“Finish your plate.” “Tip generously.” “Always RSVP.”

These are just some of the etiquette rules my parents taught me growing up. Maybe it’s the Southern Tradition, or maybe it’s just because my parents have common sense, but as their son, I was expected to always be a gentleman. I would like to believe that I am, but I fear there is one thing I can’t help but doing that goes against everything I’ve been taught: relentlessly RSVPing to events I have absolutely zero intention of going to.

Sometimes I don’t mean to do it. For instance, there may be something out of my control, like an exam that comes up and forces me to skip the event, or simply forgetting that the event is going on. But for the most part, I know very well that what I’m doing is wrong and still do it anyway.

I RSVP yes to events I don’t always go to because I don’t want to appear rude by saying no, which is ironic, considering that not showing up to an event you already said you’d go to is just as rude, if not more. It’s not gentlemanly for me blame others for my own wrongdoing, so I’ll own up to this and agree that, yes, I’m the worst. Yet, I will say that the art of RSVPing to an event that you have absolutely no intention of attending is not an easy skill to master, and I’m a pro.

I’ll save you the cliché, “I’m such a grandma, I never go out,” speech because 1. I am not a grandma, and 2. I actually do go out. I just don’t want to go to your event.

Because Mark Zuckerberg hates us, whenever you are invited to an event, Facebook can make it publicly known whether or not you’ve viewed the event. Its like read receipts, only everyone can see it. Not all Facebook events use it, but it is an optional feature the host of the event can choose to use (meaning only your friends with a flair for being passive-aggressive will probably use it). It’s actually kind of hilarious when it’s in use, because you can see exactly who has seen the event but completely ignored it without a single Going, Maybe, or Can’t Go response.

The problem I have with these events is that I always get criticized whenever I say I Can’t Go. I used to tell people when I couldn’t make it to their party, only to have the event host immediately direct message me afterwards. They wouldn't ask me why I couldn’t go, but instead, why I would do such a thing as tell people online that I wouldn’t be there.

Nowadays, whenever I get invited to an event on Facebook, I immediately say I’m either Interested or Going. I do it for every trivia night, movie premiere, concert, festival, campus showcase, and free food opportunity that my friends invite me too. I also do it for parties. This way, the host isn’t going to question me, and I can add the event to my calendar of potential things to do in the future. If anything, I help the host’s attempt of looking cool by being one of the people saying that I’m going to their event. I mean, if I ever threw a party, I’d still want everyone to say that they were Going, even if I knew some couldn’t make it.

So, invite me to your Facebook event. Maybe I’ll go. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ll say I’m there.


Side note: While we are on the subject, if you invite me to your 21st birthday party and I don’t know a single soul going besides you, please don’t tell me I can’t bring a plus one if you still expect me to show. Of course I love a good party, and I’m flattered you invited me, but honestly, do you think I’m going to show up to a party completely alone?

Honestly, I don't understand some people.