Monday, July 19, 2010

Yes, No, Maybe So

I can't make up my mind about Evite.

Part of me absolutely loves it:
An Evite party invitation lets you peruse the list of people who were invited to the party and check out who is actually going to attend. And that's before you even reply! Advance knowledge of a party's guest list is some powerful information. To butcher the Syms ads, evite makes me feel like an educated party consumer.

But the other part of me hates it:
Evite's reply function provides space for a comment to accompany your yes or no. The comment portion of the reply is OPTIONAL. And, yet, most feel the need to fill the silence.

So you get your "no" replies with excuses, which, whether long or short, always read badly.

And, worse still, are the messages that accompany the "yes" replies. "Can't wait!!" "Wouldn't miss it!!!" "We're in!!!!" You think I'm joking about the exclamation points but I'm not.

A lot of my son's friends are doing evites these days. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to craft a response that doesn't look like I crafted my response (if that even makes sense). My problem stems from the fact that, because I waited to see who would be going to the party before responding, I've already read everyone else's repsonses. Since I don't want it to look like I read all the responses before responding (that would be shallow, wouldn't it?), I have to come up with something unique that I might actually say in real life. Impossible.

I'd leave the comment box blank but I imagine the party host is somehow deriving some kind of joy or satisfaction from the responses and I don't want to come off as cold.

Responding on behalf of my son adds an element of strangeness to the whole exercise. And makes the exclamation points seem even more ridiculous. "Wally is a yes!" "Wally will be there!"

My son's name isn't Wally. But maybe I'll start writing that Wally will be there as my go-to yes reply.

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