I have a friend who, to put it bluntly, is a flake. He’s a lovely guy, a friend of mine for five years, but pinning him down for a social occasion is like trying to nail jelly to a moving wall. It’s bad enough when it’s me that has suggested a get-together and he flakes out at the last minute, but I’m starting to lose count of the number of times he has arranged something and then failed to turn up.
It’s got to the stage where I don’t even leave the house to meet him until he’s sent a “Where are you?” text to chase me up; otherwise I end up sitting in the pub nursing a white wine on my own, looking shifty. My friends and I all let him get away with it because it’s been his behavioural pattern the entire time we’ve known him; however, finally the patience is starting to run out. It’s an understanding among my friends that we all lead busy lives and don’t get to meet up as often as we would like – which makes it an even bigger slap in the face when Flakey flakes out yet again.
In this technologically advanced world, I refuse to believe that people are unable to let others know if they have to cancel plans at the last minute. Between text messaging, emails, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and a good old-fashioned telephone call, there’s a multitude of ways to let the person you are meeting know that you’re not going to turn up, saving them the indignity of being stood up.
However, even after the years of missed engagements and flakey behaviour, my friend doesn’t even quite win the crown of ‘Flakiest Friend’. That dubious honour goes to the guy who stood up my friends at their wedding.
His RSVP was sent and he even emailed them the day before saying how excited he was to see them get married and to celebrate with them – and then, nothing. He simply failed to materialise. If that wasn’t bad enough, he then disappeared off the face of the earth and didn’t even try to explain his absence from their special day.
Is it too much to ask for a little courtesy and a few manners in this day and age? In the case of some of my own friends, it seems the answer is yes. Read more by Alice.