Thursday, 26 February 2015
The Coffee Lie
I should preface this blog post by saying that I'm a little pissed off at the moment. No, no, that's not true. I'm a LOT pissed off at the moment. And that anger has led to hurt, and confusion......and this blog post.
I've learned something very important over the past few months. A life lesson of sorts. And it's this......the world's biggest lie:
"We should go for coffee."
It's a lie! Not a tiny fib. Not a good intention gone awry. Not a minor slip of the old memory. It's a lie. It's what people say to you to end a conversation. To make themselves feel better about not really wanting to talk to you any more via whatever forum they are currently talking to you - Facebook, email, in person God forbid! They just come out with it - "We should go for coffee." To which you reply, "That would be great. Let me know what works for you." And that, my friends, is the end of it. For real. THE. END.
You can even follow up with them:
- "Hey there. Did you still want to get that coffee?"
- "Yeah totally. Been really busy lately. I'll let you know what works for me"
And then.....yeah....you know the drill. THE. END.
I give people the benefit of the doubt most of the time. Although maybe I should stop! I assume that life got busy, kids got sick, work was nutty, etc, etc. That is life. I get it. And I am guilty myself of telling someone that things are crazy busy and that now is not really a great time for me. But that's what makes me a grown up! If you invite me for coffee and I say "You know what, my kid has been sick all week and I am still on a quest for full-time employment (true story!), can I get back to you when things slow down?" - that's the truth. My truth. My reality. It means that I would love to go for coffee with you, but that now is just not a good time. And when now becomes a good time, I get in touch with you and we have that coffee date.
I have so many examples of "The Coffee Lie" in my text and email history it's not even funny. I wonder, at times, whether this is a universal issue or if the vast majority of my friends and acquaintances have an aversion to coffee with me, specifically. Seriously!
I have followed up with these people to make sure they are ok. To touch base in case they are going through something difficult. They will use me for 5 minutes of chit chat or to unload, but when I ask "Hey, did you still want to get that coffee?" the same old same old comes out - "Yeah! Totally! I'll message you some dates." THE. END.
The best is when THEY are the one who suggests getting together and then it falls flat. You agree that coffee or lunch would be great. You send them some dates and times that would work for you. They did say we should get together after all. And then you get radio silence. THE. END.
I'm usually pretty clear and concise with my writing but I am so livid right now that I know this is turning into a blabbering mess. One of my very first posts on this blog was called "Friendship - The Two-Way Street That Wasn't." Sadly, things have not changed. Not only have they not changed but my attempts to rekindle or start new friendships with people who were once just friendly acquaintances have fallen flat as well. What the hell is going on?!?!
Do you already have enough friends and there is no more room in your heart or your calendar for one more?! If that is the case then lucky you.
Are you afraid to actually commit to plans because something better, more interesting, or more important may come up?! If that is the case then good luck keeping any friends.
Or have you decided that you really don't want to have coffee with me and are just too afraid to say so?! If that is the case then I suggest you grow a pair. Seriously! We are adults here. If you don't want to pursue or maintain a friendship with me then that is your prerogative, but at least be adult enough to say so. I'm a big girl. I can handle it. And quite frankly, if this is the way you treat your friends then I probably don't want to be one of them anyway.
I know I sound angry. And I am. But it also hurts. It hurts that people whom you thought were your friends don't really want to spend time with you, despite the effort to do so on your part. It hurts that people you felt wanted to get to know you better (hence them inviting you for coffee) really don't, and that was just their "exit" from the conversation.
And it hurts because when you move to a new town at 40 years old you want to make new friends. You want to maintain old friendships. And you want to be open and willing to meet new people so you don't feel so alone. And so when someone says to you - "We should go for coffee" - you get excited, you check you calendar, you get back to them, you think they really do want to spend time with you.....except.....they don't.
It's just The Coffee Lie.