Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Half the fun is to plan the plan

I'm a planner. Always have been and likely always will be. I like to know what's happening and when and how many people and what I should wear and so on. Luckily, I'm not totally crazy about it. My daily planner is oft neglected, my M&M's wall calendar still says August, and my Outlook calendar is rather bare. I'm totally okay with all of that. I'm even really chill when a friend says "Let's hang out on Friday" and we don't plan our actual activities until that same day.
There are two things that really bug me. One is to decide we're hanging out (or worse you've asked me on a date) and instead of spending the precious time we have together doing something fun, we sit there debating what to do. Let's just decide and do something! (This does not apply to when we're just talking.)

The other is have to changes in plan, particularly if Plan A is not something that happens very often. The longer the plan has been in place, the harder it is for me to budge willingly. This is one cause of my year from the dark side - I had absolutely NO future plans and I had no idea what to do with myself. It doesn't bother me if we say we're going to see Movie A, but on the way decide to see Movie B. It does bother me if, say, there's been a plan for a week to go to Gettysburg, it's confirmed two days before, and then the next day all but one person involved decides they'd rather spend the day closer to home. That's what happened this weekend. I'd been looking forward to G-burg all week, since I've never been there and it's not something I'm likely to up and do by myself, and everyone else suddenly decided they wanted to do something that wouldn't take all day. I didn't respond particularly well (which I realized later may or may not have had anything to do with a hormonal imbalance), but they did want to still hang out with me.

In the end, that's the point, and one that I brought up as I was being less than flexible, that it matters more who you spend time with than what you do. These friends could have just said "Hey, we don't want to go anymore, so peace out." Instead they said, "We don't really want to do Plan A anymore, but we do have some interest in Plan B. What do you think?" This was incredibly thoughtful of them. We ended up with Plan C, which was an afternoon at the Nationals v. the Phillies, and was quite a lot of fun. They don't even like baseball all that much, but when I showed more than just compliant interest in something, anything, they were game. We even included more people than we would have originally and everyone had a great time.

On a related note, it's that planning part of me that really likes the RSVP. I don't think it's necessary to state that in an invitation, but when an invitation comes, via email, phone, text, Facebook, or carrier pigeon, it's considerate to respond with either a "Yes", "No, thanks", or a "Maybe". In recent invitations I've sent out, I've had more silence than response of any kind. There was one activity that didn't even end up happening because of the more than twenty people I sent messages to, only two responded at all, and they were both regrets at not being able to attend. There's no one culprit or anyone I'm mad at or anything, it's just something that I, and others I've talked to, have noticed our culture has been rather lackadaisical about lately. It's just unfortunate.

However, I'd much rather spend time with people doing absolutely nothing than having immovable, elaborate, minute-by-minute plans. Some of the best stories and memories happen that way.


Smashie Smasherton said...

When you successfully do go to Gettysburg, let me know and I'll loan you my audio tour. It's fun, and I sure as hell won't be using it for a while!

Giggles said...

Along with putting up missing posters for the RSVP, maybe we could put some up for the thank you card too.