Has social etiquette completely died?
Jennifer Ginsberg: Many otherwise courteous people become selfish and inconsiderate when presented with a request to RSVP to an event. It amazes me how even my closest friends are waiting until the absolute last minute to respond to my stepdaughter's bat mitzvah invitation -- in case something better comes along perhaps? People experience tremendous existential conflict and become blubbering wafflers and commitment-phobes when confronted with those ominous initials -- RSVP.
If I could hear the inner dialogue of one of these RSVP flunkies, I bet it would go something like this: Who am I? What am I doing? Where am I going? What is religion? Is there a God? What are they serving for lunch? Will I like it? What will I wear? Will I look fat? What is the meaning of this ceremony? And why the hell does the poor child get bounced up and down on a chair during the party?
Listen up, friends -- the reason I invited you to this event is because you are important to me and my family. We are not using this spiritual rite of passage as an excuse to have a lavish, obnoxious party that bastardizes the true meaning of the day. Rather, we have planned a ceremony and reception that we hope will be both moving and fun.
But please ... get off the fence and RSVP! Leaving a good friend hanging until the last second -- no matter how legitimate your reasoning may be -- is not cool. The bat mitzvah is two weeks away and it is time to make a choice, which I sincerely hope will be one of the smaller and more insignificant decisions you'll be presented with in your life. I would love if you could join us for this special time.
If you can't come, then I will do my best to not suffer a nervous breakdown and cut you out of my life forever.
|Jennifer Ginsberg is a Los Angeles mother, writer, and addiction specialist with over 15 years of experience in the fields of alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. After receiving her MSW from the USC School Of Social Work and MAJCS from Hebrew Union College, Jennifer served as the clinical director of a 120 bed drug and alcohol treatment facility. She also co-developed an addiction prevention program for Jewish youth, which has been implemented in synagogues nationally. Jennifer now works privately with people who are impacted by the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol and writes about all topics related to motherhood, addiction, and women in politics. Read more about her life at angstmom.com|