Thursday, November 18, 2010

C is for Courtesy and P is for Pariah

I am a bit bedazzled that people today seemed to have lost a good portion of their common sense along with a large chuck of their manners. Case in point - every year we invite the incoming Fulbright scholars for a social. For a number of years, our place was the hub of socialization. 

This year, I was invited to speak at their orientation about cultural differences. A few of the group came up afterward and greeted us with introductions. At the time, we extended an open invitation to visit or contact us if needed.

Fulbrighters are spread throughout the country, so the main time that the majority may be in Budapest is for the monthly cultural trip the commission provides. For November, it was put off until tomorrow. Over three weeks ago, we sent out an invitation for a wine and munchies get-together. We offered to supply some of each, but they were welcome to supplement with their beverage of choice. The invites went to over twenty people with explicit mention that families were welcome as well. 

As days passed we waited for some signs of recognition, so acknowledgment that we had written. Nothing came our way. Finally, one of the group had graciously offered to replace a canceled speaker for the Budapest Creativity Group. I had asked if he were coming with his family, but he was not sure he had received the e-mail. Later, he did respond with the original e-mail as well as a note that he would be in Sweden that weekend.

Ron wants to believe that the reason no one responded was because I did not include RSVP in the note. From years of entertaining in CA, I knew that RSVP was a social custom often ignored by those appearing at the door who never provided a warning there was another mouth to feed.

Statistically, one would presume that whether or not directions were included to RSVP, amongst twenty plus professional people there would be a few at least. Nary a one. 
What was even more shocking was that at the appointed hour of 7:30 pm, not a single tinkle of our doorbell was heard. In fact, the entire night was quiet. Ron and I drank wine and had munchies while we watched TV, wondering if this is how a pariah feels.
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