On Wednesday night, we were due to have our annual Christmas gathering with some friends. Normally it would be a big Christmas meal but due to one couple now having a baby, they decided that this wouldn’t work this year.
So, instead, another person in the group invited us over to hers so that we didn’t end up going to a pub, which would mean that both of the couple with the baby, and the baby himself, could attend. The plan was agreed.
Then on Tuesday we got an e-mail from the couple with the baby to say that the baby hadn’t been very well so mum and baby probably wouldn’t attend, but dad would. Fine. It was a shame but everything else was all sorted, including that G and I had booked somewhere to stay overnight in Central London so we could stay out late without then having to trek home, and we’d bought wine and chocolates etc (as had others).
Wednesday morning, the day of the get together, the host’s partner sends a text to say that he has suddenly come down with major flu and therefore the get together was cancelled. G and I both raised an eyebrow about the coincidental timing of this bout of flu. The couple who have the baby are rather the cement of the group and the person who now wasn’t coming is the best friend of the host. The rest of us are rather lower down the pecking order (with me not even being ranked as a friend of the host – who is the person who a couple of years ago told G various untruths about stuff that happened with A back in the mists of time. Need I say more…).
G and I were committed to staying in London anyway, as we would have to pay for the accommodation regardless. G then sent an e-mail to the others to see if they were still on for meeting up regardless. To which come confused responses were sent because the others were still under the impression the original plan was going ahead. No-one else has got a text cancelling the get together. Much confusion then ensued and various e-mails were exchanged. The hosts were copied into all of the e-mails but maintained a silence throughout.
So, we didn’t know whether the plan was really cancelled (G even began to wonder if the text was from someone else of the same name, and that the original plan was still on. But nope, it was the right person). In the end we agreed to meet at a pub instead, and invited the hosts (those not suffering from ill-health of course) to join us. We had a pleasant evening, including discussing what had happened and how what was meant to have been a very simple plan had turned into a complete mess. The hosts didn’t come along and we have heard nothing from them since.
The cynical side of me says that because a key person couldn’t go, they didn’t want the rest of us to go round to their house, and so made up an excuse to get out of the plan. If that is the case, why invite people to your home if you are only willing to have them there under certain conditions? There is also the question of why only G got the text – were we the only ones who were uninvited? Even if there was a genuine illness, to treat people who are meant to be your friends in this way, especially when they have all gone to a lot of effort, is not the right way to treat people.
But maybe I should be more charitable. It is Christmas after all.
London’s Alleys – Spital Yard
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