Friday, February 4, 2011's rude.

I have a love/hate relationship with evite.

Love it because let's be honest, who has the time for handwritten invitations? What's more, I promise that unless I have actually lived at your address for an extended period of time, I don't know your street number and I don't have it anywhere accessible. Yes, you may have provided it to me multiple times, yet I can't seem to keep track of it. Sorry.

Hate it because, I think that it makes the RSVP process far too casual. I want to make a disclaimer before offending any of my readers. I am not singling anyone out here. I have many a dear friend who may be guilty of the very offense that I am about to write about, and this is not a message to you. Rather, please view this as social commentary. An observation about how our culture has changed in a digital age.

Here is my beef: Why does evite list "maybe" as an acceptable RSVP option? Maybe? What does that mean, and why do so many people view this as a polite response? As in- maybe we will make it if something better doesn't come along? Maybe we will grace you with our presence if you don't tick us off between now and your birthday party? Maybe I'll show up if I'm not too hung over from a way more fun party that I am attending the night before?

How does a maybe response help the hostess? While shopping for the event should the party planner purchase enough food for 12, or maybe 18? While putting together the goodie bags for her child's party should she make a sack for little Janie (who is a maybe) just in case?

It's hard to remember, but I think back in the olden days, before the age of evite, people were forced to RSVP over the phone or in person to an event. In those times the answer was a "yes" or a "no." This allowed the host to plan accordingly for the event. Of course things may have come up that might have prevented one from going to a party that they said they would attend, but it wasn't expected. There wasn't the attitude of maybe I'll be there, maybe I won't. Email makes it easier, easier to say things to people that we would not ordinarily say in person. Easier to be rude.

Sadly, I don't see this trend going anywhere any time soon, and therefor I will continue to over shop for all of my parties just in case all those "maybes" actually show up. At least I usually have a lot of good leftovers.


  1. Hate it too. You are either in or out. It makes sense if the person wants to respond and doesn't know their schedule yet but I have found very few people that actually go back and choose yes or no. They stick in the maybe zone and don't bother to commit to one or the other. AND an even bigger pet peeve is those that don't even BOTHER to choose a category. I'm realy surprised that evite doesn't let one customize the response to delete the maybe completely.

  2. I don't mind the maybes so much, but it's those nonresponders that get my goat. I understand maybe... especially with 4 kids. Someone might be sick and you are wondering if someone else will get it... or will it be all clear? Someone might wig out and ruin the whole plan of getting out the door... or they might all behave like angels! That cursed baby nap that isn't entirely as consistent as you'd like it to be... but is still very, very necessary when it happens... will party day be a nap day? I personally like the maybe for myself ;-) and thus, I have come to embrace it in others :) And leftovers from a party? YUM.

  3. Very funny and very true! I haven't heard of this before. But a 'Maybe' over the net sounds pretty rude.

  4. The real problem with Evites for me is that they're an email that moves farther and farther off in my inbox after I've read it. If there's something I need to check - with the hubs, with the kids, with my planner - that's not immediately available, I can't answer right then. I don't do maybes, but sometimes I have to align a bunch of people to figure out what we're doing. Of course, not everyone in the world has ten thousand undeleted emails like me...

    Either way, I'm still a paper invitation woman.

  5. For whatever reason someone replies 'maybe' (they have sick kids or are flying in from out of town the night before), it is a meaningless answer and it does not help the host(ess). Commit to coming or not. If something prevents you from going, at least make sure its really stopping you and you are not just backing out because "well, I said 'maybe' so I don't have to try so hard".

  6. Love LOVE this post - so true. I am grappling with this too. Here is my solution: Always have extra goody bags but get them pre-made at Target ($1.00 bins) and then return them after the party if unused. I HATE (despise) the MAYBE RSVP. I even searched whether I could "program" it out but no such luck. Some non-committal French man invented the MAYBE RSVP and now we are all suffering for it. :( It sucks. I generally assume MAYBE means no, and go from there. If the venue needs a head count for food, and it is kids' I don't count them. It is easier to pay for extra people later than get your money back if less show. It has worked, but I do hate it.