Friday, 17 April 2009

Where have all the manners gone?

Getting to the end of my tether now with ill-mannered parents who think "RSVP" is just a decoration on an invitation (See? Getting sarcastic about it now, too!). This week I have tried to chase the seven people who have failed to reply to the invitation to daughter's birthday party (which I sent out two weeks earlier). I have left messages on voicemails, sent texts and e-mails.

Some have now replied. One said that they didn't know yet! I said that I needed to know now and then they said yes, they will come. Were they waiting to see if something better came up? One even tried to make me feel that I was in the wrong for trying to extract an answer!! Two have yet to materialise and let me know either way. They are probably away on holiday, but didn't think to let me know before they went.

The venue phoned me today to confirm numbers and to pay for the party. So I have paid for those who have replied to say that they are coming. I don't want to pay an extra £30 for children that may or may not turn up. If the final two parents get round to phoning me, do you think I can say that they are too late and the party is booked and paid for? Or do I contact the venue to see if I can add them to the list? What if they just turn up on the day? No games, train ride, food or party bag for their child?! Do you think it is reasonable to let them know that they are too late to attend now?


Meez 3D avatar avatars games

What do I do?


auntiegwen said...

Oh poor you, I can't believe that people could be so inconsiderate, and I appreciate that I am an unorganised Mummy but even I manage to reply to invites

Strictly said...

Well, I wouldn't even have rung them to be honest, I'd have written them off at this point.

What I would do, is have a couple of extra party bags just in case. My experience from my own son's birthday is that the venue can usually squeeze in another one, so you don't want to be left short if someone does turn up and can be fitted in. But I had 4 or 5 not reply, not one of them did turn up, so hopefully the same will be true for you.

By the way, I think you know I had to delete my blog for personal reasons? I've started another one if you want to follow me, I am going to stick to Guiding though so I'll understand if you don't want to.

Catharine Withenay said...

I'm with Strictly - (a) non-replies usually can't come and (b) in my experience these venues can easily accommodate an extra person or two. And, at the end of the day, your daughter is going to love it however many turn up, so just go with the flow!

All the best!

Working mum said...

Strictly - I think what worries me is that three of the parents I had to ring said, "Oh yes, we're coming" as if I should have known that from their silence! The extra party bags is a good idea, though. Will do.

Maggie May said...

Well this really very bad mannered of them. I think you'd be within your right to say to the 2 who haven't responded that they left it too late. You could ask the venue if it was at all possible to add to the group on the day, just in case.

In future though I would say that people had to RSVP by a certain date. Then it would be their fault if their child had to miss out.
What an example to set to their children though.

Working mum said...

Catherine - see my above comment about non-repliers! You are right that my daughter will enjoy it whoever is there.

Maggie - my thoughts exactly! Next year I'm putting 'reply by 15th April' and they can take the consequences! Uh oh, getting into teacher mode about it now!

Anonymous said...

It's such a pain in the wotsit isn't it. These parents are terribly rude. Perhaps when you get an invite to their kids parties you should refuse to reply too, see what they do. Then again..

Do you think you'll be having a party next year? !!

CJ xx

Mean Mom said...

It sounds as if you've tried hard enough to get an answer from the last 2 parents. I am soft, however, so if they rang me at the last minute and asked if their children could still come to the party, I would ring the venue and check. If they turn up on the day, I'm sure that they will be squeezed in, somehow. You can relax now. You've done as much as you can. ;0)

Claire Sutton said...

I've found it quite common for invites now to have a RSVP with a date next to it, in fact the last 6 invites that eldest son has received all had dates that I had to reply by and on the invites to his latest birthday I did the same thing myself.

Polly said...

Yes I think its fine to tell them it is too late.
Im not sure what has happened and why people these days think an RSVP is just a bit of fun and games. Its not too hard and Im sure they would expect you to RSVP in return.

mr-stu said...

I bet the parents never asked the kids first if they wanted to go, otherwise they would of replied by now. We are always quick off the mark to reply to say if we can come or not as we understand how difficult these things are to organise. I would just call the venue and ask how easy it is to add extras and how much notice they need.

Working mum said...

Crystal - I'm far too well mannered to do that back to them, maybe I just won't invite their child next year...... (yes, I do think I will be doing a party next year, but I'll be much more party savvy!)

Mean Mom and Mr Stu - I have just asked the venue if I can add latecomers and they said yes, so at least the children won't miss out. I'm soft too, I don't think the kids should miss out.

Polly - as I said, our wedding wasn't this difficult, everyone replied to those invitations.

Claire - I will definitely put a date next time, I was naiive to think people were well mannered enough to reply promptly. btw Izzy's card arrived this week, thank you; you are so organised to get it here from Australia in time!

Mum's the word said...

I got very frustrated last year for my daughter's party.
I was finally down to one 'No' answer. This mum eventually did show up on the day, 1/2 hour early and did NOT help with a thing, ie; cleaning up at the end.
But thankfully, like Strictly, I had an extra set of food and party bag.

Working mum said...

Mum's the Word - isn't it a sad state of affairs that we all have these tales of badly behaved parents? As I said, "Where have all the manners gone?"

Maternal Tales said...

Oh you poor thing - how frustrating for you. As if you haven't got enough things to get on with without having to chase rude people up!! As much as it is tempting to tell them that they're too late and there's no space for them, I'm sure the venue can fit a couple more in at the last minute. And yes, a couple of extra party bags too. I've had a couple of siblings turn up at previous parties and it's a shame for them to go away emty-handed (even if they're not invited)! Good luck. Can't wait to hear about how it goes!

Kelloggsville said...

Party planning politics! It's about as much fun as Playground politics which runs a close second to Mums&Tots politics. At the back of my mind I categorise some parents into BadPlanners or 'MeLanders' or DownRightIgnorant.
As they get older the same parents turn up over and over and you start to understand what they are like and know whether to ring and remind or just right them off.

I really really feel for you. It does get easier year on year.

scrappysue said...

it happens ALL the time. however much notice you give - it's the wrong amount. ppl think they can wait and do it later because all comms is so instant now, then they forget. or they wait to see if something better comes along!!! so frustrating - i feel ya!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I follwed you over from Al Woman of No Importance (though nothing could be farther from the truth...)
I hope you don't mind?
Manner's have definatleygone by the wayside these days.....seems as though people just don't care about notifying anymore doesn't it?
My Prince in from London and we still have a kiddo there and one is Barry, Wales. The other 2 are in the States with us.
This is a fantastic blog you have going here and I can't wait to come back.
Take good care and......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Expat mum said...

The problem with these parents is that they don't give a hoot and WILL turn up if they feel like it. It's a bit unfair on the child to then turn them away (which you wouldn't I know) but it really makes my blood boil.
Ooh, that reminds me, I have one to RSVP to myself!

Reluctant Housewife said...

You'd think, being parents themselves, they'd know how hard these things are to plan and they'd let you know.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to tell them they're too late - you gave them lots of warning. Do you know what the venue's policy on late additions is?

I think having a few extra gift bags around is a good idea. If no extra people show maybe you can give them to siblings or something.

I hope the party goes well