My daughter just turned 5 and she requested a Little Mermaid themed birthday party. I love birthdays and I love to celebrate with my family and friends. I was all about it. I started looking for ideas on Pinterest (knowing deep down I would never actually make any of those little craft projects.) I called around and checked online for Little Mermaid party supplies. We set the date and then she brought invitations to the kids in her Sunday school class. I wrote out the invitations and provided my cell phone number and asked for parents to RSVP. I waited. Not one person called or texted to RSVP. I wasn’t going to let that stop the party so I went ahead and bought all the party supplies, cake and food. Guess what? No children showed up. Zero. And no one called or texted to let me know.
My daughter had a good time anyway, she relished the attention from both sets of her grandparents, she got way more presents than she needed and we all had fun. But it did irritate me that I took the time to send invitations and no one could be bothered to pick up the phone and give me a call just so I could plan properly. I’m not trying to get all Emily Post here but do people not have manners anymore? What’s so hard about calling or texting to RSVP? Maybe my at-home-birthday party didn’t excite the kids/parents. Maybe I should have had it at Chuck E. Cheese. (By the way, there’s not enough birthday cake in the world to drag me there.) Perhaps I’m making some gargantuan parental mistake and my kids will never recover. If so, I’m up for any advice you readers are willing to give me.
So, why do I bother? Again, I love birthdays and think they should be celebrated. However, did I really need to spend money on decorations that I’ll never be able to use again? Is there a business that collects and resells birthday decorations? Could I possibly turn this idea into a business venture? Had I known that no kids were coming, I would have seriously dialed back on the expense for party supplies.
I’ll admit I wasn’t really shocked that no one RSVP’d, I mean I’ve experienced it both personally and professionally but what happened to courtesy? I feel like most adults have planned some kind of event in their lifetime, even if it’s just going out to a restaurant with friends. You have to tell the restaurant how many people are coming, why are RSVP’s for birthday parties and professional events not extended the same courtesy? Now I don’t hold any ill will toward the invitees’ parents I just think they need a dose of “manners medicine” as my dad would say.
To answer my own question, I do bother because I want to do nice things for my kids and if Little Mermaid decorations bring the birthday girl happiness, then I’ll get them. But please, everyone, when you get invited to an event, just call, text, email or communicate in some fashion to say yes or no. The moms and event planners of the world will thank you especially when they’ve run around like crazy to set up a party for literally the people that are already living in the house.
-Amanda Scott, Liberty County CVB Program Manager