The Crosby Chronicles: The meaning of 'RSVP'

I’ve just finished sending off the last of my youngest son’s birthday party invitations which are also the last child’s party I plan on hosting.

Having a child’s birthday party sounds like it would be fun, but actually requires the patience of a saint.  Many parents ignore the RSVP part of an invitation so my wife and I inevitably have to send off reminders.

It can be painful for the birthday child to ask each day who is coming to his party when no one has called.

Part of the problem is that many students come from different cultures and some parents either don’t know what “RSVP” means or can’t read English so the invitation goes in the trash.

So, right now, I’m not sure how many goodie bags I need, what size cake to order, or if I should cancel “Professor Dumbledore," the entertainer we hired.

I’m already looking forward to next year when I can tell my son that for his birthday he can invite his one best friend and we’ll all go to Disneyland.

Brian Crosby is a teacher in Glendale and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher.  He can be reached at


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