Dear Annie: I was taught that “RSVP” stands for “please respond.” But these days, huge organizations (often charities) send mass-mailed invitations to hundreds of people, some of whom have little connection to the group and may live so far away that it would be extraordinary if they attended.
I always write a note sending my regrets, because this has been ingrained in me. But I also worry that the functionary who receives my note wonders, “Who is this anachronism living in the past century?” Do the charities really expect the non-attendees to RSVP that they will not be there, or do they merely seek a head count? – Don’t Want To Be Old-Fashioned
Dear Don’t: They want a head count, but an RSVP saying “no” is equally appropriate. And we are certain they appreciate (and marvel at) an actual handwritten response by someone who is well-mannered enough to send one. Bless your heart.
Dear Annie: Please tell “Polly Positive” that she and her husband should attend a cancer support group. After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we joined two cancer support groups. We get a lot of information from the survivors and are able to give advice to the newly diagnosed. I can’t stress strongly enough how important support groups are. – Big Cancer Support Group Advocate
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.