There are times when I wonder if as I grow older I am giving people less chances because I am getting crochety, or if it’s simply that I am better at recognizing warning signs.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say I’ve known someone as a friend of a friend (whom we’ll call Raoul, because that is always my fake name for people be they male or female) for quite a few years. I run into Raoul at least once or twice a year, always been cordial. And through the world of social media, I’ve started to “know” Raoul a little better in terms of likes and dislikes, that sort of thing. I ran into Raoul this year, we chat for a while, and in the process it comes up that Raoul loves to go to museums and is simultaneously sick of friends whose sole social interaction is late-night boozing. And I said, “Hey, great, I love going to museums, next time I will let you know.”
So, fast forward a tiny bit. Planning on going to a museum with Charlie and a couple of other friends on a Saturday. So mid-week, I drop Raoul a line saying, “Hey, we’re going to the museum on Saturday, at this time to see that exhibit. We might grab food afterward, too. If you’re interested in coming that’d be great!”
…and I get no response. Not before, not during, not afterward. It’s been long enough that there won’t be even a belated response coming. And I have to admit that I’ve written Raoul off.
Not as a person, of course. That’d be overkill. But I have no real desire to invite Raoul along to anything else. It’s not that Raoul didn’t come (we all have our own plans going on after all) but rather that I sent the e-mail specifically to Raoul (not to a large group, at which point it’s vaguely acceptable to not reply) and got no response. It’s the whole, “Why should I go out of my way to invite you to things if you aren’t going to respond?” Especially since it’s not like I have a long history with Raoul where we’ve done tons of things together. If I run into Raoul I’ll certainly be friendly. Raoul is a nice enough person, there’s no anger. But no more invitations, I think.
Maybe I’m overthinking it. And it is certainly better than other behavior that gets you written off entirely. But the way I see it, I’ve got too many friends that I barely see as it is to try and add in someone who can’t even bother to respond. Why wait around for a non-responder?
Is it just me who feels this way?