Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On etiquette!

First thoughts: what a weird looking word. Second thoughts: What a loaded word...

I had a dinner party over the weekend, because I had my house all to myself, and also because even though I enjoy hosting events like these, I hadn't had one in about a year. So I emailed out invites with two weeks to go to my chosen date-of-party, to see who would be keen... I had most of my responses that week, and subsequently sent out a follow up email with important details (such as my house address) to those who had said they were coming. With two days to go to the dinner, a few people still hadn't replied!

Bad etiquette #1: Not RSVP-ing. Or RSVP-ing after the set date. This is generally for catering purposes (usually important if you would like to get fed). It really doesn't bother me if parties aren't your thing! Rather just tell me if you will be coming or not - I don't really give a hoot for your reasons! So I managed to get answers put of most of the people, after cornering them, and looking angry.

So I made food happily (I like cooking), one more guest was added to the guest list (which was fine, she had a legit excuse to change her RSVP), and I got more and more rushed as the day of the dinner wore on.

Good etiquette #1: Helping the hostess. Well, in my books anyway! This comes into the fact that I was running late, and being a bad hostess. All of the people who arrived early chipped in with help, and made my life just that little bit easier. (Even though I continued to be a bad hostess later on that evening when I had to finish making the pudding...)

The guests were asked to arrive at 7pm. Most of the had arrived by 7.20pm. By 7.45, one guest had not made his appearance. So I sms'ed him, asking if he was on his way...

REALLY Bad etiquette #2: RSVP-ing positively, then not pitching. With a really bad excuse. He was at a concert, which had been delayed due to rain. So instead of letting me know early, he waited for ME to contact HIM to tell me that he probably wouldn't be coming through. Like, Seriously??

All in all, the dinner was fun.

Good etiquette #2: Generally being sociable. It makes life so much easier if you are the hostess!

My guests excused my disorganisation, and some even wanted to help me clean up afterwards! I learnt a new good etiquette rule too:

Good etiquette #3: Bringing the host/hostess a gift (doesn't have to be anything big!), to thank them for the party. It really made me feel hugely appreciated, so thanks to those guests that did!

This brings me to my last note on etiquette:

Bad etiquette #3: Not RSVP-ing 'till after the event. Or not RSVP-ing at all! Seriously. How hard it is to type out a few words on an email?

I suppose you can't be too uptight about people not having the perfect etiquette, but I don't think it's ok to be downright rude to the person who invited you... Thoughts?

7 comments:

Helen said...

I agree in principle, but in practice I suck at RSVPing...

I'm glad you had a good time though!

Leia said...

I think it was more of a crime about 20 years ago than now to not RSVP, so you have to be a bit more relaxed... But still, it is better to RSVP thank just not!!

Candice said...

Grrr... I can't stand it when people don't RSVP!

Hostess gifts are fab though! Whenever Jeff or Paul have dinner parties, I take something with, because even hosts deserve hostess gifts!

Kat said...

Oh, I can't stand it when people don't RSVP! It's one thing for a cocktail party or informal affair, but if dinner is being prepared, it's terribly frustrating! About once a year I custom-write and throw a murder mystery dinner or cocktail party that requires writing a three-page dossier for each guest, as well as figuring out all the storylines -- and even for an event like this, some people can't get it through their heads that an accurate and prompt RSVP is absolutely essential to the success of the event! Jerkwads.

Although I think that people who tend to be overly lax about RSVPing are usually those who do not regularly host events, and therefore don't realize quite how much stress they're causing. At least I hope that's their excuse.

Leia said...

Yay! I have a new word! Thanks!!! Seriously? You *write* your own murder mystery dinners? wow!

And yes, one does hope that they just have never organised something like that... Unfortunately though, I think that a lot of people are just rude!

EEbEE said...

is it socially acceptable to say.

'I'm not sure if i can make it'

sometimes a definite yes or no can be difficult if your life has a habit of throwing surprizes at you when you least expect...

Leia said...

EEbEE: yes, that is fine, in most circumstances, except when the host needs to know exact numbers. So for a braai, its perfectly acceptable. For a catered sit down dinner, it is not...