I did my age old trick today,and bailed on meeting up with someone.
And I think he’s pissed off with me.
We had planned to go to a market about 15 miles away and I had suggest going early, but he wanted to play it by ear as it’s Sunday and he wanted a lie in. So, by the time we arranged a time, and I got on the road, the traffic was hellish.
Presumably down to Christmas shoppers.
Fuck people, it’s mid November! What’s the rush?
So I’m sitting there, getting rather irate as I go into the old ‘first, second, horn’ routine as Homer Simpson would say, and the ‘let’s cancel’ dialogue starts to play out in my head.
Well I say dialogue, but it’s more of me justifying it and the other me agreeing, so it’s not exactly a debate.
It’s that ‘bad parent’ colluding with the ‘child’, as Aunty C would say.
It’s goes something like this:
Child me: Look I’ve been sat in this traffic for half an hour and was meant to be there by now, it’s going to take me at least another hour, I’ll only be at the market for a couple of hours, then back on the road to face this hell again!
BP me: You’re right, it’s a total waste of time!
Child me: And the amount of petrol I’m spunking away! I’m not working y’know and can’t afford to waste money like this.
BP me: That’s a very responsible attitude.
Child me: David won’t mind, Anna is with him; they won’t miss me, and I would have felt like a bit of a gooseberry anyway.
BP me: And imagine if you couldn’t get a parking space? They might all be gone by now, it is nearly afternoon.
Child me: I know! This is all David’s fault, so he can’t blame me for not coming!
BP me: Also, your old boss doesn’t live that far from there imagine if you bumped into him!
Child me: I’d sooner not thanks. Do you think he will mind?
BP me: I doubt it, but give him a call and see what he says.
So I do. And of course he says don’t worry about it, the market isn’t all that and he’s fine with me turning around and heading for home.
Which I do.
But by the time I get back an hour later and make a cup of tea, I feel like a right lemon because I’m sat there thinking ‘What am I going to do with the rest of my day?’
As if I’d stayed in the car and toughed it out, I would have been there by now, wandering around with Dave and Anna, having fun and a bit of banter, scoffing street food and probably finding a few bargains there to boot.
I drop Dave a text asking him if they’re having fun and I’m met with stony silence.
He might not have got it.
He might be busy.
He might not have a signal.
But I don’t think that’s the case.
I’m puzzled. Why would he care? It’s not like I’ve left him on his own like Billy-no-mates, he has his girlfriend to wander around with so I haven’t sent him there alone on a fool’s errand then stood him up?
Then the penny dropped that maybe it’s not that simple.
Sometimes couples get bored with one another or they have a spat, and seeing an ‘outsider’ can break that divide and bring them back together.
I hadn’t seen Anna for ages and maybe she was looking forward to catching up with me.
Maybe my view of myself, i.e. a sad old tag along to their perfectly united two isn’t quite how they see things?
Maybe they, shock horror, actually enjoy my company?
Plus, the biggest realisation of all is that when I do this I make myself dispensable because in the end, people don’t expect me to turn up, miss me when I don’t, or think to invite me to anything again.
Or if it does occur to them, they dismiss it because they think I will cancel yet again.
And I wonder why I end up lonely, when the reason is that I do this all the time, i.e. if the person i am meant to be meeting is not alone, I think it’s OK to bail.
And now I’m sat on the sofa bored, wondering whether I can face another 9 hours in front of the TV alone.
I get it now.
I know this is down to my illness and that when I’m having a bad spell, everything is an anti climax and that’s what makes me have such a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. But on the rare times that I have forced myself turn up against my will, I’ve usually surprised myself and had a good time after all.
I forgive myself.
But I’m going to try really hard not to do this again.
Then, they’ll miss me when I genuinely can’t make it. And hopefully, keep inviting me to stuff.