Author Topic: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording  (Read 3787 times)

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gellchom

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I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« on: March 27, 2013, 03:56:25 PM »
At the outset, let me clarify: I'm NOT offended, I'm NOT confused about who the hosts are, and I don't think that this is tacky or stupid or anything else!  I'm only posting because I thought this was unusual, and I'm trying to guess what they were thinking.  It's another "no names" invitation.

In today's mail, we got two invitations for a bar mitzvah: one for the Saturday morning service, and one for Shabbat dinner the night before.  The first one reads (names changed, but the name is equally common):

Please join us as our son
David Steven Stein
is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah
[date, place, time, RSVP, etc.]

But no "signature" line at the bottom with the parents' names, as I have always seen with invitations worded like "Please join us" or the equivalent.

The dinner invitation also has no hosts' names.  It doesn't seem quite as strange, though, because it is phrased in the passive voice ("You are invited to a Shabbat dinner honoring David Steven Stein ... ").

The envelope for the dinner had no return address at all, and the one for the service had an address but no name.  The RSVP line also has no name, only an email address created for the event (including the kid's name and the date).

I don't know these people.  I wondered if the parents had a chilly divorce or something, but my husband says no.

What do you suppose their reason might have been?  He says they are just socially awkward, but I wonder if this is actually an artful solution to some sort of problem.  Can you figure it out?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:08:18 AM by gellchom »

WillyNilly

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 04:06:02 PM »
My mom has a friend who was orphaned at the age of about 12. he was adopted by a distant aunt & uncle. They considered him their son from that moment on but he, while fond of them and grateful to them, never considered them his parents. Is that possible?  That is was some sort of compromise with a stubborn teen over wording? (Otherwise my guess would have been a disagreement about listing step-parents, but if there was no divorce...)

bah12

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 04:06:33 PM »
I'm not familiar with bar mitsvah tradition and have never attended one, so this is just a stab in the dark.

Is it possible that they didn't want to make the event about them (the parents/hosts) and wanted it to be clear that the celebratin was for their son?  Like how in weddings sometimes the parents' names appear on the invitations and sometimes they don't...depending on whether or not the parents are following the traditional recognition of being hosts/paying for the wedding, or the more trendy way of the 'hostless' wedding (i.e. invitatin does not indicate who the hosts are, be in the couple or the families of the couple). 

Otherwise, I would just go with your DH's explanation or think it was an oversight of some kind. I'm thinking that the most likely reason would be that it didn't occur to them to include their names since they don't deem it as important information. You know what, where, and when and how to RSVP, so you have all the info you need. 

Thipu1

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 10:17:09 AM »
Although we're not Jewish, we've been invited to several Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.  Always, the names of the child's parents have been present because it is assumed that they are hosts for the event.

I would find the wording on this invitation a bit odd. If the invitations were ordered through a print shop, someone there could have advised the parents on what most people expect.  The lack of a return address is decidedly odd. 

Redneck Gravy

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 11:15:17 AM »
Yes, definitely odd.

I wonder if the parents even realize their names are missing?

I worked at a print shop for over 20 years and sometimes children would order and pay for invitations and never even realize something was missing - even after seeing a proof.


lowspark

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2013, 11:37:06 AM »
I would bet that about now, someone in the family is hitting their forehead with the heal of their hand ( la V-8 commercial) and saying, "we forgot to put our names!"

I once got in invitation to a reception for a friend who had gotten married in her home town in another state and they were having a party in my city later. The invitation just said something like "honoring Linda Anne" (not the real name but as common) with no last name and no other names at all. I guessed who Linda Anne was and I was right, but it was kind of unnecessarily cryptic. At the party, Linda even mentioned to me how silly she felt when she realized she'd not put her last name.

Sometimes, people just make these kinds of mistakes, especially if they are not experienced hosts.

Moray

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:44 PM »
It would seem the only way to assuage your curiosity would be to ask, but that would be rude.
Utah

Surianne

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 01:03:08 PM »
I would bet that about now, someone in the family is hitting their forehead with the heal of their hand ( la V-8 commercial) and saying, "we forgot to put our names!"

Hah, yes, this is what I was thinking -- most likely just simple forgetfulness.  I understand being curious, though, I would be too  :)

gellchom

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 01:07:15 PM »
Yeah, I think so, too.  They aren't divorced, the kid wasn't raised by grandparents, or anything like that.

My husband says they're just sort of clueless, so that's probably it.  I was thinking that the stationer would have caught it, but looking again at the invitation, I think maybe they printed them themselves.  You can do so much at home now, sometimes it's hard to tell.

So what I learned is that if I am doing my own printing, I'll get someone very good to proofread before sending.  It's so easy to forget stuff that is obvious to you and that, as a host, not a guest, you aren't looking for.

I think this is why sometimes people leave off last names in situations like Lowspark's or in the save the date cards I get sometimes.  I think they want it to look informal.  But they are looking at it from their own perspective -- self-expression, sort of like decorations -- rather than the recipients' perspective -- a source of information.  So they focus on the color, font, etc., but forget to think through the content from the recipients' perspective.  Not a big deal, rarely a problem (I did once have to call and ask a shower hostess who "Katy" was, and we got a save the date from a couple whose very common names we didn't recognize at all) and easily solved when it is, and never offensive or tacky.  But based on our experiences, I would always include last names, and after this, hosts' names, at least on the envelope.

EllenS

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 01:33:56 PM »
Sounds to me like they made two versions - one in the formal, passive voice, and the other in the less formal "please join us" voice.  They picked the less formal one but did not get all the edits done properly.

JMHO

Thipu1

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 11:29:16 AM »
That sounds right.  Pardon the pun, but someone in the family  just wasn't observant enough to realize that something was missing on the invitations.

By any chance, is this child the first in his group to have a Bar Mitzvah? That could explain a lot.     

gellchom

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 08:29:56 PM »
I don't think so, Thipu.  This is sort of the middle of the class year.  It's usually fairly close to school year groups.

sweetonsno

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 07:05:09 PM »
Add me to the list who thinks it was probably just an oversight. I suppose it could be a way of trying to avoid a problem with stepparents/legal guardians who aren't technically parents, but that seems unlikely.

TootsNYC

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 11:43:18 AM »
I would bet that about now, someone in the family is hitting their forehead with the heal of their hand ( la V-8 commercial) and saying, "we forgot to put our names!"

I once got in invitation to a reception for a friend who had gotten married in her home town in another state and they were having a party in my city later. The invitation just said something like "honoring Linda Anne" (not the real name but as common) with no last name and no other names at all. I guessed who Linda Anne was and I was right, but it was kind of unnecessarily cryptic. At the party, Linda even mentioned to me how silly she felt when she realized she'd not put her last name.

Sometimes, people just make these kinds of mistakes, especially if they are not experienced hosts.

This is my bet.

And a good takek-away for you, and for all of us now, since you shared it with us.



So what I learned is that if I am doing my own printing, I'll get someone very good to proofread before sending.  It's so easy to forget stuff that is obvious to you and that, as a host, not a guest, you aren't looking for.


So they focus on the col... But based on our experiences, I would always include last names, and after this, hosts' names, at least on the envelope.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: I wonder what the reason is for this invitation wording
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2013, 11:54:32 AM »
I worked at a printing company for over 20 years.  For DD's baby shower it was hosted by a couple of ladies I worked with and of course the printing company printed the invitations. 

At least two proofs were shown and it was touched by at least two other hostesses - it had the wrong address printed for the hostess' home. 

And she had hand colored in part of the headline so she handled every single invitation that went out in the mail...