Dear Annie: I staunchly refuse to attend gatherings thrown by a particular friend who is obsessive about RSVPs. She insists on them for everything from a backyard barbecue to a girls’ night at the movies. Telling her “yes” over the phone or in person doesn’t count. It has to be by return mail or a response to an Evite.
I live 200 miles away. Once, I RSVP’d yes, but my car broke down two days before the event. I called immediately to tell her I wouldn’t be able to come, and she berated me for having said “yes” if it was not a sure thing, like I planned that my car would break down. Then she criticized me for not being able to afford the repairs in time. A month later, I received pictures of the trip to Europe she treated herself to in order to make up for the disappointment of my having ruined her party.
I rarely wish to be anywhere near her now and pointedly ignore all invitations that are not delivered verbally. If I can’t make it, I pretend I am treating her to her next extravagant vacation. – Had Enough With RSVPs
Dear Had Enough: Your friend sounds like a high-maintenance drama queen. Insisting on formal RSVP responses for informal gatherings is obsessive, and berating you for things beyond your control is punitive. We don’t know why you persist with this relationship, but because you live 200 miles away, it would be fairly simple to move out of her orbit entirely