Pseudo Invitations

I am about to out myself here on the blog. I adore Judith Martin aka Miss Manners. I find etiquette discussions amusing and fun. I also think social civility could make life easier for many on this crowded planet.

I do not expect many to share this enjoyment with me and that is ok. But here on the blog I have to share one of my pet peeves.

Invitations to private parties that aren't any such thing by my definition. I hold the simple belief that if you want to have a party you invite people and you then pay for their entertainment and refreshments.

I was recently given a photocopy 'invitation' to a child's party that included English country dancing at a remote location and an instructor to teach dances.

I thought it was a charming idea and I was impressed that her parents were putting out good money for renting the space and paying the instructor and so forth. It was a 'party' that the whole family could attend and being held on a Sunday afternoon. I was impressed... until I actually read the 'invite'.

This 'invitation' written in pseudo formal language tells you what you may wear, how much you need to pay to attend, what time to leave and instructs you to bring food and drink not just for yourself but to share with others. It also asks you to RSVP though I can't imagine why except that perhaps if enough people aren't coming to cover their costs they'll cancel it?!

It's not that I don't understand going dutch or the concepts of potlucks but surely those are informal occasions? I also don't care for the habit around here of inviting people out on your birthday and then they pay for your food as well as theirs but I can't seem to avoid these occasions even among my closest friends. *sigh*

Since I would certainly never chastise anyone out loud for this and since I can't cry about this publicly I will do it here.

If you want to throw a party to celebrate for whatever reason why not be prepared and budget what money you can afford and then give a party without expecting [or requiring] any one else to help pay for it? If you can't afford to treat your friends [or your daughter's friends] for the celebration why are you making those plans? Why not do something you can afford for your wedding, child's birthday or whatever?

Really it's a joy to get creative and throw parties, dinners whatever and pay for your guests. Being a hostess is a fabulous feeling and if there is a guest of honor it makes it even more special for them.

When we threw our wedding dinner and dance we got many comments about how special we made our guests feel. All we asked them to do is let us know if they were coming. I have detailed here about the dinner parties we have been doing and they have been great. When someone asks if they can bring anything I just cheerfully answer 'no just yourself'. We want to entertain our friends!

When my chief bridal ninja threw me a shower it was the most wonderful thing ever. It made me feel so awesome. I will never forget her kindness. To have someone throw a party in your honor is 'wow' feeling.

I feel sad that the old way of being a 'guest' in the world seems to be going away. I hereby recommit to doing this myself! Including birthdays out at restaurants no matter what. I will live and celebrate within my means. yeah!

Now half of you may be thinking I am a raging snob and the other half think I am crazy. oh well.

I laugh fondly at the old saying 'a guest is a jewel on the cushion of hospitality' but I believe it [and try to live it] all the same.


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