One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone makes plans with me and at the last minute changes them.
This first became an issue for me when I was growing up. My friends never were able to appreciate how difficult it was for me to make plans with them, the bargaining and trade offs that had to happen in order to get permission.
Today, this is still an issue, but for different reasons. While I don’t have to ask permission any longer, there are trade offs that have to happen. Being disabled, living with chronic pain, deciding to make a date with someone, to go shopping, go out to eat, etc., includes assessing my pain level, how much walking will potentially be involved, how long I might have to sit, etc. It also includes taking my son’s needs into consideration, whether the activity will trigger his social anxiety if he’s included or how long he can handle being home alone if he doesn’t want to go along.
Most people, friends and family alike, don’t understand that going out for any reason takes some preparation on my part and may not be something I can do, especially on the spur of the moment. As a rule I try not to make promises, as far as making plans, because I’m never sure I can follow through and I know how much I really dislike it when people back out on me.
Recently, one of my husband’s cousins, I’ll refer to her as “D,” told us she’d be coming from out of state to visit family near us, and wanted to go out for brunch with us, Sunday morning, July 16. We were excited to see her though I knew I’d have to be careful what I did Saturday (today), so I could go and enjoy myself. A week ago I asked her if we were still on for this Sunday and she assured me we were.
Earlier this week we got a message from her saying she wasn’t going to be able to do brunch on Sunday, as she was not leaving for home Sunday afternoon, but Sunday morning, as there was a birthday party one of her kids was going to Sunday. She wanted to know if we could go to breakfast early Saturday morning. We explained that my husband didn’t know if he had to work overtime on Saturday yet or not.
We explained that it was okay if we didn’t get to see her this trip. It sounded like her weekend was pretty well planned out, chaotic, things happen, we could plan to see her another time when she came to visit. She simply would not accept this.
She asked if we could get together Friday night. We told her no, we run our errands on Friday evening after he works overtime. She wanted to know again if we could do a meeting at our house Saturday morning around 7. I explained if my husband was home, he usually sleeps in until about 7 and walks our dog before the temperature and humidity get too bad. She said that’s okay, he doesn’t have to be there, we’ll have girl talk.
To be honest, that really rubbed me the wrong way. He had wanted to see her too and she’s his relative, after all. I would not feel right about seeing her without him here. I suggested instead of trying to make plans not knowing whether he’s working or not that we’d wait until Friday and let her know, as he would know by end of work whether he had to do overtime on Saturday. She agreed.
Friday he texted her to let her know he didn’t have to work, also that he had an appointment to have new tires put on our car at 10:15 on Saturday. He asked her if 8:00 would work for her, that way he could visit before leaving for the appointment. She asked if she could come at 9:00. He agreed, reminding her he’d have to leave at 10.
Friday night we got groceries, came home and put everything away, put out recycling, garbage, ran vacuum, mopped floors, wiped down bathrooms, before going to bed.
This morning I slept in until 8:30, as I wasn’t feeling well when I went to bed Friday. My husband, son and I did some last minute straightening up and waited. 9:00 came and went. It was almost 9:30 when my husband remembered my phone’s text notification sound had gone off about an hour earlier. I checked it to find that his Aunt texted to tell me she is coming to his birthday party in August and his cousin didn’t get in until 1:30 in the morning, was still in bed and probably not coming to see us.
All day today we heard nothing from her. We waited a while before going out to mow the yard, as a result weren’t able to have dinner until after 7:00.
For several days she would not take no for an answer. We gave her an ‘out’ knowing we’ll have other opportunities to visit, but she wouldn’t accept that. She changed her plans, then expected us to rearrange our lives to accommodate her. She tried to shift the blame for not getting to visit on us, for not being willing or able to accommodate her change of plans. Then, even after we did accommodate her, she cancelled and didn’t even bother to contact us herself to let us know or apologize.
To me, this translates to our time not being valuable, our needs not being important. Suggesting my husband didn’t need to be here was disrespectful and hurtful.
This was a very stressful day, especially since I woke up with a headache and in a lot of pain, as we’ve had high temps, high humidity and lots of rain lately. My joints are swollen and my whole body achy.
After today, my opinion of this cousin has changed dramatically. I’m feeling a lot of resentment toward her right now. My husband won’t speak up about this, for fear of rocking the boat, not sure why, since his father’s family wants nothing to do with him, in fact, this cousin came in today to attend their family reunion at the Aunt’s house that texted me. We were not invited to attend.