Friday, May 28, 2010

What do you do...

about flaky friends?
Some people do just have complicated lives. One of my friends has just let me down on first an arrangement and then its rearrangement. The first time she had got her work weekends wrong (so really shouldn't have made the arrangement at all) but the second time she's had a family disaster (and it only just happened so she didn't know before I just asked her if she was still on).

I try to be sympathetic to those with kids, especially those with kids and complicated family arrangements (this friend is a single mum, though the disaster is not child-related). And a couple of my most flaky friends do not have children - just an inability to organise their diaries (or in some cases even keep one). And, given a couple of rather unpredictable aspects of our lives in recent years (first dominant theme is of course me being pregnant and then not again, several times, and the more recent dominant theme is the increasing, though perhaps now slowed, decline of mother-in-law's grasp on reality), I sometimes feel a bit grumpy at the implication made by many of my friends and acquaintances with children that they are a get-out-of-jail-free card. Any cancelled arrangements that are to do with children are allowable - any other reason is not.

I hope I am not flaky though I have no real perspective on this. I think I used to be semi-flaky when I lived in London and tried to go out a lot - I always ended up saying I'd go out and then getting home and feeling too exhausted to trek back to central London, or else saying I'd go out straight from work and ending up going home instead.

But perhaps this is what my currently flaky friend, and I in the past, have in common - we are/were single. When you are single, your social life revolves around people who do not live in your house - and who you inconvenience more when you let down. If Mr Spouse and I make firm arrangements involving train tickets or films/shows that are paid for, we know we'll keep to them unless something really dire comes up. If we've said "maybe we'll go to the cinema" but something comes up, we tend not to. We can be spontaneous most of the time because, well, he's right there and I tend to know what he's doing.

Where this leaves me - with friend 1 who has a genuinely complicated life, and other friends, who have an inability to manage their diary - is still feeling frustrated, and lacking in someone to go out and play with (this being an event that Mr Spouse doesn't really want to participate in, and besides, he has exams).

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