Author Topic: Friend standing me up regularly. UPDATE post#58  (Read 16597 times)

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Pumpkin Spice

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Friend standing me up regularly. UPDATE post#58
« on: July 23, 2012, 03:02:59 AM »
:) Hi.

First time poster here.  I really would like advice on a situation with a childhood friend of mine.  I'm kinda expecting to be told that I'm the one with bad etiquette in this but still, I'll take my medicine if need be.  Etiquette has become a new obsession with me as I'm pretty socially awkward, as well as impulsive, and goofy (in general). I often regret things in hindsight. 

BG: Known "Jackie" ever since the age of 5/6.  We grew apart as teens/early adults but I found her again on Myspace 4 yrs ago and we speak on the phone several times a week ever since.  DH, our 3 children, and I were living in a very cramped place for 10 yrs and were desperate to buy a real house in the country.  Finally 2 yrs ago, it did happened and we are happy here.  Before moving, I lived a mere 20 mins from Jackie and now I live an hour away.

This is the issue: She STILL has not ever come out here to visit the home we've been wanting for so long.  It's been 2 yrs.  I have invited her so many times in that span of time.  I have been out to her place about 6 times since we've moved.  Any time I bring it up, it's always "You live too far".  Yet she's taken several roadtrips during that time.

Some more BG: She has Lupus.  A very terrible affliction.  I do not underestimate how much of an ordeal that is.  Any time I've tried to set a Sat or Sun for her to come by (she works Mon-Fri), she says "It depends on how I feel that day".  Of course, I'm understanding of this. 

About 2/3 months ago we had discussed her coming by that Saturday.  I'd cleaned my home and everything. She said she'd call in the morning to let me know. She also knew that if she wasn't coming over, I had backup plans with my mom so I needed to know.  She didn't call that morning by a reasonable time, so I finally called HER bc my mom was wondering what was going on.
Me: "Are you coming over?"
Jackie: "No, we're at the mall about to watch a movie with my mom and step-dad and my daughter."
Me: Shocked "ok" and I just let it go.. like a doormat.

My mom was appalled and thought it was so rude of Jackie.  But,  I was so used to this breaking of plans w/o even letting me know. I decided I would no longer invite her over anymore and let it be her idea.  I also wanted to pull away from her some bc I was very hurt by all of this.

Didn't last long. I brought it up again and jokingly (not so jokingly) said: "I won't be coming to your place until you come to mine." This is where I think I may have committed my f aux pas and become very pushy.  Kinda reverted back to childhood: "By whhhhy won't you come over?"  She kinda blew that off until early June she had her daughter's bday pool party and wanted us to come.  She was rushing to come over here the previous weekend so that I would come to her party (I would have come anyways bc of my kids being excited for it) but something happened.  Oh yea, my youngest was sick to her stomach and I wasn't sure why so I didn't want to expose Jackie who has Lupus to that.  Turns out it was something that only affected youngest and not a virus so we went to the party the following weekend after all.

As we were leaving the party I jokingly said, "Alright Jackie, next weekend bring your daughter to my house".  She said she would really try and seemed to feel some guilt. 

Something came up again (I guess, she never really said what other than she was sleeping and going to movies with her husband) .. and again repetitively over the next few weekends. Two weeks ago I said, "Alright Jackie, Saturday or Sunday (meaning this weekend that just passed) you're coming over right?" Jackie: "yes, if I'm feeling up to it."  Of course, she never brings it up in that time so finally Wednesday rolls around.. "Jackie, you think you're coming over Saturday?" **Just so you know, I'm not calling her up about this and harassing her.  She'll call me for normal day to day chatter and I bring it up**  Again she says, she will see.  Friday morning I call.  She's having a stomach episode and I could tell she was feeling pretty bad. She asks if she can call me back, I say sure and haven't heard from her since.  Today, I got a bit worried that she could be in the hospital so I called to check on her.  Doesn't answer her phone. A few mins following I see she's been on FB diddling around.  Yea,  I knew she was sick, but no call to confirm she's not coming over say Friday night/Saturday morning.  I mean, I can deduce that's she's not coming bc she's sick, but isn't that rude?

Now, I'm just feeling like I've been taken for granted.  She makes time for all other things like gambling trips and other trips and hosting parties at her home.  Otherwise, I'd be more likely to put it all off on the Lupus and be more understanding.

My new (old) thought is to not bring it up again and to pull away again and really stick to it this time.  She calls me several times a week but maybe it's out of boredom. Maybe I care a lot more that her.  I'm more inclined to stick it out with her bc of our long history.  How many people are still pals with a friend from age 5?  Not that I'm considering ending the friendship but, some people in my place would, I feel. 

How would you handle this?  I know this has turned into more of a friend issue than etiquette but at this point I want to know from a 3rd party.  Do I confront or drop the subject entirely.  When I think of it, I wonder if there is some reason she doesn't want to come over and doesn't want to say what that reason is.

And yea, I realize I'm coming off totally needy. Only child here.  Friends are my siblings.  I project high expectations/ideals onto them bc they are my family. 

So, I'm very insecure and confused about this.  And sad, of course.



« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 12:45:45 AM by Pumpkin Spice »

Shopaholic

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Re: Friend standing me up regularily.
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 03:41:46 AM »
Jackie sounds a lot like an old friend of mine.
I've been in your shoes. Ironically, my friend would complain to me about other friends of hers who never came to visit her.
I brought it up with her a number of times, nothing changed...
I think you should just let the friendship fizzle. Don't invite her over, don't jump to her every beck and call. It's even OK not to take every one of her phone calls.

I currently see my friend about 2-3 times a year. I invite her, but don't expect her to come over. My mom has a similar relationship with her sister: she invites her but isn't surprised when she declines. Or rather, lets the day of the event go by without a word.

Focus on your other friends...

TheVapors

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Re: Friend standing me up regularily.
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 03:53:13 AM »
Hi Pumpkin Spice and Welcome to the Board!

Here's how you've presented the situation. Your friend has a disease that can sometimes effect whether or not she'll be able to do certain activities, and she won't always know until that very day how she feels. Understandable. Many people have friends or relatives in similar situations. The thing is that polite people with a disabling disease or illness do call to let people know when plans have changed due to their situation, and they actually keep their plans when they are able to.

You also live an hour away from your friend. That's a two hour road trip, as I'm sure you know since you've traveled it. And it may not always be a priority to travel an hour one way and an hour back in a car to visit someone.

The point is that you have been willing to travel to see her, and it seems that she has not been quite as willing to travel to see you. This is not an uncommon situation. So, it's understandable to be a little put off by it.

The first situation you described about her being at the movies with family would have been unacceptable to me. She told you that she'd have to call you to let you know. She not only didn't call.. but then she informs you that she actually chose other plans over hanging out with you. That's pretty hurtful, and rude.

Then there was your youngest getting sick, and the party.

The other situation in which she cancelled it appears that you saw her on FB, but that she, again, never told you that plans were cancelled. And, again, I have to say that's rude.

Here's what it looks like. Your friend doesn't really want to drive up to see you. She likes you. She likes talking with you. She likes getting your families together. But, she doesn't like to travel to do it. In two years, she hasn't made one trip. And, the few times it seems like you got her to commit to coming, she backed out at the last minute without explicitly stating, "I won't be able to make it." So, to me, that's a clear sign that she doesn't really want to travel. And, yeah, after being willing to travel to see someone... that can be a little disappointing, and would make me a bit sad about it.

You have to decide what this means for you. Do you enjoy this friendship enough that you're willing to do the traveling? Only you can answer that. If you feel you're traveling too much, then dial it back to whatever is comfortable for you. Or maybe you can compromise, and choose spots half an hour away from the both of you in order to meet.

You have already brought up the situation to your friend. Many times. In two years, nothing has changed. I would stop issuing invitations for the time being.

If at some future point you wish to offer an invitation, then you get to put the boundaries on it. "I'd love to have you for cake on Saturday at 2:00. If you aren't coming, let me know by 10:00 AM. If I don't hear from you, I'll be doing something else."

I can't say that I'd completely write off the entire friendship, but I sure would dial it back to "mostly phone friends" and go looking elsewhere for actual hangout buddies.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 03:56:20 AM by TheVapors »

secretrebel

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 07:58:56 AM »
I think here you have to decide if Jackie's friendship is worth the cost and how much leeway she gets because of her disease.

Could you speak to her one last time and say: "Jackie, you're one of my best friends and I love spending time with you but I'm beginning to feel really hurt that you never come and visit me and when we make plans you cancel at short notice to do other activities. I *absolutely* understand that you have a chronic condition to manage and I'd understand if you had to cancel because you were sick. But you've cancelled for lots of reasons. I have to ask: is there a problem with my house? Is there some reason you always cancel? I really would like to know because I'm starting to have doubts about this friendship and whether it's a two way street."

NyaChan

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 08:26:26 AM »
I think your friend Jackie wants to see you only if she does not have to expend the effort in order to do it.  Basically, she is fine with hanging out if you present yourself ready-to-go at her place, but hanging out with you is not worth the affirmative action on her part of traveling to you.  I think TheVapors laid it out the best really and POD her advice.

NutellaNut

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 08:53:58 AM »
I have a host of auto-immune diseases and sometimes have to cancel plans I've made with friends.  99 times out of 100, I either phone or email the friend to let them know, as far in advance as possible.  It's just the right thing to do.

I agree with TheVapors and Nyachan that this friend doesn't seem to want to exert the effort to see you, and you need to evaluate your friendship and decide if you want to continue to the do the heavy lifting for it.  If you want to have a conversation, I like secretrebel's wording.

sevenday

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 09:01:26 AM »
I get the whole disease-controls-you thing, I do.  But when she makes a plan to come see you, and then decides to go to the mall and a movie instead with other people, it says she's feeling well enough to do these other things, and prioritizes them over you.  I wouldn't much enjoy a two hour round trip drive, either, but if I had a friend I truly enjoyed being with, I would make the sacrifice to do so if and when the occasion permitted. 

Frankly, she does not value this friendship as much as you do.  I would stop making efforts to drive down there to see her.  Your children like each other, yes, but at this stage, it's the parents that permit visits.  Encourage them to write to each other (paper letters or emails, depending on their ages) but explain to your kids, if they ask, that it's just not working out anymore for you to drive down there very often.  If she asks why you are no longer visiting, tell her that the two-hour roundtrip is difficult for you to plan for, too, so you're reluctantly focusing your time and energy on things closer to home.  I would just let this friendship go, unless she begins to make more of an effort to reach you. 

On the other hand, if she is otherwise in contact with you frequently and expresses interest in your welfare, etc - and just is not meeting face-to-face, perhaps you should let go of THAT part of the relationship and go to phone-and-online only. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 09:37:00 AM »
I get the whole disease-controls-you thing, I do.  But when she makes a plan to come see you, and then decides to go to the mall and a movie instead with other people, it says she's feeling well enough to do these other things, and prioritizes them over you.  I wouldn't much enjoy a two hour round trip drive, either, but if I had a friend I truly enjoyed being with, I would make the sacrifice to do so if and when the occasion permitted. 


POD.  Me too. Frankly it tends to annoy me when I hear of someone taking a friend for granted like that. Yes an hour's drive is long, especially as a round trip, but for a good friend it's totally worth it.  I wish either of my closest friends were that close to me geographically but alas the closest one to me is about 900 miles from me.  I wouldn't mind driving 2 hours even for a really good friend. 

I think I'd be re-evaluating this too, as I'd be really hurt if a friend stood me up to go to a movie with someone else and left me hanging.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

BarensMom

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 11:21:02 AM »
Pumpkin Spice, I feel for you.  I have "friends" that live 5 miles away that can't seem to cross the insurmountable barrier known as a toll bridge for me.  My advice to dial way back with this woman, since it seems to be a one-way friendship.  Don't call her, don't make any plans with her, and start being "busy" when she calls.  I understand being controlled by illness, but deciding to ditch you to go to the mall is unforgivable.  Yes, you've known her since you two were 5, but it doesn't excuse the fact that she is being rude and is taking you for granted.

lowspark

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 11:45:42 AM »
She doesn't want to come over to your house. Period. She's made that clear. The fact that she doesn't even bother to confirm or decline by the day, and that she made other plans which communicated that she didn't give a flip about your invitation, indicates a lack of respect and esteem for you.

Now, do you want to continue being friends with her in light of this, knowing that whenever you see each other, it will be up to you to make the journey to her? If not, I can't say I blame you as I know people like that who feel that everyone should come to their side of town and they don't feel any obligation to reciprocate. If you do want to continue the friendship, then just resign yourself to the fact that she's not coming over and quit inviting her.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 12:10:28 PM »
OP, in your shoes, I'd be feeling hurt and sad too.  Not only does Jackie not come to see you, she doesn't even let you know she's not coming!  I get the whole "if I'm feeling up to it" due to her illness, but then she needs to let you know she's not up to visiting you, not just ignore you and let you figure it out from her absence.  Just because she's ill doesn't mean she gets to be rude and inconsiderate.

I agree with the other posters, stop putting in the effort.  Don't bother going to see her.  If she wants to see you, she knows where you are.  As for the phonecalls, does she ring you?  If she can't be bothered to call you, so you're doing all the phone-running (so to speak), I'd stop that too.  If she is calling you and you want to keep up the friendship, I'd stick with chatting on the phone.

And welcome to the forum. :)

Mental Magpie

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 12:16:20 PM »
I pretty much just agree with everyone else.

Pull back; don't call her, let her call you; and stop inviting her over.  I say the last bit because it only leaves you disappointed each and every time; don't put yourself through that.  Don't feel obligated to go to her house; only do it it you actually want to not because you feel like you should.

Welcome to the forum!
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

kudeebee

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 12:24:55 PM »
I pretty much just agree with everyone else.

Pull back; don't call her, let her call you; and stop inviting her over.  I say the last bit because it only leaves you disappointed each and every time; don't put yourself through that.  Don't feel obligated to go to her house; only do it it you actually want to not because you feel like you should.

Welcome to the forum!

My thoughts exactly.  I would like this friendship--if you can even call it that when it is definitely one-sided-- die a natural death.  If you happen to see her when you are in her town, great but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it or change any of my plans to do it either.

Girlie

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 12:45:54 PM »
The way you've described it, it seems to me that you've given her loads of leeway in this relationship because of her disease, which is really very thoughtful of you. However, there comes a time when something has nothing to do with disease or disability and everything to do with dedication to a friendship and having good manners.
Your friend seems to have crossed that line - long ago.

I've been where you are. I'm actually going through it to an extent right now, so I can sympathize.

From what I can see, you have two options that will ultimately allow you to sleep better at night:
1. Accept her the way she is. Accept that she has no desire to come see you in your home, and stop asking her to, because it just isn't that important to her. An hour really isn't THAT long that it could never be driven in two years - especially to see the new home of someone you speak to and see regularly. If you do this, then you can still talk to her on the phone, go visit her, whathaveyou, but you'll have to lower your overall expectations.
-OR-
2. Take away that while she enjoys your company, she really isn't so keen on a give-and-take relationship. This option allows you to step back, re-evaluate, and see if there's enough effort coming from her side to even worry about continuing the friendship. A relationship takes two people, after all.

Good luck, whatever you decide. Keep us updated, OP.

fountainof

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Re: Friend standing me up regularly.
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012, 01:12:38 PM »
I have a friend like this and what annoys me most is that I know she says to people Fountainof doesn't visit much and then it looks like I don't care about her and her issues but I am always the one that has to visit her and now I have grown tired of it.  In my friend's case it is because she had a baby and I guess with her she feels it is so hard to leave the house but at some point that is just an excuse.

In my friend's case, I see her every once and a while and would see her more if she would leave her home more but at this point after years of everything revolving around my friend I am kind of done.