“Jaw With John” – There Goes The Neighborhood? Nah

I live in a neighborhood of 10 houses. Half of the residents are over 55 and others are in their 30s. Every year one of the “older” residents has a Christmas party and a summer barbecue. She sends out invitations requesting an RSVP. The newer neighbors either don’t RSVP until the day before, or RSVP earlier and either cancel or don’t show.

It’s almost as if they wait to see if a better offer comes up. If she runs into someone who hasn’t RSVP’d and asks if they are coming, they tell her, “will let her know.” Is this a generational thing? Are they so busy they forget? Are they constantly weighing their options? Or are they so pompous that they think their presence is a gift to the rest of us and we should tolerate their lack of consideration. And we wonder where the old neighborhoods have gone! — Glad I’m Not Hosting

Dear Glad:

Sadly, this is how most of my generation, and those close to my age, respond to events.

They will linger until the last possible moment and then go “Oh yeah… I can go to that…I’ve got nothing else going on.” Most people won’t RSVP unless it says that it’s required of them. If it’s written on there “Must reply by MM/DD” then that might spur them to make concrete plans. It works for me if I am ever wavering going to an event. But, I know for me, if I RSVP to something that I am attending – I attend. Sometimes there are instances that arise last minute that cause me not to show up and that might be the case with some of these cancellations.

It is important to remember that some people are so busy that they forget. Their lives aren’t all about BBQ’s and neighborhood parties. They have other things going on in their lives. But don’t think that your generation is above it all because some of these things may have also been done by people your age as well. If you do, then it will get awfully lonely in your ivory tower.

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