21st Century Friendships

Creating, Building, and Maintaining Friendships in an Ultra-Connected Time

“If-Then” Plans

on May 17, 2014

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I run a Facebook group for women creating and maintaining life long friendships. That’s really a technical term for what has turned into the next generation social club. More on that on another post, I’m sure.

Our group has planned a clothing swap this weekend. A bunch of us have gone through our closets and are each bringing at least 5 pieces of clothing we no longer want. Then, we will look through what everyone brought and see if we like anything. Whatever is left over will be given to a charity thrift store in town, (not Goodwill.)

We have one member who messaged me today asking if she could bring the clothes to my place, because she doesn’t know if she is going to make it. She might be fishing with her father, it depends on the weather.

About two hours later, she messages me again. She is thinking of taking the clothes to Goodwill instead of going to the clothing swap at all, just because it would give her an excuse to shop there.

This is why this blog may be as much of a vent as it is advice.

We all have If-Then plans. If the weather is good, then I will go fishing. If my son is having a good day, we will go to the party. Some of us double book ourselves, creating a back-up plan. My story is a perfect example. If the weather is good, she is going fishing. If the weather is not good, she is coming to the party.

Here’s my problem with If-Then plans of this nature. You leave a hostess in a jam. Granted there are some events, and some hostesses, that can handle not knowing how many people will be there until the day of. However, this event is not one of those. We need to know head count because we need to know how many people to expect. (We have 20 people RSVP’d maybe. That’s a large swing of attendees.)

As you can see, assuming that it doesn’t matter weather you show can cause stress. It matters greatly!

My other problem with If-Then plans is that it tells people your priorities. It’s like saying you would rather go to this event instead, BUT if it falls through and you have nothing else to do then sure, you’ll stop by.

For big events, like community fairs or large 100+ public events, this kind of double booking is fine. If the weather is good, then you’ll go to the street fair. If the weather is crappy, you’ll go see a movie. No one at the street fair or movie are heavily impacted by this.

But, when you have a small event, thrown in someone’s home, one “head” makes a huge difference! If-then double booking an event like this can you seem insensitive to the hostesses efforts.

It’s easy to double book ourselves, especially with the parade of invites we get on Facebook between our friends, pages we like, groups we are in, and local events advertising themselves. If you are invited to a small, “intimate” gathering, be respectful of the host/hostess and let them know as soon as you can if you can make it.

Their efforts deserve acknowledgement.




6 responses to ““If-Then” Plans

  1. Easybeingmom says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever been in this kind of hostess situation (even my wedding was “The more, the merrier!) and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never looked at my If-Thens as anything more than being honest with people. I will surely try and be more mindful of people who have generously invited into their homes from now on, thank you!

  2. I think that it’s acceptable if you have kids. I would give an “If-then” response if my kids had a baseball game that night, but would go to the party if the game got rained out. I’m sure that there are other examples, but they’d be in the minority. Honor thy invitation! lol

  3. Gerri says:

    I’m sure I did the ‘if, then’ when my kids were little, but, now they are grown, and it’s a simple yes or no.

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