Not That You Asked: It’s Not About You

When people come to any of my shows or performances, it makes me really happy.

A lot of the times, I’m also pleasantly surprised.

That’s because I know it takes effort and time and a certain amount of enthusiasm to come from work or home to be supportive (and hopefully entertained).

I never expect anyone to come (well, except for my boyfriend and even he’s given a pass when he wants to take it.)

I will not beg you to come. I will not send separate friendly e-mail reminders. I will not try to guilt trip you. I will not act differently when I see you again or ask why you weren’t there. It doesn’t phase me. At all.

I want you to be there because you want to be there. When you come, it’s all “oh look, this person voluntarily showed up!” End of story.

What I really don’t care about is when you can’t make it and moreover, why you can’t make it.

I’m not sure if it’s to alleviate your guilt or because you think not being there will be catastrophic, but I’ll never understand some people’s need to not only decline, but to give an explanation.

It’s annoying and unnecessary.

If it’s to stop the notifications, I totally get that. If it’s because your presence is actually needed in some capacity, obviously I’d like to know you can’t be there.

But never why. Never, ever why.

Oh, you have dinner plans? You promised a friend you’d see them with their improv troupe? You have concert tickets? You are dying? Someone is dying? You anticipate having an accident and not being able to make it?

You having a date with your bed and a t.v. dinner versus going to see a 90’s cover band is all the same to me.

Please keep that information to yourself. It’s unimportant to me in this context and your need to excuse yourself from something you have no obligation to be at is unnerving.

I get it: You have a life.

Telling me why you can’t come is 100,000 times worse than just not coming.

Also, if we are friends, I’d hope you’d tell me about your untreatable condition in private or in person and not in a Facebook comment.

Maybe this is some social media etiquette you’re not quite sure how to navigate. But something tells me you don’t provide an explanation for why you’re not attending a wedding when you return your RSVP card with a “No”. You don’t flip over the little card and scribble: “Sorry we won’t be there. We are going apple picking, but HAVE A MEMORABLE DAY!!! =)”

I know Facebook provides this opportunity, but please opt out of it.

When I re-post the event on my wall a couple of times leading up to the actual night, I’m not trying to send You a message. I’m reminding people who forgot they said “yes” a month ago, or hoping to reach people who don’t look at their invites. Or to catch the attention of someone I don’t talk to or see often.

This is not like a face to face interaction when I ask you to do something and you have to decline. I get that saying “no, can’t” and then following that up with silence would be weird. But when you are a part of a mass invite for a monthly show it’s OK to just ignore that shit or hit “No” and never think about it again.

And please, please, PLEASE, do not text me right before the show to tell me you’re not going to make it (and/or why). I am stressed out and trying to get things organized and your message is going to send me over the edge. Want to wish me good luck or hope things go well? Cool. Want to say you’re so sorry followed by a wall of text? Please refrain.

I invited you because I’d love for you to be there or because I honestly think you’d really enjoy it. If you come, I’ll be elated. If you can’t make it, your absence will not devastate me and we’re still totally cool. I do not scan the crowd and make a mental note of your absence.

When you see me next, ask me about the show to let me know you care. That means a lot to me too.



Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] it when people decline an invitation then spend a gazillion words telling me why they can’t come. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. Unless there’s an emergency, like you’re trapped under a fallen piece of furniture, or that […]

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