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Jan 25, 2009 12:53 PM

Why do we suddenly need to confirm plans?!?

What is with this? Ok, I get if you schedule, say, a dinner out with a group of people a week in advance it's a good idea to just double-check that everyone can make it the day of, or the day before. Although frankly, if I'm invited to an event I don't expect or need a confirmation, I just show up, AS PLANNED, unless told not to.

So, I've been away off and on for the Holidays and vacation time in Germany, and have a friend that has wanted to get together. She called this week and asked if I had plans this weekend, I said no and we tentatively planned to go hiking Sunday (today). Last night I sent her a text confirming hiking at 4 followed by me cooking dinner. She replied, via text, "sure, sounds good". Here it is, 4:45 and I've heard nothing from her. I've started dinner, my first ever attempt at homemade rolls no less!, and she just calls wondering if "we're still on?" Umm, why wouldn't we be? Granted, it's cold out (35ish degrees), but I cold see showing up at the correct time and deciding on a glass of wine instead of a hike, but to just not show up unless I confirmed? Now, she's still coming over because I let her know that from my perspective it was always "on". So now she's going to show up at 7 for a dinner I'd planned around 6. Guess my first rolls will have to be served cold with a side of, "I'm pissed off".

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  1. I'm this something that has been happening alot of late..with many people? One example does not an alarming new trend make.......

    2 Replies
    1. re: im_nomad

      Well, I thought it was just me (even before this instance), so didn't think much of it, but I've recently seen it pop up on some etiquette sites. It's even a question on the etiquette column on this site, although I must confess to not being a fan. I guess that's the point of my post, are other people experiencing a similar phenomenon where they have firm plans, but neglect to call/email/text to remind the group that it's still on, and, as a result, people don't show up? Maybe I just have inconsiderate friends. Afterall, the friend tonight did show up 20 minutes late...

      1. re: mjhals

        Wait she showed up at seven twenty instead of seven? Gah. Yeah this is a trend I think. People like to keep their options open, in case a better offer comes along, or they just don't feel like it when the time comes. People sometimes want to do what they want, when they want and the hell with planning. To do this and still have a social life, they need flexible accomodating friends who are ready to switch thing up at the last minute. Guess which one I am? If I don't stop bending to everyone's whim pretty soon I'm going to get whiplash from all the u-turns I make in my social planning. Hope your rolls turned out anyway.

    2. I think there's just a general loss of the ability to make decisions or commitments in our society. I'm not even going to try to say why.

      1 Reply
      1. re: yayadave

        I'm willing to commitment to agreeing with you!

        In observations within my various groups, this seems to happen more when the planning is by e-mail rather than phone or person to person.

      2. I'm with you mjhals. If I've been invited somewhere and have accepted I assume that it's "on" unless I hear otherwise.

        However, if the weather is extremely bad (it's been -20s here often this winter with blowing snow and poor visibility) I will get in touch with the other party the day before (if the storm has been forecasted) or early in the day to see what's going on or let them know that I can't make it anymore. Usually in that situation everyone's been advised to stay off the roads anyway so they're rarely surprised.

        1. I had a friend send an e-mail recently about an hour before our party asking "are you still having your get together tonight?" I was flabbergasted - did he think we would have sent out invites and just cancelled without telling anyone? He had not given us an RSVP - maybe this was his way of confirming? In the end he did come. I should note that he is a very sweet guy, not at all rude or thoughtless normally.

          What I'm wondering is - are people having to confirm because they've had an experience of the host/hostess dropping a plan they've made? Maybe this calling to confirm is a reaction to prior experience. We all complain about guests who don't bother to confirm/keep plans. Maybe there are equally rude hosts out there contributing to the problem.

          5 Replies
          1. re: lupaglupa

            I think what your friend meant was, "I forgot to RSVP and I am wondering if I am still welcome?" He didn't really think the party was cancelled, but he was feeling a little sheepish and possibly even giving you an "out", if you hadn't planned on him coming and couldn't accomodate him last-minute.

            1. re: julesrules

              We're realy good friends and he's not the type to do something like that - I really think he was sincerely asking if it was still on.

            2. re: lupaglupa

              I agree with the experience of hosts who are known to drop plans last minute etc. I have a friend who regularly has cancelled parties and such to the degree that people feel the need to ultra-confirm.

              I think it's perfectly polite to contact a host/hostess before a party to confirm plans, also gives an opportunity to confirm "is there anything I can bring?" Guests who need to be reminded of the fact that they agreed to come and otherwise don't show....well that's another story.

              1. re: lupaglupa

                lupaglupa- this made me laugh out loud. i haven't yet experienced the 'are you still having it' phenomenon, but i have noticed that people don't commit to coming anymore. i sincerely hope hosts and hostesses have not started dropping their party plans last-minute. then we would truly know the end of days is near. ha ha

                1. re: njchowgal

                  This is a problem for caterers too, nobody seems to book until the last minute. It's definitely a trend.

              2. I'm not seeing this trend with my friends but then we kind of distance ourselves a bit from the people that do this to us. We have one friend who we tolerate but never count on and never wait for but we love here anyway. That is the exception. She and her hubby often don't get invited to smaller gatherings because it is annoying. I think it is just lack of consideration for other people. I'm old fashioned - I show up on time. I usually call the hostess (if close friend) on the way and ask if there is anything they need. Often we've been asked to stop for ice, etc. so someone doesn't have to run out for something forgotten. Lousy trend!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Linda VH

                  I have a similar flaky friend and one way our small group handled it was to make our plans (date, time, place) without consulting her, then invite her along for the ride, so to speak. It just felt way less annoying when were weren't working around her to make the plans she would eventually flake on. Then if she showed up, great, if not, oh well.

                  1. re: Linda VH

                    yeah I know a couple of people like the "flaky" you of them I know has a bit of social often has good intentions when accepting, but things change on the day. Some people are just in a winter funk or what not as well, and might need an extra push. Sometimes we like to be talked into stuff. Or maybe parties are a sore point between someone and their SO, and they're prone to pre-party arguments, and end up not coming.

                    I'm not normally a flaky person, and i'm good with keeping plans and such. I relay the experience of a few years ago, post-bad-breakup, for a little while when with very good intentions and a desire to get back "out there", I accepted a few invitations that I ended up bailing on the day, when I couldn't give myself the kick in the arse I needed. I'm sure I annoyed a couple of people around then.