comes with an RSVP, it's not an optional thing, and I don't know why people think that it is. The letters RSVP stand for "repondez, s'il vous plait", or "respond, please". I've had many events the past few years when I was left wondering if I should telephone everyone on my guest list to find out if I would be alone that night or not. If anyone is actually reading this blog, what does a person do to get responses to an invitation? It really makes me never want to have a party again! I could have saved myself a whole lot of time and money this weekend if I would have known the number of people who would actually show up.

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