R.S.V.P. ~ Please Reply

Please Reply. A pretty simple concept right? Reply is simply to respond in words or writing. If someone asks you a question your give them a reply.  So why when I tried to explain this concept to my 16 year old Teenager I received an “Ok Maaaaa” and the feeling that I was speaking to a brick wall?

Maybe I should back track a bit.  About a month ago my Teenager was ushering during the Youth Service at our church.  At some point, he was handed an invitation from one of his friends from school who also happens to attend our church.  It was an invitation to her Sweet Sixteen Party.  Now it wasn’t a run of the mill handwritten invitation to say a party at the local grab and go restaurant.  No.  This was a printed and designed fancy spancy Sweet Sixteen Party invitation.  That being said, what did my Teenager do with it?  Did he give it to his Momma after service to make note of the date, time etc. and reply?  Of course not.  He stuck it in his pant pocket and continued on with his duties.  Not only did I not see or hear anything about said invitation that day.  I didn’t hear anything about it for weeks.  but He took it out of his pocket and it began the rotation around his room until the day of said Sweet Sixteen Party which was nearly a month later.

So fast forward to the day of the party.  This also happened to be the same day as a Youth Meeting that I forced umm reminded my Teenager of his responsibility to attend.  When he came home from this meeting (turned out to be a fund day of Bowling planned by the Youth Department), my aunt informed me that the Teenager was supposed to be attending a Sweet Sixteen Party later that evening but never bothered to reply to the invitation.  This is when he went up to his room and reappeared with the beautiful Pink, Black & White themed invitation which was in an envelope with his name printed in hot pink ink.


I immediately asked him why he never bothered to mention that he was given the  invitation or the fact that he needed and neglected to RSVP.  What was I met with? A blank stare and the following question:  What’s an RSVP?

Had I seriously failed as a mother to ever cover this basic level of etiquette? I guess I simply assumed on some level that he knew if something said RSVP  all it meant was you needed to reply and let the person know if you were coming.  Whether it was Yes or No.  You still needed to reply.  He said he figured since he told her when she gave it to him he didn’t think he was going to be able to make it that was good enough to count as a reply.

Of course, then I had to go through and explain how that was not good enough.  The fact that the party was going to be at a hotel, it was an *invitation only* party and that her mother listed a RSVP By Date all lead to the indication that she may be paying per person or at least per plate.  For that reason alone we owed them the courtesy of calling prior to the date she indicated and giving her a definite reply that he wasn’t attending.

The entire time I was standing there trying to break all of this down to my glazed over Teenager I was wondering how I never taught him this stuff before.  In reality, he never really had an opportunity to learn it.  Prior to this the only parties he attended were word of mouth invitations or children parties that I was givent hte invitations for and I never sat down and explained to him why I was calling the parents.  So in all honesty, I couldn’t techinically hold him responsible.

Yet somehow I guess I thought he would have figured it out somehow.  Needless to say my Teenager now understands the meaning of RSVP and how to reply in a timely manner.  Unfortunately I had to do the grown up thing and call the mother and apologize profusely explain that I just saw the invitation and how he couldn’t attend.  I actually had to leave a message but hopefully she understood.


Do you have any assumptions you make with your Teenagers or children?

Do you think they should know certain things simply through exposure and life experience?

Or do you try to teach them everything first hand?

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Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. She is a 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com. Tiffany has also been a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons.
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About TheMrsTee

Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. She is a 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com. Tiffany has also been a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons.

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18 thoughts on “R.S.V.P. ~ Please Reply

  • Kristen

    OK, I'm ashamed to admit this, but I didn't realize until I was in college that you were supposed to respond back to a RSVP with a yes or no. I always assumed that you only responded back if it was a yes. I felt so embarrassed and so bad for all the people I had neglected to inform properly!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Really? I guess it is a common mistake or misunderstanding. If you weren't raised attending things requiring a RSVP how would you know? I do feel it needs to continued to be taught to this and the next generations though..

      PS – I'm sure they all forgive you 😉

  • Debbie McCormick

    Oh no, haha, well at least he learned something. Just count it off as a good life's lesson. I admit I have never educated my kids on RSVP either. It's one of those things we never really think about. I have some "adult" members of my extended family who NEVER RSVP. It bugs the crap out of me because I always have to call them and ask if they are coming because of the food preparations. What ever happened to that class in school? I think it used to be called Home Economics? At least when I was young it was offered. SITS

    • MrsTee Post author

      I didn't have Home Ec in school I learned it because we had and attended a lot of functions that were formal or semi-formal and it was just known and required to do. If you didn't you kinda got talked about..LOL I'm not sure why there are Adults who still don't get it… I'm gonna try and make sure my Kiddies don't turn into those Adults..lol 😉

  • T.Dashfield

    You've hit a nerve with me here. For my wedding I cannot tell you how many adults did NOT rsvp or even rsvp after I called them even. How rude and crass can people get??? And with adults not doing it what chance or education have younger ones at doing the polite thing if their adults don't. Hello from Sharefest

    • MrsTee Post author

      EXACTLY! I don't think this is something that should be left to word of mouth, texting or email. It's simply courtesy. Someone is going out of their way to invite you. Simply reply. Not that hard. I know I'm going to make sure my Kiddies know… thanks for coming by 🙂

  • Megan

    LOL. I like to hope that we as parents can't possibly be capable of teaching our kiddies all of life's lessons. I lose sleep over it sometimes, seriously, wondering when I should talk to my 3 yr old about certain things and being terrified that I'll overlook something and become that parent who the other moms or teachers talk about, like "what are her parents teaching her…" As for RSVP- Sadly the majority of my friends don't seem to understand the importance of it either.

    • MrsTee Post author

      You're so right! It;s simply close to impossible to make sure we teach them EVERYthing…some stuff does have to wait until it comes up. I guess certain lessons are loosing their importance as technology and the generations change…too bad though some 'old fashion' etiquette rules are still relevant and useful.

  • Karen @ Karen's

    I think it's great that you are taking the time to teach him these things. I know it can be really annoying when you are planning a large party and you have to track down people to see if they are coming or not. It seems like something so simple but sometimes you do have to teach kids about common courtesy. I know I am going to be a stickler with my daughter about sending Thank You cards!! You are a great mom for doing this, he will appreciate it later on!!

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks! It's so weird that it was something I didn't even think about until it actually happened…I know I'm going to have to replay it all over again with the younger ones but at least I'll be prepared ahead of time..lol

  • Teressa Morris

    I'm not sure my adult son knows about RSVP. He's never had that kind of invitation. I have taught him all the basics, I think, but I guess some things just don't come up until they come up. Doesn't make you a bad mom.

    • MrsTee Post author

      I think there are just some things that don't come up nowadays as often as they used to…everything now seems to be by text or word of mouth 😉 Oh I don't think I'm a bad mom just wondered how I forgot to pass the info on..lol