Ok, this may be a new record for the longest I’ve gone without blogging. But I’ve been a little busy, what with having coloring books to play with, and a new scooter to ride all over the place (srsly…I had the BMW for a year and only put 590 miles on it, including the 45 mile trip to the dealer to trade it in; the MP3 has 800 miles almost, and that’s with having left it at the dealership for a couple weeks waiting for a new horn switch) and the new season of Doctor Who in full swing. And there’s the whole getting Max’s new book finished.
That’s all apropos to nothing. I went to Starbucks today to so something other than write and edit and write more. I just wanted to ride my scooter over there, have some tea and play online, with no real objective in mind.
While I sat there with my iced tea and coffee cake, I started getting texts from a couple of friends. I felt like I was about 3 levels of normal, sitting there like everyone else with my face plastered to my phone. Well, maybe 4 levels, because I did have a Macbook Air in front of me, and it seems to be the required form of computer in the ‘Bux.
One friend started off with a plethora of apologies: she’s going to be in San Francisco next week, with her husband and 5 of their 6 kids, and she wanted to see me, but… no time. They’ve got only 3 days and each of the kids has been promised they could pick something for the entire family, and…and…and…
The gist? She was worried that I would be offended.
No. I am not. I don’t think she believed me, but I truly am not.
Look—and this goes for everyone—your vacation is just that. Yours. You do not owe it to anyone to change your plans, or create new plans, just because there’s someone in the geographical vicinity who may or may not have time to see you. I’ve been caught in those cross hairs and it’s horribly uncomfortable; just because you’re there and you might want to see someone...that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or even possible.
We’ve made plans to go somewhere before where there are nearly 20 people—some who are family, some who are friends—who would expect to join us. The sheer exhaustion of that many people, those expectations, and the fallout have made us just not go. Because really, whom do you disappoint? With whom do you make plans? Whom do you not? Who gets told they don’t make the cut? Who do you piss off? Who will understand and who will trash talk you because clearly you’re able to be there so why are you not visiting?
It’s never simple. The things that are genuine reasons can be brushed off by others as mere excuses, and it just turns sour. Hearing “but we’re family” from someone can be irritating as hell, because they’re not stopping to consider that they’re not the only family in that area harboring the same expectations, and there are only so many hours in the day and there’s no kind way to see one side of the family and not the other.
At some point it stops being a vacation and turns into visiting people. Nothing wrong with the latter if that’s what you wanted all along, but if your goal was the former and you don’t get that much needed you-time to do any of the vacationy things you planned simply because you know there will be repercussions? It sucks.
So no…I will not be offended if you’re in San Francisco or Sacramento or three streets over and don’t have time to see me. No, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much I would have liked to spend some time with you. I do understand.
I damn well better understand, seeing as how I’m the Queen of pissing people off by not visiting when I’m in the area. I hate feeling like I’m walking on eggshells just because I want to go somewhere but also know my own limitations and my need to crash at unexpected intervals. But, I always feel that way. We go, and I seriously worry about it half the time we’re there. Who’s mad at me? How bad will the fallout be? Who just doesn’t get it? Who thinks I’m faking? Who’s going to throw the well you did that so why didn’t you do this? thing in my face?
(and in seeing how hard I’m pounding the keyboard, apparently this is a spot more sore with me than I realized…)
The friend who was so worried? I know she would like to see me. I would like to see her. But this is her vacation and her kids deserve the time they’ve been promised, and she doesn’t need to worry about perceived expectations and the possible hurt feelings that come with not meeting those expectations.
Go forth and have fun, people. If your friends and family don’t or won’t even try to understand…it’s their problem.