First of all, apologies for how vague this is going to be. I can’t give away many details without it being very identifying. It’s also going to be loooooonggggg.
Last year, myself, a friend and another friend who we both kind of know but not particularly well decided to book a trip. It’s a two week trip that’s centered around a particular activity. Think of it as like a camp, but for grown ups.
Now, I had been planning on just booking for myself and Friend one. Friend Two overhears us talking about it and wants in. Fine. I don’t know her very well, but just enough to think I can travel with her without problems. The camp is popular enough that it needs to be booked a year in advance, the camping spots for the year open at a particular time and you have roughly a five minute window to book before all the spots for the year are gone. It’s like buying concert tickets but infinitely more stressful.
We spend a few months before booking deciding on which dates we want so I can pounce on the website and make the booking for all three of us. Stressful, but the other two work full time and can’t sit on the internet at work waiting for this website to open. My work doesn’t mind so it falls on me to make the booking. Booking three spots is actually tricky because the website only lets you book two at a time. You have to go back in for the third and risk not being able to swing it.
Maybe two months after booking and paying for the trip, Friend Two pulls out citing parental duties. I’m annoyed, we discussed the dates in length and picked the ones that suited her best (because myself and Friend One had more free time) but I understand parent duties. I find out more details and the child I thought was school age is actually in college. Friend Two’s double booking is something that friend wants to do but not necessarily *has* to do, it’s something that she was aware of when we were booking but evidently had not made her mind up about before we had to book the camp.
One of my bug bears is people who say they will do something, commit to dates and then pull out. But this still isn’t a disaster. She’s paid me back so it’s her own money she’s wasting. Friend One’s sibling decides to join us instead so at least her spot isn’t being wasted.
Now, Friend Two lives in a city that’s a few hours away from camp. It’s close enough that we decide to go and visit her on our free weekend, but still far away enough that it can’t be a day trip and we will have to stay the night. All good. Festival that this city is famous for will be on at the same time. It’s a great time to visit and Friend Two is excited to see us. Friend Two offers to put all three of us up in her house. At this point, my instinct is saying “yeah but can we rely on this?”, but in the end, free accommodation in an expensive city is hard to pass up. Regular readers of this site have probably already worked out what’s about to happen.
Well… it’s a week before we are visiting Friend Two and she’s booked out her house on Airbnb, we can still spend time with her but now we can’t stay with her. This is the last straw for me, had we asked if we could stay I’d be less annoyed, but she offered the accommodation to us. Again, we don’t know her that well, I would have been ok with booking through Airbnb and paying to stay with her, had she asked us to. Popular festival means we are now scrambling to find an alternative and I can’t imagine it’s going to be very comfortable or affordable. I’m letting Friend One sort this out. I’m done.
I kinda wish I’d trusted my gut and said “no” to her offer of a place to stay. But on the bright side, next time Friend One suggests visiting Friend Two I can cite this fiasco as a reason that we should do our own thing. And I”m not booking her camping spot for her again! 0806-18