On flaking

Perhaps lately, I have been miffed by flaking. Sometimes, it’s good that particular person doesn’t show. But even though the incident was only recent, I can recall worse times.

Is flaking worse than showing up…3 hours late? That depends. In this era of the cell phone, people rely on being reminded and being prodded to do things. That is pure irresponsibility and even though I believe everyone has good intentions (sometimes), I usually call and remind people regardless. “Are you coming today?” I would ask. Whenever I get an event in the email or im, I promptly enter it into my calendar, because I really enjoy doing that. But I highly doubt people are like that.

I know my attitude is being somewhat overly sensitive (and probably bitchy). But it’s right now…and I am sure in a few months when proven differently, I would have forgotten everything…sort of.

(Speaking of which, I have to enter in my indulgence in beauty at 1:55 pm tomorrow.)

Case 1: I am supposed to be waiting for a friend who wanted to meet up for dinner. Last week, she complained that she hadn’t seen me “forever” and so I agreed to move my schedule around so that we could have dinner that following friday. (Note I was skipping a birthday dinner for her since I thought I would catch up with the birthday boy at the bars.) We had agreed to meet at 6 pm at my place. She’s notorious for not picking up her cell. Time passes. it’s 7 pm. I call her. It’s 8 pm. I call her and leave a message, no answer. Should I worry that she got into trouble, when it’s 99% likely she forgot? Granted, I was in my apartment and it shouldn’t matter, but I was keeping myself “un-busy” so that I would be ready to go anytime. It’s 9 pm and I am starting to write angsty paragraphs on my laptop to relieve my stress and hunger. I barely have eaten all day. She calls when it’s nearly 9:30 pm saying that she thought I was going to the birthday dinner and that she thought I was going to the bar…and all these so-called misunderstanding when in an earlier email I said that yes I would meet up with her at 6:00 pm. Not buts and or ifs. So I am starving and eat a banana to sustain myself…and go out to the bar before I have a miserable Friday night.

Case 2: A friend asks me that evening if I want to eat breakfast the following morning. I don’t have class until 10:30 am, so I have to get it early. We agree to meet at the restaurant, which is nearly a 20 minute bus ride for me. I get up the following morning and hop on the bus. For some reason, I just don’t feel like calling the friend. Maybe at the moment, I wanted to test his level of flakitude. When I get to the restaurant around 9:10 am, I peek into the restaurant and as expected, he’s not there. The host sees me and without hesitation, I say “One, please.” Perhaps though, I did enjoy the fabulous breakfast by myself. I think I ordered french toast with fruit and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Case 3: Now I am being spoiled, but I remember when I was lying in my bed immobile (that hand surgery last year), a friend promised she would visit me. So I lay sweltering in 100 degree heat, not really having the energy to call anyone to demand a visit, seeing only my mom and my dad…for more than a week. Turns out she misunderstood the actual week that I would be immobile. Likely excuse, but that’s only resentment speaking.

Case 4: A friend was going to meet me and a few people for my birthday. Even though I sent two emails as reminders, he calls me right as I am about to leave saying that he just woke up…and that he was sorry. Whoops. I suppose that’s an ok excuse and responsible enough to let me know.

Case 5: A friend and I agree to go to the MOMA at noon on a Saturday. I am excited because I haven’t been to the SF Moma and had loved the NY Moma. I go there and engineer my way in as a student. I wait for my friend to arrive. I stand outside watching happy visitors go into the galleries. An hour passes. I entertain myself by making some interesting phone calls. I leave a message on my friend’s phone (who doesn’t pick up)…and eventually about 45 minutes later (after I have been hassled by the guards who think I am loitering) I leave a message saying that I am just going into the museum and that if he wants to find me, I’ll be inside. About 5 hours later as I am on the BART to the east bay, I get a txt msg that he overslept. At least, I experience the art by myself.

Case 6: An important midterm is coming up. A friend and I agree to study together the following Tuesday night. Tuesday comes and I am depending on this study session to get me in shape for the midterm. I wait and wait, studying a little on my own. I eventually im the friend. No response. I don’t have his number, so there was no other way. And so I cram in the studying the few hours I have left during the day.

Case 7: This time, a friend doesn’t actually flake. He actually shows up 3 hours late. Worse maybe? But at least he answered his cellphone and gave a horribly gross estimate of his ETA. I am not close to home so I am wandering around Berkeley with a stomachache. Plus most stores and restaurants are closed. Unlike most normal people, I don’t normally call someone and say that I am too sick to go out. So I spend the next three hours wasting gas in my car, trying to entertain myself in the few bookstores open…yeah.

What puzzles me the most is…flaketitude to me is often a sign of disinterest. But I never say “I will go” and back on that promise. Even if I know I’ll have 5% chance of having fun. I am stupid like that, going to bars and parties where I don’t know anyone. I go to dinners with people I may not necessarily like. But I aim for that small 5% because sometimes good comes out of it. And even if I do experience the 95% chance…at least I can say that I didn’t spend my free time doing nothing.

3 thoughts on “On flaking

  1. oh no…what will joe say!

    i hope i haven’t offended any flakers though. granted, they have reasons for not showing…and they are absolutely wonderful people when…they do show up. but perhaps i can just wallow in my own insecurity…

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