How Will She Get Her Friends to RSVP?

Because all advice goes down easier with a drink (even a non-alcoholic one). Especially when it's picked at random from our columnist's extensive collection of community cookbooks.

Dear Pink Lady,

This is a dumb problem, I know. But since I don't have starvation or homelessness to contend with, this is what my life sometimes boils down to:

Because I have a smartphone, everyone expects me to respond to them at all times, immediately. I kind of do this to other people too, I guess, but I at least understand they could be taking a nap, or in a meeting, or whatever else. That is a problem in itself, but what really drives me crazy is that these same people cannot even answer a simple RSVP by the date needed. I am talking about parties and events that I need to know if they can go or not so I can properly prepare for a certain number of guests. What keeps happening is they don't think I'm worth a "I can't go," or they show up anyway—and these are the gross, rude people I call my friends.

What can I do? What can I drink while I stew over this?


Prissy Missy

Dear Miss Priss,

The Pink Lady feels your pain. In this era of Facebook events, when one is regularly invited to parties across the country by friends who share every event with every person on their "friends" list, it has become all to easy to click a box that says one will be there without any real intent to attend. And if there is anything more annoying than planning for cocktails for 15, only to have 25 arrive, it's assuming 15 people will show up only to spend the night making martinis for one.

There is no good way to deal with people who consistently do not RSVP. If you find their rudeness extends into other areas as well, you might want to question why these people are your friends—are they really friends? Aren't real friends generally considerate enough to RSVP?

However, if this group of people is there for you in every other way, with this one glaring exception, then the problem may be on your end. Perhaps your invitations are too casual—if you're inviting someone to dinner via mass e-mail, it's possible the invitee meant to reply but lost the message in an overflowing inbox. Instead of passive-aggressively stewing as to whether someone intends to come, follow up with a real, live phone call to find out whether your guests are coming. Better yet, send actual invitations through the mail. The unexpected formality is much more likely to prompt people to reply—and to want to attend.

And for your next soiree, I suggest making a "depression cocktail." The recipe's author says it came from an uncle who used it during the 1930s "when a bottle needed to be stretched. It is surprisingly potent." It should go a long way if you still have more guests than expected, and if you have less than expected, you'll be able to quickly drown your own depression.


The Pink Lady

Depression Cocktail

9 jiggers gin

3 jiggers sweet vermouth

2 jiggers grenadine

3 lemons, or 2 lemons and 2 limes, juiced

White of 1 egg

Shake all ingredients together with cracked ice. Serves 8.

This week's recipe is from Party Potpourri (Memphis, 1971).

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