I am the actual worst.
January 14, 2015 6:49 AM   Subscribe

 
Too close.
posted by Sokka shot first at 6:55 AM on January 14, 2015


I know I SAID I would comment but something literally came up at the last second when I realized I'm not a together enough human being to put on pants okay? I'm SO bad I know, forgive meeee?
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is a nice markov-y flarf-y poetry to some of this ("You don’t have to tell me that I’m mercury poisoning hooking up with the Crusades in the bathroom at trans fat’s wedding to voter suppression") but I prefer the Hey Ladies series on The Toast.
posted by raisindebt at 7:11 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can only assume the "B" stands for "Britta".
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 7:15 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel like I'm the type of person who will accept an invitation and make plans, but doesn't fulfill them - it's like, really a part of my personal brand and me doing me, you know? Like I can't just be available to do all the things I said I was going to do. why take the mystery out of life?
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Everyone keeps posting this on facebook and saying they relate to it. I want to defriend everyone who can relate to it! How hard is it to adequately schedule your life so you don't have to constantly break plans!? This is a scourge. I'm not kidding!
posted by millipede at 7:18 AM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


This article is Dennis Miller doing color commentary for the NFL having a three way with Manifest Destiny and the Tunguska Event while the Reign of Terror serves lemonade to the South during Reconstruction on a plantation built by an unshakeable sense of ennui.

Well, maybe not that bad, but it does go on for a bit...
posted by logicpunk at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


I agree. You are the actual worst.
posted by mistersquid at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's like once someone ( say ME) becomes the default responsible person who always shows up when they say they will that gives everyone else licensees to never show up ever. It's a burden having to put in all the work to maintain a relationship.

Also cause a lot of this "isn't it wonderful when friends cancel so you can stay alone in sweatpants watching tv all day!" Stuff on the Internet reads as disturbingly similar to when I'm about to enter a depressive period and become a miserable, unproductive wreck for no less than three weeks.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess convenience is a tide pull no one can escape, and it will erode us all.
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on January 14, 2015


I do this thing where plans sound really good and then social anxiety kicks in and I flake. Probably because I am worse than Hitler.

(But seriously, I do that. Not all plan-breaking is a scheduling issue.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:31 AM on January 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


I was just about to post this! And this is the pull quote I was going to use:

"I’m worse than the Hobby Lobby verdict dancing with Vladimir Putin on Elaine Stritch’s grave while the Vietnam War plays “All About That Bass” on the didgeridoo."
posted by lunasol at 7:31 AM on January 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am the actual worst because I do not want to meet anyone for drinks if you can't read a clock in a timely fashion.
posted by Kitteh at 7:32 AM on January 14, 2015


And as for all the people who said they can relate - I am a pretty avid plan-keeper, but even I could relate because 1. lots of other people aren't, so you get pulled into these shenanigans and 2. haven't we all fallen prey to the "we'll make plans the day of" trap?
posted by lunasol at 7:33 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I allow three of these before I stop trying to hang out with a given person. If you can't get it together by then you don't really want to hang out.

Then again, this sort of reminds me of the Persian practice of taarof, where you repeatedly offer and decline and invite and refuse over and over again, just to be polite and keep relationships smoothed over with the least amount of inconvenience.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:44 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you can't get it together by then you don't really want to hang out.

I totally get where you're coming from, but seriously: a lot of us with social anxiety very very much want to hang out, but then as soon as it gets real we get terrified. "Everyone's fighting a battle you can't see" and all that.

So it's worth bearing that in mind.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:52 AM on January 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Then again, this sort of reminds me of the Persian practice of taarof, where you repeatedly offer and decline and invite and refuse over and over again, just to be polite and keep relationships smoothed over with the least amount of inconvenience.

Basically this. Both people in the article are cancelling! Both are secretly relieved when the other does! Go complain passive-aggressively about your flaky friends on Facebook because that's not what this is about!
posted by kagredon at 7:53 AM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


haven't we all fallen prey to the "we'll make plans the day of" trap?

Yup and also the friend who demands we schedule things like, 3+ months out. I'm sorry but it's entirely possible that in that 3 months, something might arise for that day which I could not have foreseen, but which is actually a lot more mandatory/important than grabbing a cocktail.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:54 AM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


For a brief but glorious period, going out for a pint with one of my mates became so standardised that we could organise it with eight characters: "Pub?", "Yep."

Most of the time now though stuff gets planned in group chats, where rather than the old "sorry, sorry, I'm a horrible human being" thing, flakiness manifests as simply being (or pretending to be) afk, which feels better somehow.
posted by lucidium at 8:55 AM on January 14, 2015


For a brief but glorious period, going out for a pint with one of my mates became so standardised that we could organise it with eight characters: "Pub?", "Yep."

I was reminded recently by a former FWB (who is now just a straight-up Friend) that I once initiated a (successful!) booty call by texting "Sex?"

But then I'm like vanity sizing plus Sunday parking enforcement to the power of Leni Riefenstahl.
posted by psoas at 9:01 AM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is the joke that they don't want to hang out but don't want to tell each other that? Or do they actually just suck at scheduling?
posted by Carillon at 9:01 AM on January 14, 2015


The joke is the exponentially-descriptive abasements they offer each other; but I think the situation is partly they suck at scheduling, partly what kagredon said.
posted by psoas at 9:04 AM on January 14, 2015


"Literally."
posted by scratch at 9:11 AM on January 14, 2015


> this sort of reminds me of the Persian practice of taarof, where you repeatedly offer and decline and invite and refuse over and over again,

So that's what it's called. I've just referred to it as the "Persian Hospitality Hose". It's high pressure and never turns off.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:21 AM on January 14, 2015


This didn't make me think "I relate to this!" so much as "This is totally my relationship with Friend X! I should send this to him and see if he wants to get drinks."

And the cycle begins anew...
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:24 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


haha being politically engaged is the new banal social trend

'sjws amirite' - The New Yorker
posted by saucy_knave at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2015


I will do this for years with people, because I have social anxiety and so do most of my friends and we are empathetic people.

But also, as we all get older, we have so many high-stakes responsibilities that friendship or time for ourselves is a little bit of a luxury, and the first thing to go, and we all get that. I'm not going to drop a friend just because her department just went through a major shakeup and she's worried about keeping her job, or because her 4-year-old had been doing great with Daddy Bedtime that she finally braved making a plan, so of course he's having a major regression now.

Pretty much every time I dare make a plan on a weeknight, one of my customers will have a complete server meltdown or surprise audit or the Controller will die. I started to feel so guilty - about bailing on my friends, and killing my customers - that i mostly just don't in the first place now. It does cut down on the "I totally want to have dinner with you but the warehouse manager is literally sobbing on the phone right now" incidents, now we mostly just don't make plans that much.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:37 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


(I did think it was neat that there was no Godwinning in any of the increasingly elaborate terribleness metering.)
posted by kagredon at 9:48 AM on January 14, 2015


haha being politically engaged is the new banal social trend

'sjws amirite' - The New Yorker


I don't think these two are being made fun of for false political engagement so much as for failing to engage with horrible events to the extent that they think nothing of using them as material for hyperbolic, absurd self-abasements over trivial scheduling conflicts, but I realize I could be splitting hairs because I thought "Aaron Sorkin eating toothpaste straight from the tube" was a funny image.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:56 AM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


The joke is the exponentially-descriptive abasements they offer each other

And it's a dumb one-note joke, to my mind.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2015


I don't think these two are being made fun of for false political engagement so much as for failing to engage with horrible events to the extent that they think nothing of using them as material for hyperbolic, absurd self-abasements over trivial scheduling conflicts

I was assuming that their long memory for extremely specific atrocities and ability to describe them in 5 or less words that the characters are purportedly engaged but that could just be an element of absurdity that I'm having trouble associating with the satire

I also think that the abasement includes things like trendy media topics from the past 30 years mixed in with topics mostly found in high school history, skipping a lot of the less popular issues (like health outcomes on reservations and three strikes laws and etc). with all that wrapped up in a valley girlish style, the image for me is one of a couple of soccer mom types discovering establishment Democrat politics for the first time (instead of, say, the whole foodie anti-science ideology)

which seems like an uncharitable way to portray someone who is at the cusp of real political engagement but I dunno, mayhaps I overthunkest it
posted by saucy_knave at 10:39 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


idk, my best friend and I will pretty regularly message one another with stuff like "I have a throat infection that the doctor said it was probably viral but he prescribed antibiotics anyway so I guess it's time to do my part destroying my liver and creating superbugs" or "well if he was hanging out at the other place he could've at least texted back, it's not like he was dying of ebola", so I guess I've achieved my not-life goal of being New-Yorker-ridiculous
posted by kagredon at 10:44 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was assuming that their long memory for extremely specific atrocities and ability to describe them in 5 or less words that the characters are purportedly engaged but that could just be an element of absurdity that I'm having trouble associating with the satire

To me, the piece reads primarily as absurdism, not satire, with the political implications being the accidental result of the references' specificity. The specificity is necessary for the exaggeration of a common kind of polite rejection to read as exaggeration. Any less specific, and the exchange would look as ordinary as the kind of thing in kagredon's comment. Also, A and B read as yuppies in their late 20s/early 30s to me, not as soccer moms, but I don't know. I could be underthinking or misreading it, and I certainly don't mean to die on Shouts and Murmurs Is Actually Good Hill.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:06 AM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have a friend who I can never manage to get together with, party because she is a weanie. By this I mean that when we do get around to making plans, she often weanies out. Worse than that, she always has a reason that I absolutely can find no fault with. It's not "I forgot and double-booked" it's "I have take my sister to the ER because she's hemorrhaging." (real example). So in addition to the fact that she frequently weanies out, I've never even had the satisfaction of being legitimately peeved about it.

Anyway, one day when I called her in a panic because I needed someone to drop everything and drive me to another country on a few hours notice because I couldn't get on the plane I booked or take the bus because I hadn't noticed my passport was expired and really needed to go but driving was the only hope I had of getting across the border. So I called her and asked her to drive me. She was at a wedding, which she literally left early so that she could drive me.

On the drive I said to her "I feel terrible that the only time I seem to see you is when you're doing me some big giant favour." and then it hit me! She's a weanie because she's always doing big giant favours for friends and family in crisis. In fact, I think she weanied out on someone else to drive me that day.

So you see, not everyone who it's impossible to make plans with is the worst. I think I'll send her a link to this and see if she wants to get together soon.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:20 PM on January 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


How hard is it to adequately schedule your life so you don't have to constantly break plans!?

I didn't read it as being about a joke about poor scheduling at all, I read it as being a joke about people who just aren't that interested in seeing each other. I don't do this because I am absurdly, incredibly forthright so when someone says "want to grab drinks?" I say not really if I don't. I do know people who communicate with each other by saying "lol omg I AM THE WORST I can't make it" but what they actually mean is I had literally no intention of ever seeing you at this time but I thought it would be more polite to pretend I did. Like people who say "I'm just getting changed, we're still on for 7?" to give you the impression that they're a second away from stepping out the door when in reality they are knee-deep in leftovers and Friends reruns counting on you to say "oh shit I'M THE WORST I have a dentist's appointment actually".

I have always assumed this is one of the ask vs. guess culture things and I'm Captain Fucking Ask.
posted by kate blank at 2:10 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nah, I don't think so, in the two cases where I had this exchange with people it was because we kept having work meetings scheduled over our lunch plans, and there was nothing we could do about it.
posted by capricorn at 2:32 PM on January 14, 2015


I prefer the Hey Ladies series on The Toast.

omg there are two more new HL entries - Ali is back from the deddddd

posted by psoas at 3:20 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I'm guessing that this must be a cultural thing, because I've read about this constant-bailing thing on MeFi, but have never experienced it in real life.
posted by Bugbread at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2015


I learned quick, a long time ago, that if I bail once, I never get asked again.

I guess other people's mileage varies.
posted by serena15221 at 7:48 PM on January 14, 2015


On the drive I said to her "I feel terrible that the only time I seem to see you is when you're doing me some big giant favour." and then it hit me! She's a weanie because she's always doing big giant favours for friends and family in crisis. In fact, I think she weanied out on someone else to drive me that day.

I found this story extremely touching and I actually didn't expect the "twist" at all; thanks for sharing.
posted by threeants at 7:52 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I prefer the Hey Ladies series on The Toast.

My friend does that but coincidentally I agree that it is superior and this is a ripoff of it.
posted by zutalors! at 9:26 AM on January 15, 2015


I thought this was funny, but then again I am the worst, my iron lung keeps catching on fire and I really should replace it, as it shorts out my phone, and makes so much noise I can't even talk to myself much less make plans with anyone...
posted by Oyéah at 9:12 PM on January 15, 2015


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