Now, you all know I have posted before, about the need for building greater community networks. To build a 'net', in your local area...that I have posted about hospitality, and how cocooning ourselves away in our own homes, not reaching out, but spending our time before the tube, or the computer, doesn't do anything to build up those ties that bind...
Trying to take my own advice, El Husbando and I decided to have a party on New Year's Eve, nothing late, mind, just a quiet evening get together, with plenty of food, and just take the opportunity to get to know the neighbors better. I hand delivered the invitations to everyone...a total of six couples. It pains me to admit, that of the six couples, one told me right out that they could not come. I appreciate that very much. Because not ONE of the other five couples, has let me know whether they are/are not coming. Not one word. Not a phone call (and yes, the information was on the invitation, right beside the typed RSVP).
I understand, that the holiday season is a busy one. I really do. I know how terribly crazy my life was last week. However, it takes what, two minutes? to make a phone call...two-three minutes to say "we cannnot come, so sorry", or "We'd love to come, can we bring anything? We're so looking forward to it". The lack of consideration is mind-boggling. Not only that, it is potentially very painful, both personally, and financially...
We're not financially over-endowed. We have five small children, and we're on a limited budget. Times are tight all over. I cannot afford to spend money on food that will not be eaten. Especially, food for a party that will need to be eaten very shortly. Even if it isn't expensive on a per-ingredient level, it does add up.
And that's not taking into account, that it is kind of insulting. I wonder, are they coming? Do they not want to get to know us better? I specifically put on the invitation, that we really wanted to get to know our neighbors better. To have an invitation--a hand-delivered one, no less, ignored, basically...well, I just don't know what to think. Have we somehow insulted people? Is this just the way people are, now, so inconsiderate that to say "yay or nay" is beyond their capability?
I always try to let people know whether we can come or not. And if we have to cancel, I make it a point to do it asap, so that they are not purchasing food for us that we won't be there to eat. It is just good manners, and consideration for others. And it hurts that apparently, I'm the only one who thinks so, around here.
The worst part is, I don't even have a phone number for many of them. Lots of people out here are not listed, so getting phone numbers is a sketchy thing. You have to KNOW someone before you get their phone number, apparently. And so, I cannot get them on the phone to ask, "Are you coming?"...I'll have to make another trip to see for sure.
And while I am very interested in getting to know my neighbors, and eager to better our acquaintance, I have no desire to appear, desperate..if that makes any sense.
Have any of you been in this situation? I mean, really, not ONE person has called to say yes or no? I don't know whether I ought to buy 'party food', or not! I've got some already, but there are other things I was waiting on, since I didn't know how many folks would be coming for sure. Now, I'm what, three days out, and I *still* have no idea...
It is very frustrating, and disappointing.
But despite this, I am not going to let it stop me from trying to be hospitable. I am thinking we will try once a quarter, to get people together. Once a month would be good, but I cannot bear the burden that often...even simple dinners get expensive when there are more people to feed. And besides, people *do* have other things to do than come to my house, lol. I'll just keep trying, and maybe I'll have better luck next time. A couple of months to 'lick my wounds' will be enough time, I think. People will be more inclined to look for something 'different' to do of an evening, come mid-February, long after the winter holidays, and before spring lightens things up with warmth and flowers...
Wish me luck!
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