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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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I Got Stood Up. RSV-Please!

Uploaded: Mar 13, 2014

Everyone should host a party once a year. It is your ticket into all the other parties.

Don't want to host at your house? Host at a park, a local bar, or team with a friend on spaghetti dinner. Big, small, who cares? What matters is you organize something/anything, because it's not ok just to go to everyone else's parties and never reciprocate.

Once one starts hosting, the social nicety of the RSVP will come back into view too. Somehow this response has been dying out over the years and I don't know why. If someone is kind enough to send an invitation, we owe them a yes or no. My inner Ms. Manners shakes her finger at those who have gotten lax about this. And while I am in sermon, a strong digital wag out to my nephews C and D. Ahem gentlemen? are you coming to dinner this Sunday or not?

Yes, Miss Priss is on her soapbox, but you certainly can't deny me disappointment after being stood up on last weeks' date. Stood up ? yes! No call, no RSVP, no show. I haven't been stood up on a date in?well?. I don't think I have ever been stood up on a date.

Have you?

My friend R said I should have texted, "Dear Mr. X, I hope you are OK. But you better be in the hospital or I am going to put you there!"

Not only did this guy stand me up on date #3, he cancelled date #1, and was late for rescheduled date #2. Did I hear the door slam?

The few people I have asked respond with an absolute "YES." That is until they hear what happened (Mr. X got hurt and I'll stop there). It's funny ? once guys hear how he got hurt, their response is a dramatic turn around from, "Dump the loser," to "OMG - poor man."

Gentleman, what about me?

OK, he had a legitimate medical excuse, but the woman in me says he should have called that afternoon/evening (or sent flowers, tickets to Teatro ZinZanni, or... :) I admit, I have yet to ask him why he waited till the next morning. But he hasn't volunteered the answer either.

And so we are back to the beginning or in Latin, "Incipimus in bagan."


Or no?

Mr. X - your fate lies with my readers.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by A Single Guy, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Hi Laura,

Good luck, but if Mr. X bails on you, would you like to meet for a drink?


-A Single Guy

Posted by Sam Spade, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I have a bad feeling about this Mr. X. It's obviously a pseudonym. He's probably married.

Posted by Armando, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm

You misspelled Mr. Ex

Posted by a nerd, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Laura, your column is hilarious.

Also, you're always light hearted, so I feel I'm doing a slight injustice to this column to make any criticism. Nonetheless:

You wrote: "it's not ok just to go to everyone else's parties and never reciprocate", where here reciprocation seems to involve organizing a social event.

I have a hard time with asserting myself socially. I used to avoid going to parties for exactly the reason you stated: I knew I wouldn't reciprocate, and I didn't want to be the awkward hanger on. But then I decided that I reciprocate in other nonsocial ways: I help my friends with computer stuff, for example. So now I (provisionally, at least) feel that it's ok that I never organize parties and such even though I go to them. I'm pretty sure my friends are ok with that.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Good one Armando!

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Dear A Nerd,

I stand corrected - you are right. As long as we contribute to the dance of life in the way that is truly of us, the party continues. Life is a potluck. Bring our special dish and everyone feasts!

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

And to A Single Guy - I'll keep you posted!

Posted by Elaine, a resident of another community,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm

I enjoy your column too, Laura, but I would like to take issue with one thing you wrote: "If someone is kind enough to forward an invitation..." Forwarding an invitation is the height of rudeness; just because you are invited doesn't mean that all your friends are invited too. I think you meant "If someone is kind enough to send you an invitation..."

Posted by A Single Guy, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Hi Laura,

Keep *all* of us posted! We wish the best for you!

That said, I think it would be fun if you and I met. I have a feeling that we might end up being friends regardless of what happens between you and Mr. X. I'll keep it nebulous and mysterious for the time being...


Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Dear Elaine, Fixed! You are not alone - your comment reminded me immediately of a good friend of mine. :)

Posted by Sandy, a resident of another community,
on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

But note that there was a reason for only one failed meeting. He was lax on all three efforts to get together. As for the supposed medical reason let's see the note from the doctor.
This guy is not thoughtful.

Posted by Codependent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm

You need to validate your gut feeling via crowdsourcing? You want us to reassure you that the decision you know you should be making is the correct one? Read the posts: the tribe has spoken. Even though X clearly has some appealing/intriguing qualities, if his excuses are so lame at this phase of the relationship, how uncreative would they be once you got to know him better? Save yourself the trouble, pull the plug now, and go have coffee/cold pressed juice with ASG.

Posted by geek family, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Everyone should hold a party once a year so they understand just how difficult it is when people don't RSVP! I speak as a reformed bad RSVPer. Now I'm the first one to say yes-no or even maybe!

Thanks for the post!

Posted by Laura's Older Sister?, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Mar 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Why did you give him THREE chances?

Posted by Cheese Lover, a resident of another community,
on Mar 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I think Mr. X deserves more chances. He clearly has crossed this bridge before, hence his name. If he does turn into Mr. Z (for zero), then maybe you\'ve been looking in all the wrong places?
The owner of the Milk Pail tells the story of his Danish cousin who sampled out cheeses and cashiered at the store years ago and and there was this one nice looking man that was a grad student and avid tennis player. Everyday this young man came in to buy a quart of milk to satisfy his thirst. Sometimes he would take a sample of cheese. Eventually he took the Danish cousin. Years later they now have a chateau in Switzerland, two kids and lots of fondue.
Being in the world of food, maybe Laura needs to spend more time near a cheese case?

Posted by The Real Mr. X, a resident of another community,
on Mar 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Yes.....it's me, in the flesh. Mr. X. I make no excuses and indeed conceded to that in my email to our lovely host. I was wrong for not sending her some kind of notice immediately upon my demise. No I wasn't concussed or comatose nor were my hands crushed. I could make up something lame that would be beneath both of us but the truth is I was just plain bummed about what was going on and I let it affect everything. A downward spiral as it were that took everything in its path last week. My condition has rendered me officially on hiatus from any semblance of dating which obviously I'm not that great at anyway. Doesn't make me a bad man I don't think but it does expose me as somewhat selfish and brooding in this light which is never attractive. Agreed? The accompanying inverse of this is my normal M.O. which is I believe what brought us together in the first place and my sincere hope is that I can properly process this temporary lapse and redeem myself.......not in some grandiose, fluffy gesture.....but with simple and consistent courtesy. Oh and maybe something special because after all, we are talking about a very special girl who deserves far better treatment than she received last week.

Truly yours,

David (X)

Posted by The Original Mr. X, a resident of Stierlin Estates,
on Mar 16, 2014 at 6:26 am

These 22 million victims are waking up. Their eyes are coming open. They're beginning to see what they used to only look at. They're becoming politically mature. They are realizing that there are new political trends from coast to coast. As they see these new political trends, it's possible for them to see that every time there's an election the races are so close that they have to have a recount. They had to recount in Massachusetts to see who was going to be governor, it was so close. It was the same way in Rhode Island, in Minnesota, and in many other parts of the country. And the same with Kennedy and Nixon when they ran for president. It was so close they had to count all over again. Well, what does this mean? It means that when white people are evenly divided, and black people have a bloc of votes of their own, it is left up to them to determine who's going to sit in the White House and who's going to be in the dog house.

Untruly yours,

Malcolm (X)

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community,
on Mar 16, 2014 at 9:55 am

To "The Original Mr. X"
Not vey original or smart to hijack a thread. Not a way to convince, or even lecture, a public. Also, no one is interested in your nonsense.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

It was not a thread hijack. It was a humorous riff on Malcolm X v. David X.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

So Laura, how do things stand now? David out of the dog house?

Posted by Codependent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm

So he's not a "bad man" but she's a "very special girl." The ick factor is rising on this one. Lots of these X types around, guys who can present a charming facade and spin an articulate post but are otherwise unreliable and unworthy.

You can do better, Laura. I'd get a real dog before letting him out of the doghouse.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Everyone - I am enjoying your comments so! To Laura's Older Sister - I asked both of mine if they were you. Cheese Lover - thanks for the laugh! Codependent - I guess you picked that name for you cuz it's definitely not me. USA, ahhh, the question. I must admit - I NEVER expected, or even imagined Mr X to respond here. Mr X, you have earned points for creativity, plot building and the element of surprise! Besides USA, he fits perfectly into the Four Man Plan.

Posted by Miss Cleo, a resident of Martens-Carmelita,
on Mar 18, 2014 at 9:06 am

He cheatin' on you girl!

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Four Man Plan? Do tell.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Ah, Google to the rescue: Web Link

I was imagining a four man rotation like pitchers in baseball.

Posted by Codependent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Mar 19, 2014 at 11:13 am

No, my dear, my handle for you would be Smart Women, Foolish Choices. Too bad you have to learn the hard way, and in public no less!

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford,
on Mar 20, 2014 at 1:58 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.


Unless someone is tied to the train tracks, dangling from a cliff, or in some truly dire situation, they should contact their date to cancel. Impolite behavior is boorish, and will not improve with time, I assure you. And I wasn't keen on that "a very special girl" bit. Not because you aren't (from the sound of you, anyway), but because it was overdoing it, and sounded a tad insincere.

Remember that book, "He's just not that into you" from a few years ago? This Mr. X, alas, might fall in that category. I prefer the sound of A Single Guy; why not give him a whirl? And please keep us posted!

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