Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Maybe Reply

Remember when George H Bush decided that since he was the most powerful dude in the free world and he hated broccoli, he was going to ban it from being served in the White House*? Well when I get elected Queen of the World, I am going to take a similarly motivated but much less frivolous action: I'm removing the "maybe" reply from all online invitations.

Let me back up for a second...Occasionally the "maybe" reply is legitimate. You might have another engagement and aren't sure when you'll be done.  You could be trying to find a babysitter/dogsitter/boyfriend-or-husbandsitter and don't know if it will work out. Perhaps you're having dental work done that day and don't know if you'll still be drooling by party time.  In circumstances like these, a "maybe" reply is acceptable if you 1.) explain the reason for the maybe and 2.) update the reply as soon as your plans are firm.

Thanks to Meetup, I've been getting Facebook invitations to lots of events. The usual mix of replies are something like, 10 attending, 6 not attending, 23 maybe attending. Now I'm sure a few of those 23 people meet the criteria above. But I get the feeling that most of those "maybe" replies are really saying "I might show if nothing better comes up between now and then."

Dick move guys.

Some person that you know and like enough to be Facebook friends with has chosen to include you in an event. He or she has made arrangements, called the restaurant to give a headcount/ cleaned the house, and probably purchased a new article of clothing. The least you can do is let that person know for sure if you're going to be there.

Just ask yourself, "How would the Dalai Lama reply?"**

I think that this is an issue of the internet making things more impersonal. Remember in elementary school when your classmate would give you a hand-written invitation* to a birthday party? A few days later he or she would ask you, face to face, if you were coming. You didn't say, "I don't know, I might come if I don't get invited to something else."  You stuck the invitation on the fridge and reminded your mom that you needed to get a present. But now online invitations allow us to click the "maybe" button and never say a word to the host face to face.

Anyway, I'm not trying to make you feel guilty or anything (maybe a little). I'm just saying that the considerate thing to do is make a decision about whether or not you want to attend the event, and commit to it for goodness sake.

Also if you RSVP'd maybe to Richard's and my birthday party and didn't show, you missed this amazing scuba cake that Richard's mom made. With mermaids. So your loss on that.

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and send a real RSVP. His Holiness would approve**.

*If you are too young to remember the first George Bush banning broccoli or hand-written invitations, do me a favor and keep quiet about it. Seriously, I had a tough time with this birthday.

**This blog is in no way endorsed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. But I still think he would agree with me.

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