Anyway. Late this morning I was checking my e-mail, and I saw an Evite, and my heart sank.
I'm just going to say it up front: I hate Evite. I've gotten plenty of them over the years, and there was only one case (my buddy A.'s fortieth birthday party, where he'd invited a reasonable number of people, all of whom he knew well; also, he had told me he'd be inviting me) where I thought using Evite wasn't a dreadful idea. And even in that case, while I did rsvp by email, I didn't put a response up on Evite.
I believe that if you're going to invite people to a social gathering, everyone deserves his or her own invitation. If I'm inviting a large number of people (say to a holiday party), then I think it's okay to write the text once and then copy and paste it into individual emails. I also think it's okay to send one email to two recipients if the two recipients are a couple. I will often, but not always, further personalize the text of the email, but that's entirely optional. In other words, your e-invitations should in some way mirror the invitations you would have sent had you not had e-mail available to you. Party invitations are often mass printed, but they go in individually addressed envelopes. Your friends deserve no less if you're using e-mail as your delivery vector.
But, of course, this Evite wasn't really from any of my friends. It's from a couple, one of whom I've never met, and the other of whom I've chatted with four or five times and met in person once. For years I would get Evites to this couple's parties. At first, I'd dutifully decline via Evite. The parties were usually held when I was busy, they live a long way away, and I don't really know any of their friends. (I was going to say that I never knew anyone on the guest list, but part of my problem with Evite is that you see the whole guest list, and I always imagine people waiting to see if so-and-so is coming before they reply, and that is just so incredibly junior high that I'd like to pretend that I never thought of it, so just ignore this entire parenthetical: that should be easy, given the lack of filth.) I thought that I'd gotten myself off their
Anyway, here (heavily redacted to avoid a ghost of a chance of identification of the hosts) is the Evite that was sent to 381 (I only wish that I were making that number up) of their closest friends:
Memorial Weekend Nude Swim Party
Location: [Redacted] Private Gay Resort
When: Saturday, May 26, 3:00pm
Come join us at [Redacted] and [Redacted] fabulous private gay resort, [Redacted], for an all nude swim party and cook out. The party will begin at 3 pm and officially end at 8 pm with an after party from 8 pm to ?? There will be pleanty [sic] of food and drink and is all inclusive of the $20.00 donation we request to cover the high cost of food and drink. (Correct change appreciated)
Please bring your own towels and a gym bag to store your clothes in.
A few observations:
The "private gay resort" is their personal residence. I went to the webpage for it, and it's certainly a very nice and very spacious personal residence in the far, far, far out suburbs, but it is still a personal residence. It's not like they've got Julie McCoy on staff there. I'm pretty sure that they're attempting to turn it into a "private gay resort" as a means of gathering additional revenue to support their
Who the fuck invites 381 people to a party at their house? Are they trying to get on the circuit?
If you're charging admission, it's no longer a party: it's an outdoor bathhouse. Not that there's anything wrong with having an outdoor bathhouse, but there is plenty wrong with charging admission to a private party. If you can't afford to have guests over, then don't have guests over. Or don't serve so much liquor. Besides $20 is a bit steep. Sure, liquor is expensive, but none of these guys is going to eat anything, and I'm sure they're all bringing their own drugs. Buy some cheap vodka, make some strong punch (I have recipes), carve a few watermelons, and set up the garden hose: party for 300 for less than a grand, and you'll be a legend in your own time. (It is entirely acceptable to expect people to bring their own condoms, but hopefully they already know that.)
God bless anyone who's comfortable going to a nude party in full sun with 300 other guys, but anyone who knows me well enough to invite me to this sort of party should know that I wouldn't attend. I'm entirely comfortable hanging out naked with people I've had sex with and/or with people I'm about to have sex with. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that I haven't had sex with 381 people, and I'm equally sure that I haven't had sex with more than, say, ten (a wildly liberal estimate: I do have sex with a lot of guys, but I really don't know this crowd) of the people invited to this particular party. That means that, in order to be comfortable (and leaving questions of sun damage -- among other questions -- aside), I'd have to plan on having sex with an additional 370 people. Granted, this is the DC area, so probably 350 of them are bottoms, and I could just make out with the other 20, but there's only so much of me to go around. And since I'm really not much into quickies, I'd probably have to be there until Labor Day to get through the entire guest list, and some of those people probably don't want to hang out there for that long. It's an interesting logistical problem, though. I reckon I'd have to hire a security guard to make sure that no one left the party until we'd been properly, um, introduced. And I'd need a rubber stamp and an ink pad so that I could stamp the ass of all the guys I'd done so that security would know they'd be allowed to leave. It just seems slightly impractical to me.
"Correct change appreciated." For $20. Do I even have to explain how much of a WTF that one is?
Anyway. The silver lining here is that an Evite is not an invitation so much as an announcement. And since I haven't been invited, I am really under no obligation to accept or to send regrets. In the past I've replied just so I wouldn't get the nasty, hysterical why-haven't-you-responded-you-ignorant-galoot-don't-you-know-that-we-need-to-know-how-many-people-are-coming? follow-up Evite, but then you get the cloying reminder Evite anyway. And since none of them are invitations, they can all be safely ignored.