Dec

10

2012

Flaking out on plans.

paul newman

We’ve all done it. We’ve all flaked out on someone. And we have our reasons, and some of them are good, and some of them are fake because we don’t actually want to say, “I have diabolical diarrhea.” But at a certain point, we all hit our limits. We say, “I get it, I’m never inviting you to anything again.” So how do we determine when that limit is?

I have some ideas:

1. They cancel, but with plenty of notice, and they have a good reason: they’re sick, or have a family thing. No problem.

2. They cancel, last minute, but it’s because they got into some sort of urgent situation or emergency. No problem.

3. They cancel, because they forgot they had other plans. Uh, okay.

4. They cancel in the sense that they don’t even really let you know until and hour or less before, or they don’t respond until you text something like, “Hey, are you coming?” Dude, not cool.

5. They do all of the above repeatedly. Oh come on, seriously?

6. They say yes to all invitations, sometimes add something like, “I’m so excited!” or “I wouldn’t miss this” but then and do the above repeatedly. STOP SAYING YES TO THINGS, YOU SODDING JERK.

Even more annoying is when they never tell you if they’re coming or not. It’s totally easy, here are your options: yes or no. If you say maybe, I don’t really know what to do with that, unless you explain something like, I have something before and I don’t know when it will be over. It’s not that I’m trying to dictate your plans or be an asshole about the whole thing, I just want to know how much food or drink I should provide or when I should get ready, or if I need to put in a plus one.

You all know who you are. And I know some of you think I’m a flake. But please know that if I don’t go to something, it’s because I am genuinely not feeling well, because I am sick all the time, like a small child in a Dickens novel, or I really do have plans.

Here’s an exception: if that person let’s you know well in advance that they can’t come and is sincerely sorry and is totally honest about their reasons, I wouldn’t give up on them. Who knows the kind of guff they’re dealing with or going through? I once didn’t go to a party because my dress didn’t fit. And neither did the 5 other ones I tried on. True story. Rather than say something like, “Cough cough, I’m sick” I told the truth, as stupid as that truth was, because that’s what you do for your friends.

What do you think?

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Posted in: friends, i guess this is advice, let's just talk from our hearts

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace December 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

I don’t even care what the reason is as long as people respond yes or no within a decent amount of time. Don’t really feel like eating a delicious home cooked meal with me and want to go to the bar instead? Fine. Just say no. I don’t need any more detail than you can’t make it. But I want to know in advance. However, if you say yes, then I expect you to be there barring something crazy happening.

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Anonymous December 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

i agree with ALL of this.

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MrsMacKenzie December 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I am married to a person like this and I feel bad for his friends. I think they are starting to give up on him. But being close to a person like this, I can tell you, they may not be deliberately trying to be rude or careless, my husbands reasons for not wanting to go are often because he feels insecure about himself (i feel fat so no i don’t want to go to your pool party!) or just that he’s mentally overwhelmed by the stress of his business and responsibilities that going out to meet his friends sounds like just too much work when all he wants to do is lay in bed. But then later he will feel bad and tell me he feels like a bad friend and then lament the fact that he doesn’t have time for his friends and he misses the good ol’ days when he had plenty of energy to party… I know he feels bad but he truly is just overwhelmed.

Anyway, I totally agree with your post. Just sharing some insight into what possibly may be going on over on the other side.

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Gene December 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I had a friend who didn’t show up all the time, and it eventually came to a head when she left me waiting on a street corner for hours, not responding to my texts. I’m fine with a yes or a no, it’s no big deal. I find blanking, but continuing to make plans, or getting upset at not being invited, despite doing this all the time, to be really passive-aggressive. Eventually I think it comes down to respect. I don’t really care how self-involved you are, a text takes abut ten seconds. (I’ve been sick and in the emergency section of a hospital, and still remembered to ask someone to text the person I was meant to be meeting that day!) If you don’t have ten seconds to spare, we don’t have a friendship.

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Lisa December 11, 2012 at 6:52 am

I’m kinda having the reverse of this problem at the moment. My best friend lives in London, wheras I live in South Yorkshire, so it’s a 2 hour, very expensive train journey to get to see her. She asked me about 2 months ago to go down for her birthday, which is this week and I said I would be there as long as my other half was in work, as he hadn’t been for a while. I then spoke to her 3 weeks ago and said that as he still wasn’t working, I didn’t have the money to come down. She seemed ok about it, then texted me and a few other people she’d invited on Sunday telling us her birthday was cancelled and we should all go fuck ourselves. The ironic thing is, I can’t remember the last time she made the effort to come and visit me for my birthday….

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Greg December 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I’m very big about not saying yes to things on facebook unless I know for a fact that I’m going to be there. And, indeed, once I tell people I’m gonna be there, I’m there. i might be late, but I’ll be there.

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