In Defence Of Your Flaky Friend

Telling the time is HARD.

Kamil Macniak / Shutterstock / Robyn Wilder

1. She’s so sorry that she missed your birthday.
2. Like, so sorry.
3. You wouldn’t believe how sorry she is.
4. Here, have an embarrassingly enormous present to overcompensate for her not making your birthday.
5. It’s not that she doesn’t care. It really, REALLY isn’t.
6. It’s mainly because she was relying on Facebook to tell her when your birthday was.
7. … You know what she’s like with dates …
8. But then she forgot her Facebook password, and all was lost.
9. And she’s really sorry that she missed your birthday party, too.
10. Here, have an unhealthy number of free drinks to make up for that.
11. Also this cake.
12. You see, she thought you said the party was on Tuesday, not Thursday.
13. ‘Tuesday’ does sound quite a lot like ‘Thursday’, to be fair.
14. And she has Pilates on Tuesdays, so she couldn’t come.
15. Hmm, what? Pilates?
16. Oh yeah, she hasn’t been for weeks. She always thinks Pilates is on Thursdays, not Tuesdays.
17. Anyway, she’s really sorry, but she can’t make this Thursday.
18. This Thursday she’s seeing that friend she accidentally double-booked on Sunday.
19. She’s all too aware of how this all makes her sound.
20. A total, unbearable flake. She knows this.
21. She’d hate to think that you assumed she was cancelling on you at the last minute just to hang out with someone ‘better’, or without any sort of remorse.
22. Because that’s really not the case.
23. It’s a combination of things, really.
24. Here, have another apology-cake while she explains how it is.
25. Often, she over-commits herself. In a fit of saying ‘yes’ to life she’ll accept so many social invitations in the same week that she’ll either have to cancel a couple, or choose between forgoing eating, sleeping or using the toilet for a couple of days.
26. And then, it totally sucks, but it’s a case of cancelling on the people who are least likely to give you immense shit about cancelling.
27. That’s you. Sorry.
28. Or she’ll breathily accept a party invitation and realise, too late, that she’s expected to be vivacious and conversational after she’s spent a day inputting data, sucking the end of a pencil and surreptitiously Googling ‘how to sensitively tell my colleague about his BO’.
29. Sometimes the world is just too much and, on the night of a social event, her only options are to a) turn off her phone and crawl into bed with Netflix and pizza for the night, or b) go quietly insane.
30. Quite frequently, it’s because she wrote the time and venue down on the back of her hand at 9.30am, and it’s now 7pm and the back of her hand reads ‘smrrrt’.
31. But, hey, it’s nice to know that your friends wash their hands semi-well, right?
32. And then there are the times, like tonight, where she does show up - but she’s 45 minutes late.
33. This is due to many things.
34. Poor planning.
35. Mistakenly thinking her planning skills are awesome.
36. Not being an ACTUAL FUCKING COMPASS so that, when Google Maps tells you to ‘head east’ you head in a direction that you think ‘looks’ easterly, and go in entirely the wrong direction for 25 minutes (that’s 20 minutes of actual walking, and five minutes trying to figure out how to turn back without looking like an idiot).
37. She realises that a lot of this is down to her being a) tired, b) slightly introverted at times, and c) an idiot.
38. And that there are ways to improve flakiness.
39. For example, having the presence of mind to think realistically about how much time and energy she might have before an event.
40. Or having the courage to say ‘no’, if she thinks that, in the moment she might not be up for a big party.
41. Then explaining why to the person who invited her, so they don’t assume that she doesn’t like them.
42. And maybe suggesting an alternative activity that she might be more amenable to.
43. Also, just generally being more aware of her own limits.
44. And, I dunno, actually using the diary and calendar functions on her phone.
45. Or carrying around an actual diary and/or calendar.
46. She will work on all this, she promises.
47. In the meantime, she hopes you realise that she’ll always be there for you when it counts.
48. Like, if someone ever breaks your heart.
49. Or if you break someone’s nose.
50. Or if you need to drunkenly bawl down the phone at someone at 3am, because you broke someone’s nose after they broke your heart.
51. Or if you ever need some sort of nose-breaking alibi.
52. Or a place to crash.
53. She will be there for you IMMEDIATELY.
54. Because she may be a flake, but she’s also your friend.
55. Although she cannot make any promises about knowing which way is east.

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