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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Maybe’ not an acceptable way to RSVP

By Judith Martin And Jacobina Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am disgusted that electronic invitations have changed the nature of offering hospitality. It is particularly distasteful to view a guest list and the responses from each, whether responding Yes, No or Maybe. Since when is “maybe” a legitimate RSVP?

I refuse to respond through one of those buttons. Therefore, my response does not show on the website, causing my name to stand out as one who has not answered.

Silly and embarrassing, isn’t it? Your thoughts, please.

GENTLE READER: Electronic invitations would be fine for very informal events, if only they did not encourage rudeness.

The ones you describe do. “Maybe” is not an acceptable answer. Nor should there be any way for the guests to scrutinize the guest list or the responses.

So Miss Manners assures you that you need not be embarrassed by responding individually. However, if you would like to make it easier for the host to tally numbers, you could reply “Yes” or “No,” and write in the comments, “Please find a written response in the mail.”

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I received an eight-page “Save the Date” booklet from the bride and groom, bragging about their international travels, fine dining, careers and overall passionate love for each other. The couple will be married in an exotic locale, with receptions for the adoring masses to follow five months later.

This announcement was preceded by a shower invitation requesting gift cards. How do you suggest I respond? I do not plan to attend either event, as I live out of state.

GENTLE READER: How one responds to beggars depends on whether they seem truly in need, and whether they impress you as people who would benefit from your help. Neither seems to be the case here. You need only respond to the shower invitation with a note offering your regret at not being able to attend and your best wishes.

It is not necessary for you to point out to Miss Manners that you actually feel no regret. In fact, you do, but it is regret that people who are not destitute no longer feel ashamed of begging.

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