Last rant before the end of the year.
Do people use physical calendars anymore? Every year for Christmas my family and I exchange calendars. At the end of every year I copy important dates into a journal from that year, and transfer birthdays and other recurring dates onto next year’s calendar. I keep track of appointments, events, and dates with friends. I don’t think I could live without it! This year my parents bought me a yoga cats calendar.
The calendar holds us accountable. My mom has instilled in me the importance of remembering and keeping plans.
Lately I’ve come to realize just how hard it is (for my generation, at least) to follow through with plans. People don’t seem to value dates as much. I don’t understand – you wouldn’t want to miss a doctor’s appointment or hair appointment, or if you’re a model you wouldn’t want to miss a photo shoot, even if you weren’t going to be paid – but you can easily forget about or cancel spending time with your friend? I’ll set up a hang out date with X friend(s) on X day at X time. I write it on my calendar. I hold true to that date and time and it is extremely rare that I have to cancel or show up an hour late. But more often than not I’ve experienced the following:
A – I tell said friend earlier in the day that I look forward to seeing them later (our date was planned about a week ago, or even a few days ago) – said friend says “OMG that was today? I TOTALLY forgot! I can’t…I have to do some stuff.”
B – I tell said friend earlier in the day that I look forward to seeing them later – said friend says “I am so sorry! I’ve been sick this whole week and I’m just not up to it.” I think to myself, Oh it was nice of you to remember to tell me early so maybe I could make other plans. You seem to have plenty of time to post on facebook this week…
C – Said friend actually remembers but lets me know an hour prior that X day would actually be better, because they have to run some errands, do something for their boyfriend, their family wanted them to do this one thing or basically someone else needs them. When I plan a date with someone it’s pretty much set in stone unless I’m sick, someone dies, I have to go into work and take care of a situation, etc. If my boyfriend or family wants to do something I say “No, I already made plans with this friend, I’m sorry.” And we work around that date.
Maybe it’s just me, but I very much look forward to my planned outings and hang time with friends, and when people don’t follow through, I feel a great sense of disappointment. It’s depressing to get ready to go out and look forward to a great time later only to be cancelled on and have an evening with nothing to do. Rarely can I find someone free who can spontaneously hang out to fill up my cancelled plan time. I can of course find something else to occupy my time but it’s not going to be as fun as what I really wanted to do. I’m a busy chick and when I have free time to hang out with friends, I want to use it!
There are of course exceptions – people get sick, emergencies arise, etc. and sometimes shit happens. But for repeat offenders and to just “forget” someone…my tolerance for this kind of behavior is quickly disappearing. I’ve been nice about it in the past: “oh no problem, I’ve got other stuff to do anyway…” but perhaps it’s time I mention how important it is to me. When a “friend” simply forgets you were supposed to hang out, it sends me a clear message: You don’t value my time. You don’t value our friendship. I don’t matter very much to you.
I am a human being and I have feelings – forgive the emo rant here but after experiencing repeated rotten behavior I start to feel sad and shitty, questioning whether my friends really enjoy being around me, (they seem to when we do magically get together…). I like people that are dependable – is that too much to ask in today’s world?
I might sound like an asshole. I really do like to think of myself as flexible and forgiving of every-once-and-a-whiles, life’s mishaps, blah blah. But all of the frustrations have built up over the past couple of years and recently it has been one cancellation after another. I feel like I have to say it: when I value a friendship, I’ll do everything I can to follow through with plans – and it all starts with writing it on my calendar. And if something happens where I know I can’t make it, I have the courtesy to let them know as early as I can so I don’t waste their time. Time is precious. You can depend on me!