Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Peeved About Dinner Date Flakes” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from today’s LW (yes, fastest update ever), “Peeved About Dinner Date Flakes.” Keep reading to see how she decided to handle the issue of her friends bailing on her dinner party last week.

First and foremost, I would like to say a huge thank you to you and the DW community for your thoughtful and insightful advice. I really appreciate the time and consideration that you and the other posters put into crafting all of the replies. Hearing the range of opinions that were posted in the forums really helped me to put things in perspective and think about the type of person and friend that I want to be.

To clarify a bit, these are friends I have known for about three years and have vacationed with, so although they originated as my boyfriend’s friends, I consider them mine as well. They both said they were not able to make it because they were stuck at work, which is a totally valid reason; however, I would hope that if that was the case in the future they would send a quick text to give a head’s up. You raise a really great point that I had not considered — that the real reason could have been something much more personal and serious, and in future situations I will definitely try to keep that in mind.

I think I was able to put my irritation and disappointment aside and be a good hostess to our other guests. After they left I asked my boyfriend if he thought they could tell I was annoyed, and he assured me that I was acting fine (hopefully he wasn’t just saying that to make me feel better!).

Flakiness is a pet peeve of mine, and I know I have a history of taking it personally – it is definitely something I am trying to work on dialing back. I decided to just let it go because I didn’t want an email to come off as trying to make them feel guilty. I don’t want to be the type of person that is that petty, and if these are the types of things I have to worry about, I feel extremely lucky.

Thanks again!

 
Thanks for the update. While your friends were definitely thoughtless in this situation, I’m glad you decided to brush it off since it’s a first-time offense. Now, if it starts becoming a pattern… well, then you’d be in line to speak up (or just stop inviting them to things!).

***************

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

115 comments… add one
  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed November 4, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Instant gratification. I like this.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle November 4, 2013, 3:38 pm

    Aw, great update! And yes, I agree that you’d be totally in the right to speak up in the future if it looks like this behavior is becoming a pattern.

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  • katie

    katie November 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

    so…. they did have a perfectly legit excuse for not coming (and really, for not texting either- i wouldnt be able to text at work potentially if i was swamped)…?

    cool.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:17 pm

      My question is…it sounds like that night when LW called, both friends immediately answered the phone. So it doesn’t quite add up, IMO, that they couldn’t give a heads up but could answer a phone call… Being completely unavailable due to work is one thing…being selective about communication is another. I’m assuming LW didn’t call their work phones, so they had access to their personal phones and where able to take a call. IDK, it just doesn’t quite add up.

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        rachel November 4, 2013, 4:20 pm

        I dunno. I agree that they are probably just flaky in this situation, but I can see how this would happen. If I’m working late I’m always optimistic about how quickly I’ll be able to get things done. So, I can imagine thinking, I’ll just work straight through until 6 and then make it to dinner. But then getting a phone call at 6 and then realizing…oh…I’m not actually even close to done.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:25 pm

        In the forums she said the invite was any time after 5, and she didn’t contact them until 6:30. That’s a pretty long time to not communicate that you’re no longer available.

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        Ele4phant November 4, 2013, 10:58 pm

        I get lost in my work sometimes. Like Rachel said, I’ll get started on something thinking I have just a little bit to do, get focused, and then all of a sudden it’s 8:30 and my boyfriend is calling me asking me where the hell I am. Is this good manners or acceptable behavior for those who may be waiting on you? Erm, no, and I try to he more mindful about it, but it’s easy to get caught up in work and forget everything else around you. Again, it’s shitty to forget, but it’s not personal, and if her friends were apologetic and they don’t typically flake out on her, it’s worth cutting them some slack and letting it go.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay November 5, 2013, 12:26 am

        But would both people really get that tied up that they didn’t see an hour and a half pass by? I think it’s a valid reason, but I think that it probably could have been handled with a little more consideration.

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        Ele4phant November 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

        For these two (or is it two couples I’m not entirely clear). Maybe not so likely. My comments are more general, to those who feel it is unacceptable to forget to text or cancel because work got crazy. I mean it’s not *great* behavior, but it happens so I am understanding if i friend does it to me. Particularly if the friendship is generally solid and they are usually reliable about being where and when they say they will. If it’s a regular thing, then yes, maybe these aren’t A level friends. But I totally give me friends free passes to accidentally blow me off last minute (or forget to cancel at all) due to an unexpected work crisis if they are good friends 99 percent of the time.

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        BreezyAM November 4, 2013, 11:06 pm

        …. if I saw an invite saying “anytime after 5” I would not assume this was a serious event I needed to give a shit about not showing up for.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 4:48 pm

        oh im sure that happens. or maybe they got tied up at work and finally got home at 630 and then she called.

        i think also she said these people live like an hour away from them? or did i make that up? but if so that even compounds everything if they got tied up at work.

        and, honestly, your going to like, question your friends reasons? thats kind of… off. they got tied up at work. its fine. let. it. go.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:56 pm

        A call from the parking lot before leaving work? Why wouldn’t you let your close friend who invited you over for a small gathering know ASAP that you’re unavailable?

        Like, you fly often. Say your flight got delayed and you landed 2 hours later than expected and would have to miss a dinner date with other couples. As soon as you found out/where able to…you’d let them know right? Not wait until you landed and drove home? You wouldn’t pause before getting into your car to send a quick text? I surely would. Other’s time is valuable and I respect that.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 5:02 pm

        eh, i mean, i might. if i remembered. but sometimes im just so burned out by the time i get on the ground that im like a zombie grabbing my bags. i could totally forget, i could see it happening. also, ditto for working- god, after a 14 or so hour day in the kitchen, especially if something happened that i wasnt expecting and i had to put out fires… yea, i could see it happening.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:07 pm

        I’d be pretty annoyed if I was your friend and you just “forgot” we had plans. Sorry that’s harsh but I would find it very rude.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 5:21 pm

        well, ha, i would be super pissed if you got mad at me because i got tied up at work…

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Getting tied up at work and forgetting you had plans are two separate things.

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:31 pm

        Not for me usually. If I’m tied up at work, my mind is at work and I’ll forget plans (even after I leave work).

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 5:35 pm

        yea, and if im at work, i cant always just stop whatever crisis im dealing with (because its likely i WAS planning on leaving on time, because i had plans) and text someone i cant make it. i mean, sure, maybe, and hey- maybe they were going to and she beat them to it! maybe they worked til 10 pm that night!

        just because timing doesnt work out doesnt mean they are bad people.

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        Ele4phant November 4, 2013, 11:11 pm

        I get where you’re coming, but personally if I was Katie’s friend I would totally get it and not be too bothered. I’ve accidentally flaked before, and I’ve had friends accidentally flake on me, and of its due to something like being burnt out from traveling or working a hellious day at work, girl I’ve been there don’t even sweat it. Give me a call when things calm down. Now, if I had a friend who regularly flaked because something better came along or she just couldn’t be bothered? That’s a different story. But a once in a while slip up when life had been one big shitstorm? It’s fine.

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:11 pm

        That’s what I mean. Your friend should be understanding of you being so fucking busy you might forget about plans.

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        BreezyAM November 4, 2013, 11:08 pm

        I understand that people who are like you feel we who are not like you should be understand, but LBH, you have NO IDEA clearly how Low Priority this makes people feel. To me, and people like me, our thought process is “what the fuck, if you actually gave a fuck about me or our friendship/plans you would like, show it, and this totally does not.” We just cannot fathom it.

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        lets_be_honest November 5, 2013, 10:38 am

        I guess all I can say is I’m lucky my friends are understanding and/or the same way as me. When my friends accidentally blow me off, I don’t think they could give a F about me. I just know they must be super busy. Maybe we’re all just easy going about it. Idk.

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        MsMisery November 5, 2013, 2:00 pm

        All I can say is, I get that “life happens” but I have never not informed a friend with whom I have had plans about it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 5:11 pm

        Eh there are a lot of times I won’t know that I’m going to be tied up at work until the exact moment I’m tied up. It happens to be pretty regularly actually. This is why I work out before work because there is no guarantee that I can leave at a reasonable hour. Shit blows up all the time. Trust me it is just as frustrating for me as it is for the people I have to occasionally cancel on. I have literally quit making plans with people during the week, because I had one friend get pissed that I had to cancel.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm

        Cancelling is one thing- and a totally acceptable thing. What Katie presented was that they worked late, and then drove an hour home, and then only let them know they weren’t coming because LW called them. There wasn’t a point along the way they could have contacted LW and said “can’t make it, sorry!”? Really? No where in the like 2 hours? Cancelling because something came up and properly notifying? A-Okay. Not letting people who are waiting on you know you’re not coming? Rude.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 5:19 pm

        I guess I’m thinking of someone calling me while I’m still at work about plans – which has happened. I literally could not escape the client meeting I was in to cancel. They had to roll with it, against their will. The good news is that my best friend that I hang out with the most -and am most likely to have week day plans with – is also an attorney and gets it. I can’t be friends with people that don’t get it. Not saying that’s a big loss, they are probably happy to not have me as a friend so that they don’t have to deal with it.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:21 pm

        Would you call/text as soon as you got out of the meeting/where able to?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 5:25 pm

        Yeah I was able too but they definitely tried calling me first. I mean don’t get me wrong, if they didn’t have a valid excuse, that’s messed up, but it seems like they did have an excuse – work. So I think it’s in poor form to go on an fishing expedition deciding whether or not their excuse was “good enough” or if they were lying, or whatever. Don’t go out of your way to get mad at your friends and create friend group drama is all I’m saying.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:28 pm

        I agree work is a valid excuse. I really don’t think you need to give an excuse when cancelling. All I’m saying is as soon as you’re able, say “sorry, won’t make it!”. It’s just a common courtesy. I disagree that it’s creating drama asking to be informed of a last minute change of plans.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 5:33 pm

        yes exactly!! they had to work late. fine. it happens. let. it. go.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 5:44 pm

        GG but you’re assuming it is possible to cancel before the event, and sometimes it’s really not!

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      • theattack

        theattack November 4, 2013, 5:59 pm

        I don’t know where else to put this, so I’m just going to write it here. To everyone who says they can’t send a text at work, would the priority level of the text change at all if the plans were one-on-one versus with a small group? Would you risk letting your friend sit alone at home after cooking for you, or alone at a restaurant, instead of excusing yourself for a bathroom break to send a text during a busy work day?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 6:04 pm

        No because then you’re still assuming that it’s possible to inform the other party. I am saying that there are many times when I cannot text, answer a phone, etc.
        The one on one situation would definitely magnify my guilt over the situation, but I have a lot of guilt issues anyway. I feel guilty anytime I have to cancel, and that is why I no longer make week day plans.

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 6:05 pm

        For me, the priority wouldn’t change at all. If I can’t, its because I literally can’t. I missed one of Lil’s school performances last week because of work, at the last minute. (If she were reachable,) I would not have been able to call to tell her I’d be missing it.

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        BreezyAM November 4, 2013, 11:12 pm

        I am not aware of any job where one cannot take a dump. If you can take a dump, you can send a damn text. I don’t know if it’s a lawyer thing (because I totally see shades of my husband in you and LBH’s replies) but you’re not that fucking special okay? The world will not end if you go take a dump and send a text. The whole “omg I was so busy” thing strikes the rest of us non-immersed-in-work types as completely narcissistic, dismissive that hey, we fucking have work too and get this, pay attention to other commitments as well, and that we rank very low on your priority scale. :-/

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 11:18 pm

        I don’t think it’s an attorney thing at all. I guarantee you there are times when doctor’s can’t take a dump, like during an emergency surgery for example. My emergencies aren’t life or death, but I dare you to say that to my clients. I’m sure there are professions that I don’t even know about that literally sometimes can’t take a break. I’ve had a “15 minute court appearance” turn into 3 hours. That happened on Thursday actually. Luckily the start time was 2, so I was still gone at 5.

        I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand. This is the case for many many people I know, in all different career paths.

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        Ele4phant November 4, 2013, 11:33 pm

        There have definitely been times my bathroom breaks have gotten waaayyy delayed. So pooping is allowed, but sometimes it (and everything else) has to wait.

        And it’s not because I’m special. If I was special I would never have to hold it, and leave at five on the dot every night. It is because I am not special that I am the one staying until 9pm on Friday night. And I’m not a lawyer, so they’re not the only ones in this boat.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 5, 2013, 12:07 am

        I’m so annoyed at the “you’re not that special” comment that every time I think of another profession that probably can’t just be calling and texting friends during the work day I’m going to list it here. So this could go on for days.

        Teachers! Teachers probably (hopefully) aren’t texting and calling their friends during the work day – ESPECIALLY if they have a work emergency. Like I don’t know – a fight between students at school. Or whatever the hell else could go wrong in their day, I’m sure a lot of things I wouldn’t even know how to think of.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. November 4, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Sometimes, when I’m able to is the next day. It does happen. If it happens more than once, it might be an issue.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. November 4, 2013, 5:36 pm

        Just have to chime in here. I have been so busy at work that I didn’t have time to look at my phone, let alone touch it. If I had a choice between texting and calling, calling is quicker for me, but I have let my phone ring because I didn’t have time to answer it. I am a legal secretary, so like attorneys, there are often times when I can only communicate with whoever is directly in front of me. Everyone else just has to wait. Yeah, it’s frustrating but my friends get it, too. Work is work and has to be a priority.

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        BreezyAM November 4, 2013, 11:13 pm

        I see. So you work somewhere pooping is not allowed?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 11:21 pm

        And I’m sorry, it’s pretty fucking pathetic to me if you consider your happy hour plans more important than certain work emergencies. I pray you (the hypothetical you) doesn’t ever work for me. Sorry, sometimes work is important. Shocking. Sometimes and MANY times, humans aren’t allowed to have a phone at work, and be texting on it at work, and call me old fashioned, but I think this is a GOOD FUCKING THING. Don’t have a job if you don’t want to you know, do a good job.

        Shit I wish all cell phones were banned at work. When you’re at work you should be, you know, working.

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        rachel November 4, 2013, 11:42 pm

        Um…this is a very strange argument. We are talking about a case in which someone works later than expected, for some reason or another, and can’t get to a phone.

        There are plenty of professions where you can’t just randomly call a friend while you’re working. If you work in any sort of real emergency type job (doctor, nurse, police, fire) that’s pretty obvious. My sister is a psychologist, and doesn’t even bother to bring her cell into work most of the time because of this. But really in plenty of other professional settings this could happen. I work in academia, which is relaxed and sure, I can call someone (or poop) whenever I want to. But, a couple of times a week, I have to be on a teleconference, and it’s not really professional to announce to all of my collaborators that I will BRB cuz I made the mistake of adding queso to my Qdoba at lunch that day. If my advisor is in my office talking about work stuff, especially if there is an important deadline coming up, I’m not going to tell him to just wait a few minutes, I’m late for a social engagement.

        I’m not even trying to excuse the people in the letter, because I think it’s pretty clear they weren’t even apologetic about it, but I think this conversation has gotten REALLY weird and nitpicky. Sorry that I try to act somewhat professional at my job….no…wait…I’m not.

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        lets_be_honest November 5, 2013, 10:44 am

        I agree with Rachel that this is a very bizarre argument. Anyway, I guess I wish everyone never had work emergencies like you apparently never have. I’d say YOU are the special one, and the lucky one because I assume every employee at every type of job sometimes has to wait to poop because they are in the middle of something, haha.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 5:23 pm

        no, the LW said in forums that they are an hour away from HER. not an hour away from work.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:26 pm

        You’re right, that is what was said. I still don’t see how it’s possible to forget you have plans and to fail to contact them to let them know you’re no longer available. True story- I’ve been so tired/over worked I asked my sister “what day of the week is Wednesday?” But I’ve never forgotten plans (and I also keep a calendar so I can’t).

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:35 pm

        I don’t really understand how you don’t think its possible to forget things.

        I’m a HUGE list keeper and also keep a calendar that I look at a few times a day and STILL when I’m swamped with stuff, I forget things.

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      • theattack

        theattack November 4, 2013, 6:10 pm

        oh god, I do this all the time. I remember nothing. I’ve tried to keep planners too, but they’re no good if you can’t even remember to look at them. I even put reminders on my phone so it chimes at me, but if I’m doing something when I get it, I might not remember it five minutes later. My brain just doesn’t work like that. I think it’s part of my Meyers-Briggs type even.

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        Matcha November 4, 2013, 6:57 pm

        I’m with you, GG. I try really hard to remember dates and get-togethers. Excuses that I’ve heard from people who have flaked on me:
        -I fell asleep.
        -I was really busy after work doing laundry/eating dinner that I forgot to call you.
        -I thought we were supposed to meet tomorrow.

        I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt; but I find it annoying that some people are given a pass because they’re chronically flaky so therefore I should expect them to not honor their time commitments.

        Phew, okay that was sort of a rant. Anyway, I’m with you on this topic.

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      Lily in NYC November 4, 2013, 5:32 pm

      You really think that’s a legit reason not to give advance notice? It takes 10 seconds to text someone. I feel like I’m in bizarro world with this one. These people were rude, they flaked, and that’s it. They didn’t feel like going last minute and they bailed. I call BS on their excuse.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl November 5, 2013, 9:32 am

      I don’t know who I’m replying to here- it’s just a general reply to all this discussion yesterday.

      In the update, LW did not mention that they apologized for not calling/canceling last minute anywhere. I think that is my main reason for thinking this is rude, not what ever hypothetical work unicorn that prevented them from using a phone to give adequate notice. Cancelling, for any reason, is one thing (and if it is due to being tied up at work and it’s after the event start time, still okay!) but apologize for the plans changing and for my time being wasted and for missing our time together.

      Like some of the others have said, completely ignoring that you’ve missed a date with me is a blatant disrespect of my time and ME. A little apology for flaking or being held up at work goes a long way.

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        Ele4phant November 5, 2013, 12:23 pm

        I have no idea about this specific case, for all I know they weren’t caught up anywhere, just plain didn’t care and were jerks about blowing her off.

        However, abstractly speaking, if you had a friend caught up at work who lost track of time, and inadvertently blew off your plans, would you be forgiving if they were apologetic when you called to ask where they were? Or would you need a seperate apology, or would it just be too late already if you have to reach out to them?

        The LW doesn’t really say how they responded, she just says what their reasons for not making it before. I confess, there has been a time or two where I’ve genuinely forgotten I had plans, and when I was reminded I felt terrible and apologized profusely. And my friends have been forgiving, because they understand it’s not personal, that whatever I’m dealing with is way less fun than hanging out with them. And in the reverse, I’ve never held it against a friend who flaked on me when she was clearly dealing with a shitstorm. It happens.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 5, 2013, 1:08 pm

        To your abstract question- yes I would be forgiving. I would imagine the convo going something like this

        Me “Hey, I thought we where meeting for drinks at 6? Is everything ok?”
        Friend “Oh shit, I’m sorrrrrry! I completely lost track of time and am stuck at work! I feel so bad your waiting on me, can we reschedule?”
        Me “Don’t worry about it! What about next Tuesday?”
        Friend “Next Tuesday is great, sorry I got hung up at work!”

        Bamn. Whole problem resolved and no hard feelings in the future. But If I had called and they where like “Oh, I’m at work. I won’t make it.” That would ruffle my feathers.

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        Ele4phant November 5, 2013, 1:20 pm

        Yep, that would be my reaction too.

        Although I might even let if slide if I just got the “oh I’m just at work” response, if this is the first offense. Chances if you’re at work at 6:30 on Halloween, it wasn’t exactly your choice to stay and you’re not necessarily in the greatest mood. Does being in a foul mood justify behaving crappily? Eh probably not but I’ll still give a pass to a good friend every once in awhile.

        I guess my point is, we don’t really know for sure that they didn’t apologize when she called them, we just know the reason they said they weren’t able to come. And we don’t know their previous track record as being reliable friends. To me, these are important details to judge the situation.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 5, 2013, 1:27 pm

        I agree, there are a lot of variables we don’t know. I don’t think being in a foul mood gives you the right to be crappy to other people, but it does happen. I’ve been know to apologize to coworkers for having a bad day because I’ve felt shitty for being accidentally shitty to them. Anyways- sounds like LW’s gotten it resolved and I’m happy my friends and I interact the way I prefer and I’ll always err on the overly polite/apologetic side. To each their own!

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    kerrycontrary November 4, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Awesome!

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    HmC November 4, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Three of the girls I consider to be very close friends bailed last minute on my bridal shower. I’m too chicken to write my own letter/forum post so I’m just going to whine here. I still had a nice turn out and it was beautiful and I’m grateful, but it does sting when you’re looking forward to people coming to something and they ditch you. The animal/unjustifiable/ego side of you is embarrassed, and I can’t really defend that feeling. And I did attend 6 separate events (no she’s not Indian) for one of these girls’ weddings last year and NO I don’t think it’s a tit for tat thing and I was genuinely happy to help her because I thought we were close friends. But then when she bailed I was just like, well, I can’t really be mad because she doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel sad. 🙁 Like, maybe she doesn’t think we’re as close friends as I felt like we were? Usually I’m super chill about people not showing up because I get that stuff comes up and I’m a super low energy person so I get just not feeling like going to stuff sometimes. But still. It sucks to feel like you’re giving more than you’re getting, even if you know keeping score is wrong.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Awwww this sucks. I totally understand how you feel!

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    • theattack

      theattack November 4, 2013, 4:14 pm

      Completely understand the feeling. It stings when a friend doesn’t show up to your life events. I hate to say this, but be prepared for that same heartache with your wedding too. I had a blast at my wedding, but one of my memories I won’t soon forget is the empty tables because people didn’t show up when they said they would. Getting married definitely shows who your friends are. The ones of mine who couldn’t come to things for legitimate reasons all made it up to me in one way or another. I think that’s the key. Life happens, but when it does, you go out of your way to make up for it if you truly care. Maybe your friend had a very good reason and will come out and do something to celebrate with you later that’s even better.

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        HmC November 4, 2013, 4:28 pm

        Thanks for commiserating! Yeah I was all blue because of my one friend ditching, then I found out my other friend was flying in from San Francisco (I’m in San Diego) just for the shower and I was like “yay I’m not a loser!” and then at the end of the night she was like “I wanted to wait until the festivities were over to tell you I’ll be out of the country for your wedding” and then I was like well shit. As well-adjusted and secure as you try to be, once something becomes about your wedding it’s easy to take it more personally than normal. Again I’m not even really justifying all of my feelings (some are more justifiable than others) I just wanted to vent that being ditched feels poopy even if people have good reasons. Poopy! Ok thanks.

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        HmC November 4, 2013, 4:32 pm

        Also props to this LW for thinking coolly and letting it go. I’m not an aggressive person so I didn’t go crazy or anything, but I did respond to her day-before email ditching me (yes, email) with “awe that’s disappointing, I was really looking forward to seeing you there” and then instead of accepting her invitation to meet me early that morning and give me a gift I told her I had to head early to the shower which was a white lie (kind of true but I could have made time I guess). So I’m that passive aggressive annoying person we all dislike. Boo for me.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:37 pm

        My BFF from 1st grade bailed on my bachelorette party with less than a weeks notice (after previously committing). That def stung. Wedding events just seem so much more personal.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 4:40 pm

        I feel like that circles back to ‘your wedding is the most important wedding you will attend, but not the most important wedding to anyone else attending.’ Not saying it shouldn’t sting, but just a reason why those are taken so personally I guess.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 4:44 pm

        yep, and i think also the “its my turn” thought process, especially if you have attended other’s weddings/wedding parties.

        as much as it sucks, other people’s choices are very rarely about you. and its super hard to get past that, and i get that… but you do just have to find a way to calm yourself down and remind yourself that the world doesnt revolve around you, not even when your getting married, and to not take things so personally. i like “he/she/they did NOT do that specifically to hurt me, the decision had nothing to do with me, its ok”

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 4:47 pm

        Yes!
        Honestly, that would bug me. Not that it should, but I know it would. Very tit for tat though.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 4:51 pm

        I feel like y’all are over reacting to what’s being said. It stings when someone you’ve been friends with for TWENTY years backs out of a commitment at the last minute…that’s not crazy speak. No one’s saying they threw a fit or needed to be clamed down…just that it’s a big bummer when those near and dear to you aren’t able to come to some of the most important events in your life. That’s a really normal reaction.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 4:55 pm

        oh no, its a totally normal reaction.

        thats why i like that little quote i wrote, i use that, say it aloud if i have to, to remind myself that its not about me, and things are pretty much never done with malicious intent towards me- especially if we are dealing with a friend for 20 years.

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 4:59 pm

        I didn’t say you were wrong to feel hurt! Just was talking about WHY you felt hurt/why those things are taken personally.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Honestly though, it’s happened plenty of other times for non-wedding related things. We’ve traveled to visit GGuy’s family (with lots of notice, people confirming they’d be available, etc etc) and had people (best friends from high school and siblings!) be unavailable at the last minute because they didn’t feel like it. Just sucks when people don’t value your time or company as much as you do theirs.

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        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:14 pm

        Sure it hurts, I totally get that. All I’m saying is sometimes you should extend your understanding, as a good friend yourself, to a friend who is overwhelmingly busy. We say all the time on here learn to say no. You’ve said yourself that you are prone to panic attacks. I assume because of that, you’ve canceled at the last minute and I assume it says nothing about you not valuing your friends.

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      • theattack

        theattack November 4, 2013, 4:50 pm

        No, I don’t think it’s about weddings. It’s about something being important to you. I had two friends say that they would come to my grandfather’s funeral to be there to support me, and neither of them showed. One was sick and sent food instead, but it hurt that the other one didn’t come to something when she said she would, and I wanted her there. Not everything is about evil weddings. Sometimes it’s just about friends being there for you when things are important to you.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 4:56 pm

        Sorry again to hear about your grandpa.
        I hear you, but at the same time, isn’t it just as nice to try and understand that maybe your friend had her own issues and that’s why she missed it even though she wanted to be there? Idk, maybe I’m being a softy today, but I’ve been crazy busy lately and would hope that if I had to blow off a friend, they would think ‘poor lbh has been so busy, she needs a break’ rather than ‘damn that lbh, i would’ve been there for her.’

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      • theattack

        theattack November 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

        Thanks, LBH. I don’t remember if I responded to your facebook message because I was driving and funeral-planning when I got it, but I really appreciated it.

        I do think you should extend the benefit of the doubt to a good friend, yes, but it also doesn’t negate the disappointment on your end. If your friend is only possibly a good friend (like if you haven’t had enough experience to know yet) and she backs out without an explanation, it’s easy to wonder if it’s because she doesn’t value the event or if it’s because she has something else legitimate going on.

        But I’m always defensive about it when someone tells me that my feelings related to my wedding are unreasonable JUST because they relate to a wedding. Just wanted to say that it’s about all things.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:12 pm

        No, it doesn’t negate. I agree.

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      • avatar

        HmC November 4, 2013, 4:42 pm

        I know! I think part of it is the evil wedding industrial complex (damn WIC!) but for me, part of it is that I’m not having a very big wedding and I’m not inviting filler guests to my shower or bachelorette- each and every girl I consider a good friend that I would genuinely love to have there. Also a lot of my friends have already gotten married and I feel like I’ve definitely gone out of my way to attend their stuff (again, I was super happy to do it and did not attend with the expectation of reciprocation) BUT it still makes me a little blue to think that I maybe kinda sorta consider them to be a closer friend than they consider me?

        Ok venting over, no more feeling sorry for myself!

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

        honestly, i dont think that it means you think they are a closer friend then they think you are. shit happens. my friends only sister wont be able to be at her wedding. shit just happens, and you gotta roll with it.

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      • avatar

        HmC November 4, 2013, 6:17 pm

        I hear you, and if someone’s a good friend I roll with no-show’s 99% of the time. But at what point are you allowed to be bothered? We always say that actions are what matter, not words. Someone could say they’re you’re great friend until they’re blue in the face, but if they consistently flake on you, what does that tell you? I think it *can* tell you that they don’t actually care that much. When you really care about something, your ass shows up most of the time.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 6:58 pm

        well, i guess it differs for people, but for me, it would be the “constantly” part. it wouldnt be the “couldnt come to my wedding associated party” part.

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        HmC November 4, 2013, 7:22 pm

        But it seems like you are failing to recognize that something wedding-related is allowed to be even a little more meaningful than any other type of event. Of course I’m going to be more sad about a good friend missing my wedding or bridal shower than I am about her missing my last minute keg party. I gave people a ton of notice, only invited close friends, and only had one shower. “Wedding events” don’t exist in some vacuum where whether they are wedding related or not is the only factor you consider in whether you feel hurt that someone missed them. You don’t have to be some crazy bridezilla that OVER values weddings in order to place any significance on them. Not all events are totally equal and not all wedding events are meaningless, nor should they be, just because you don’t really value weddings at all.

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      • katie

        katie November 4, 2013, 10:00 pm

        Well, that’s fine. If you want to use your wedding to gauge how much you believe your friends value you, go for it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 11:09 pm

        Yeah I’m sorry a shower to me is kind of meaningless. Not meaningless as an event, sure, but it definitely gets no more worth than a halloween party. What exactly are showers celebrating? The marriage? Cool, so is the wedding, and that’s the actual ceremony. So yeah, I consider a wedding shower exactly zero points higher than a friends birthday. Meaning I will try my best to make it if I can, but I’m definitely not going to lose any sleep over it.

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        HmC November 4, 2013, 11:25 pm

        Ha, Katie I’m so glad you’ve absorbed all of the explanations I’ve put effort into, great job at reading comp. Yeah, to me, as part of a tapestry of behavior, showing up to shit matters. If I can’t gauge someone’s feelings by their behavior then I’m not sure what I’m supposed to use. I don’t over emphasize the importance of wedding events or even the wedding itself (and that shit bugs the hell out of me), but yeah I do value it more than an impromptu party I’m planning for no reason or a birthday or something. It’s not all scorched earth, like you either have to way OVER value wedding stuff or not value it at all. I value it some. Which is more than you, which is fine.

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      • avatar

        Ele4phant November 4, 2013, 11:45 pm

        I think if something like your wedding shower has a particular importance to you, then it’s on you to impart that to your friends. Because for others, a wedding shower is on par with any other run of the mill party. It wouldn’t even enter into my mind that a shower is supposed to be that significant. That’s not to say I would be dismissive if it was so important to a friend of mine (if it’s important to her and she’s important to me then it becomes important to me) but it’s not going to be something I just *know*.

        A wedding, I get, that’s pretty universally acknowledged to be super special, but things like wedding showers are a gray area. Not everybody is on the same page, abstractly speaking, in where they rank on the priority scale. So if it’s important to you, you need to make that known, because not everybody is naturally on the same page.

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        HmC November 4, 2013, 11:56 pm

        Elephant- I think you were more making a general comment than addressing me specifically, but just so my stance is clear, wedding showers AREN’T even that important to me, which is why it’s kind of dumb that I’ve spent so much time arguing on this topic or that katie directed her dumb “gauge a friendship by wedding events” comment towards me. After this comment I’m done explaining myself because if you don’t see what I”m saying by now you won’t ever, but here goes: The specific circumstances surrounding friends skipping my shower (and there were a number of factors other than the fact that it was a shower) made me feel a little sad, it’s only been one day, and I vented and admitted that my feelings were mostly irrational. If you think a wedding shower is *exactly* the same as any other get together then I just have different values than you, and that’s ok. I think by virtue of being a shower I personally would try a little harder to make it, if it were for a good friend. I don’t find that very unusual.

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      • katie

        katie November 5, 2013, 9:29 am

        i dont understand why you thought what i said was ridiculous- i meant that. if you want to use your wedding to gauge how much you think your friends value you, you can. its your life. put as much importance on it as you want.

        but i do completely agree with elephant that you should actually tell them just how important it is, and furthermore how much weight you are going to put on their absence, should it occur. its only fair to let them know how they are going to be judged, right? i mean, id want to know. not everyone cares about this stuff, as evidenced here, or even would think that *you* care so much about it- which is curious too, because you say yourself that they arent that important (“wedding showers AREN’T even that important to me”), but you still are willing to downgrade a friend (“I think it *can* tell you that they don’t actually care that much”) over it….

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    • avatar

      MsMisery November 5, 2013, 2:10 pm

      Ok, anyone who has six pre-events to celebrate one main event clearly thinks the universe revolves around them, so why would she show up to one of your lowly parties??

      Gah.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl November 4, 2013, 4:08 pm

    IMO, your friends should feel guilty for being so thoughtless but it’s big of you to let it go.

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  • avatar

    TECH November 4, 2013, 4:28 pm

    ” if these are the types of things I have to worry about, I feel extremely lucky.” I like that attitude!

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  • avatar

    blink14 November 4, 2013, 5:26 pm

    I got sort of crucified in the forums awhile back for posting about a flaky friend, and ultimately what I have learned from the situation is that I am no longer willing to make plans with her that involve a lot of planning. For example, rearranging other plans, buying advance tix for her, etc. If she wants to hang out and I’m free, that’s cool, if not, I am not going out of my way to get burned again. Because it IS rude and annoying when someone bails, especially if they bail right around the time they should be arriving at your house or at a place to meet up.

    Honestly, I don’t believe your friends excuses are 100% truth. 4 people (two couples) who all have to work late? Unless they work at the same place or in a similar job in a situation that would be busy on Halloween, I really doubt this was the truth for all 4. I don’t totally trust most people, even my friends, because we all lie whether or not its to intentionally hurt someone.

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    • katie

      katie November 4, 2013, 5:30 pm

      ha, wow, really- people you know dont get tied up at work? and all it would have to be is one person in the couple… i wouldnt begrudge one SO for bailing of the other SO couldnt make it.

      and it doesnt matter that its halloween- a lot of places dont even get christmas off! i mean come on. not everyone is a straight 9-5 with holidays off.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC November 4, 2013, 5:34 pm

        It takes less than a minute to let someone know you can’t attend their party. I completely agree with Blink on this one. These people didn’t feel like going, made up an excuse and bailed.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark November 4, 2013, 8:34 pm

        EXACTLY.

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      • avatar

        blink14 November 5, 2013, 10:58 am

        Getting tied up at work is completely understandable, but I find it suspicious that all four of them bailed. My point was that perhaps some or all of them work in a retail setting or a service related industry where they would have to potentially work overtime on a holiday, and yes, it would make sense for them to have to work late. On the flip side, they would likely know that this was bound to happen and should’ve let the LW know from the start. I myself have to work overtime during the holidays and I get that.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:36 pm

      I’m curious what line of work you are in that you are never so busy that you might forget something.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana November 4, 2013, 5:50 pm

        to me, it’s not about forgetting its about failing to let the other person know at any point that you forgot and are sorry. regardless of the reason it is still really rude to just not show up to something, and even MORE rude if you did forget, to not apologize later for completely bailing and flaking on the event. Usually when we forget something like a dinner, we may remember belatedly and say “oh shit that was tonight” but hopefully most of us try to recover from our rudeness of missing a planned event by calling or getting in touch to apologize. Not hard, has nothing to do with work, it’s called common courtesy and is really easy to do with a friend. especially since this seems like it was a longer-pre arranged dinner party vs a hey lets meet up for dinner friday or something more tentative/open ended.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest November 4, 2013, 5:52 pm

        That’s fair, I totally agree. If I forgot and my friend called (and I was able to answer at that point), I’d definitely be all ‘OMG, I’m sooo sorry!’

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl November 4, 2013, 6:03 pm

        This is basically what I’m trying to say but much more concise.

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    • avatar

      Matcha November 4, 2013, 7:00 pm

      I’ve done the same thing. I have some friends that have just been relegated to people I seen whenever they happen to have time. Sad, since I’d love to hang out with them more, but unless I call them and say, “Do you want to do something *right now*?” and they’re free they will invariably flake out.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom November 4, 2013, 5:39 pm

    I think you’re handling this very well. Learning to handle rude is one of those adult skills everyone has to develop.

    If one partner from each couple was working late then the other half should have still come to your party. If they’ve known you for three years and you’ve gone on vacation together there is no reason they didn’t know you well enough to come without their partner. Then the partner who was working late could at least drop by on their way home from work and you’d know they really were working late and that they did the best they could. Even if they were working late the way they handled it was rude.

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  • avatar

    rachel November 4, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. I agree that the friends are rude and flaked, but I’m glad the LW is forgiving them, because life is too short to hold grudges.

    2. I still wonder whether the friends knew this was specifically a small dinner party kind of thing. The “come after 5” implies to me that it’s pretty casual, so maybe they just didn’t think anything of it because of that.

    3. I’m kind of baffled that a few people seem to think it’s impossible to actually be so tied up at work that you can forget/neglect to call a friend about plans. I’m not saying it’s not rude to not call…but really, I’ve gotten so caught up in work that I’ve forgotten meals before, and I’m a girl who likes to eat. It happens.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson November 4, 2013, 6:45 pm

      I forget to eat lunch all the time. Or when I do eat lunch it’s like 3:00 p.m. and a can of pringles. Not like this has been happening a lot or anything.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh November 4, 2013, 7:15 pm

      Yeah there are many times when i look at the clock and i’m like really it’s that time?!?

      Completely random and unrelated but, I think the day of the week affects rsvps too. Which I know sounds stupid but Halloween was Thursday, right? I mean Thursdays are hard for me. I’m usually so exhausted by then I don’t want to do anything. And there are times I get excited about an event and then the day comes and I’m like really I have to drive there tonight? Why did I say yes, I can’t believe I said yes I should have known I wouldn’t want to go. I’ve learned over time that I should in general say no to anything on Mondays and Thursdays. Both days I want to go home and sit in my pjs.

      Basically I think everyone should give everyone else the benefit of the doubt for the most part. Some friends are always flakes, but everybody else falls in to the every now and then I’m going to pull something that drives you crazy, love me anyway category.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow November 4, 2013, 11:13 pm

      WHAT ABOUT… people who work in the OR or other hospital settings? I was in the OR today, everyone! I didn’t have my cell phone, and I’m just a lowly student so they couldn’t make me stay late or anything, but it is definitely an instance where you can’t get to your phone to cancel plans. For instance. And for example and stuff. E.g., i.e., FUCK YOU.(That’s from Get Shorty, right? I’m not drunk, just insanely tired. From getting up early to watch people get their guts removed).

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark November 4, 2013, 8:18 pm

    Eh, fucking bullshit. What? There are no phones at work? I call BS.

    Oh. And PS — the reason so many feel free to pull such crap on their friends is everybody is far too fucking forgiving. Welcome to the new rude, self absorbed America. Created by you…

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom November 5, 2013, 9:19 am

      Everyone is so afraid that they’ll have no friends that they accept garbage for friendship and then they are hurt over and over. Partly, I think we all learn the hard way and get pickier about what we’ll accept and who we’ll call a friend. Then we have solid friends that we can always count on and those friendships last a lifetime.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh November 5, 2013, 9:35 am

        But, even those life long friends screw up from time to time, right? If this is a habitual thing sure you drop them, but everybody makes mistakes. I mean, I guess I’m lucky that my life long friends put up with me because I am far from perfect. And I try to extend them the same understanding. No one says you have to put up with garbage. But, one time cancelling on a dinner plan and they’re cut off? Seems a little extreme.

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      • something random

        something random November 5, 2013, 10:48 am

        Skyblossom,

        This maybe the most negative thing I’ve ever read from you. I kind of like it :). Of course I would miss the centered, wise sky blossom if you went the way of BGM. Gotta love BGM, though.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay November 5, 2013, 12:30 am

    I think the “what ifs” are getting a little extreme here. Yes, it is possible that they were both in meetings in which you cannot send a text or that they got so lost in their work that they didn’t know the time or that they had such urgent work issues that they couldn’t lose any seconds. But I think those are pretty extreme situations. I realize that certain jobs mean no texting (like maybe a pilot or bus driver or whatever), but I don’t have a single friend who is not allowed to send a simple text while at work, especially if he or she is being expected to stay late. Meetings don’t typically last so many hours that a person couldn’t text when they knew they would be late, while they were late, and after they were late. Certainly there are exceptions, and it’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt, but in all likelihood, they just made a faux pas, despite the fact that they maybe had a very valid excuse.

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    • avatar

      rieux November 5, 2013, 1:14 am

      Maybe they’re secret agents who couldn’t come to the dinner party because they were on a classified mission, and using a real phone would have compromised their covers.

      Just kidding. I learned all about spies from TV, and I know Sydney Bristow would have AT LEAST apologized if she’d ever had to miss a dinner party. Her possibly-secretly-evil parents didn’t raise her in a barn!

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark November 5, 2013, 1:15 pm

      Exactly. Maybe they each miscarried, while performing life saving operations on a medivac helicopter filled with refugee orphans… Oh, but only after learning that not only was their father — Darth Vader! But that he had terminal cancer as well…

      Eh, yeah. Complete and total bullshit. Everybody excusing it away so casually is doing so simply because they want a blank check to be a self absorbed asshole them-self…

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  • KKZ

    KKZ November 5, 2013, 9:44 am

    Jeez. Want to get the whole DW community up in arms? Post a letter that has something to do with manners, throw in a reference to texting, and watch the ridiculousness commence.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson November 5, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Oh lawd, if you included texting manners at a wedding, which I think has happened, watch a universal tightening of underwear occur.

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  • something random

    something random November 5, 2013, 10:08 am

    Wow this dinner party shit got intense. Personally, if this was a situation where I found myself having to remind myself to withhold invitations and good feelings because they blew off my party, I would probably let it go. But that’s just me. Maybe letter-writer will feel better distancing herself for awhile.

    If it were me, these couples would be shuffled to the WEEKEND ONLY category and if I was having a small intimate dinner I would be sure to describe it as such. Don’t make it seem like a bigger party where their presence won’t be missed. And if they pull this again, they are off the small party list.

    I agree that these people were jerks. But honestly, who has never disappointed someone in any social situation ever, ever before? Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and sometimes there aren’t. Most of the time, unless you’re besties you won’t get to know anyway. Flakey is rude, not apologizing is plain disrespectful, but hyper-critical is cancer. So don’t go that route.

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  • avatar

    bethany November 5, 2013, 1:24 pm

    I think this comes down to the basic “Know your audience” rule. If any of my friends were supposed to come over and no-showed, I would be worried sick, because I know that behavior is atypical. None of my friends have jobs where it would be impossible or frowned upon for them to send a quick text/email letting me know they had to work late and wouldn’t make it. I have another friend who bails all the time (but she always tells me she’s bailing, she doesn’t just no-show). I’ve come to accept that when we make plans, there’s only about a 40% chance for follow through, and I’m fine with that. It’s part of who she is, and I’ve accepted it.

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  • kaluu

    kaluu November 6, 2013, 6:32 am

    The strange thing is, that they’ve been hanging out for 3 years. Even so, LW seemed surprised that they weren’t able to make it or text to let her know, due to being held up at work. So I’m wondering if she doesn’t understand the nature of their jobs, that they may be held up and have no chance to send a text saying “very very sorry cant make it, still working” or if she does understand their jobs and doesn’t quite see how they couldn’t let her know, or why they were held up.
    The other strang thing is, she contacted them while waiting and they were able to answer phone /respond text, right? But then, even though her contact should have made them realize that she was waiting and deserves an explanation/apology, those things have not been offered. And what about the husbands were they not coming ? Who was stuck at work, the girls? Couldn’t the husbands update their buddy/ give notice…?

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