Thursday, November 18, 2004

Social Issues

Tonight Boy and I sent out invitations to our housewarming party using Evite.com. I have a love-hate relationship with Evite. On the one hand, it's incredibly easy to use, and makes keeping track of party stuff a snap. In case anyone's not familiar: you design your invitation (using one of their templates or making your own), input your guests' email addresses, and they all get a message with a link to view your invitation online. If you want, you can survey the invitees to choose the best date for everyone, assign things for them to bring, link to MapQuest, and send them all email updates and reminders. Guests click the link, select Yes, No, or Maybe, can write a message, and, unless the host chooses not to let them, can see the entire guest list and email other guests.

As a host, you can track people's responses, and even see if (and when) they've viewed the invitation if they haven't yet entered an RSVP.

In other words, you can become completely neurotic and obsessive with the greatest of ease. This is where the hate part comes in.

The first people to respond are of course usually people who know right off the bat that they can't come. But I don't want to look like a loser, so I check the Evite constantly and delete these people from the guest list altogether. If the Nos ever outnumber the Yeses, I panic. It's like being in 5th grade and sitting there with a cake and a pointy hat while no one shows up for your birthday party and even your mom is embarrassed for you. Not that that ever happened to me, I swear, but it's like that, only now you know in advance what a loser you are and so do your guests, which can be a vicious cycle. I used to hide the guest list until it was acceptable to me, but I had friends -- good friends, friends who were almost surely coming -- who refused to RSVP until they could see who else was invited.

Then there are all those "Not yet responded" people. Remember, I can see when they viewed the Evite. So why haven't they responded? Is there that much to debate? Either you're coming or you're not! Hell, there's even a "Maybe" option, so why not make me feel good with a little hope? We made a point of sending out the invitation pretty early, so that gives me all kinds of extra time to check and recheck and obsess over it, even if it also makes it perfectly reasonable that people have not responded right away.

There seem to be lots of people who don't understand how to use Evite too. I suspect many of the non-responders are these people. They look at the information but don't realize they're supposed to respond. Some people have replied to the email with an RSVP, rather than doing it on the website. Some post notes with their reply that they clearly don't realize can be seen by everyone. Thank god you can edit guest responses!

Thank god, too, that I have friends who understand my Evite neuroses, because my boyfriend does not. He actually invited people he knew wouldn't be able to come! Why why why would he do such a thing? Why voluntarily increase the number of Nos?? He also invited people with multiple email addresses multiple times, thereby increasing the Not Yet Replieds. It's a good thing I love him. Hmmm...probably a better thing that he loves me and can tolerate my mild insanity.

I'm sure the party will be a huge success, I just may have a nervous breakdown over the invitation before it happens.

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