“I don’t feel like it.”
“I woke up with a sinus headache. Could be the weather.”
“I got a bug this morning.”
“I sprained my knee. My doctor told me to stay off it this weekend and call him Monday morning.”
These are reasons I’ve gotten from Meetup people for bailing at the last minute at parties I’ve created in my home.
Let’s not call ’em reasons. Let’s call them what they are. Excuses.
Excuses for bailing out of a Yes RSVP the day of the party. In some cases an hour before.
Unless it’s a genuine emergency or sudden development demanding your attention, my tolerance for No-Shows and Last-Minute Bailers is:
I looove hosting parties in my (newish) place! Cooking for Others + Games = Let the Good Times Roll!
Extraordinary care, thought, planning, preparations and personal expense go into creating events for the enjoyment of all.
There’s a vast difference in feeding and liquoring up 10 people or 5. In menu planning. Shopping. Costs.
A big difference in dressing and setting a table to seat 8 or 4.
So when some jerk, correction jerkS, don’t show or bail with some flimsy excuse the day of … and HOUR before! … the party, it’s far more than an inconvenience practically and pragmatically.
It is fucking RUDE!
Take Will for example. He wanted in on my home party the day before. I messaged: Sure, there’s still a seat open, you’re welcome to join!
About two hours before the party, he messages:
“I sprained my knee. Doctor says to stay off it this weekend and call him Monday. Can I have a rain check?”
I’m pissed. For starters, I’ve already accommodated his last-minute arrival in food, drink, table seating.
Above all, it’s just RUDE. Selfish. Inconsiderate. Thoughtless. Disrespectful.
So I message him:
“There are seats here.”
This isn’t a DANCE party, Will! — is what I wanted to say! (But didn’t; I graciously bit my tongue.) You wont be standing. This is a sit-down dinner. With a game where you’ll be seated. You’ll need to walk all of 50 feet from your car to my place!
I’m sure you’ll walk at least that far in your home “before you call the doctor Monday.”
So don’t give me shitty stupid flimsy excuse for not wanting to come at the last minute.
If you’re not willing to honor your Yes RSVP and take your reserved seat THAT YOU REQUESTED may I remind you! then you have no place in my life. And home.
And no, Will, you cannot have a rain check!
Experience hosting a few Meetup events has schooled me in No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancellations.
It reads something like:
Tremendous care, planning, preparations and expense go into creating events for all guests to enjoy. No-shows and last-minute cancellations, barring emergencies, affront hosts and guests at any event. Thus a Meetup member who has been a no-show or last-minute cancellation in events I’ve hosted may not attend subsequent ones. Thank you.
I put extraordinary effort into creating parties, down to the finest detail and penny. From weeks of researching recipes to food prep to making and hanging decorations to dressing the table to setting the places to cleaning the house front to front and side to side to the flowers chosen for the occasion to the music, the love is palpable when a guest walks in the door.
It is work, yes. Joyful work. I loooooove cooking and feeding people, having small groups in my home, playing games. This is a vision of heart and soul long in cold storage and now being nurtured as the tiny seed it is.
My dream is a bouquet of blooms: friends in the home, breaking bread together, caring for and respecting one another, listening to and sharing with one another.
I will not have flakes in my home. Do not need it, want it or benefit from it in ANY way. I will not and do not tolerate it.
No-shows and last-minute cancellations are endemic on Meetup. Organizers and hosts everywhere struggle with how to manage them.
Most hosts don’t. They let ’em run roughshod.
Take Will for example. Not the one with the “bad knee,” another Will.
I know him a little personally but that’s neither here nor there.
He consistently RSVPs yes to Meetup gatherings. Then doesn’t show.
His is one of the worst No-Show track records. Where he excels is in disappointing and letting people down. Time after time after time.
Yet hosts continue to let him come!
So when he RSVP’d yes to my latest dinner-and-game party, I messaged him uh-uh and here’s why. (gist of message above)
His response: a RUDE “I don’ want or need people like you in my life!” Then he proceeded to block ME!
No skin off my teeth. Clearly a man (late 50s/early 60s) with a rather poor sense of personal responsibility.
If more Meetup organizers/hosts banned No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancels — excepting true emergencies/situations, “I just don’t feel like going” DOESN’T cut it! — then guess what. Either they’d change their behavior. OR they’d take it elsewhere.
Here’s the forgotten secret:
When you tolerate Bad Behaviors, Discourtesy, Disrespect, Disregard and Genuine Rudeness from Meetup members at your events, guess what:
That’s what you’ll get. IT WILL CONTINUE!
The Meetup Muck and Mire is atrocious.
It is rampant. Ubiquitous. Here to stay. It’s reflective of an American culture Full of Self and Absent Common Courtesy, for starters.
However, I do not need or desire it in my close personal life or in my home. It will not be tolerated.
Mine is a 1-strike rule.
My guests who do show up are better off for it. My parties are better off for it. My well-being is better off for it.
So to all you Meetup Muckers:
Move along. Nothing to see here.