Author Topic: RSVP-ing "Maybe"  (Read 3335 times)

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Knitterly

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RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« on: June 10, 2013, 02:53:20 PM »
Is it rude to respond "maybe" to an invitation?

Here's the situation:  Two friends are hosting Canada Day BBQs on the long weekend.
Janet hosts one every year at her parents home (they have a pool and graciously open their home to Janet's friends every year, even though Janet is long-since married and moved out).   This has been an annual event since Janet was in high school.  I've attended for the last 7 years.

Janet sent out invites last week.  I RSVP'd yes.  She has set her date for June 30 with July 1 being the rain date.

Katie, who is not at all in the same social circle as Janet, just invited me to her Canada Day BBQ, which she is holding on July 1.

If the weather cooperates and both days are nice, we could and would attend both.  However, if it rains on the 30th, we are already committed to Janet's party.

If it rains both days, Janet will do an indoor party.

Is it rude to RSVP "maybe" to a second invitation?  Should I explain to Katie that I will be attending Janet's party?  She knows Janet, but was not invited as they are barely acquaintances (they know each other in passing through me).  I am the only person invited to both, as these are entirely separate social circles.

This is not a case where Mr K and I can split up and each attend one.
If I cannot attend both, I'll be sad about missing the one I don't attend.  I'm pretty truly stuck and am really hoping for awesome weather both days so I can do both.

WWEHD?

NyaChan

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 02:56:24 PM »
If you really want to go to both - clarify with Jane that your Yes was for the actual date of the party, but that you can't commit to the rain date.  Then accept the invitation from Katie.

I don't think RSVP'ing yes to an invite commits you to the rescheduling of the party if it gets canceled on the day you said you were free.

Shoo

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 02:57:12 PM »
Basically, the first invitation requires you to commit 2 days?  I'd have a problem with that.  I do think it's kind of rude to RSVP maybe.  Your host for the 6/1 BBQ needs a head count!  The person trying to hijack two days for her BBQ is being really presumptuous, IMO.  I'd say yes to the 6/30 and if it gets rained out, oh well.  Then I'd go to the other BBQ on the 1st.

Perfect Circle

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 02:59:22 PM »
I think I would commit to one day for each. So say you can do the original date but won't be able to attend if it rains.

I find that set up a bit off. I have held indoor BBQs before because the weather wouldn't co-operate.
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MummySweet

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 03:12:22 PM »
An RSVP is intended to allow the host to prepare for the correct number of guests and it is rude to not give a definite response in a reasonable amount of time prior to the event.   In this scenario, you wouldn't be making  the final decision on whether to go Katie's party until 24 hours before.  If you give a 'maybe' response is likely to be perceived as, "I'll come to your party if the party I want to go to more isn't that day."     If you feel your RSVP to Janet included the rain date, then you need to let Katie know you have another commitment.   Both parties sound fun, but you may not be able to go to both.

Edited to add:  Janet isn't really demanding an answer for both days is she?  If so, she is being presumptuous.  However, offering a rain date is not rude in itself.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 03:15:15 PM by MummySweet »

MrTango

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 03:15:32 PM »
A "Maybe" is okay if it's used as a "Let me check my calendar and I'll get back to you to let you know if I'm free."

I'm of the opinion that the person who gives a response of "maybe" is then obligated to update their response to a "yes" or "no" by the original RSVP date (or other date as agreed upon by the host.)

lowspark

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 03:27:21 PM »
I don't think Janet is presumptuous at all unless she is requiring everyone to commit to both dates. There are probably many people invited to Janet's party who have both dates open so committing to both days wouldn't be a problem.

However, I think that Knitterly should RSVP yes to both, with the caveat to Janet that she can only make the party if it is actually held on June 30. July 1 should be committed to Katie's party. Either that, or you RSVP no to Katie's party and just recognize that if it doesn't rain, you will have no party to go to on July 1. And you don't tell Katie the reason for your "no" is because it's Janet's rain date. You just say "prior commitment".

Because if I were Katie and you told me maybe, depends on Janet's Party and the weather, I'd feel like a b-list friend.

TootsNYC

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 03:31:07 PM »
You can mention previous plans WITHOUT using Janet's name!! And in fact, you should.

As for iffy answers, I would say: "How firm do you need me to be?"

lowspark

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 03:31:23 PM »
I meant to add...
I think it's ok to say "maybe" in some cases. I've had "maybe" replies to parties I've had that I've been ok with.

Example, couple I invited are out of town the week before the party and are returning the night before. They rsvp "maybe" because they really don't know if they'll feel up to a party on the day after their trip. I'm ok with that.

This kind of "maybe" though, because of Janet's rain date, just wouldn't feel ok to me if I were Katie.

Knitterly

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 03:36:51 PM »
An RSVP is intended to allow the host to prepare for the correct number of guests and it is rude to not give a definite response in a reasonable amount of time prior to the event.   In this scenario, you wouldn't be making  the final decision on whether to go Katie's party until 24 hours before.  If you give a 'maybe' response is likely to be perceived as, "I'll come to your party if the party I want to go to more isn't that day."     If you feel your RSVP to Janet included the rain date, then you need to let Katie know you have another commitment.   Both parties sound fun, but you may not be able to go to both.

Edited to add:  Janet isn't really demanding an answer for both days is she?  If so, she is being presumptuous.  However, offering a rain date is not rude in itself.

MY RSVP definitely included both days, as I had specified "either day should be fine for us."
This was a solid week ago, and at the time, I was certainly free.  It's the only Canada Day BBQ I ever count on in any given year. 

At the time, I had no inclination that Katie would be hosting a party.  This is the first year she has done so.

Janet is a bit of an over-planner and always gives a rain date as it's not just the BBQ - a significant part of the party is the pool party.

How does this sound: "I may have a tentative commitment for July 1.  I likely won't know until that week whether I can attend.  Is that okay?"

I will not say anything about Janet's party.  It isn't about B-listing Katie - it's about genuinely seeing Janet's as a prior commitment, even though the 1st is a rain date.  Does that make sense?

Thanks for the help, folks.

Perfect Circle

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 03:38:17 PM »
In that case I honestly think you need to RSVP no, sorry.
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Shoo

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 03:38:58 PM »
In that case I honestly think you need to RSVP no, sorry.

I agree.  You can't make it because you've already committed that date to something else. 

lowspark

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 03:46:14 PM »
In that case I honestly think you need to RSVP no, sorry.

I agree.  You can't make it because you've already committed that date to something else.

Pod. I think you have to RSVP no.

Now, I will say that, depending on your re-lationship with Katie and the type of party she's having, it might (and I emphasize might) be ok if it doesn't rain on June 30 to call Katie that day and say your plans fell though for the 1st and you can come after all if there is still room.

If it's a formal sit down dinner party, then no, I wouldn't do that. If it's a come-as-you-are potluck the-more-the-merrier party and you're close enough to Katie to know it wouldn't be an imposition, then maybe.

I've had friends do that to me, ask if it was ok to change to a Yes at the last minute. Depending on who the friend was and the specific thing I was inviting them to, I was ok with it sometimes but a bit put out other times (not that I let on). So I'm just saying, it's a know-your-audience type of thing.

Knitterly

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 03:53:43 PM »
In that case I honestly think you need to RSVP no, sorry.

I agree.  You can't make it because you've already committed that date to something else.

Pod. I think you have to RSVP no.

Now, I will say that, depending on your re-lationship with Katie and the type of party she's having, it might (and I emphasize might) be ok if it doesn't rain on June 30 to call Katie that day and say your plans fell though for the 1st and you can come after all if there is still room.

If it's a formal sit down dinner party, then no, I wouldn't do that. If it's a come-as-you-are potluck the-more-the-merrier party and you're close enough to Katie to know it wouldn't be an imposition, then maybe.

I've had friends do that to me, ask if it was ok to change to a Yes at the last minute. Depending on who the friend was and the specific thing I was inviting them to, I was ok with it sometimes but a bit put out other times (not that I let on). So I'm just saying, it's a know-your-audience type of thing.

It is not a formal sit-down dinner.  In fact, her email specifically says "the more the merrier" (this is in reference to encouraging friends to bring anyone along that they would like to).   Katie has a big halloween party every year and enjoys stuffing her house with as many people as she can possibly manage.  I've been in the position once of not being able to RSVP until the week of the party because Mr K had a work commitment.

I wonder if I could get away with waiting until the long range forecast is up.  If the whole week is supposed to be nice, then it should be pretty safe to respond yes to both.  But if there's supposed to be any rain at all, respond no.
That would still be 10-14 days from the party.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 03:55:15 PM by Knitterly »

amylouky

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Re: RSVP-ing "Maybe"
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 04:03:04 PM »
It sounds like Katie's party is pretty casual. I'd probably just tell her that you have a previous commitment but there's a good chance that it may not happen.. so if you do find yourselves free is it okay to let you know that weekend? If she says no, she needs a head count, then you have your answer.