On The Verge Of Blocking Text Messaging FOREVER!

I had a very frustrating day today. We were having our first official Book Club Meeting today at noon, I was very excited. I had three women commit to going and my friend who is organizing this with me had gotten one lady last minute to come. Our book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It was a good and interesting book, and one of the ladies to come had some particular interest in autism as she will be doing a walk for autism very soon, I thought the conversation would be lively and passionate.

So I'm driving to the host house, my friend who has been organizing this with me, and at 11:30am I get my first text message: Mai, i'm really sorry but i don't think i'm going to make it today. I'm really sick. I am sitting there reading this, annoyed that once again a friend is canceling plans with me in what I see as a copout way, through text message. I feel disrespected that she didn't have the nerve or decency to call me. Truthfully, had she called me rather than "texted" me I feel I would have been much more happy in giving her the benefit of the doubt. At least I would have felt like she cared about her commitment with me.

So fine, I'm irked, but I'm still pretty cheerful and excited about the meeting, two wonderful women were still going to come and it would still be great. At 12:00pm, nearly right on the dot, I get my second text message. This time from one of the other ladies that was supposed to come. i have a migrane, i am going 2 skip it says in elegant text fashion. Now I'm very upset, if she really had a migraine, why is she texting me right at the time she was supposed to be there? Again, had she called me and explained why she was calling last minute (when we were all supposed to be there), I would have felt much more forgiving. I walk in disappointed but still determined to enjoy the ladies who do come. Four women can come up with enough discussion to make it interesting.

My host's friend comes, and while she didn't read the book since she was invited last minute, she's super cool and seems very excited about the Book Club. So we are having great conversation, eating pizza and snacks waiting for my last friend, who ends up not being able to make it either. I'm in utter disbelief that All Three Ladies who I invited each cancelled on me. Is it me? Do I smell bad or something? Our poor host had more than enough food for six people set out, the three of us did our best to eat the missing ladies' share, which is probably why I am now suffering from a tummy ache, but we left a shameful amount of food untouched.

I'm truly not trying to gripe or make anybody feel bad if they are one of the ladies mentioned above and they read my blog, but I'm very upset, hurt and disappointed. It's bad enough to me to be so blase about breaking commitments with friends, especially so last minute, but in the manner in which they did it felt extremely disrespectful to me. I'm at a loss as to how to handle it. To call them out would make me out to be the bitch, but to not leaves me festering. Where is the line of standing up for your feelings with your friends and just being bitchy and demanding with your friends?

I'm very frustrated over the whole situation. I feel this situation represents my comments in my previous posts Is Technology Killing Our People Skills?, Technology Gone Too Far and Manners, Celebs and Parenting way too closely for comfort. Here we are, three wonderful women who I find intelligent, fun and interesting, and yet they don't have the manners to either keep a commitment or to cancel it respectfully. Yes, it's harder to call me to cancel it and feel the guilt of hearing the disappointment in my voice, but it's also respectful. I have, in the past, taken the easy way out in situations with friendships, and I have felt shameful and cowardly because of it, which forces me now to do my best to be respectful towards people even when it's hard. Are people so afraid of disappointing people that they would rather disrespect them then face the disappointment? I'm baffled at the disregard people seem to have for other's feelings. I truly did not expect this from these wonderful women.

The meeting ended up mostly chatting about each other, getting to know the new girl, who was really great and brave. She came to the meeting, having not read the book, barely knowing the host who invited her (they knew each other vaguely a long time ago and then ran into each other last night and she agreed to come, and - Shockingly - actually DID come).

I'm sorry if this post comes off bitchy and angry, I just find it ironic that I just wrote those posts about the text messaging issue and manners and here it is, popping up in my real life wreaking me havoc. To add to it, later that day I got a text message from a friend whom I asked to call me about some plans, and then I called another friend to discuss plans, left her a voicemail, and got a text message in return. Seriously, when did Calling someone become such a chore?

This is why I'm seriously considering blocking all text messages from my phone. One of my friends has them blocked from her phone and she told me she hates text messaging. I wasn't necessarily a fan of it, but I thought that it was a bit harsh to hate it as much as she professed she did. However, I find that sentiment starting to resonate in myself and I find myself growing to despise text messaging too. How much more impersonal and distant can we get ourselves from each other before we realize that we have no actual human interaction and everything done between two people is through some computerized contraption?

Argh, thanks for hanging in with me through this angry post, I tried to wait a couple of hours to calm down and watch the Steelers' first preseason game, which I thought would cheer me up, but our Secondary was pitiful for the most part and frustrated the hell out of me. At least Ben was looking good and Anthony Smith was Dynamite! Can you imagine him and Polamalu playing together? That will be one unstoppable pair! I'm very excited to see Smith's progression. Steelers lost, and although it's just a meaningless preseason game, you always want to win, right? Ah, well. I still have the Vikings' first preseason game to look forward to!


Amra Pajalic said...

Mai Wen-you should so definitely have a chat with these women about how you found their behaviour disrespectful and hurtful. If you don't it will only fester. Plus you need to know if these friendships are worth pursuing or are these people so self-involved they don't consider the rest of the world.

I had a friend who used to be a bit of a flake. I had frank conversations with her about how it made me feel and we worked through it. The friendship is stronger than ever and we both learnt and grew from these experiences.

I've had other friendships die after I had a conversation with them and nothing changed. I realised that they were not able to be real friends because of their own dramas and I've felt better without having them around.

And I just have to say-WTF is with the excuse that she's having a fight with her husband and can't come. That is so fucking lame. Life can't stop just because you're having a tiff. Move on. I was pissed off on your behalf reading this post and think your rant was very restrained considering the circumstances.

Elizabeth said...

There's nothing worse than girlfriends you can't count on. Girlfriends are supposed to BE there for you through thick and thin. Not bail at the last minute. Isn't that one of the rules of girlfriendhood?

I turned off text messaging some time ago, but your experience goes way above and beyond technology. Sorry your friend had a fight with her husband...but that's exactly when she should be reaching out to her girlfriends, not treating them like the neighborhood dry cleaner.

mai wen said...

Thanks Amra for your advice, I think you're right. I was very unsure on how to handle this, but I'm not the type of person who can hide my feelings and I also am naturally very straight forward, so approaching them seems like the best thing to do. These all are fairly young friendships, all at least a year, so I feel like this is about the time when you start finding out how true and sincere the friendship is. I also agree with you about the fight, if I fight with my hubby, the first thing I do is go to my friends to rant and rave and cry and whatnot, so I don't completely get that either. Thanks for your support! I feel less like an alien now for feeling hurt by all that happened.

Thanks Elizabeth for your comments and support. I always valued my girlfriends very highly, especially after I got married! Unfortunately all of my best friends have moved and so I'm used to very close friends who really valued our friendship. I've known these girls in the post for at least a year, if not longer (one I knew in high school), so while we've been friends for that time, I do feel that now I'm going to find out how much our friendship means to them through how they react to this first "bump" in our friendship. I hope they understand my feelings because I really think these ladies are awesome women.

I'll keep you guys updated! Thanks again, like I said, feeling much less like an alien. :)

Hubby said...

Due to the recent negatives comments and thoughts in regards to electronic communication I recently called a guy to tell him he had been rejected for a position (instead of emailing him). He was very appreciative and offered up some important information that I would not have gotten if I had just emailed. I think I'll make this common practice in my line of work.

mai wen said...

That's awesome! That lifts my spirits and truly makes me appreciate personal communication that much more.

Elizabeth said...

Then again, a picture's worth a thousand words. Mai Wen and Hubby - I posted another cloud photo for you!



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