DEAR MISS MANNERS: We just received an invitation for an ice cream social event that asked us to RSVP. For me, this is a no-brainer: Call and say we are going or not going. My husband disagrees, saying we should only tell them if we plan to attend.
Have the "rules" changed and RSVP now means "Respond only if you are going to attend"? Some invitations say "Regrets only," but this one did not. Help!
I'm particularly sensitive to not being rude in today's environment. We were always taught to respond either in writing or on the telephone to any RSVP. Although I've responded the last two years, this discussion only ensued when I tried to delegate the task to my husband.
GENTLE READER: Perhaps you should take it back. He seems to imagine that the Etiquette Council met and decided that it is now all right to snub people whose only crime is to offer to entertain you, and that hosts should be kept guessing about whether or not they can expect guests.
Miss Manners asks you to inform him that such a basic courtesy as responding to invitations will never change. Perhaps what you should do is put him in charge of organizing a gathering, so that he can experience what it is like to be left wondering.