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{22/03/2012}   Juggling your social life

Do you ever make plans with someone then wish you could change them for something you perceive to be more interesting? Do ever change plans to do what you want to do, perhaps by telling a porky to the person you want to blow out? Planning your social life can be a major juggling operation.

I have some friends who make plans months in advance and others who are more last minute. I am not about to moan about either, we all work in different ways. I find it difficult to make plans in advance of about two weeks, in part because I like it when things crop up and you can just go with them rather than having a dilemma as to whether it would be rude to cancel the longstanding plan. As my work times are unpredictable and I sometimes go away for work, often on a Sunday, I don’t like having to cancel weekend plans, but I have done it. Similarly, I don’t often make advance week day evening plans because I might be working late, finishing early or not working at all. I live in Folkestone and if I finish work at, say 12pm, I am more than likely not going to hang around, lugging equipment with me, until a, say, 6pm meet up. And neither, sorry, would I be keen to go home and come back out again maybe two hours later. I am the perfect person to call if you fancy a drink at a particular moment, there is a chance I will be up for it.

I don’t like canceling on other people and neither do I like being cancelled on. Well, there are always genuine reasons and canceling in advance of the day is fine. I used to have a friend (note the past tense) who would fit you in and make it sound like you should be honoured that s/he would be attending … for two hours between work drinks and a friend’s birthday and clubbing with old friends. Some people tend to stretch themselves a bit thin. I would rather see someone like that less frequently but for a whole evening of undivided mutual attention than to feel slotted into a clock watching social operation.

Some memorable nights/days out have been impromptu. A few years ago I used to have weekends booked up for the next two months or so. It used to really stress me out, especially as during some weeks you’d be really tired and just want to have a weekend at home doing very little, but train tickets were booked for Scotland, etc, etc. Now that’s a whole can of worms. I have friends who live in northerly parts of the country. It’s cripplingly expensive to make last minute plans to visit them. That really hacks me off.

As usual, I am skirting around valid points without making one good. Actually, I can’t think of a point, I just think it’s difficult to organise your social life, especially as everyone is so different in how they organise themselves. With some people, we have failed to make plans to meet, then a spontaneous “I’m passing” has resulted in an on-the-day catch up. I love that, it gives a sense of excitement and good fortune. I have also made plans months in advance and looked forward to them for all that time, another kind of social pleasure. I suppose what it boils down to is that everyone you want to see and spend time with, you do arrange to meet somehow. And with real friends, it doesn’t matter how much time has elapsed since you last met because when you see them, you will know your time is precious so it will be like there has merely been a pause in proceedings. But what then happens is you wish you arranged it more often because you had such a good time together. So maybe there’s a moral to this after all!

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