As well-aware you are of my terribly fun and fulfilling life at present (I apologise for whining lately, but this is the only space I can do so), there was this one tiny spark in it. I was supposed to have dinner with a few ex-classmates after work last Friday.
Yes, I’m sure you know it didn’t happen by the use of the word ‘supposed’. And the reason for that just made my blood boil. When I got the news, I immediately and furiously texted 9 because I was that upset. I was cursing, and 9 knows (and I’m sure you too) I don’t curse unless I’m pretty mad. I think I was more ugly mad than pretty mad, but anyway…
The dinner didn’t happen because what was supposed to be a gathering of 5 friends whittled down to just 2, then nothing. The first one backed out a couple of days before the dinner – very typical as this person is known for being unreliable like that. Okay, 4 friends left, we can still do this.
On the day of dinner itself, another friend said couldn’t go because… no transport. Yes, that was the reason. That person can’t drive, and the available family members who can drive couldn’t drive this friend that night. We last met during convocation, but we haven’t really sat down and talk and catch up with what’s going on between us. I’d have thought there might be more transport alternatives for a dinner that took over 3 months since college last ended to happen…
And then there were three. Okay, fine. Three’s a crowd, right? But I like crowds. I need a crowd, given my current circumstance. I need mayhem and raucousness and craziness only 3 people are capable of achieving. And with these two friends, I know we can. Between the three of us, we’d have so many stories to tell we’d be fighting to talk!
So I texted the other two to make sure the plan was still on. We arranged this dinner, like, 2 or 3 weeks before last Friday through Facebook. I started the message discussion because nobody would do it. I’ve been saying we should go out for dinner some time, and each person I’ve said that to said yes, but nobody actually arranges for one. Okay, fine, I’ll make the first move. And I made sure it’s planned in advance so that people will be able to mark it in their calendars, make space for this since it’s been, I don’t know, 3 months since we last really hung out?
The two confirmed it was still on. Every Friday at my workplace is Casual Friday, but last Friday I dressed up because I’d be going straight to the mall where we were supposed to have dinner. I even wore this bra that makes my boobs look slightly bigger than my other bras (because it had a space to put in chicken fillets – padding inserts, not literally chicken) but is a little too tight for me. Imagine this, me having to bear a pretty uncomfortable bra at work all day long…
Only to get a text message from one of them – who, having confirmed just hours before that dinner is still on, was now saying that no can do – this friend has just realised there was only enough money left in the purse for petrol.
I was hopping mad. I looked forward to this dinner for weeks, because I’d be able to hang out the bunch of people I was closest to in college. And they all very nicely agreed to earlier, but now bailed out at the very last minute. And they don’t say something like, I’ll arrange a dinner date with you soon. You know, like to make up for cancelling last minute. They say something like, I hope to see you some day... or When I have money I’ll join you guys…
‘Scuse me?? I was really looking forward to this dinner, I anticipated a night of fun for myself after enduring days at a job I haven’t exactly fallen in love yet and having to experience fatigue from sitting down 9 hours a day… I need endorphins, DAMMIT.
I’m sorry, I’m probably overreacting over this. It’s not like they’re doing this for the third time or deliberately. They are good people. They’ve helped me out in college during difficult times. I enjoy their company. (Should I say enjoyed? Doesn’t seem like I’ll get to meet them again.) But I’m mad.
So it was just me and this friend, who was still up for dinner if I was. And guess what I did? I ended up bailing on her too. I feel bad about that, but I knew I couldn’t go to dinner with her with the way I was feeling. I was angry, I wanted to bitch, I wanted to be negative. And my friend doesn’t deserve such a bad company for dinner. So I told her that I didn’t want to go, and that I will arrange dinner with her another time.
This was the night that would feel like as if college didn’t end, that we aren’t apart like we are now. We should be laughing and cracking jokes only we can get because we’ve known each other for 3 years. When I planned this dinner, I even told them no last-minute cancelling unless it was pure emergency. You know, like having your car hijacked. Or giving birth. Or having your car hijacked while you’re on the way to the hospital to give birth.
I’m disappointed in these friends because I don’t think their excuses justify their last-minute cancelling. I mean, I had to endure a sufferable bra (okay, nobody made me vain but myself, but still!) and the other friend I bailed on even put make-up on for the occasion. We might have had to cancel or postpone other appointments for this dinner. And for what? Looks like we’re just a case of only if I have the right transport or only if I have enough money, which is no guarantee no matter how long you’ve planned this.
But I haven’t been in real touch with the ‘bailers’ to know if they were just being careless and ignorant or if those reasons were very valid. Maybe that one friend who didn’t have transport quarrelled with some family member and couldn’t ask for a ride and is afraid of taking a cab home late at night. Maybe the friend who was broke had to fork out money for something more important than a dinner. I don’t know.
Should I even bother to?
ps. How do you handle being stood up? I’ve never handled it well.