Sunday, March 9, 2008

it's ok for someone else to drive through a storm for us

I need to rant.

So I have this friend I used to work with years ago. She's very smart and highly amusing. However, she and her husband are almost hermit-like in their dedication to never going out. They have used every excuse in the book to get out of events, such as home renovations, someone's imminent death, a possible and crucial phone call, a fender-bender, and even once the loss of too much blood during her period for her to drive the car. Whatever. We've made a lot of plans over the last while, and the last time I saw her was in 2004.

So the crazy twosome invited me over for a dinner party last night. The weather forecast as of last Wednesday said there would be a massive snowstorm all night Friday and all day Saturday (in freaking March, but that's a whole other issue). Their house is not walking- or public transit-distance from my house. Call me crazy, but, while I have great snow tires, I'm not so keen on driving through massive storms unless it's a matter of life and death.

Thursday I dropped her an email and offered, "the weather's not supposed to be so good. Should we cancel?" I figured that with these people, any out would be immediately embraced. Not so much. Friday I tried again. I called on the pretense of telling them what I was bringing, and casually mentioned the weather issue again. No dice.

Saturday I got a bit panicky. I went for a walk in the storm in the afternoon and there was so very, very much snow. It was blowing horizontally. But I figured three tries on tactfully bailing would be too much, given that I was invited to someone else's house, and I hadn't seen them in so long. So I resigned myself to driving.

That afternoon, Sunny texted to check whether I was still going. One hour before, Sunny texted again to see if I were really going. I could barely see out of my window. 45 minutes before the dinner, I was putting on my coat and packing up the cupcakes I'd baked when my phone rang.

Friend was calling to tell me that her husband said the weather seemed "kinda bad" and that she should probably check to see if I still wanted to come. She threw in that the plow had not actually been up her street (apparently a small detail to her). Clearly, I took the out and declined.

Really, the people who do anything to get out of stuff themselves waited until I was on the verge of risking life and limb to give me an out? Ridiculous, no?



fg said...

I'm disappointed in you, Rainy. Why did your friends have to give you an out? Why couldn't you just tell them you weren't going to risk the drive?? I also had dinner plans at a friend's on Saturday, but I cancelled as soon as it was clear that the weather was not co-operating.

complain away said...

Ah yes, I always forget about the white bread world, sorry. I should have explained that I'm the offspring of immigrants who take hosting and entertaining very seriously. In my house, my mother would cook and clean for 3 days before guests came over (and over Christmas she cooked and cleaned for 3 days while throwing up frequently because of food poisoning!). So I was taught at a very young age that the only possible excuses for not showing up at someone's house (when he or she has presumably cooked and cleaned for 3 days) are actual death and a cancellation on the part of the host.

So perhaps this rant doesn't work for people who were raised by non-immigrant "normal" folks. I wish I could be part of your world... :)

Emory said...

A two link response.

The first supports fg's comment; I would that their is an artful way to dodge such situations.

And this one is why I do not suffer the idnignation of horizontal snow.

Enjoy... please.

Complaint Department Manager said...

I must agree with the consensous. Rainy, if ya want lessons in crude western behavior 101, I have a class I'll be teaching next semester...

Anonymous said...

My husband is also a first generation American, raised by immigrant parents. I understand the need some people have to have everything perfect for company! We've run into a different problem, though. We live 700 miles away from family and visit twice a year. A few years back when we were there for a 7 day summertime visit, we were getting all sorts of pressure to drive an additional 3 hours to see another family member because, you know, 'he lives so far away and has a small child it's just so hard for him to drive here'. Hmmmm. Odd. We live 12 hours away, he lives 3 hours away, he had a small child, we had a small child, we were on a fairly short vacation, he visits the hometown monthly, we don't...and we were supposed to go see him? We didn't do it. That same situation came up once at Christmas. When my son was born we drove 12 hours to be up there for Christmas. My son was only 6 days old when we left to drive up there, and I had had an emergency c-section! Off we went anyway, because we wanted to be up there for Christmas. Fast forward a couple of years later. The other family members have a baby a month before Christmas. Remember, they live 3 hours away. Again people ask us to drive up to see them because they just had a baby a month before and it's hard to travel! ACK! There were no health problems, there was no c-section, but the baby was just new and it was hard to travel. I just looked at the people asking us to drive up there and inquired as to if they recalled when we drove 12 hours with a 6 day old after I had just had a c-section so we could enjoy the holidays with them. That put an end to THAT conversation! They haven't bugged us like that again.