Am I the only one who hates evites?

For the blissfully ignorant, they are emails that arrive in your inbox, announcing themselves as evites.  Rarely is the sender’s name immediately available. And a return address – a physical one, not an electronic one – is harder to find than hen’s teeth.

It’s not that I’m so formal. I don’t need an embossed invitation. I do need one I can find easily and refer back to. Like the week before, when I’m trying to remember what time I’m supposed to show up. Or the day of, when I’m trying to figure out where I’m supposed to show up.

It is easy to RSVP to an evite. You just click Y for yes and N for no. There’s also a space for a message.

Want to tell why you’re not coming? (Sorry. That’s the date of my annual colonoscopy and I look forward to it every year. I’m sure you understand.) Or send a personal note? (Wow! I thought you’d never invite me back after I drove through the hedges along your driveway.)

Do so with the understanding that your “personal message” will be shared with everyone else invited! And they are then able to respond to you.

But the worst part of evites is they rarely include a return address.

Which doesn’t really matter unless you’re being invited to something where gifts are expected, like a wedding or a baby shower. Those evites usually include a link to a list of places to get gifts. Wedding evites almost always include a link to a website on which I can learn all about the couple: how they met, who proposed to whom and where, and what they’ve named their newly rescued dog.

The website also has a list of stores caring items they would like you to buy for them. Now, that’s convenient, if there is something on the registry that you can afford and hasn’t already been purchased. The store knows the couple’s address. But you don’t. You know their web address, and probably their email address, but not their physical address.

So if you need or choose to get them something from someplace else, the store can’t help you find out where they live.

True, for the environmentally conscious, evites are very attractive. No waste. No recycling. No shredding.

They’re even hard to print. They just don’t seem to transfer well to paper. Either the type is so small and the background is so dark that it’s Illegible, or the images are so huge that the words (and directions) spill over several pages.

Few of us in this informal world want to spend time and money on paper invitations, which is how evites got so popular. They are easy to fill out, they look nice, and they even send reminders. I just wish they always included a return address.

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