Taking Questions Tuesday: Betty Wants You to Call


When Betty Draper invites you to a dinner party, you need to RSVP.  Do not, I repeat, do not, make Betty bust out the crystal and then have the indecency to miss the event.  As I believe the old adage goes, "When Betty ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  (Or something like that.)

Given that Betty Draper didn't have email, this means you needed to call her.

Awesome thought:  If Betty had been on Twitter.
"Stupid Don got a dog for the stupid kids. #guesswhosgoingtotakecareofit"
But, in today's world of email, Evite, Paperless Post, Twitter, and the like -- do we have to call to RSVP anymore?  Sometimes yes, when the invitation only gives you that option.

So, RSVP by calling.  What's the big deal?  Well, what if you don't actually know the host or hostess, and start feeling kind of shy?  In truth, this happens more often than you might think.  Baby showers, bridal showers, wedding-related events -- all can be hosted by close friends or family members that don't personally know the broad range of invited guests.  

What is the etiquette of a phone only RSVP when you don't know the host/ess?

1.  Pick up the phone.  Just because you're nervous doesn't mean the host needs to know if you're in or out any less urgently.  They have food to prepare, chairs to arrange, and they need a headcount to do so.  Also, make sure to call at a moderately convenient time.  Just because you're a night owl doesn't mean they give a shit if you're coming to the baby shower at midnight.  Ten AM is much more civilized.

2.  Introduce yourself.  It stands to reason that if you don't know them, then they don't know you.  So, start by introducing yourself.

"Hi.  I'm Shitty Uncle Lester.  I am Proper Paige's uncle and was invited to the Frisbee Golf Tournament and Pig Roast next weekend."

3.  Don't over-explain.  If you can't attend, tell them so.  Even if the reason you can't attend is because you have to wash your proverbial hair.  A polite, "I'm sorry that I can't make it" will suffice.

"Thanks for the invitation.  So sorry that I won't be able to make it!"

"Don missed dinner AGAIN.  He can eat cold meatloaf for all I care.  #thankgodforwine"
4.  Include a headcount.  While a totally organized host might have a guest list handy to look at while on the phone with you, a normal person probably doesn't.  Which means that they aren't totally sure if you were invited solo, or if you're coming with Marcia, Jan, Cindy, and the rest of the gang.  So, to help make your RSVP both accurate and useful, you should specify the party for which you are calling to RSVP.  

"Marcia, Jan, and I are so looking forward to the Luau next weekend.  Bobby and Greg can't make it.  But we'll see you then!"

5.  Wrap it up.  Granted, you didn't want to make the call anyway.  You would have much preferred to write a breezy email and be done with this RSVP business.  But, now that you've mustered the courage to make the call, you should also be able to muster the presence to wrap it up.  

"Thanks again for the invitation.  Looking forward to it!  Bye."
"Thanks again for the invitation.  Have a great time!  Bye."

See?  It's that easy.

And you might even muster a smile out of Betty if you play your cards right.

"Doing the grocery shopping.  Again.  Like I have nothing better to do.  #FML"

Or not.

Hope your day has smiles in it.

Ta ta for now,
Proper Paige

1 comment:

~*Jess*~ said...

HAHAHAHAHA thank you. This DID bring a smile. Oh, that Betty Draper and her horrid life.