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26 September 2008

Sticky situation [More:]A close friend invited me to see one of my old friends perform his music on Saturday night. I said I would go. Close friend emails me back and says, "Yay! Bonnie and Clyde might come too."

I do not like Clyde. He gives me the creeps. I don't want to socialize with him. Clyde is related to my friend. I can't come out and say, "I'm not going if Clyde is going."

What to do? Make an excuse? Lie? I suck at this. I don't like doing it.
Just tell your friend privately and calmly "I'm sorry, but I'd really rather not hang out with Clyde. So I think I'm going to skip this one." There's nothing to suck at here. You don't even have to give a reason; if pressed, you can even say 'It's nothing I can explain, he's a fine person, I just don't enjoy his company.'

It might be too late to do this without making a fuss about Saturday, so you could go and be gracious and go home at the earliest opportunity, and then have this conversation again later, so you don't repeat the scenario with your friend. If she knows how you feel, she won't put you in these situations together. We all have friends that we don't invite to do things together because we know there's a dislike, for whatever reason. It's no big deal.

A straightforward approach is a thousand times better than making an excuse and finding yourself in the same position again a couple months down the road. You risk the possibility that other people might think you're flaky, unpredictable, or moody if you keep changing your plans and not showing up for stuff.
posted by Miko 26 September | 09:24
Thanks for the reply, Miko.

You risk the possibility that other people might think you're flaky, unpredictable, or moody if you keep changing your plans and not showing up for stuff.

Yes. I agree. This is why I always go even when I don't want to go. I've been known for making plans and wanting to back out at the last minute, because I'm crazy, but I force myself so I won't look like a flake. I always end up having a good time.

I'll probably suck it up and go tomorrow and say something later. It's complicated. Clyde and my friend are very close friends. They're also related by marriage. It's difficult for me to say something because I fear I may alienate my friend.

Thanks again for the advice, Miko.
posted by LoriFLA 26 September | 09:42
Maybe if you put it just like that she will understand - that it's difficult for you to say, you are afraid to alienate her, etc. It does sound sticky. Of course you have the choice just to never say anything about it and consider it part of the price of her friendship - the danger of that, at least when it happens to me, is that I end up doing the things together, but resentfully, which isn't healthy either.
posted by Miko 26 September | 10:56
OHMYGOSH, Lori, you are totally forgetting that you have that THING that you have to go to. It's your husband's family thing, so you really wish you could get out of it and go to the show, but you just can't.
Excuses are fine. Changing plans is fine as long as you don't make a habit of it and as long as you tell people beforehand so you don't stand them up.
posted by rmless2 26 September | 11:21
Since you're going to be in a place where there will be a music performance - just go and concentrate on the music. Also, your friend said they MIGHT come. Which means they also MIGHT NOT show up. Go and enjoy your old friend's music. Don't let the idea that an asshat MIGHT be there ruin your fun. And if the asshat does show up - you don't have to be NICE to him. Be polite but you don't have to be his best friend for the evening.
posted by fluffy battle kitten 26 September | 15:31
You're totally right, fbk.

Rmless, I was actually contemplating giving an excuse. My husband's family is always visiting so this wouldn't be unrealistic.

Good news, it's just the two of us. No smarmy Clyde. I can deal with all kinds of people. I love people. Very few people turn me off. I can take a lot of crap, but this guy is creepy.
posted by LoriFLA 26 September | 19:04
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