Virtual Voices

"Yes" means "maybe"

Culture

My daughter had a birthday party a couple of weeks ago for her 4-year-old. She sent out invitations to 22 adults and 15 children, with an RSVP phone number. She received no replies.

It just so happens that the previous day I had coffee with a young woman who is in charge of putting together functions for the local seminary community. She told me, "People don't RSVP anymore." Jacki learned when she sent out digital invitations with those little boxes to mark "yes," "maybe," or "no" that nowadays "yes" means "maybe," and "maybe" means "no." This would be a good tip to include in a primer for foreigners immigrating to the United States from more civilized countries, along with other necessary code-breaking tidbits, such as the proper American interpretation of "Let's do lunch."

The psychology of deadbeat RSVPers is speculative. It could be that no one wants to be first to say yes to a venture. Or perhaps we are keeping our options open for a better offer. Hey, life is a smorgasbord. But a sinking tide lowers all boats. And the more that people don't RSVP, the more an atmosphere is created where people don't RSVP.

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Meanwhile, back at the truth, Jesus says "Let your yes be yes" (Matthew 5:37). And King David, in the Spirit, says that the kind of person God loves is the one "who swears to his own hurt and does not change" (Psalm 15:4).

My daughter, not knowing who would show up, baked way too many cupcakes, which have boomeranged here and now sit on my kitchen table. Would you like some with me? RSVP by tonight or they may be gone.

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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