There aren't a lot of things that REALLY irk me, but this is one topic that sorely does. I'm not sure if this is due to the generation gap, because I hear people who are in my parents generation and older complain about this too, but it definitely is not limited to my generation and younger any more either.
PEOPLE, when you are invited to an event and you see these four little letters...
R S V P (followed by a certain date)
It means that you are to do the following.
1. Look at your calendar
2. Make a commitment, YES or NO to the event.
Remember you mattered enough to the hosts, to be invited. No one will be offended if you can't or even don't want to attend but you must decide. (side note: It's also very shallow of you to withhold your decision based on whether something "better" comes up or not - but that's for another rant on another day)
3. YOU MUST REPLY
With your answer - email, call or send it in. Make sure you do. I know we all forget things and have busy lives, but this is extremely inconsiderate. The host(s) who take the time to plan these events, are trying to make sure they have enough food, etc.
4. If you reply NO
Do not just show up without contacting the host beforehand, they will not be prepared for you, and you will be an inconvenient irritation to them (despite the fact that they smile and say "it's ok" - IT IS NOT OK. Ever.
5. If you reply YES
SHOW UP. If crisis prevents you (like death) CALL the hosts and let them know immediately - not just prior to. This way they can invite someone else last minute to take your place if needed.
Finally, the more important the occasion is, the more important it is that you do this - usually because the budget is effected directly by your courtesy. Occasions that involve rentals and caterers for example, weddings, involve deposits and often times retainers that are non-refundable.
I recently attended a wedding where about 10 guests who had RSVP'd didn't show up to the reception. Honestly, I almost wrote down the names of the offenders to send nasty messages to - but I didn't, I thought I'd blog instead...
Think of this couple (most couples now a days pay for most or all of their own weddings), starting out life together. First the insult of empty chairs in the hall. Second, the cost. the deposit for the hall was probably astronomical. They get charged for the number of guests who rsvp'd. Including same day no-shows. This particular wedding was absolutely lovely, and it was a very nice meal, etc. I'd wager a guess at $100 a plate (or more).
10 no shows =$1000 down the drain
What an insult to the bride and groom and their families. "Congratulations! Now, I'm gonna rip you off to show you how much I care."
You people who didn't show up, you are not great friends and you should feel bad enough to send them a gift that more than makes up for your poor manners.
There you have it. I've gotten that off my chest.
Please, if you want to keep your friends and be a better person. RSVP and follow through on your commitments, no matter how big or small the event is.