Steve and I are throwing a party next Saturday. I thought we had agreed on something small and dinner-based but he escaped my clutches one night and as he raced through the streets of Minneapolis he shouted invitations to everyone he saw. By the time he returned home he wasn't entirely sure how many people he had invited... just a few, though. Maybe fifteen? Or twenty. Definitely not more than thirty. Or at least not that many more.
I said, YOU DID WHAT? And then, Well! Fine! Be that way. And I invited all of my friends. So he invited more of his friends. And then we remembered all of these other people we both like but haven't seen in a while and the next thing I knew we had sent an evite to 96 people and I was lying down with a cold compress and an aspirin.
Fortunately it is the first Saturday in December so more than half of them will have an office party and the other half will have a winter luau (you roast a hotdish in a pit over an open fire) and in all likelihood it will just be Steve and me and the children with eighteen pounds of cheese and twenty-two bottles of vodka. Then Steve will hear the distant tinkle of bells and remember that he had accepted an invitation to go snow-dashing with some people he met in Minneapolis so... he'll catch us later.
And no, I don't know where we would put these people if they actually show up (oh my god where would they even park?) and no, I don't know what we might feed them. So there's that.
I'll worry about it all later but right now it's my annual 'what-the-hell, evite' rant? I love evite. Once upon a time I used to address actual printed cards but - I don't know if you've noticed this yourself - ever since I wrote in my last college blue book, any time I try to write more than a few scratches with a pen on paper my hand cramps up like the old man's. The one with the sea. So using evite is much easier since it involves typing. It also saved all the emails I used last year and I still like those people, so that was a bonus too.
What is with 'Maybe' as an un-opt-out-able reply? Of course someone may be coming. From the moment I invite them it is a possibility. What I am trying to determine, though, is are they coming or are they not? Yes or No? Two potential responses, each one scrupulously correct.
Allowing Minnesotans to reply 'maybe' to an invitation is just enabling them and I, for one, think they need a little less encouragement and a lot more tough love. We've talked about this before but as a brash East Coaster the Midwestern inability to say 'no' to an invitation befuddles me. I think they fear it is rude. Much kinder to reply with something like, "Thanks so much for thinking of us! I am having my spine replaced that afternoon but if I can I will try to look in." Oooooo Kaaaay. I'll just mark you down for your half-pound of cheese, shall !?
As Edward said to me yesterday as I tried to evade him, "Is that the no part of a maybe or the yes part?"
Contrast this to the behavior of my sainted mother. A few weeks ago she was telling me about the ambiguity of her Thanksgiving plans and I said, "Well you can always come to us."
To which she instantly exclaimed, "Oh god no!"
I was a little startled and laughed and begged her not to spare my feelings.
She then laughed, too, and said yes yes, whatever, thank you for the offer and of course she would love to see us but she only gets the one day off for Thanksgiving and besides nothing on earth would compel her to travel during that week.
It's my new favorite response to an invitation.
PS We're at the farm for the weekend which has an even more pathetic internet connection than we have at home. I think it is the difference between squirrel power and woodchuck power but I don't understand the specifics. I should ask Patrick. Anyway I have been without email for a couple of days so I just checked our evite and we have 38 people coming, a couple of maybes (their typed reasons for the uncertainty proved acceptable to me so I shall not smite them,) 14 nos and 60 people who have not yet replied.
Now, I'm no math major but... does it seem to you that someone has gotten into the evite and done the equivalent of his joy-ride through the Cities again?
PPS No. There is not a chance in hell we would ever encourage (I don't want to say allow because he will be a technical adult by that point, sort of) Patrick to go to college ahead of schedule. Should he be fortunate enough and work hard enough to complete graduation requirements early, lucky him. He can take fun electives or local classes for college credit or do tons of art or get a part time job or, I dunno, maybe a gap year. The DC public school system of which I am a proud graduate didn't have very high hopes for us so by senior year we were done by eleven o'clock in the morning, even with the full course load of three classes per semester. Two afternoons a week I took care of a baby who was within walking distance of the my high school and the other three I took ridiculous classes (Intro to Mythology with multiple choice exams, anyone?) at Georgetown. And I worked in a restaurant four nights a week. Uphill. Both ways.
Adulthood is long enough without starting it early, says I.
I just mentioned it because it would never have occurred to me that this is what is worrying him right now if he hadn't told me; and I don't think he would have told me if he hadn't unbent under the combined effect of unlimited salad and my penetrating gaze at the Olive Garden.
PPPS Steve started college early and I am sure it was the right decision for him; as it was no doubt the right decision for you. Just not Patrick.