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Répondez S'il Vous Plait
by Candice Benson

Intro | What It Means | Variations

Have you ever received an invitation to a party with R.S.V.P. printed at the bottom of them, or even on another piece of paper, with a phone number or address next to it? Did you ever call the phone number or write the person to let them know if you were coming or not? If not, then you’ve just put your inviter into what I call R.S.V.P. Hell.

R.S.V.P. Hell is that time right before a party when the host/hostess needs to know how many people are attending but hasn’t heard from everyone about whether they will attend. Without knowing a specific number or at least an estimate, the host is left with a difficult decision to make: to either set up enough food and seating for the people who did respond and leave others who show up standing and starving, or to set up enough for everyone that did and didn’t respond and risk possibly wasting money if someone doesn’t show.

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