Monday, November 12, 2012


I was raised to treat others as you would have them treat you. It's a Christian thing. Or, at very least a decent thing to do. But, I am beginning to lose respect for people who don't/can't respond to some form of contact within a reasonable amount of time.  I do understand we are all busy with our professional and personal lives, but that is NO excuse for NOT responding to a message, email, text, or voicemail within a reasonable amount of time. Well, maybe there are some excuses; like accident, hospitalization or death, either yours or that of a loved one. So, what is reasonable?

I have sent out a couple of requests to groups who review books and asked them to review mine and have not heard back from them. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Maybe they're trying to find someone who wants to review it for them. They didn't even acknowledge my request. Maybe this is part of the business. I don't know.

I'm also talking about personal messages. I have a group of friends and we get together frequently. Sometimes it can take them a week (or two!) to respond to an invitation, and I know they are busy. We've had this conversation. As I love them dearly, I have come to accept that this quirk comes with this group.

But, what happens when it's someone new?

In the past few months, I've suggested to a couple of different guys I've met online that we actually meet. I am trying to increase my social circle and not necessarily date, at this time. With one of the guys we had decided on a place but not a definite time, and with the other we had settled on a day, but no time or place. Both times, the men have indicated their interest in meeting up with me; "Sounds great!", and "I'd love to!" and one guy even asked me, "When are you available?" Both times, the men have not followed through to my last message. So, they've left me hanging. What's up with that?

The messages have gone through Facebook, which lets me know that they have seen the message, so they can't say they never received it. I even know what time it was when they read it. One of the guys suggested we meet when his schedule freed up a bit. It hasn't freed up in over a month. Really? And he hasn't contacted me suggesting he's still interested in the outing, or not. The other one never confirmed the location or time. He saw my last message the day before we were to meet. As of today, I have not received any explanation, or apology. So, I feel he stood me up. Can you be stood up if it wasn't a date?

I don't understand this way of communicating. In the stone age, before all this new-fangled gadgetry and instant communication, there was always the possibility of messages never being received. Now, with smartphones, I see no reason why messages can't be returned after a reasonable time. But, again what is reasonable? After all, the smartphone has access to email, voicemail, text, and Facebook, all right in your pocket or purse. And there is a calendar built in (usually) to the phone. Many of us work, whether at home with the family, or at a job of some sort. We have breaks, it is the law. Take the phone into the restroom while you're on the john. No one needs to know. I just don't get this lack of common courtesy.

One of my gay friends says this is the way it is. Get used to it and use it, he says, to separate the wheat from the chaff. But, does it have to be this way? Is not returning messages the new rejection?

I'm not innocent in this, I admit. There have been times where I have stopped communicating with people, but that was because I felt uncomfortable, maybe threatened. Maybe I had gotten what I needed from that person and it was time to move on. So, I did. Maybe too abruptly, maybe because I felt there would be no good in expressing my opinion, maybe I felt there was no longer anything in common.

Maybe I'm too sensitive, perhaps I should develop a thicker skin. But, I'm afraid I'd become jaded if I did. Maybe I'm trying too hard to simply make friends and expecting too much. Like civility. Like communication. Like courtesy. But, if this is the way things go in platonic situations, what happens when it's a bit more stepped up, like possibly dating and revealing your vulnerabilities? What then?

It sure makes me want to remain single.

As for what is a reasonable amount of time; I say, a day or two, at the most. What say you?


  1. You sound a little miffed today. Unfortunately, people no longer TALK to each other on a phone. It's messaging, texting, FB, Twitter, and while some friends can be gained others seem to fade into the distance. That's something I've experienced. Remember, Emily Post's lessons have gone out the window! (It's one old, old book I refuse to remove from the Senior Center bookshelf.) Real friends acknowledge you; new acquaintances may just have too many other people in their lives. It's hard not to feel detection when one reaches out. It's like getting the hand slapped. You're right, that's the time to go on with one's life, take the dog for a walk, go out and have a delicious lunch or dinner, and look at the stars and feel the warm breeze. Life is good if we just enjoy what is around us, so often it doesn't include people.

    1. I am miffed. I saw a picture comparing what it meant to hang out with friends in different eras. One picture showed people talking over coffee, laughing and seemingly enjoying themselves. The other picture showed everyone engaged with their phones ignoring the others.

      Perhaps I over-fantasized that these guys would make good friends. Perhaps that's what makes it hurt all that more, which then angers me.

      I just don't understand.

      Maybe I'll just let people come into my life, instead of going after them. I just need to be where the right people are.

    2. Jeff, if we lived closer together, I'd call you and say, "Let's go have coffee and a bagel. I'm buying." Then we could sit and chat and evaluate the guys that came into the cafe! We could rate them from 1 to 10! VBG Lay down those bristles, and put a little Irish cream in your coffee! Add to my tomorrow's list: Stop at the State run liquor store and pick up some Irish Cream! VBG (P.S. You'd like the guys here in our valley. This is a University town and students and prof's come in regularly.)