General Etiquette > general

Canceling for this afternoon's event

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A little over two weeks ago, I invited friend to an event taking place this afternoon.  She said she would "definitely be there".

Well, she just texted me that she can't come because she's getting over the flu and doesn't want to spread germs.  Wouldn't she have known that she was getting over the flu before the morning of the event?  Should she have let me know earlier?  Yesterday, I had prepared special food just for her, as she has a restricted diet.

My ire may be colored by the fact that friend has a long history of both canceling at the last minute, and hypochondria.

Maybe she thought she would be feeling better by then? I know I am probably grasping at straws.

If she has a history of this I would stop inviting her. Or at least not going to any extra lengths to accommodate her dietary restrictions. Maybe in future just organise times and dates that wont cause extra work, like popping in for an afternoon coffee or meeting up in a cafe that is close to another errand you need to run (ie - next to the supermarket or post office)

Only you can know for sure if she's pulling your leg or not, but illness is one of the generally accepted etiquette allowances for backing out of a commitment.  Given the history, you might be better served not to invite her to stuff or prepare anything specially, but if I was another guest at this get-together I'd prefer she stay home if she's got a contagious disease.

As to knowing if she was getting over the flu, she might have thought until this morning that she'd be well enough to attend, and it's taking longer than she thought to shake it off.  The polite action is to give her the benefit of the doubt, although again, if you have your suspicions then consider today the next time you're building a guest list.


If someone bailed on me repeatedly, I'd stop inviting them to events.  If I continued to invite them to events I was hosting, I'd certainly stop making special food for them.

Part of me would want to reply back "Sorry to hear this.  I wish you had told me sooner, though, so that I could have found someone else to come along." because I'd want them to know they have inconvenienced me.  (I wouldn't mention the food part, as that sounds like something you chose to do to be nice, and I'm not sure if it was required of you.)  I'd definitely make this the last event I ever invite this friend to, and not make any plans with her again.


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