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Thread: Would You Be Mad at These Friends?

  1. #1
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    Would You Be Mad at These Friends?

    We've had these friends (husband and wife) for a couple of years. For a while they were bad about canceling dates we had planned to get together. I thought they had gotten better, but.....

    For at least a week, we had planned to take a hike this morning. A few days ago, in attempting to finalize our plans, we were having trouble setting a mutually acceptable time. DH and I get up around 7, so we wanted to pick them up around 8:00 to 8:30 to go out for breakfast, but I suggested 9, knowing that other people don't get up as early as we do. The wife likes to sleep late, so 9 wasn't good for her. But we couldn't have breakfast later than 9----being up for 2 or more hours by then, we'd be famished. So I suggested that we pick them up at 10, walk, and then have a picnic lunch where we were hiking. It was agreed that that would be okay.

    Yesterday I got a call from the husband (he is more social than the wife, so he does the arranging). He said he thought he pulled a muscle in his back from loading his lawnmower into his car to get it fixed. He wasn't sure he would be hurting the next day, but thought he better cancel just in case he was. He asked if we wanted to do lunch the next day anyway. I suggested dinner since we had a GroupOn we had to use. We agreed on the place and time.

    Today he called at 2:30 saying the wife wasn't up to going. The reason: they had friends over the night before and the friends brought a bottle of port, which supposedly has more alcohol. Wife reportedly drank four glasses of it and is paying for it today with a major headache. Yet they went for a walk a little earlier---where she dragged herself around, supposedly.

    I could see canceling one plan---but even the alternate plan? And yup, I understand that we weren't being completely flexible----that we didn't want to eat later than 9 a.m., but physiologically, that wouldn't be good for us---just like getting up earlier than 10 a.m. isn't good for her (she likes to stay up late).

    Should we dump these friends? Or am I being too hard on them?
    “It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.----Krishnamurti

  2. #2
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    You stated that this has happened before, correct?
    If yes, I would just not plan things with them. If there is a social gathering and they are there, great, but I would not plan this around these people as they seem to be very inflexible--doing things that only suit them.
    I mean, really...they knew they had alternate plans with you and she drank too much? So she was having fun and decided plans with you were not important enough to be well enough to do them?

    I can understand things coming up and ..well..things just happen occasionally, but your post seems to state this happens frequently.
    You don't have to stop being cordial to them, but I would not plan my days around them knowing you may be left up in the air.
    Find friends whom you can rely on....isn't that the nature of friends?
    Just my 2 cents.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
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    I've found that it's often necessary to adjust schedules in order to keep friendships. If you want to get together in the morning, don't ask them out for breakfast, but brunch (and you and DH would obviously need to have "a little something" earlier to get you to that meal).

    These just might be dinner-and-evening-out friends. Some people simply don't want to deviate from their preferred schedules, so if you want to keep them as friends, it will be necessary to compromise. And don't offer port...
    Vicci


    Can't you just eat what I put in front of you? Do you have to know what it is?
    Ria Parkinson, Butterflies (BBC, 1978-83)

  4. #4
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    I think I'd be frustrated, but not angry. Realizing their preferences for later in the day, I'd plan things for then or wait for them to come up with something. I wouldn't go out of my way to plan things with them for a while, though. At least the husband called -- they didn't just stand you up, which would be worse, IMO.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  5. #5
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    I think you're being too hard on them. I can understand being frustrated, but I wouldn't write them off as friends, just understand that they have a different personality type than you do - they seem to be more "fly by the seat of their pants" kind of folks, so rather than trying to set something up days ahead, maybe try hours? Call them at 2pm and ask if they want to meet up for dinner at 6pm that night.

    Honestly, this is one of the reasons why I don't have a lot of 'active' friendships (for lack of a better word) as in going out and doing stuff with friends. I'm very "fly by the seat of my pants". My problem is I have several health issues that are very unpredictable, so I had planning anything in advance because I don't know how I'm going to feel. Too many times I've had plans that have all but been ruined when one of the issues presents itself. Most times I still participate but when you don't feel well you're not getting 100% enjoyment out of the experience. I'd be the one with the headache, back pain, etc.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallycat View Post
    You stated that this has happened before, correct?
    If yes, I would just not plan things with them. If there is a social gathering and they are there, great, but I would not plan this around these people as they seem to be very inflexible--doing things that only suit them.
    I mean, really...they knew they had alternate plans with you and she drank too much? So she was having fun and decided plans with you were not important enough to be well enough to do them?

    I can understand things coming up and ..well..things just happen occasionally, but your post seems to state this happens frequently.
    You don't have to stop being cordial to them, but I would not plan my days around them knowing you may be left up in the air.
    Find friends whom you can rely on....isn't that the nature of friends?
    Just my 2 cents.
    This.
    Jill

    "Be kind to your neighbor... he knows where you live." -Brian Copeland

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shugness View Post
    I think you're being too hard on them. I can understand being frustrated, but I wouldn't write them off as friends, just understand that they have a different personality type than you do - they seem to be more "fly by the seat of their pants" kind of folks, so rather than trying to set something up days ahead, maybe try hours? Call them at 2pm and ask if they want to meet up for dinner at 6pm that night.

    Honestly, this is one of the reasons why I don't have a lot of 'active' friendships (for lack of a better word) as in going out and doing stuff with friends. I'm very "fly by the seat of my pants". My problem is I have several health issues that are very unpredictable, so I had planning anything in advance because I don't know how I'm going to feel. Too many times I've had plans that have all but been ruined when one of the issues presents itself. Most times I still participate but when you don't feel well you're not getting 100% enjoyment out of the experience. I'd be the one with the headache, back pain, etc.
    Having health issues (and friends would know this and WANT to work around this) are a far cry from not feeling up to it (better options), drinking to much (self inflicted health issues) or excuses that their routine doesn't mesh with yours. It isn't to say that compromise does not exist; it should. To me, that means both couples make compromises for various things. If only one couple is always accommodating the other---and that is fine if you are thick skinned, do not consider these DEAR friends, etc.---it would send a message to me (and this is me; I can be thin skinned) that I am not worth making accommodations to spend time with me. To me, having someone to do stuff with is one thing (if someone is bored and wants to do something last minute) but the OP said "friend" and I guess to me, friends should care how you feel; if this means understanding you are sick or last minute child issues, etc. they get that. That was not how I read the OP post.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VictoriaL View Post
    I've found that it's often necessary to adjust schedules in order to keep friendships. If you want to get together in the morning, don't ask them out for breakfast, but brunch (and you and DH would obviously need to have "a little something" earlier to get you to that meal).

    These just might be dinner-and-evening-out friends. Some people simply don't want to deviate from their preferred schedules, so if you want to keep them as friends, it will be necessary to compromise. And don't offer port...
    But the OP had already adjusted the plans to accommodate for her friends' late rising times, and had then changed them when the friend didn't want to go for a walk and lunch after all because he'd hurt his back. Then to have him call again and say that because of his wife's intemperance they wouldn't be doing dinner either suggests a real lack of commitment to respecting their friends' plans AND wanting to spend time with them. Personally I wouldn't try getting together with these people for a while, and would try to cultivate other friendships instead. I would be pretty ticked off.

    We are up at six every morning, so I can relate. Most of the world is on a different schedule!
    Chacun à son goût!

  9. #9
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    I don't think you're being 'too hard on them'…but you're clearly not a priority for them. If if was me, (and I have been in this kind of situation before) I'd just not include them in your plans. Let them call you.

    I'm a planner. And I get that not everyone else in my world is. But If I call someone with a plan, and they accept, that's a social contract. I also try to be spontaneous for those of my friends that are in that camp. But if I accept an invitation, I will be there, and will participate fully.

    It takes all kinds…but rude is rude.
    Sonja in Southern Maryland

    All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others. -Michael Carr

  10. #10
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    I'd be very irritated and likely not make any more one-on-one plans with them. Throw a casual party and invite them when it doesn't really matter if they show? Sure. But plan a whole Saturday around an activitiy with them? Not a chance.

    If this had been a one time thing I'd give them the benefit of the doubt that they just had a couple of rough days. And I've heard port related hangovers are very bad. But this sounds like a pattern of behavior and that's just not an ok way to treat friends.

  11. #11
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    I agree with Wallycat and Christy Marie. You might put a bad day like this aside once, but if it has happened before, I wouldn't make more one on one plans. See them at group events or invite them to a party, but I wouldn't plan something with just them unless they initiated it. And I'd make my contingency plans to go ahead alone or to do something else if they cancel.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for your feedback. I agree with the majority of you: to not dump them completely but certainly not count on them for definite get-togethers. The wife did call today to apologize, which made me feel a little better.

    It's just that they have flaked on us often. I've tried to be understanding. Once we had definite plans, but the husband cancelled what he called "our tentative plans" (I certainly had not understood them to be tentative and subject to cancellation if something better came along!). But he cancelled because he wanted to go to a Meetup where they were discussing The happiness Project and he was very unhappy with his work situation at the time, so I understood that he was grasping at whatever could make him feel better.

    I didn't completely understand when he cancelled one time because he needed to go shopping for Christmas gifts for people in his office! As a retired person, I acknowledge that people who work full time have much less time than I do---but still, seems that there would be other days where the Christmas shopping could have been done (this was way before December 24th/25th).

    Sometimes I think that friendships are more trouble than they are worth! I guess that finding really good friends will be a lifelong project.
    “It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.----Krishnamurti

  13. #13
    Sometimes I just don't understand people. If I make plans with friends there has to be an absolute emergency if I need to cancel with them. There is no "better offer" because these are my friends and they are my better offer. If I make plans then I expect that a friend would honor those plans unless they experienced an absolute emergency.

    I think you went out of your way to be accommodating, and I wouldn't be doing that again. Friends don't treat each other that way.

    Sure I would include them in a group invite, but I wouldn't count on them accepting.
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

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  14. #14
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    Four glasses of port???? Isn't that the entire bottle???
    Lucinda

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucinda View Post
    Four glasses of port???? Isn't that the entire bottle???
    No. Port glasses are much smaller than a regular wine glass. I would guess there are 12-15 glasses per bottle. Anyone know for sure?

  16. #16
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    The size bottle of port is 750 ml, just like wine.
    Traditionally, it is served as a dessert, or an after dinner drink.
    The pour is typically a small snifter full but there is no "right" amount to pour. Since it is VERY sweet, few people want a "wine-glass" full of it, but you can pour what you want.

    My guess would be she would have had this after wine (or cocktail) with dinner.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllenL View Post
    Sometimes I think that friendships are more trouble than they are worth! I guess that finding really good friends will be a lifelong project.
    I think we trip over friendships rather than "find" them. I don't make friends easily because I'm somewhat askew of the rest of the world. When I do connect with someone, it's because we share something on a very deep level. If we only share on one or two levels, the friendship tapers off as interests change. The more we share-love of dogs, poetry, warped sense of humor,the color green- the longer the friendship lasts. Is it worth the pain when the friendship fades away? Did the rainbow make you smile even though you had to get soaked before the sun came out?

    When I read your post, I was dealing with my own friend issues. Writing this made me realize that friendship is a GREAT lifetime project.

    Hugs to you.

    Patt
    With all of our running and all of our cunning, If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane...
    "Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude" Jimmy Buffet

  18. #18
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    I understand completely where you're coming from. Have a similar situation with the next door neighbors. it's frustrating. Relationships are frustrating in general.

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