Friday, October 26, 2012

Santa Shoebox and {Friendship Friday} - am I too literal?

my 3 boxes - the ladies LOVED the bottom one (!)
I love the checklist printed on the labels

People, I am too busy.

I thought the drop-off was Thurs and Fri and it was actually Wed and Thurs for my area. So I'm putting on a new cell phone cover and a message comes through.

"Your boxes must be dropped off before 8 pm tonight".

I freak, go check and sure enough - yesterday is the 25th!

Mad rush once D got home and I made it with a half hour to spare. Crazy!!!

Thank goodness they were all ready.


So I have 10 minutes to write this part (9 now) :)

I was wondering this week if I'm too literal.

Case in point:

1. Friend emails - Hi Marcia, I miss you. We should get together. What about supper?"

I say yes, we set a date. I know friend is 50% flakey so I don't panic too much when I realise I'm actually double-booked and sure enough the weekend before, I get an sms cancellation.

No problem, I say, let's reschedule. Let me know a new date that suits you.

And friends in the computer, I'm still waiting.

Another eg.

2. I email something, no reply, phone and yes, everything is fine - kids, hubby, friend, etc. Okay, email again another week. Nothing in particular, just a friendly, chatty mail. Also I text when that doesn't work.

Finally I'm about to just give up because remember reciprocity?

Then I think NO, you need to try harder, Marcia.

So I set up a lunch date to which I get a decline with sorry, I'm just so busy, no suggestion as to alternatives, nothing.

Now you all know I am as busy as most people in Jhb (in fact, I'm constantly working on being less busy) so I get the literal-ness but really, if I want to meet with someone I'll say "Friend, thank you SO MUCH for the invite. Honestly, that's a terrible time for me work-wise but how about on such and such date?" 

For me this shows that my intention is definitely to connect with you, I'm not blowing you off, but I truly am too busy.

Also do you think that people feel guilty about accepting an invite if they feel they "owe" you one first?

My one friend keeps saying WE need to come there (we probably do) but she doesn't actually set a date and invite. The friend doesn't read this blog ;)

So... do you think I'm too literal and no-one actually means the things they say, they're just being polite? Or are these people in fact "busy" or are they blowing me off?


  1. Take my hat off to you!! Even though you're so busy you did 3 boxes!
    As for the friend thing... I can't really comment because I'm shocking at keeping in touch and replying nicely

  2. Great going on the boxes! Ai, Marcia, I am short of giving up on a friend. And on the other hand I feel that I am not doing enough for my other friends. Guess I am just not in a good friend space atm

  3. The checklists were great :)

    I am usually the friend too busy at the moment blowing people off because I just can not fit it all in. When I say it I really do mean it and with Davids racing and the big kids school commitments I often cant offer another date because it may be fine but then a gala gets moved to that date or D has a race or I book a party.

  4. Your boxes are so pretty!
    I hear what you are saying and no, you are not too literal. I think that sometimes people are just being polite. To be honest, it's a tough one. Remember my friend that was constantly blowing me off because she was "busy?" Meanwhile she was being cut off from the world by her abusive prick partner? One never knows what is really going on. So what I usually do is to set something up - you do get people that are talkers and not d-oers. Also, this is an insane time of year so many people (myself included) cut down on some of the social activity. I really don't know if people feel guilty about accepting stuff. I know that I don't!

  5. Lesley7:56 pm

    I totally know what you mean! I used to really believe everything people said to me regarding meeting up or phone calls. One friend used to end our phone conversations by saying 'I'll ring you tomorrow' or 'ring me tomorrow' and i used to rearrange my schedule so i was there to make or receive a call - and it never happened.
    A while back someone else said to me on Facebook 'when we going to meet up?' I then in boxed her only to hear nothing back. I now dont really pay much attention to this kind of 'arrangement'. It has to be a concrete plan before I get excited about it.
    I do think people say things just to be polite. Dont really understand that myself : )

    1. thank you for not making me feel like I'm going mad!!!

  6. That's frustrating, Marcia. If I were you, I'd probably start feeling a bit pi$$y after a few unanswered exchanges about getting together. It's such a hard line, though.

    Honestly, my first gut is to think, "If you can't take the time to respond to my emails, I really have better things to do with my time." But that's easy to say and harder to really accept (for me, anyway). Then I tend to think, "But what if something is wrong?" And that's usually where I land. Do you remember reading in The Happiness Project, "Assume positive intent"? I think that most people have positive intentions.

    Still, after some point in time, do you have to take a stand? If that friendship is really important to you, to call them on the phone and 'fess up that you're frustrated / concerned / whatever with the communication. You value the friendship and want to make time to get together. If, after that, you don't get a response / explanation, then maybe it's time to move forward?


    1. Mandy, exactly!!! and that's what the lunch was for because I've only seen email/ phone "I'm getting frustrated" conversations go wrong!!!


      ps thanks for the laugh about feeling pi$$y!

  7. Your box frenzy = pretty much how I deal with everything! Last minute, last minute, last minute! xo

    1. Aimee, you're a P!!! I don't deal well with the last minute :)

  8. Glad you got your shoeboxes in. Ours would be dropped today. The checklist makes life easy.

    You know your friend as flakey so I might not be too bothered if said friend keeps blowing me off. Though being the over thinker and over analyzer that I am I'll think up every possible scenario in my head!

    Maybe she is genuinely busy maybe she's blowing you off you might never find out but I would give her the benefit of the doubt and give her a call to check that everything is ok and if she wants to talk or meet up she knows where to find you.

    To your question many people are just being polite . Wish life was just black and white and not shades of grey (LOL)

  9. Your boxes look really pretty Marcia. :-)

    I think that in general people do say those kinds of things without meaning it - and this time of the year especially. It's not called silly season for nothing. Everyone is running around like crazy trying to get everything done before the end of the year.

    My advice would be to put it out of your mind till at least the new year. And if you get blown off again, then maybe let it go?


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