I went to a coworker’s baby shower yesterday. The invite was actually an electronic one – something I wouldn’t do personally but that is not the point of this post. As a result, I could see who had said “yes” and “no” to coming. I was disappointed when two people that I know had responded as “yes” didn’t show up. I would say “surprised” instead of “disappointed” but I’m not surprised. Having had a wedding and also thrown several showers myself I know people will say they are coming and then not come without an explanation (obviously, family emergencies are an exception).
I think people lose site of the rudeness because it’s a group of people – they don’t think it will matter whether they are there or not because other people are there. My wedding was 2.5 years ago and I still remember who RSVPed but didn’t come. This is not because I am holding a grudge but because I remember the severe disappointment I felt when I realized someone that I was expecting to be there wasn’t. If you were having lunch with a friend and realized you couldn’t make it you would immediately call that person. If you are attending something for a friend I don’t see that as any different.
I believe we have lost sight of the value of an RSVP. It is easy to just check a box or click a button without having to put much thought into it. It is important to remember that when we are invited to something it is because that person values our presence. Unless their mom made them invite you.