Okay, so I was supposed to go see this show last Saturday night. My ‘friend’ Rita had called earlier in the week to invite Mel and I to go with her and her girlfriend Sheryl. Mel was working and couldn’t go, but I was available. She said she’d get tickets for the three of us and I could pay her back for my ticket on Saturday. Before we hung up Rita had said, “We’ll pick you up, I’ll phone on Saturday and we’ll arrange when.”
By late Saturday afternoon, 4-ish, I still hadn’t heard from them so I phoned and left a message on the machine… “Just wondering what time you guys are gonna be here so I can make sure I’m ready.” The show was starting at 8:00pm. I remembered I had their new cell number, so I tried that too and left a message. I still hadn’t heard anything by 6:30, and was seriously doubting they’d show up. I’d tried both numbers a few more times, not bothering to leave a message. But still hopeful, I showered and laid clothes out.
By 7:15 I was debating whether I wanted to go to the show on my own and whether Rita had actually ever gotten the tickets. I phoned the box office of the venue and was told, yes, there were three tickets under Sheryl’s name. I had to mind-replay our phone conversation from earlier in the week: Was I sure I wasn’t supposed to meet them there? After two seconds of doubting myself, I was sure the answer was no.
After a few minutes of self-deliberation, I decided not to go. First, it was very, very cold out and I didn’t want to go downtown, alone, on a Saturday night, and have to find and pay for a parking place and then walk into a nightclub alone. Second, I’d only ever heard of the comedienne who was performing by name. It wasn’t like I was familiar with the performer enough to even know if I wanted to see her. I’d accepted the invitation from Rita and Sheryl because I’d wanted to go out with them, the entertainment was secondary.
This was not the first time that Rita and Sheryl had flaked out on us/me. We had asked them to go to the casino with us on our anniversary a week before the actual event and they’d said yes. On the afternoon of the evening we were to go, Rita called and said “We’ve talked about it and have decided that we can’t go today. We’re just too tapped out from Christmas.” Errmmm… okay, then. What else could I say?
Now, I am not close to Rita. I knew her briefly in high school, and have became reacquainted with her in the last few years because we have been involved in the same organization. During this time she divorced, come out as a lesbian and became involved with Sheryl (who was the long-time partner of her best friend). She’s self-employed and I’m one of her clients. In fact, I don’t pay her, we trade services — I am supposed to be revising her website for her. Even so, she’s not entirely reliable, and generally ends up rescheduling her work session at my house once or twice before she actually completes the job.
In the past year or so, Rita and Sheryl have been to my house for a party and I’ve been out with them once or twice. We’ve talked about getting together to go out a number of times but timing is always bad and Mel’s never been able to go because of working second shift. Given the last minute cancelation of our previous plans, and her generally poor reliability I was not really too suprised over getting stiffed this time. Mel was more pissed for me than I was really pissed about being stood up.
Since Saturday, Mel and I have been speculating when she would call to offer an apology and what the excuse would be. We really couldn’t imagine what she would say, I mean, how do you legitimately defend an outright stiffing? An accident? Death? Gosh, let’s hope not.
On my way out of the house today my cell phone rings. I look at the callerID and see that it’s Rita but I’ve got my hands full and am in a hurry so I let the call go to voicemail. I listed to her message in the car. Sure enough, “So sorry about Saturday, blah, blah, blah. Had a death in the family, we were gone all day, blah, blah. We’d completely forgotten about our plans and remembered when we got home and got your messages…” and then “We called the club to see if we could cancel the tickets and they told us you’d called and said you were coming, so we just canceled two of them. I hope you ended up going and enjoying the show.” (Hmmm… I never told the club I was coming to the show.)
My question is this: If they could call the club when they got home, they couldn’t call me?
I have friends like that. I finally decided that I did like being with them so much that I wasn’t going to let their irresponsibility affect our friendship. I ALWAYS meet them wherever we go. I ALWAYS make alternate plans. I ALWAYS say to them, "So, we’re meeting at ___, at the corner of ____, on Saturday the 5th and if you don’t show up or call me, I’ll know you just blew me off and I won’t waste my time…"
It sounds to me that this "friendship" is more work than it’s worth. There is an obvious lack of respect from Rita.
Like Tracy said, I’m very stringent about keeping agreements, but I too have a few old friends who are very dicey about following through on plans.
Just last week, I made plans to go see one of them at her house on Friday to burn some CDs.
When a woman I’ve been seeing called Friday afternoon to see what I was doing that night, I said she should come by.
I didn’t bother to call the CD burning friend to tell her.
When friends are careless about keeping appointments, I don’t anguish over switching plans on them at the last moment.
I just consider them "friends with flake-out benefits."
Sure enough, when I spoke to the CD friend this week, neither of us mentioned the Friday Night That Wasn’t.
There was no need to discuss it.
I agree if they could remember to call the club then surely they could have called you.
They should’ve called you before they called the club… especially since they only remembered the club itself because of your message! Does their credit card get charged for your ticket? Heh.
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