I recently hosted a holiday open house. My invitation included a request to RSVP to the event. I was shocked at the number of people who did not respond at all or did so the morning of the event.
How can I encourage my guests to follow through with this?
— Counting in Kitsap
You are not alone. I have heard from many people with similar complaints. From backyard barbecues to formal weddings, people seem to haven forgotten that it is common courtesy to respond to invitations.
We are a busy society and invitations can get buried under stacks of mail, or hidden in inboxes. As the host, if you send invitations via email, consider using an online invitation website. Make sure you have current email addresses for your guests and be mindful that some people check their email more frequently than others, so you shouldn’t expect immediate responses. Many online services will tell the host when the invitation has been opened by the recipient, and will automatically send out reminders to guests before the scheduled event.
If, however, the date approaches and you still haven’t heard from an invitee, give the person a call. Tell them you are confirming that they received the invitation, as it would be a shame if they missed the party because the invitation was stuck in the spam filter. This will allow you to give a gentle reminder without appearing too pushy.
If you aren’t relying on websites to contact your guest list, you will need to pick up the phone and contact the lackadaisical guests. Tell them that you are firming up the head count and are hoping they will be able to make it.
As a guest, when you are invited to a function, make a goal of responding within a day or two of receiving the invitation. Even if you have to tell the host that you are a “maybe” about attending, at least they know you’ve received the invitation. And then make sure to follow through as the date approaches.
And while we are discussing party etiquette, please be considerate of the start and finish time listed on the invitation. It’s OK to be fashionably late by a few minutes, but by all means, don’t come before the start time. As any host knows, the few remaining moments before the party begins is filled with last minute details like lighting candles or icing down the beverages.
If an end time is listed, be respectful and don’t overstay your welcome. If your host changes into her pajamas, you’ve stayed too long.
I have a question that might cause a “stink.”
I have noticed fellow dog owners responsibly bagging their dog’s waste, and then depositing it in the first personal garbage can they pass. Is the “pick up” the important task, or disposal choice just as important?
— Disposing in Dyes Inlet
Dear Disposing,In general, you should dispose of your dog’s waste in your own trash can. However, there may be exceptions. If you are walking your dog in your neighborhood on trash day and you know the truck hasn’t made its rounds, it’s OK to deposit the waste, knowing it will be picked up by the end of the day — just make sure to securely replace the lid so you don’t inadvertently attract critters.
If, however, the trash has already been picked up for the week, don’t place the waste into an empty can. The owners won’t appreciate what you’ve deposited, as each passing day causes the waste to become more pungent.
If you are walking in a park, it’s fine to use the public waste receptacles, as they are frequently emptied. No need to cart the waste home.
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