I’m going to go ahead and preface this post with some very important information because I don’t want there to be any confusion!
As a general rule, I’m starved for social attention and interaction on a constant basis. Being as I spend most of my free time making up songs and singing them to my dog, I am almost always up for doing something social. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in my pajamas, not showered, in bed, ready to go to sleep (ok at like 7:00pm) when someone has texted me being like “Let’s get coffee” and within 30 minutes I am ready and out the door. I really like doing stuff with my friends! So if I ever say I’m busy, the truth is that I probably actually for one time in my life am busy. Its probably a doctors appointment. I would say thats a pretty accurate assumption.
So with that in mind, here we go. I was at brunch this morning with my friend eating some delicious pancakes when she randomly asked me what I was doing tomorrow morning. I really didn’t think anything of it because a) I was probably free and b) like I said I like doing random things with people so I’m usually game for anything. Regardless, I said I was free and she asked me to accompany her on this volunteer thing which actually sounded really cool to me and I am really looking forward to it.
This however, got me thinking. How many times does some random acquaintance out of nowhere just spring you with “Hey so are you free tomorrow at 3pm?” While many times its totally innocent and it ends up being something you want to do, there is that small percentage of time when they are actually tricking you into doing something you don’t want to do. Example.
Person you kind of know sort of but aren’t really friends: Oh hey friend, what are you doing Thursday at 11:45 am?
You: ummmmm well that’s a very specific time,(looks at calendar) oh it appears nothing, why?
PYKOKSOBARF: Oh GREAT cause I need you to come over to my house and paint my room and then drive me 45 minutes away to some crazy event that you will hate!
You: Oh. (well, I can’t really say I’m busy now cause I just said I was free soo fml I’m stuck) Sounds Great!
If this situation is familiar to you, I sure can empathize. I’m sure many normal people have this situation happen and have no problem being like “Yeah right, that sounds terrible, ain’t nobody got time for that shit” because they generally have a little something called confidence and self respect. I however, do not. haha. So if someone asks me to do something and I don’t want to do it, 9 out of 10 times I’ll do it anyway. My friends know I do this all the time and I’ve done some pretty random and horribly awkward things just because someone tricked me with a simple question. For this reason I believe that all random acquaintances need to preface their request with WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS before springing times and availability on you. Yes, I may be free Saturday afternoon but that does NOT mean I am in anyway interested in spending an entire day listening to you complain about first world problems while I do all your housework because you don’t feel like doing it. If you had SAID that was what this Saturday would entail, I would have said I was busy! And by busy, I mean sitting at Starbucks reading or watching 12 hours of Netflix.
I say random people you know need to do this, because I don’t think this problem is really as applicable with friends. For me anyway. If you are my friend, I generally want to hang out with you and if you ask me to do something that I’m not like super excited about, I can usually back out with no problem. But those sneaky people who come out of nowhere and ambush you with nonsense requests that turn into torturous (but sometimes ultimately funny) experiences seem to be lurking around every corner! No I don’t want to move you into your new apartment, that sounds terrible! No, I don’t want to babysit the children that you constantly complain about how terrible they are and how its not even worth the money! But will I do it? Of course I will. Because I have no backbone.
Anyone reading this post can be almost certain that they have no cause to worry about this problem with me. The few people that consistently do this to me are in no way connected to me through the internet. So if you are friends with me on the internet, I probably like you in real life too. I realize that this post makes me seem like a terrible person, but I felt as though it was my duty to warn people of the dangers associated with a simple question. If someone you don’t know very well asks about your availability, I suggest being extremely vague at first until you know what they are asking you to do. Otherwise, you’ll end up on a date with someone who wants you to drive him to AA and tells you his entire psychiatric history within the 30 minutes of meeting him. (that actually happened to me, no lie.)