an evite arrives in your (e)mail, and there it is — that feeling of excitement and anticipation. what’s the occasion? who’s going? what evite design template did they use, the martini glass or the signs of the zodiac?

and then you click the evite, heart aflutter, and it opens, and suddenly you remember…the people who sent this evite actually expect you to respond.

there’s so little room to respond, maybe only a sentence — 50 or so little characters. and with only this tiny canvas on which to paint, you, the invitee, are putting your wit and character on display for all to see.

people seem to take different approaches:

  • the witty non-sequitur: a totally random remark designed to demonstrate flair and bravado…i can never pull this one off.
  • the easy way out: that’s right. some folks just don’t say anything…which makes you wonder — do they have anything to say? will they really contribute to the party?
  • the rapier wit: a one-liner that will either make you smile broadly, snicker, or perhaps even guffaw. people who can pull this off usually set the stage for a competition between those who want to seem witty (and there’s nothing wrong with that).
  • the informational response: "wouldn’t miss it" or "looking forward to seeing you guys!". these people are confident, and don’t feel compelled to show off. either that, or they’re just boring.
  • the linguistic cop out: i’ve used this one before…i just say something like &quot[insert witty remark here]", which might be seen as cleverly self-referential in its approach to witticism, but would ultimately reveal itslef to be thoroughly banal and unimaginative, especially when repeated across multiple evites which many have seen ("there he goes, using that dumb phrase again — it was only borderline-funny the first time").

i find myself torn. i was staring at an evite last night, trying to be witty, without looking like i was trying too hard to be witty, and then worrying that what i was saying was not really funny at all. i wasted too many precious seconds of my life on that evite. i think next time, if something amusing comes to mind within 5 seconds, i’ll write it down. otherwise, i’ll take the easy way out.

but what will people think?

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2 thoughts on “evite-isms

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