Tuesday, June 22, 2010

R.S.V.P.--Response So Very Poor

I discovered recenlty that the meaning of the phrase R.S.V.P. has changed. I was taught as a child that it stood for "respond so very promptly" I have come to understand that it means "reply sort-of, verification pending."

We had a 16th birthday party for Shannon last week with R.S.V.P by a certain date. Almost half or the people either did not respond or said they will "probably" attend.

I wonder if these people realize that "probably" means that you have to count them as attendees, and when they "probably" do not show up, you are stuck with the extra cost of covering them. Shannon invited 22 people to her pool party, and only eight friends actually came.

Granted, there were some legitimate excuses: one friend got stuck out of town, another had to leave early for camp. But to simply not show up or give a wishy-washy response is just one of those things that would make Miss Manners' head explode.

It seems customary--if not acceptable--to give a non-committal response. This to me is an insult. It's like saying "I will come if I have nothing better to do."

What really irks me is the people that commit to coming, then at the last minute decide they have a better offer. Someone Shannon thought was a close friend did this to her the night before the party, and she was devastated.

I have uncovered a couple of codes that will tell you if people think you are as exciting as watching paint dry. They are:

1. "I will have to see what else is going on." Translation: you are boring and if I get a better offer I am on it faster than a dog can pounce on a dropped hot dog.

2. "My grandmother passed away (for the sixth time)." You can get away with this excuse exactly twice. When you lose track of your fibs and your relatives start passing away more than once, you are either a bad liar or have one screwed-up family tree.

3. "I want to come, but I just can't seem to get out the door." Translation: I would rather sit on my couch and watch a "Gilligan's Island" marathon than drag myself to your snooze-fest.

As I feel I am becoming an expert on party etiquette, I will be conducting a seminar--or maybe it's a support group--for the chronically boring party host. We will cover topics such as "Getting party attendees without begging" and "Discover your inner party animal." Details to follow.

Just make sure you R.S.V.P.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Sanity Has Disappeared With The Phone

I am in need of a good detective. We have lost a cordless phone.

The phone from my home office has gone missing in action. Since the battery has now died from not being charged, the paging function does not work. I think we need professional help.

I have checked all of the usual spots in the house where I have found it before: under the sofa, inside the sofa, in the refrigerator (yes, I am serious). No luck.

This would not have happened except for one small problem in our household: NO ONE PUTS ANYTHING AWAY!!!!

Do I sound a little frustrated?

The scissors from my office are also missing. I have a bin full of socks without partners in the laundry room closet. At least two remote controls have disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle that has apparently relocated itself over my house.

I spend at least 15 minutes each evening putting things that others in this household leave lying around back in their proper places. I am constantly calling on my family to please put this or that away.

I tell myself this is a step toward being organized for the next day. Some days I think that it is one more step toward the state mental hospital as I will go insane from repeating the same phrases and tasks over and over.

I often wonder what would happen if I were to go on strike. What would result if I suddenly ignored all schedules, household tasks and responsibilities and spent my days lounging outside in the hammock? I would like to think my family would pick up the slack and gain an appreciation for all that I do. I suspect, however, that the house would simply implode due to neglect and we would all be living in a giant smoking crater.

I have decided I will no longer search for or replace the missing phone. Those responsible for its disappearance can now use the phone connected to the fax machine with the big white springy cord attached to it that goes no further than four feet from its base.

At least now there is one less thing I have to track down. Now, if I could get a springy cord that I could attatch to the remote control, I'd be all set.