It’s Not Me It’s You

I used to have a friend named Annie (not her real name) who, after we had made plans, would inevitably change them. She’d change the time, the meeting place or the date, or she’d postpone. I was friends with her for over twenty years. It got to be a joke in our family to guess which item she’d call to change. If she showed up as scheduled, we’d all be shocked.

Annie always supposedly had a good reason for doing this. I eventually understood that this was who she was and I could either tolerate it or give up on her. I genuinely enjoyed her company so I accepted it. At least she called. She didn’t just not show up and leave me hanging.

These days? I am not so fortunate. This week I set a new record. I was stood up twice. Once by a friend/business associate and later by a former coworker/friend. This seems to happen to me a lot. I make plans…or I think I’m making plans with someone. Quite often I allow them to choose the time, place and date. I show up. They do not. They ignore my texts and phone calls. My policy now is I give them fifteen minutes and I’m out of there.

I began to wonder why this pattern keeps repeating. Do I attract unreliable and indifferent people? My daughter says no and recounts the number of her “friends” who are always so busy and just don’t know when they can get together. The phone calls and texts that go unanswered. The plans that get cancelled.

Maybe it’s a control issue. Or an overly exaggerated sense of self-importance. Let’s face it. We all have 24 hours in a day. We all work. We all have families and other obligations. But as my daughter says, “Sometimes I work a ten-hour day but if I really want to get together with my friends afterward, I’ll make the time and find the energy.”

These days almost all communication is by cell phone. Even at my advanced age, my cell phone is always in my general vicinity. Do I ever forget things? Yes. I forgot one of my dear friend’s birthdays a few weeks ago and I forgot to send a post in for a guest blog that should have appeared this week. I know I sometimes forget. I write appointments and commitments down (as in both of those cases). I enter them on my computer’s calendar. And yes, sometimes things still fall through the cracks. But I try to learn from my mistakes and forgetfulness. Maybe I need to write two notes to myself instead of one.

But these other individuals? I can’t explain their behavior. I don’t understand it. Especially when it’s their idea to get together with me. I didn’t instigate it so why am I the one sitting there wondering why they didn’t show up? Wondering why they can’t respond to a text or a phone call.

Maybe they like thinking that they’re oh so busy or their lives are so chaotic that meeting with me got pushed to the side, crowded out by so many more important things and people. Once people show you who they are, don’t make them show you again. I need to remember that the next time one of them says, “Hey, let’s get together.” Because my answer will be, “Unless you want to show up at my house at a certain date and time, forget it. I’m not meeting with you anywhere else.” And if they question me, I’ll simply say what I know to be true. “It isn’t me. It’s you.”

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)As you may have noticed, sometimes my blog isn’t about Reading, Writing or Romancing. It’s about the little things in life that bug me!  I am lucky in that I do have a couple of close friends who never bail on me. If they say they’ll be somewhere, they always show up. I hope you are as lucky. Thanks for reading.