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My friend has upset me

27 replies

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:01

Am I being petty over this? I'm really upset but am not sure what to do.

A friend was supposed to be coming round for lunch a couple of weeks ago. the day before, I texted her in the morning to check what time she would be coming. I didn't hear back from her so went ahead and bought food and a birthday present for her baby who was turning one the following week.

That evening she phone me and said, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I've messed up. I did get your message this morning but I just didn't call till now, actually I'm working tomorrow till 1.00.' So I said, Ok, thinking we'd just meet up after that. Then she said, '... and my MIL is coming in the afternoon...' and it turned out she wanted to cancel altogether.

I was upset and a bit annoyed but thought maybe she is just stressed out at returning to work and it's made her confused and disorganised.

She said she was going on holiday the following week so asked if we could put a date in for this week. We arranged that she would come round at 11.30 this morning to have lunch and then we would collect my dd1 from nursery and spend the afternoon together.

I texted her last night to check it was all still on. This morning at 9.30 she called me to say she was actually going to be settling her baby with the childminder and could we rearrange.

She is veggie and I am not a good cook, so I had made sure I was organised and made a veggie lasagne last night for her. Also my dd1 had been looking forward to seeing her and I had not made any arrangements for her to see her friends or anything, obviously, so now she has nothing to do this afternoon.

I said we could do tomorrow but when she asked what time, I found I couldn't carry on as I was too cross, so I said 'can I call you later, I'm just.... um.... speak to you later!'

I am feeling a bit fragile for a couple of unrelated reasons so maybe I am overreacting but I feel really upset and disappointed. And quite angry at being messed around like this. It makes me feel that my life and my plans are regarded as entirely inconsequential and it doesn't matter if I make preparations or refuse other plans as long.

At the moment I feel like pretending I'm busy for the next 3 weeks or so. But is that silly? What would you do?

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Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:03

oops that was very long. sorry. And the penultimate paragraph should have finished with the word 'plans'.

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dizzymare · 03/08/2009 11:05

I've got a few friends like this, so I feel for you. It pisses me off no endAnd what I do now is basically, nothing. I don't call or text but wait for them to remember I exist, that way I'm not getting let down left right and centre! And can make my own plans without waiting for it all to fall through.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:07

trouble is, ihad said ok to rearranging for tomorrow. scuse 1-handed typing, feeding baby.

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maggievirgo · 03/08/2009 11:07

it's always really hard when you realise that maintaining a friendship is a chore for one half of the pair.... but don't say anything. People don't owe you friendship.

Detach a bit. If she invites you over, then ggo, and then forget about the awkwardness. that's what I'd do.

tbh its what I've done loads of times,all my friends have had kids, me included, a nd wwe've all been overwhelmed and underwhelmed and busy or kicking our heels at different times.

it gets easier. you get back in synch more when all the breeding is finally done and dusted. i don't have friends with tinybabies anymore, i always found that quite hard! oh dulcie and arthur have to eat at 12 precisely, or the sky will fall down... tedious in the extreme, but not worht saying anything.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:12

thing is i dont feel she owes me friendship. if she didn't want to get together i think she could quite easily just say she was busy at an earlier point. and we both have babies, mine is 9mo and hers just turned 1. i also have a 4yo who i feel a bit bad for this pm.

what do i do now tho? do i have her over for lunch tomorrow or pretend i'm busy after all?

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dizzymare · 03/08/2009 11:21

I guess the balls in your court now. Do you think you could have her over without feeling awkward. If so go for it, it'll give your daughter something to look forward to again, or you could say somethings come up and give her a taaste of her own I'm not normally a cow honest

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:23

Hm. dunno. dd1 will be at nursery all day tomorrow so won't see her in any case, so that's not really a factor.

I can't decide whether it's cutting off my nose to spite my face to avoid seeing her. But honestly I felt like crying when she dumped on me again today. it's a horrible feeling and I don't know if I feel like having a nice lunch with her now.

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BlameItOnTheBogey · 03/08/2009 11:30

For what it is worth and to give an alternative view point, I feel like I am that friend at the moment. I have just gone back to work and am finding it really, really hard to manage everything. Social life is the thing that is suffering. I love the idea of seeing friends but when the time comes, I always find myself wishing I could just sleep for an hour instead. It is no reflection at all on my friends and how much I value them. I also realise how crap this makes me and do try not to cancel. But by god am I tired and in need of some down time.

I don't doubt she does want to see you. She just wants an extra day in the week to be able to fit in things like time with friends. Or at least that is my take. I've spent the last month calling people or emailing to apologise for lack of contact and, to be honest, I sometimes even resent the time it takes to send an email..... (Am being really honest so please don't point out how crap this makes me!)

If I were you and wanted to persist with the friendship, I'd ring her up and say, look, I know it's tough fitting it all in, would it be easier if I came to you or if we met out or something. I know I am a bit of a parasite at the moment but it always seems easier if I don't have to travel far. And I know that when I am more back on my feet, I'll return the favour to my friends. In the meantime, I'm lucky that they are bearing with me.

Hope this helps.

ApuskiDusky · 03/08/2009 11:37

I can certainly see why it's annoying, but I think people do vary in how they think about plans made in advance - 'pencilled in' means a maybe to some people and a definite to others. If she tends to not commit to things definitely until the time, but you still want to see her, then it makes sense to confirm it with her before you put effort in such as shopping or cooking for her.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:41

Thank you blameit. I think that is actually what's going on tbh, which is why I am not sure how to react. If I thought it was just that she really didn't want to see me, I wouldn't bother at all.

But even so it's the last minute cancellations that make me feel shit. I think I may be overreacting as I do feel a bit like crying most of the time at the moment in any case and was looking forward to seeing her.

However I have now arranged to see someone else tomorrow and texted my friend to say I'm busy after all. I just think I'm too upset, whether reasonably or unreasonably, to have a nice time seeing her tomorrow.

I expect I'll feel more balanced about it in a day or two.

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beanieb · 03/08/2009 11:44

What would I do? I think I would be less worried about making the right food TBH. It seems like you are annoyed not just about being let down but also about the effort you have made. Maybe be a bit more free and easy with the food option (A cheese sarnie is quick to put together) and then at least if she does have to cancel it's not going to be too much hassle on the food front.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:44

But Apuski, when I tried to confirm last time, I texted on the morning of the day before in an attempt to give myself time to shop if necessary or decide not to if she wasn't coming. But since she didn't contact me till the evening, I had to do the shopping just in case!

And this time round we even had arranged the time, so it really wasn't a pencil. She did say this morning that she knew we were meant to be meeting and apologised for being 'flaky'. Gah.

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poppy34 · 03/08/2009 11:44

Would echo what bogey says - it shocked me how knackered I felt going back to work and on my one day at home between doing home stuff, dd and social life - something had to give and I am afraid it was socializing. Glad to hear from others it gets easier

allaboutme · 03/08/2009 11:44

It sounds like she is finding it a bit tricky to fit it all in tbh.
Must be v annoying and upsetting for you though.
I'd give her one more chance, seeing as you've already made the lasagne!
Text her, say lunch tomorrow is fine, you've made a lasagne and it will keep one day (then she'll realise that you've made an effort and are a bit disappointed.
next time, wait till she arranges something, or pencil it in but dont go to too much effort in case it doesnt pan out.
Can understand why you are upset though.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:45

True, beanieb. Though I must admit I think my reaction is more emotional than that, and the food thing is probably the thing that helps me feel I'm being reasonable!

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Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:46

Oh, allaboutme, I wish I'd read your post before I made another plan! That would have been exactly the right thing to do. Bother.

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BlameItOnTheBogey · 03/08/2009 11:49

Aranea: the last minute cancelling is because she really wants to see you and right up until the last minute believes she is going to. But then she's just too knackered or whatever (and prob puts off calling you because she feels guilty too). It's crap behaviour. It really is and I can see why it upsets you and think that it's a good thing to have made other plans for tomorrow. But I wanted to reassure you that none of this is personally. I used to be the most organised, realiable person before I had a baby. But I don't know what happened to that person. I hope I find her again soon....

Also don't be afraid to call you friend on her behaviour. A friend of mine recently did this to me (not because I had cancelled but had failed to return two phone messages). She asked if she had pissed me off and gently pointed out that it's rude not to return messages. She's right. I am working on it and I am very grateful to her for caring enough about the friendship to bring this up rather than just assuming I wasn't interested and drifting apart.

Aranea · 03/08/2009 11:58

You're right, blameit. Thank you for your very nice post. She is a lovely person but has always been disorganised and late for everything and has never seen why that would make anyone upset or cross.

I don't think I will call her on her behaviour though. Once she (friend A)was supposed to be meeting me and another friend (friend B). I was a bit late as dh was late home from work so I couldn't leave the house as dd was asleep. I left messages for both of them apologising and raced over to the restaurant as soon as I could. Friend B was waiting on her own when I got there, having made really complicated arrangements regarding her son in order to get there at all. And Friend A turned up an hour and a half late saying she had decided to do some DIY at home before setting out. When Friend B said this was really not on, and that when she arranged a time to meet someone she took it seriously, Friend A became very cross. It spoiled the whole meal as Friend A felt that it was entirely unreasonable of Friend B to expect her to turn up on time at the expense fo the other things she felt like doing.

So anyway, I think I will probably just end up making everything worse if I tell her how I feel about it.

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MrsBonJovi · 03/08/2009 12:01

Firstly I would give her 2 months grace to get her head round the work/life balance. Then im afraid I would get a bit tough...i think it shows a lack if respect to the friendship otherwise.

  1. no special effort regarding food...only things that wont go to waste. Cheese and Biscuits. Personally I would rather not do the lunch thing but tea and biscuits instead.

  2. If she keeps letting you down then distance yourself. When I returned to work and friends let me know after a couple of times I made it clear that my one day off a week was precious to me and I didnt appreciate being let down ( bar sickness/emergencies obviously)

    3)Realise friendship is a two way street. Would it be easier for her to meet up in the evening? Go swimming together? Maybe she is so busy trying to please everyone in the day time she just feels exhausted.
BlameItOnTheBogey · 03/08/2009 12:07

Hmm Aranea - that puts a bit of a different spin on it. It's one thing to be struggling to keep it together but another not to think at all of the impact on others. If this is her normal personality then I think you are well within your rights to take a step back for a while. (As I said, I'm not normally like this, which is I hope why my friends are being so understanding)

bigchris · 03/08/2009 12:10

i would ring her back and say tomo is fine - can the lasagne keep another day?

nellie12 · 03/08/2009 12:10

I have a friend like this and have 2 coping mechanism.

Never text to check an arrangement. I always phone the night before. If there is no answer I leave a message but if the message isn't returned I assume the arrangement has altered and do something else or don't prepare.

Have another (reliable)friend invited round as well so if forgetful friend drops out nothing changes.

And if you haven't seen her for a while try to go out in the evening without kids to catch up.

MrsBonJovi · 03/08/2009 12:12 you have said that it seems she has a lack of respect for others time. She seems to think her time is more important than theirs. I once told a friend that but constantly turning up late she was giving the impression that my time was less important thans hers. For example I could have popped to the post office/bank etc but as I had arranged to meet her at set time it would have made me late and I wouldnt do that to her

Aranea · 03/08/2009 12:27

Yes, she does have a lack of respect for others' time, but she has always been like that and I have known her for years and love her so I feel I have to just grit my teeth on that one really. All her friends have always assumed that she will be at least half an hour late for anything. I absolutely agree that it gives the impression that our time is less important than hers but I don't think she is able to see it that way and I think it would just make her cross if I said it.

nellie - you are absolutely right, I will stop using text messages. How sensible, thank you.

The trouble is that the things that upset me are things like the fact that I could have arranged for dd1 to have a playdate but I didn't and now she won't have such a nice afternoon, and she will be starting school soon and these opportunities are running out. But I suspect that this would not stand up as a very robust reason to feel upset. Do you think?

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motherbeyond · 03/08/2009 13:11

it is frustrating.try not to to take it personally.people get bogged down in their own lives,especially if they wrk and only have 1 or 2 days off in the week in which to make room for is important and am sure the mil wanted to see her gc,so her visit was prioritised over yours.

however, it was selfish of her not to let you know sooner and insensitive of her to do it twice in a row.
i've had people cancel on me at the last moment and it's disappointing,especially when you've made them food.
if i ever have to cancel a visit for some reason,i make sure i express my dissapointment and apologise profusely.i ring them back later,with diary in hand,and say "right, let's sort a day out and set it in stone,i'm dying to see you and dc!was gutted about missing out last time"
you should tell her you feel a bit sad that she has let you down twice,but do it gently,she may just have trouble pleasing everyone.

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