RSVP: “Répondez s’il-vous-plaît” or “Réservez s’il-vous-plaît”, a French phrase that translates to “Please respond” or “Please book your place”. “Response Shall Verify Presence” is an English substitute for the meaning of “R.S.V.P.”

What would you do if you hold the biggest party in your life and the people you invite haven’t RSVP-ed, and it’s already less than 2 weeks to D-Day?

Why is it so difficult for some people just to say NO, sorry, I couldn’t make it?

I remember vividly, when my friend in Singapore held a wedding, she said how upset she was because one of our highs chool friends couldn’t confirm until a week before the wedding. The problem was with seating arrangement the bride must decide whether to spare 2 chairs (and must pay for those!), or simply just cross her friends out of the list, with the risk of having her confirmed in last minute that she could attend the wedding (and of course she wanted her friends to be there so crossing someone out of the list is not easy!)? Two people, and it could change the whole table plan! Make that 3 invites, (6 people), and it’s already 1 table….

If we can’t make it. why don’t just say so, rather than leave it hanging open, unconfirmed, and make other people’s feeling and life difficult. There are seats to be confirmed, accommodation to arrange, transport from their hotel to the venue to choose (bus? small car? easily ask someone to pick up?), etc.etc. Just by saying yes and no will make a lot of difference to the people who hold the party.

I guess it’s an Indonesian thing? We thought that by saying no we would disappoint those who invite us, so we simply wish that by the time gone by they forget about us, or stop hoping we’d turn up, or stop chasing us whether we’d attend or not, and then thank God if we could-we would, but if not-well-we never-say-we-couldn’t, right? – it’s unforeseeable powers which make our feet freeze, our like Bart (the author of Bule Gila Book) always writes in his newsletter when his barmaids failed to turn up, another grandma dies, or there’s an elephant running around the street and people must be locked inside for safety!

I think it’s Indonesian thing as well, that we never are used to make plans, let alone long term plans. I’ve seen how bad we were behaving, especially when I was working for my latest company and was trying to get a better deal with travel agents and airlines for the company, just to find out that one of the reason we couldn’t,wouldn’t, get better rates was because we never couldn’t confirm anything before too late. Confirming the dates of traveling only 3 days before the event always increases the price since there’ll be less choices. Confirming that 3 people have their own itineraries makes everything more expensive rather than group prices. I’ve seen how silly this became because there was one top, top people in the company who was going home with his family and couldn’t get tickets (it’s July, it’s holiday season, everybody in the world knows how difficult to book everything!) for his family and were put in waiting list, started throwing tantrum and in turn upsetting my boss, and I had to contact the president director of one international airline, seriously asked why this person didn’t get first priority as stated in our global agreement (silly, global agreement for family holiday? I’m sure I’ve heard the CEO laughing), only to find out he kept changing his own and his family’s itineraries, therefore there were USD 3000 difference on their ticket prices and therefore several of their journeys were in waiting list…….. Can you imagine how embarrass my boss was, when I went back and report this to him?

With only less than 2 weeks to go, and a lot of stuffs have not been confirmed, is it too much to ask to stop worrying about other people and start worrying about myself?

If can’t, just say no. But have the courtesy to confirm that rather than leave it hanging and keeps me hoping and worrying….


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