Can someone please explain to me why, in 2006, I need to RSVP to a shower invite with a phone call?
Typically, I do not even know the person throwing the shower. For example, let's say that I have a male cousin who got married and now they're having a baby. I've never met his wife. The baby shower is being thrown by someone in his wife's family. I have to call this person, who will have absolutely no idea who I am, just to say that I have no intention of coming to the shower.
Doesn't anyone else find this to be awkward? Why insist on a phone call? I, personally, am prejudiced against phone calls in general. When calling someone, you have no idea what they're doing or what their plans are. Unless I'm very close to a person, I'll never call and expect him or her to chat for longer than 5 or 10 minutes. I guard my time very closely, and figure that others do the same; unexpected phone calls can be seriously detrimental to accomplishment of my perpetual list.
So I don't tend to call people very often. Now I'm forced by a lack of contact information (no mailing address or e-mail address) to call a complete stranger about a complete stranger to say "thanks for the invite, but you people really aren't that important to me and I'll have to pass." But of course, you can't just say that—even tactfully. You have to make small talk. Will I have to talk about the house, Cleveland, Keith? Will I get to hear about the first ultrasound and the games they plan on playing at the shower I will not be attending? It's completely unknown ... and a complete waste of time because I never intend to talk to this person again.
At this point, the best I can hope for is an answering machine. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. And I expect that the next shower invite I get from one of my (5) loyal readers has an e-mail address, too.